WinZip Pro 17 Review

very good
key review info
  • Application: WinZip 17.0
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by: Ionut Ilascu
application features
  • Zip and manage content
  • (8 more, see all...)

It may be hard to believe, but WinZip has been around for more than 20 years. With each release, the application has proved that it can keep up with the times, and has improved and extended its functionality.

WinZip 17 has recently been released, bringing to the table features that turn it into a central hub for archiving files, sharing them over social media networks or major cloud services.

It can also convert documents to PDF, as well as resize images automatically before archiving in order to reach a more convenient size of the package. Additionally, you can add watermarks to photos and PDFs to protect intellectual property.

The application is available in two editions, Pro ($49.95 / €49.95) and Standard ($29.95 / €29.95), and the above mentioned features are present in both of them (we’re reviewing WinZip Pro). However, you can test the program for a period of 21 days.

As for the differences between the two, the Standard edition falls short of options such as viewing photos with the built-in image viewer, transferring them from supported cameras and iPhones, or the backup features.

Looks are pretty simple but modern, thanks to the ribbon interface that makes getting from one menu to another an easy task.

The basic functionality of the application is to create ZIP archives and to extract data from ZIP, ZIPX, LHA, 7Z, RAR, ISO or CAB packages locally.

However, by integrating with social networking websites (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), as well as major online storage services (Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive), it extends its archiving options to these, as well. Thus, you can share ZIP files through the supported social networking services or send them to cloud storage. Unzipping archives from the cloud is also possible.

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The application can handle more than one account for the cloud storage services supported. Switching to a different one or logging out can be done from the configuration panel.

On the downside, uploading the data is not done in the background and you have to wait for the transfer to complete before engaging in other activities with the program. However, our contact with WinZip informed us that the developer is exploring ways to overcome this inconvenient; a workaround at the moment is to launch a new instance of the program.

WinZip’s file sharing capabilities are tightly connected with the supported services as you can send emails with access links for files in the cloud.

But you can also use ZipSend service to deliver files that are too large for an email attachment; it integrates with Microsoft Outlook and provides a seamless way to upload your data and send it over email.

On the other hand, with all the other file sharing possibilities available, some of the users might be less tempted to turn to ZipSend because it requires registration for a free or paid account.

Converting documents (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT and PPTX) to PDF is a simple job, as long as you enable the function before adding the files to WinZip. The resulting PDF file can be read-only (convert text to JPG image), and you can also set parameters for resolution (low or high) as well as set the quality level.

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Additional options available under “Create” menu include image (BMP, PNG, GIF, TIF, JPG) resizing and watermarking (text only). Configuring these functions consists of choosing a preset resolution in the case of resizing or a predefined location in the page and direction of the text; you can also select a custom font, size and style, as well as color.

As far as encryption is concerned, the Pro version of WinZip offers the AES algorithm (256-bit or 128-bit), a standard used by the US government.

The backup section is available only in the Pro edition of the archiver. It features several predefined jobs, for creating safe copies of sections such as Documents, Pictures or items on the Desktop, but you can also define custom jobs that target any file on the drive.

The options include full, incremental or differential job types, encryption and scheduling. You can create the configuration file and then run it directly in WinZip.

Under the “Tools” menu, besides choices like adding comments to the archive, making it self-extracting (EXE) or running a check for integrity, there is also the possibility to run a performance scan that reveals unnecessary files and registry entries that prevent the system from running faster.

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WinZip does not have the ability to eliminate any of the problems found: fixing those falls on the shoulders of a different, paid product developed by the company.

The configuration panel for WinZip shelters a versatile bundle of options that allow defining a new working folder for carrying out the archiving, file associations and password minimum character length.

Our testing with WinZip was carried out on both Windows 7 and Windows 8. We noted some performance glitches on the latter, when the application would freeze up in some cases. On the more mature operating system, WinZip worked quite fine, though.

We used a few RAW images to evaluate the application’s compression abilities. Compared to WinRAR, WinZip finished the conversion job significantly faster, but in terms of space saved, it came in second. Worthy of mention is that the difference was only a minor one.

Despite its old age, WinZip has proved that it can adapt to the needs of the user. Whether it’s file sharing, sending data in the cloud or retrieving it, WinZip can help you and even save you some time and space by compressing the items before uploading them.

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The Good

It offers a quick and easy way to handle data stored in the cloud and share it through social networking websites.

Encrypting your archives before uploading them online ensures their protection even if the storage services’ security is breached.

You can convert Microsoft Office documents to PDF, as well as resize and watermark images.

The Bad

It lacks support for a wider variety of online storage services. Performance scanning simply promotes a different product of the company, because it only shows the problems but does not fix them.

Some of the tasks can prove a bit confusing to carry out by a beginner user. Uploading to online storage services is not carried out in the background.

The Truth

WinZip has managed to incorporate some impressive features that turn it into a central console for handling data stored online. Combined with archiving straight into the cloud, these make WinZip a powerful tool for the average and professional user.

Note: We have 20 licenses to give away for WinZip Pro 17. In order to win one of them you are expected to come up with a smart post, positive or negative, about the application in the comments section below.

The campaign ends on November 12. Winners will be notified by the end of the next week; needless to say that we need valid email addresses in order to contact you.



Winners for this campaign:



· all43 - #10
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· voyager529 - #110
· Liviu Popa - #70
· shlonab - #44
· Nadeem - #30
· Grr - #86
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· Chokha - #56
· Dennis D - #71


· Rob.C - #93
· alex2 - #54
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· Gabi Dumitrescu - #1.3
· ibheck - #45
· sue4 - #2
· steven281 - #77
· Art - #17
· Haddad - #91
· Chuck - #50


user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 

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