Editor's note: A newer version of this product is available. The manufacturer lists the new version as WinZip 18. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version of this product when we next update for the File Compression Software Review site.

WinZip is among the most modern file compression software available, offering features and tools that make zipping and unzipping files easy and hassle free. It offers built-in connections to the file-sharing services Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and Box.

This ZIP program lets you easily zip and save large files to the cloud and retrieve files to share through email. You can keep files safe by encrypting them before you send them to the cloud. Be sure that the files fit within the capacity of the cloud drives, though, or they will not upload to those servers.

WinZip lets you share any type of file to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and to post to all three social networks at the same time from the user interface. Simply open the Share tab and select the files you want to share, and then click Social Media to share them.

WinZip lacks the ability to compress files into several common formats, but this shouldn't hinder your compression and extraction because the software relies on ZIP, which is the most widely used compression format. The other compression formats WinZip supports are BZ2, ZipX, PPMD, LZMA and WavPack.

ZIP is the best-known compression file format, and is supported by both Windows and Mac operating systems. The newest version of the format, ZIPX, creates smaller files with advanced compression algorithms.

WinZip does not compress into CAB, RAR, TAR, 7Z, or LHA/LZH.

Although WinZip compresses only to six file formats, it can extract files from 13 formats, including every standard format we looked for on our lineup. Supported extraction formats include ZIP, CAB, RAR, GZ, ISO, TAR, TGZ, IMG, ZipX, BZ2, PPMD, 7Z and LZMA. This is a credit to WinZip and its developers.

WinZip's delivery web service, ZipSend, can email file sizes up to 2GB, and the software integrates with Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail.

It opens single compressed Microsoft Office files directly in Office when you decompress them. This zip software makes sharing large sets of digital photos and images easy. It converts high-resolution images to more convenient sharing sizes.

This zip software can create self-extracting archives, split archives into multiple volumes and repair damaged archives. It automatically checks and repairs damaged files in addition to performing scheduled backups of ZIP files.

This application offers one of the best toolbars available in ZIP programs. It's comprised of eight toolbar tabs, each of which lets you perform several functions. In the Create tab, you can encrypt files, resize photos, convert to PDF, add watermarks, adjust conversion settings, add files from your hard drive or download them from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. You can also zip files from this tab.

The Tools tab in the toolbar offers a variety of useful functions, including Multi-Part ZIP file, Self-Extracting EXE and UUencoded File. It lets you encrypt ZIP files, and unzip and try files before you decide whether to keep them. There's a tool to conduct diagnostics on files and another to conduct a performance scan of your system.

You can convert documents to PDFs and compress PDF files. You can add custom watermarks to deter unauthorized copying. Watermarks can be added to six file types, which are BMP, GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG and TIF.

Winzip lets you schedule backups, and backup to CD, DVD or Blu-ray.

WinZip offers a user guide and FAQs to help you learn to use the software and to answer common questions. There are online user forums and email support. But you're out of luck if you want to connect with a representative in real time. This zip software does not offer telephone or live chat support.

WinZip Summary:
7.5/10

WinZip is among the best-known brands in file compression software for good reason. The company produces an easy-to-use, modern product and constantly works to improve it. You can compress files in only six formats, but this isn't much of a drawback because one of those is the popular ZIP format, which is supported by most operating systems. It supports every extraction format we looked for in our ranking. This software has great features that allow you to connect directly to file-sharing services and to share files directly to popular social media sites.

 
 
 

WinZip 17

Pros
WinZip lets you connect and share directly to the file-sharing services Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive, as well as to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It offers great features and ample extraction formats.

Cons
This product lacks some compression formats and does not offer telephone support.

The Verdict
: 7.53/10

WinZip relies on the ZIP and advanced ZIPX format for file compression. The software works well and is a top brand in the industry. It should meet all your file compression, archiving and extraction needs. It's a great tool for zipping files to share them directly in cloud-based services.