The Shareware Review People

RAR (The Russian Archiver)

Type of Program: Compression/Decompression Utility
Supported Platforms: DOS, OS/2, Windows, BSD, SunOS ,SCO, Linux
(source available for other platforms)
Authors Name: Eugene Roshal
Version: 2.01
Price: $35 (volume discount)
Installed Size:550K


To be worth even a reasonable shareware price, an OS/2 compression utility has to offer some advantages over the freeware Info-Zip. Compared to Info-Zip, RAR produces somewhat better compression rates in somewhat worse time. Take a look at the below table for a compression and time comparison. On features, RAR has several advantages over Zip. RAR provides a built-in text-mode interface which allows point-and-clip navigation of archives (even non-RAR archives, such as ZIP, UC2, LZH; some functions require the presence of these utilities, however). From this interface, it is simple to view compressed files, selectively add, delete and extract files, change extraction path, and so on. Disk- spanning of archives is much better implemented in RAR than in Zip. Unlike in Info-Zip, individual files of large size do not prevent the creation of multi-disk archives which include them. Self-extracting archives can be created; and if DOS-based SFX's serve your needs, there is even a scripting language for creating an installation front end within SFX's (allowing recipient to view product information, choose installation options, etc.). The OS/2 SFX stub, while much smaller than the Info-Zip SFX stub, does not provide such installation scripts currently. The OS/2 version of RAR also does everything an OS/2 user should need in handling long-filenames, extended attributes, recursed directories, and hidden/system files.


Compression/Time for a ~10Meg directory of highly
compressible files (database and delimited ASCII)

Compression Method Time Size
RAR -m5 (max compress) 2:29 1.82 M
RAR -m3 (default) 0:46 1.86M
Zip -9 (max compress 1:12 1.90M
Zip (default) 0:30 1.94M

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by David Mertz

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