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      22.05.2011 10:59
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      An easy piece of software to use and so handy.

      I really don't know what I would to without this piece of software. It's a small sized download and can be bought or trial'd with dozens of different languages. WinRar, like WinZip let's you compress and unzip RAR and ZIP files to a specific folder of your choice. People who don't do a lot of downloading off the internet may not need this program but it's essential for those who have to download Zipped files onto their computer. The ZIP file goes straight to WinRar where differnt things can be done to the file such as a Virus Scan which is handy. By using the virus scan, you can detect if there is a virus without even opening the contents within the file! There is a repair option to repair broken or damaged files, doesn't always work but does most of the time. When your WinRar downloads page get's a bit crowded, there are tools that help you find what your looking for with a search option which is very handy. They are automatically arranged in alphabetical order but eventually, you may need to search for files. You can also group files together and add files to the archive to be compressed or uncompressed. With ZIP and RAR files getting more popular these days, you must get WinRar! Anyone can use it, it's interface is great. There are lot's of tools and extracting contents out of files was never easier. A double click! However, if you want to assign a specific location of a file, use the "Extract to" option which simply open's up your computers directory and you can choose a file path where you want the files contents to save to. It's a great program and I really couldn't do without it.

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        09.03.2010 11:34
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        A great piece of software that can make file management and sharing a whole lot easier

