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WinZip Pro, Canadian-based software giant WinZip International’s solution to file compression, is more than just another file zipping and unpacking utility. Thanks to the inclusion of various configuration options, be it encrypting files for security, converting documents for compatibility, toning down images for additional space savings, etc., WinZip Pro takes file compression to a whole new level. Not just that, but WinZip Pro also doubles-up as a backup utility that has enough features to rival even the most dedicated of file backup applications.

How It Works

Thanks to a simple, yet intuitive user interface, WinZip Pro lets you insert files and folders from any hard drive partition, external storage device, or optical drive in for compression. In addition, the application features built-in support for various cloud storage services — OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, ZipShare, etc. — where you can remotely sign in to your preferred service and select the items that you want zipped. To make things a whole lot easier, WinZip Pro lets you add various filters that you can use to only zip the file formats that you want, thereby saving a ton of time instead of manually selecting items from multiple folders. After selecting your files, WinZip Pro estimates the space savings gained from compression, and you can proceed by either overwriting the source files or by savings the ZIP archives to any storage location of your choice.

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Taking Actions

WinZip Pro features various “Actions” that separate it from the multitude of cookie-cutter file compression applications available. Before compressing items, you can simply toggle on the Encrypt, Reduce Photos, Convert to PDF, and Watermark options to specify the application to take action accordingly. With the Encrypt option, you no longer have to be worried about your files being access without your permission, since WinZip Pro applies AES encryption to secure them. The Watermark option, on the other hand, also provides a certain level of protection to image based formats — simply enter some text, and WinZip Pro watermarks all images present automatically. Whenever you want additional space savings at the expense of visual quality on images, you can use the Reduce Photos option to tone down resolutions, and with the Convert to PDF option, you can make all document formats compatible across a range of devices.

Modifying Archives

The presence of various additional configuration options gives you that much needed edge when you want to modify the outcome of your zip archive. If you are, for example, looking to burn your archive onto a disc, you can instruct the application to split the archive into multiple parts either before compression or after. In addition, WinZip Pro also features the ability to create self-extracting archives for instances where you want your archives extracted on older operating systems that don’t feature integrated support for the ZIP file format. Further, you can also choose between the normal ZIP format and the more advanced ZIPX format when compressing files — each format also includes additional variations that, for example, allows for faster file compression at the expense of potential freed up storage space, maximum compression for best space saving results, or no compression when you want normal file archiving.

Sharing Content

In addition to all the aforementioned features, WinZip Pro also provides an unprecedented level of support when it comes to sharing compressed content. Do you want to mail out ZIP archives as soon as you create them? No problem, since WinZip Pro takes care of that for you by attaching the archive to a new email automatically. Want to share content via IM messenger services? Yes, you can, since WinZip Pro features built-in support for all major IM services such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Hangouts, Office 365 Groups, Jabber, etc. Or do you want to upload and share content with friends or colleagues? WinZip Pro’s got you covered there as well, where you can securely sign in to your preferred social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — and share your ZIP archives with anyone that you want.

Backing Up Files

WinZip Pro’s strongest feature is its ability to double-up as a dedicated backup utility. Thanks to a backup wizard integrated into the application, you can easily create either one-off or recurring backup jobs, where you can specify WinZip Pro to backup specific folders — with filters if you want — onto any storage location, be it an external storage device or to a cloud storage service. The application also lets you select the type of backup job that you want to perform — Full, Incremental, Differential, etc. — so that you can determine upon the exact method to use when performing subsequent backups. Just like performing file compression tasks normally, the application also features the ability encrypt, watermark, or convert items during file backups.

Should I Buy It?

WinZip Pro is simply a terrific application to use. Not only does it do a terrific job at file compression, but the level of support that it provides when looking to secure content using file encryption, converting documents for compatibility across devices, and toning down images for additional space saving, put WinZip Pro right at the top of the competition. It doesn’t just stop there — various integrated file sharing features, multiple file archive configuration options, and a dedicated file backup module make WinZip Pro well worth the price tag. Combine everything with a super-intuitive user interface, and you have most probably the finest file compression utility currently available.