Today we will turn our attention to another archiver, which may well claim to be the best program for file compression. This utility is written by German programmers and contains a large number of functions that deserve attention.
In addition to creating ZIP, LHA and MS-CAB archives, the program uses its “proprietary” data compression algorithm – ACE. The creators of Winace position their product as an alternative to the ZIP format (the motto of the archiver is “When the size does matter”), but the advantage over the latter is so great that it is more likely to compare with stronger competitors – RAR and 7Zip formats. The degree of compression of files using the ACE format often outperforms the popular RAR and ZIP.
Disadvantages of Winace
Despite the fact that Winace was released a long time ago, it was not possible to achieve such popularity among users as WinZip. There are several reasons for this. First, the size of the distribution is several times greater than the WinZip installation file.
Secondly, in order for the archiver to compete with the competitor, it must exceed the opponent in two ways – speed and compression ratio. The size of the archives in the ACE format is often less than after using WinZip, but not enough to attract attention. In addition, Winace does not have fast work, spending almost twice as much processing time on the compression algorithm, compared to WinZip.
If you compare Winace with 7Zip, then the main disadvantage of the first one is that it’s not free. 7Zip, like Winace, cannot be called the fastest archiver (especially if a large dictionary is used), but the first is free.
The disadvantages of Winace can also be attributed to the fact that the archiver does not have a high stability of operation, and as a result, from time to time the program window is closed due to an “invalid operation.” In our opinion, this is a serious drawback, especially considering the almost trouble-free operation of WinZip and 7Zip.
As you can see, the shortcomings of the archiver are obvious. However, Winace has also positive aspects. One of the advantages of the program is a convenient interface that combines the functions of the file manager and the viewer of graphics formats, HTML pages, and ASCII files. To view the file with an external viewer, just select the file and press F3.
One of the features of Winace is the ability to create a continuous ACE archive. This function allows you to achieve a compression increase of up to 50 percent. The archive created in the program can contain a digital signature confirming the authenticity of the file. Archives protected by this signature can only be changed in the program containing this identification signature. To ensure the confidentiality of data storage in the archive, the program can use file encryption.
Winace supports a fairly large number of unpacking formats – ACE, ZIP, LHA, MS-CAB, ARC, ARJ, GZIP, TAR, BZip2, ISO-Images, ZOO and the same RAR. In the program, you can also create multi-volume archives by specifying the size of the created volume. For convenience, Winace already contains preliminary settings for creating archives for standard media – CD-R, ZIP-drive, etc.
In the process of creating archives, the program uses several algorithms: Delta and Exe for software exe files, Pic for optimizing graphics compression and Sound for the audio compression algorithm.
Each of the algorithms can be disabled as unnecessary, thus reducing the time spent by the program to create archives.
When compressing data, the user can select the size of the dictionary, but in most cases, it makes sense to leave this parameter as the default. The fact is that when creating an archive it is worth remembering that for its unpacking you will need to have free RAM, the size of which is equal to the size of the dictionary used for compression. To reduce the size of an already existing archive, the archive optimization function will help.
Thanks to this option of the program, the user can convert archives created in other formats to the ACE format to reduce their size.
Winace integrates into the Windows shell by adding context menu items. These are “Adding a file to the archive”, “Archiving and sending a file by mail”, “Encrypting the archive”, “Testing the archive”, “Scanning the archive for viruses.” It is worth noting that the last option is available only if an external antivirus is connected to Winace.
Which archiver is the best?
When archiving information, it is difficult to say with absolute certainty which of the archivers, in this case, will allow you to obtain the maximum compression ratio. Most likely, that from the WinAce-WinZip-7Zip trio WinZip will handle better. However, even when compressing files of the same type (for example, the graphics format of bmp) it is often impossible to determine in advance which of the archivers will compress the file better – the highest compression ratio can be found in any of the listed archivers. In most cases, it is possible to determine the optimal compression format only empirically, using optimization functions for a particular type and size of the compressed information. Therefore, if the size of the compressed file really matters, before sending the file by mail, placing it on the FTP server or before writing it to the laser disk, pack the data with three archivers at once and see which one coped with the task better than the others.
There is a quite natural question – what program to use if the size of the archived data is estimated in hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes because in this case, it will take a huge amount of time to find out which of the utilities will perform the task? Tip one – use a continuous archive (unless you are going to retrieve one file from the archive in the future), and also closely monitor the process state diagram – Winace and WinZip provide estimated information on the compression ratio of files during the archiving process. As for 7Zip, we do not recommend using it for packing a large amount of information, since this process can greatly hinder the operation of the system. In addition, you can learn about the size of the output file only after the backup is finished, and 7Zip does not even try to guess how much data will be compressed.