        I suppose I should firstly clear up that I'm not reviewing a really bad cover of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. No, no, why would I do that? Instead, I'm looking at something that we have more issues with in life than one may first think, both in the 'real world' and online. For as quality gets greater, as do the file sizes, unfortunately. This can make accessibility an issue, as well as making online sharing nearing impossible. As Adidas once boldly said however, 'Impossible Is Nothing'. We all know that's a load of rhubarb, but as I said, this is addressing the nearly impossible, so on with the review! WinRar is a piece of file compression software for Windows users (if it were called MacRar then I'm sure it'd be compatible with Mac. As it is, it's not). File compression may well mean nothing to you, so I'll explain in the most non-technical way I can. Now, it's basically what it sounds like, which is file compression; making the files smaller, squeezing them down or in as it were. Say you had a big old chair that you were sending to your uncle in Glasgow. If you were to send this in a big square box that fitted around it, then great; but it's bigger than it needs to be. If you were to send it in a big chair-shaped box, then even better; it's the smallest it can be, but it's still all there. Likewise when you have several items; if you're going on holiday it's an essential skill to be able to cram as many clothes into that suitcase as you can. Imagine if you could get someone to do that cramming for you. Shame, you can't. Online though, and you can, with WinRar - hurrah (or should that be hurrar?)! I'll get quite a controversial issue out of the way with this now, which is cost. Do you have to pay for it? Yes, you do - 29 dollars (about 20 pounds). Upon downloading the 40-day trial version you'll read, on several occasions in fact, 'Anyone may use this software during a test period of 40 days. Following this test period of 40 days or less, if you wish to continue to use WinRAR, you must purchase a license'. If you continue to use the software after this period then you'll be met with a reminder dialogue box each time you use the programme, telling you that you'll need to purchase the software. So yes, as it's not free, you do have to pay for it. If WinRar has wonyar over so far then you'll want to download it, which you can do easily enough from various online sources (make sure you get a genuine source though, download.com's recommended). At 1.4mb, it'll be downloaded quicker than the probably not-so funny photo that you've been forwarded by a 'mate' and that's still loading in your other tab, so on with the welcome distraction of installation! Unconventional springs to mind, for it is like no other installer. Everything is placed into this one window, with three basic options included. I'd take a quick read of EULA (user license agreement) simply because of what I mentioned earlier about paying for this product. Hit 'install' and if you blink you shall miss it, though there's not much to miss; it's not exactly a performance, as such. You won't miss the next window though, with its vast range of diverse file formats that I'm sure half of which are made up... As ever though, defaults are good and you can safely select 'OK' without too much hesitation. On the final window you have another reminder about the license as well as some useful links and a very healthy looking help section to get you on your way. Select done, and you're done. Done. Whether WinRar just likes to be unique I don't know, but unconventionally once more it continues, as it takes you to its new Start Menu folder. Seriously? Most odd. One shall not dwell though; open up WinRar and take in its ever so stylish interface. I know appearance isn't everything, but it's fair to say that a little effort goes a long way. There's very, very little effort in terms of style, class, general representation; it's all quite poor. Conventional does mean, however, that you have your usual menu bar at the top of the screen, with various options and features tidied away nicely, albeit lacking a 'View' menu, options for which have to be hunted out within the options. Below the menu bar is the main toolbar, on which you'll notice (you'd do well not to) some very oversized buttons for various features. It wouldn't be so bad, but the graphics on these buttons are just horrendous, simply because it looks like effort has been put into making them, and yet they're still awful. If you adjust the settings to make these buttons smaller however, they change all together, with new graphics that somehow look even worse. So it's your call on that one. Text is displayed under the buttons to make clear what each is for (apparently the enormous buttons don't illustrate in enough detail, making them all the more pointless), as well as mouse-over texts which expand ever so slightly on the already present text. Now your main body is basically a Windows Explorer folder, in that it lists all files and folders within a folder, along with details of the size, type, and last date of modification. As with Windows Explorer you can easily choose how you wish to sort your files and folders according to these values, and basic navigation in finding your way to what you're looking for is straightforward and not over-complicated in the slightest. You also have a useful address bar under the main toolbar which acts as a further guide. Double-clicking any of the items simply opens them, which acts as a useful way of ensuring you have the right file or folder before you start compressing them. Before you set about archiving there is a useful feature which displays compression potential for files. Some files simply have no potential at all because of the format they are are and they way they're constructed, but you'll easily be able to see from the data that is presented. To archive (that is, compress) your files and folders, first simply select your targets as you would in Windows Explorer and then select 'Add' (that's the big stack of books that are sealed up). A window titled 'Archive name and parameters' will display, and at first it will seem like there's loads to do, but most of this is unnecessary for basic archiving. Firstly you'll need to select a name (by default, the first original file name will be used) and a destination folder (again, by default this will be where the original file was placed). Still with me? Hope so! Now that really is largely it, but there are a bundle of other options at your disposal. One option is to password protect your archive so that its entire contents can only be accessed once the password has been submitted. This is useful for if very personal or private data that is being shared as it means that should the file somehow fall into the wrong hands, they'll have to crack your hopefully not-so predictable password first. There's loads of other useful features included such as shut down upon completion, which is especially handy for those HD Video archives you may be wanting to make. If you genuinely intend to archive your archive then comments can be helpful too, as a reminder to exactly what it is you've buried away in this folder that's hidden away in your documents. The archiving process itself can take from a matter of milliseconds to a matter of hours, depending on the files you're archiving and the options you make. Compression speeds are adjustable, with the quickest options compressing the least effectively right down to not at all (i.e. you could still fit several pairs of flip flops in that suitcase), whilst the best and slowest options will do the job much more thoroughly (i.e. the suitcase may well explode when you open it). As you are archiving you'll face a 'creating archive' box window, which displays statistics of progress on your file(s) and folder(s) very well indeed. Details are kept simple yet you can clearly see the process as it's taking place through the use of two progress bars; the first detailing the individual files and folders that are being added to the archive, the second detailing the progress for the archive as a whole. You can pause the process at any time, as well as setting it go into the 'background', which minimises it to the system tray whilst you do whatever else you want to do (Dooyoo?). You can even change the speed mode during the process if you're not happy with proceedings, as well as being able to set the computer to shut down if you've realised that it's going to take a little while longer than anticipated. Upon completion you'll hear a thud (well, 'that' Windows sound) and that's about it. No essay detailing the whole affair or anything like that. Simple and to the point. So you're probably wondering about results, whether it actually makes that much of a difference. It varies on the file type, but on the whole it can make a significant difference, especially if it's several files that you're archiving. Saying that, it barely made a difference to a photo album that was at 300mb, knocking just one of those out, whilst a smaller folder of minute mp3 files totalling at 620kb was reduced to under 500kb. As for archive performance the speeds aren't the very quickest, but the compression is renowned (statistics show that compression is significantly better than the Zip format), so I don't mind waiting a second extra or so! I found that memory was certainly not being sapped from my system as usage never peaked 35k during an archiving, dropping back down to below half that upon completion. Finally, in terms of updating the software I was unable to find an internal means to do so. From this I assume one has to update manually via the website, though updates are rare so it's not too much of an issue. Overall, I think that this piece of software is ideal for any user looking to pack their files and folders up for whatever purpose. If you're looking to send numerous files via email then you can easily group them all together in one universal file using this tool, rather than sending them individually, not to mention the space saved. Password protection means that you can build folders that are accessible only by you and people of your choice, ensuring your privacy always comes first. Whilst cost is an issue you cannot take too much away from a product that offers such a simple service, whilst still keeping everything in consideration. It can be a very useful product indeed, though whether I'd write a song about it - that's another story...

