The ZIP archive format has been around for ages, yet we still use technology that’s way our of date and has been long-since superseded by better archive formats. With audio and video, we’ve moved on. How many of us now use MP3 files to encode our audio? As Windows and Mac OS both ship with support for the ZIP format, with the operating system, it appears that it will be here for some time yet.

Problem is that the ZIP format isn’t good at encoding large media files. Now many of us use fast broadband, and server space is widely available, we suddenly expect everyone to be able to download and stream our home movie, without worrying about bandwidth issues. However, many people are still limited by the size of their incoming email attachments, which means that some emails do not come through at all.

The answer is to consider a different archive format and one solution is 7z. Based on the ZIP format, this is a much updated version. As there are many free 7z archive management tools, there’s no reason why we should be using the ZIP archive format, nor paying commercial developers to produce ZIP management tools.

7-Zip is one of the best and is designed to get the most from the 7z format. If you compare the stats, the same files can be encoded with a 140% saving over the ZIP format, which is an impressive statistic. 7-Zip supports many other archive formats, including ZIP, RAR, TAR and more. You can also encode your archives with encryption so that only a user with the right password can extract the content.

What's new in 7-Zip 18.05 (see changelog for more)?

- The speed for single-thread LZMA/LZMA2 decoding was increased by 30% in x64 version and by 3% in x86 version.
- 7-Zip now can use multi-threading for 7z/LZMA2 decoding, if there are multiple independent data chunks in LZMA2 stream.
- 7-Zip now can use multi-threading for xz decoding,if there are multiple blocks in xz stream.
- The speed for LZMA/LZMA2 compressing was increased by 8% for fastest/fast compression levels and 
by 3% for normal/maximum compression levels.
- 7-Zip now shows Properties (Info) window and CRC/SHA results window as "list view" window instead of "message box" window.
- Some improvements in zip, hfs and dmg code.
- Previous versions of 7-Zip could work incorrectly in "Large memory pages" mode in
- Windows 10 because of some BUG with "Large Pages" in Windows 10. 
- Now 7-Zip doesn't use "Large Pages" on Windows 10 up to revision 1709 (16299).
- The vulnerability in RAR unpacking code was fixed (CVE-2018-10115).
- Some bugs were fixed.
- New localization: Kabyle.

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If you feel that the ZIP format doesn't compress your archives as effectively as it should, try this free 7z based archive manager