Open RAR File

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Common Compression Formats

Here we tried to cover most popular file extensions used to store compressed information.

File Extension ZIP

Mime-Type: application/zip

ZIP is one of the first compression formats which was introduced on PCs. One of the first archivers which used ZIP format was PKZIP but later many other archivers started to support this format.

Microsoft Windows also supports ZIP format without need for any additional software. In Windows Explorer when you click right mouse button on a file or a folder in a pop-up menu you can see an option Send To -> Compressed (zipped) format. This option enables you to send your selected files into a folder compressed using ZIP.

File Extension 7Z

Mime-Type: application/x-7z-compressed

7Z format was created for 7-Zip open source archiver. The benefits of this format is that it offers very good compression ratios similar to ones offered by proprietary formats like RAR and ACE. 7-Zip also supports very strong 256-bit AES encryption helping users to protect ther information. Also it supports encrypting directory structure and filenames.

File Extension GZ

Mime-Type: application/x-gzip

GZ is a short for GNU Zip or gzip application used on Unix and Linux operating systems to compress information. gzip is based on the same algorithm as ZIP. Thas's why archivers often supports both formats at the same time. Even though GZ could be used to compress multiple files it is most frequently used to compress a single file. To compress multiple files it is used in combination with TAR which is described below.

File Extension TAR

Mime-Type: application/x-tar

TAR name was derived from Tape Format. This format was used to store large collections of files on Backup Tape Devices. All that it does is collates multiple files into one TAR file.

A popular combinations of extensions is .tar.gz where collection of files is first collated using TAR and then compressed using GZ.

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