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          15.01.2010 03:48
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          A necessity

          WinRar is such a part of my everyday computing life that it seems almost absurd to have to review it; it's like reviewing 'breathing'. Why is it so necessary and what exactly does Winrar do? Winrar is a fantastic bit of archiving software. What this does is it basically wraps whatever files you want up into a pressie 1/2 of the size and lets you transfer or store that one file instead of a whole host of others. When you download things from the internet then chances are it'll be stored in an archive, which isn't of much use to you unless you can 'unwrap' it. There are a whole host of programs reading to decompress your file, some more famous than winrar such as winzip; why then is winrar worth getting? I must admit that winrar's website is far from user friendly and not very comprehensive; they certainly don't make it as simple as one click and you're good to go! Similarly, winrar costs $30 to use after a 30 day trial period. Is it worth all this hassle? Well, you are never actually forced to buy winrar after 30 days; it still works without you paying for it. Now of course I can't publicly condone this, but it does work on the off chance you can't pay that $30 for a few days. Winzip on the other hand stops working after the trial, rendering it useless altogether. Where Winrar excels above the others is that it supports pretty much every archive type known to man; you can be sure that no matter what you download, you'll be able to open it with winrar. Similarly, it offers a range of compression options which allow you to make the most out of whatever storage space you have available, or if you're emailing an archive to somebody it will allow you to make this as quick as possible. Winrar has a few nice features such as the ability to simply right click on an archive and extract the whole thing, or to right click on a folder and archive it without having to venture into the program. In conclusion, winrar is a must have piece of software. It is not without its faults, but the pros far outweigh the cons. It is easy to use and effective at what it does.

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          01.06.2009 00:48
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          An excellent piece of software that I would really recommend trying!

          WinRar really is a fabulous little piece of software that is a must have for any frequent downloader. WinRar is a powerful archiver manager and it allows you to save and compress files into much smaller file sizes. The software also allows you to extract Winzip files amongst many other files types. The main benefits of this software is that files can be compressed and then stored so that they take up less space than they would otherwise. It also means that if you were to send a compressed file by WinRar file as an email it would take less time to download because it is a smaller file size, making it one useful piece of kit! The main file types it supports are the very common ZIP and RAR file format which are used extensivly across the internet for file dowloads. On the website you can either get a free trial download which literally takes seconds to download and install or buy the full version. By buying the full version you have to pay 30 euro's. The software regularly has frequent updates made as shown by the many different WinRar programs available. I also found the extraction to be very quick which is a big advantage I found of using this software. The software itself runs really well on both XP and on Vista and I found it really quick and easy to install. I have also found it to be very reliable and it has always done exactly what I have wanted it to. I would really recommend trying the free trial first which can be downloaded from the website for free. If you find yourself using it a lot and the trial version runs out I would then really recommend buying it for a relatively cheap price. It really is one useful piece of kit that I find myself using all the time! I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this.

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          27.11.2006 17:28
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          A good experience program and gives you more control over your files.

