Often when we receive a compressed file, it seems to be in a ZIP file format. But RAR files are also common archive file types. If you’re not familiar with how to open RAR files and have recently received one, then this is your list.
These five RAR openers are easy to use, flexible for compressing your own files and come in both paid and free versions depending on the extra features you need.
WinZip is a widely-used and well-known tool for ZIP files as its name implies. But the application also opens RAR, 7z, CAB, ISO, and several other file formats. With its simple interface, just drag your RAR file into the WinZip window and the archive opens in seconds.
Along with opening RAR and additional compressed file types, you can convert and protect files with WinZip that supports 128- and 256-bit key AES encryption, resize photos, and add a watermark. Then, save or share your file instantly via email, your clipboard, or a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
WinZip also lets you create a split ZIP file, compress MP3 files, and use its features with various applications like Microsoft Office. For a full-service file compression tool, WinZip is a great choice.
You can download a free trial of WinZip and use it for 21 days. After that, you can pick it up for just $29.95 currently and it’s available for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices.
Download: WinZip (Free trial)
WinRAR is another popular RAR file opener. Plus, you can extract other compressed file formats like ZIP, CAB, and ARJ. Along with opening RAR files easily, you can create them, split archives into separate volumes, add passwords, test archived files, and repair corrupted files. WinRAR also comes armed with the industry standard 128/256 AES encryption for password protected archives.
The WinRAR interface is super easy to maneuver. With large buttons across the top, select from Add, Extract To, Test, View, Delete, Find, Wizard, Info, and Repair. The Wizard is a nice part of the tool that walks you right through what you want to do, whether it’s to open RAR files, create a new one, or add files to an existing archive.
If you’re looking for an easy tool for opening RAR files that offers much more, then check out WinRAR. You can download it for free and try it out for 40 days. If you decide to buy, WinRAR is currently priced at $29 and is available for Windows.
Download: WinRAR (Free trial)
If the above two tools are a little out of your price range after the trial periods end, you can check out a few free RAR file openers starting with PeaZip. Like the others, you can open TAR, ZIP, and 7z files in addition to RAR file formats.
The PeaZip interface is also really easy to use. Just open the application, browse for your RAR file, and either double-click to open it or click the Extract button to send the files to a different location. You can also convert files to another format, password-protect them with encryption, test them and save the task’s log, and delete files with a click.
For a good free tool to open RAR files and create your own, PeaZip is an excellent option. PeaZip is released under an open source license, is totally free, and available for Windows and Linux.
Download: PeaZip (Free)
Another free RAR file opener is 7-Zip. Similar to PeaZip, 7-Zip is open source and comes with no strings, meaning there’s no cost after you start using it. You can open a variety of file formats along with RAR like ZIP, 7z, and CAB. You can also compress files into one of seven formats including TAR and WIM.
Like the other applications, 7-Zip has a neat and clean interface and uses colorful buttons for the actions. So you can Add, Extract, Test, Copy, Move, or Delete with a click of a button. If you plan to compress your own files, you can password-protect them, and the application uses AES-256 as the encryption method.
7-Zip has plenty of flexible settings if you compress files of your own. It’s one more free tool that’s worth your time for quickly opening RAR files and easily compressing files in other formats. 7-Zip is available for Windows only.
Download: 7-Zip (Free)
5. B1 Free Archiver
Finishing off this list of terrific tools for opening RAR files is B1 Free Archiver. This application’s interface is the most attractive of the bunch with its modern appearance. You can use it as a file manager and open most file formats from RAR to ZIP to 7z and more.
You can choose from six formats when compressing your own files and split the archive or add password-protection. B1 Free Archiver has a good help section and with one click, you can provide your own feedback to the company.
The biggest difference with B1 Free Archiver and the other four tools on this list is that it is available for more platforms; Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android.
The tool is also available online if you’re thinking about online RAR extractors. So if you enjoy it, you can use it on several of your devices.
If you like the idea of a free RAR file opener, don’t mind installing open source software, and use more than one platform for opening or compressing files, then you want B1 Free Archiver.
Download: B1 Free Archiver (Free)
Get the RAR Opener That Fits Your Needs
Each of these tools, from the paid WinZip and WinRAR to the free compression software, are excellent choices when you need a RAR file extractor for Windows or another operating system.
Read the full article: The 5 Best Tools to Open RAR Files
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