How to utilize OBMM.

This page updated on May 29 2017 CST

File Compression Basics

When it's all said and done, I prefer 7-zip over everything else. It has the best compression, it's free, the source code is freely available and you can decompress all archives and create 7z or zip archives.

If you want the best compression to save space, download and upload time, use the .7z format.
If you want the best speed during compression and best portability, use the .zip format.
The .rar format is simply a middle-of-the-road format.

Most Common Archive Formats (2006)

Filetype extension: .7z
Commonly referred to as: 7-zip (or SevenZip)
Program Web site: www.7-zip.com
Cost: FREE
License: Open Source, GPL
Compression: Best
Portability: To extract files in this format, each use must have 7-zip or the latest version of WinRAR
Native Support in Windows XP?: No

Filetype extension: .rar
Commonly referred to as: RAR
Program web site: www.rarlabs.com
Cost: $30
License: Trialware
Compression: Better
Portability: To extract files in this format, each user must have WinRAR, 7-zip, or simular compatible program.
Native Support in Windows XP?: No

Filetype extension: .zip
Commonly referred to as: Zip
Program Web Site: www.winzip.com
Cost: $30
License: Trialware
Compression: Good
Portability: This format has been around so long that just about every program that deals with compression can handle it.
Native Support in Windows XP?: Yes

Compression Size Comparison:

Mod to compress: Atmospheric Weather System 1.01
Mod size: 68.7 MB

Archive Program: 7-Zip v4.42
Compression Setting: Maximum
Time to Compress: 1 minute, 30 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 5 seconds
Final compressed size: 10.8 MB

Archive Program: WinRAR v6.30
Compression Setting: Best
Time to Compress: 0 minute, 30 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 8 seconds
Final compressed size: 16.6 MB

Archive Program: WinZip v10.0
Compression Setting: Maximum (portable)
Time to Compress: 0 minute, 55 seconds
Time to Decompress: 0 minute, 4 seconds
Final compressed size: 17.5 MB