Open RAR File

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Archive File Extensions

There are multiple file formats which are used to store compressed information. In this article we will cover most popular of them.


ZIP is the most popular file compression format. It is natively supported by all major operating systems. ZIP format gained significant popularity because of being open and free of license fees. Even though ZIP compression is not the most efficient and doesn’t provide the best performance it still gives the best value proposition. There is no need to install anything to extract or create a ZIP archive. Typically ZIP uses DEFLATE algorithm which is based on LZ77 or LZ78 algorithms developed by Abraham Lempel and Jacob Zip in 1977 and 1978.


7Z is an open source compression file format developed by Igor Pavlov. 7Z format is implemented by 7-Zip application which is available under GNU Lesser General Public License. 7Z uses LZMA algorithm for compression. LZMA or Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain algorithm uses dictionary compression algorithm similar to LZ77 and LZ78 algorithms used in ZIP but with higher compression ratio and variable compression-dictionary size. 7Z applications are available for download from 7-Zip Official Website.


RAR is a very popular compression file format developed by Eugene Roshal. In certain scenarios it is probably used as frequent as ZIP file format. It provides one of the best compression/speed ratios on the market. Also, it provides some important features which competitors miss like corrupted files recovery and in-place editing of solid archives. WinRAR is a commercial free-to-try application which can create and extract RAR files and is available in 40 languages. WinRAR could be downloaded from WinRAR Official Website.


GZ file extension is used by GZIP file format and GZIP software application. GZIP is a free open source application developed as a replacement for an outdated “compress” utility for Unix. It uses DEFLATE algorithm similar to ZIP. The main difference between GZIP and ZIP file formats is that GZIP is typically used to compress only one file. TAR application is then needed to combine multiple gzipped files into one .tar.gz file.

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Extension Details
  Compression file format
Identifying Characters
  Hex: 52 61 72 21
  ASCII: Rar!
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