          WinRar for the computer illiterate. It has taken me years to learn things about programs that help my computer experience, and the learning process is a hard one simply because people don't give information in easy terms. Take this program for instance. There are many places on the net that describe its processes and what benefit they are to the user, although none that I have found that can help those people that know very little about technology. I started using WinRar when I noticed that many files I need to send by email need to be made smaller. If you imagine compression in terms of neatness, then you wouldn't be far wrong imagining you want to send a clothes parcel from A to B, dump it all in a bin-bag and then get the shock of your life when you can't get it into a letter box. Compression is about making things smaller. Imagine, for example, a cupboard full to brimming of rubbish. You open the doors. There is no room to put things and the things that are there are inaccessible because of the mess. Well, a computer is like this in many ways and compression of files is a superb way of cleaning up space, a bit like sorting out that cupboard and having everything neatly placed where you can find it or in this case archived. WinRar is not a free program. You pay for it, although you do get a trial period of 40 days which will persuade you to part with the modest amount of money being asked, i.e. Just over 15 GBP. What it offers is worth this small price. The kind of files it is capable of dealing with are the following : (RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, ACE, TAR, GZip, UUE, ISO, BZIP2, Z and 7-Zip). Now, many of these mean very little to me as a user, although what it does do for me is superb. Take for example a text document, and here I have thousands on my computer. With this program I can take many files and pop them all into themed boxes (called archives), totally compressed and all together in the same place. The advantage ? With text documents I save up to 60 per cent of the space that the original documents took, with Word documents, this comes up to a staggering 89 per cent, and that really is worth thinking about, because saved space makes your computer work faster. As far as photographs are concerned, I don't use this program since the compression of photographs is minimal and I can already make these into smaller files with my photographic programs. I like the options of being able to download files from the Internet and then ask the program to check out whether viruses have been added to the package and this really is easy to do. I also like the fact that compressing files means that I can send them across the Internet 50 per cent faster than uncompressed files. People told me years ago about WinZip and I never got on with the program, though I really like the design and layout of WinRar. It's simple to understand and makes my storage of files neater. Okay, so I am a bit fussy and like the fancy icons that the program gives you, neat like a small stack of books, but by using an icon like that, they actually help a person like me that did not understand archiving to get the hang of it, use it and profit by it. Another thing I like with WinRar is that if you want to extract one file from an archive, then that is easily possible, and different archives can be split or changed around whenever you want to, and easily as well. It's a worthy program, with regular free updates and even password encryption if you want your files to be protected, although I don't use this feature. It's shareware at its' best, and features no advertising, and after the 40 day period of trying it out, the fee paid really is small when you compare to the convenience you have gained from using it. No doubt with time and ever changing technology, there will always be new programs, although this has helped me enormously and I love using it. WinRAR is a neat package. It helps also when you download from the Internet and can open many formats of file, and what I like with this program as opposed to WinZip is that you can access any one of the individual files within each WinRAR archive easily, locate them, use them, burn them to CD or whatever you want to do easily and quickly. The download is simple and quick, and getting used to using the program a doddle even for people that know very little about file compression. It's built in ability to know how many files you can put on a CD automatically is so much more user friendly than WinZip's irritating reminders that you need to add a new disc. Another neat feature is that you can do a dry run or prognosis which will tell you how much a file will be compressed and what space the resulting file will take. This really is a useful feature. What I like about this program is that it is so easy to use. Simply right click the file that you want to compress, and in seconds it is compressed, and you can instantly see what it was before compression and after, and forward in email automatically just by right clicking. All in all a good solid program and good value, and although other programs are in competition with WinRAR, such as Alzip, this one looks more serious and less gimmicky and suit my needs well. Available for use with All Windows, Linux and Mac and in over twenty languages, taking only a small space on your hard drive at less than 4MB, I believe this award winning program really is one of the best I have used for file compression and would thoroughly recommend it both for speed of use, lack of excess noise, and user friendliness. Downloadable from : www.win-rar.com

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            12.10.2002 05:07

