Compressed files – a companion for anyone used to having and transferring bulk and archived files within and across devices. How those files are stored (the file format), however, determines how easy it would be to access them. From RAR to ZIP and TAR, there are a number of archive file format options for you.
Do you need to convert from one format to another? Why and how? In this article, we go over what you need to know about converting RAR to ZIP. First, let's consider what file formats are and why there's even a need to convert.
What are file formats?
A piece of information stored and encrypted to be accessible by the exact or identical software programs is known as a file format. Choosing a file format is usually set on the hardware and software used initially to encrypt the information.
File formats are necessary for sharing and storage and it is important to choose the correct file format. This is because over time, these formats change and it may be possible that newer developed software may not read old formats. If that happens, then in a few years, your data might not be opened by any software existing around that time.
In another scenario, one might realize that the software he is utilizing may not read a particular format that the file is encrypted in. This is where file conversion – the process of modifying a file from one format into another format – comes in. File conversion is also relevant when you're dealing with archive files.
Archive files – what are they?
In computing, a file which is a collection of single or several files is known as an archive or archive file. These files are usually collected with metadata.
An archive file can collect several data files into one to utilize less space meant for storage and easier portability. They often store codes that contain arbitrary comments, error detection, directory structures, etc. Archive files are essentially used for their major advantages – portability and software distribution.
Archive Formats and their types
The resulting format after a file is archived, is known to be the archive format. The authors of some of these formats displayed brilliance in defining them and, as such, these formats have come to be supported by several communities and vendors.
The types of archive formats include –
Archiving formats. These stores a set of data that describes and gives information about other data and files that are linked together in series.
Compression formats. These compress files.
Multi function formats. These compress, store metadata, link files, encode, develop information recovery and error detection, and package files.
Software Packaging. These formats develop self-installing software packages to self-install files.
Disk Image. These formats develop mass volumes of storage for disk images.
Zip, 7z, tar, and rar are examples of filename extensions that are used to differentiate archive types. Zip is the format that is most commonly used.
RAR file format
Eugene Roshal, a software engineer from Russia developed an exclusive archive format that supports error recovery, file spanning, and data compression. This archive format, created in 1993 came to be known as RAR, which means Roshal Archive.
RAR libraries and compression applications are exclusive software for which Alexander L. Roshal (Eugene Roshal's older brother) possesses ownership of the copyright. The smallest size a RAR file can be is 20 bytes and they can be as large as 9000 Petabytes, which is their maximum size.
Creating RAR files
There are only a few software that is permitted to create .rar files. These include WinRAR, macOS, FreeBSD, Linux, MS-DOS, Windows, RAR software for Android, and software with written permission or software with licenses from A.L Roshal. Reverse engineering is clearly forbidden as stated in the license agreements.
ZIP file formats
An archive format supports data compression which allows the reconstruction of the written data from the one compressed without any loss of information. ZIP formats allow many compression algorithms and a ZIP file can carry several compressed files.
Phil Katz and Gary Conway were employees of PKWARE and Infinity Design Concepts, two different corporations. They designed the ZIP format just after a lawsuit was filed against PKWARE by SEA( System Enhancement Associates) with claims that PKWARE’s archive product known as PKARC was a spin-off from SEA’s archiving system.
The name ZIP implied that this new design would operate at a much higher speed than any other compression file format existing at the time. On February 14, 1989, the ZIP format was released to the public by Infinity Design Concepts and PKWARE.
Why convert RAR into ZIP?
Stated below are some reasons why rar files should be converted to zip file format.
To encrypt or decrypt a RAR file format, an external application known as WinRAR is required and this application is not free. But the ZIP format is created without any cost.
ZIP archives are faster and made in a lesser time when compared to RAR archives, with respect to the process of archive creation.
WinRAR operates on the AES-128 bit for encryption while the zip file that was developed with the 7-zip software operates on the AES-256 bit. This implies that the zip format encryption is more secure as compared to the encryption system of the RAR file format.
On any OS today, the ZIP archive format is much more accessible. Linux, Mac, and Windows are built to support zip files without any need for external software or applications for decryption and extraction of a zip archive. In contrast, the RAR archive needs external software to decrypt files. The most preferred format for transferring files across the internet is the ZIP format.
How to Convert RAR to ZIP
Converting rar to zip can be done by the use of converting software. These software or applications can also play other functions such as decrypting archives, encrypting archives, compressing, etc. There are several software and applications which can convert from one format to another but the principle of operation is the same for all.
Step 1. From the application you’re working with, select and click open the RAR file you wish to convert.
Step 2. Look for the ‘Tools’ option( or right-click on the file; all depending on the software in use) then select the ‘convert’ or ‘convert archive’ option.
Step 3. Select the compression option after clicking on convert. Look for the ZIP archive format, select it and click ok or begin. You can choose to split the converted file into any size you desire. The compression method can also be changed from best to fastest, or reverse.
Wait until your file is converted. Your RAR format is now a ZIP format.
You may have sent or received compressed files which may not be compatible to run on your computer. This is because when dealing with compressed files, a third-party application is usually necessary to extract the compressed files.
However, Windows 10 now supports ZIP formats but the issue with compatibility has not been totally resolved since ZIP files only cover a portion of the compressed files that have been received or sent. Still, converting from RAR to ZIP is something you should put into consideration. And, if you do convert, you'd find that the steps in this article are pretty easy and efficient.