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An ISO image is an archive file of an optical disc (in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization) that usually has the .iso file extension.
The difference between archives and ISO file is that an ISO file is a byte-for-byte uncompressed copy of the low-level data stored on the disk.
Applications capable of viewing/opening or extracting an ISO file are not always capable of creating such a file.
A lot of archivers allow users to view or unpack an ISO file, but software specialized in handing this type of files will allow you to better manage them (and their content).