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            When I first got my computer about two years ago, I bought and used WinZip because I didn't know any better. I had been using WinZip for two years until last week when I got rid of it for good. Last week I downloaded a file over the internet and WinZip could NOT open it. WinZip said that it wasn't a valid file. I soon found out that it was a file made in the RAR format which WinZip can't handle. So I downloaded a program called, WinRAR and WinRAR was able to open the file with no problem. WinRAR is good but it is SLOW. Because WinRAR is so slow, I tried a program called WinAce which is far better. I did a test of compressing the very same file using WinRAR first and then WinAce: WinRAR compressed the file in 25 minutes. WinAce compressed the file in 14 minutes. WinAce compressed the file 11 minutes FASTER than WinRAR. In addition to being slow, WinRAR doesn't handle ALL of the many different file types out there. As of right now, WinRAR can only handle the following file formats: RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO archives. If you don't mind the fact that WinRAR is slow and that it doesn't support ALL of the many different file formats out there, then give it a shot. But for those of you that want something faster and something that supports ALL of the many different file types out there, then I recommend checking out a program called, ALZip. (ALZip is fast and from what I have read, it supports ALL of the file types). *Note*--WinAce is better than WinRAR in my opinion. However like WinRAR, WinAce doesn't support ALL of the many different file types out there which is why I am recommending ALZip instead.

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            27.08.2002 22:08
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            As those who know me know, I'm fond of downloading large files from the internet. Unfortunately, my own computer isn't online, due to problems with my university's phone network (it's not a BT line so the unlimited time packages aren't available). This naturally leads to problems. Fortunately the university computers have blisteringly fast download rates, so I can download files on these computers and transfer them over to my home machine. For this, I have to use the humble floppy disk - which has a capacity far less than many of the files I download. As such, I need a program capable of splitting a file over a number of disks. My first port of call was WinZip - the popular compression utility that also has the capability of multiple disk spanning. However, in this I was let down by one of the fundamental problems of the 3.5" disk - they are liable to corrupt and lose all the data on them. With WinZip, this means having to re-copy the data to all of the disks in the archive (in this case, it was 16). Which is why I now use WinRar. WinRar has a far better method of disk spanning, in that you can specify the maximum size of the file within the program, and when you compress your file it will split into a number of archives of this size. This not only makes creating a spanned archive easier (just split up the file and copy each file to a different disk), it also means that, should one of your disks fail, you've only lost the data on that disk - I just go back to university and copy the relevant file, rather than having to re-compress the entire download. As when the data is compressed it is written to the hard drive and then transferred, instead of directly making the file on the floppy, it is also faster. The compression ratio of .rar files is typically noticeably better than that of zip archives as well, especially with text-based files, which are on average about 20% smaller. And in addition to handlin g its own .rar files, winrar can also open compressed files of virtually any type, including the more common .zip format (which it can also make) as well as reading those pesky .gz and .arj files that winzip can't extract. And it has full support for self extractors too. As far as ease of use goes, it's pretty similar to WinZip - it integrates into the shell, so to extract something you just have to right-click on the file and say extract; you archive files in the same unless you're wanting to do something complicated, such as splitting the file. Even this is very easy - you simply open the program and say "add files to archive". No program is perfect however, and that applies to WinRar as well - the .rar files it makes can't be opened by people without the WinRar software, which isn't as popular as zip managers. Another gripe is that the latest version of the software (version 3) uses a different system to split files than the previous models, so a split file from version 3 can't be opened unless you have version 2.9 or higher. The download of the latest version is under a megabyte though, so it's not too big a problem. A 40 day free trial of WinRar is available in 10 different languages from www.rarlab.com; after that 40 days the program still works without any problems, although there is a nag screen that asks you to pay for the software. At $29, it's probably worth it.

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              06.12.2000 20:41
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              When it comes to file compression, the Zip file is the one that is most well known, but it doen't offer the best compression ratio. WinRar uses a special algorithm to compress files into Rars which are smaller then zips. With the ability to split large files, create multi-disk spanning executables, password protect and even repair files, WinRar is a lot more flexible than WinZip and so more useful in the long term. It can also create and extract from other archives, including zips. The program is easy to use and the interface is clean and uncluttered. WinRar is also multi-format so Rars can be extracted on other operating systems, including Beos, Linux, MacOs, Amiga. It's all round usability is far greater than WinZip and it has received many awards including CNET Downloads Pick, ZDNet Editor's Choice and received 5 stars from Super Shareware. The program is available as a 40 day trial, after which you have to pay to use all the functions, although it will still create and extract files after this time, certain features are disabled (notably the multi-span archive).

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