Although Microsoft and Apple now include basic zip capabilities within their Windows and Mac operating systems, updated file compression tools add more functionality and convenience. Mac users sometimes install freeware and trialware to provide advanced compression and encryption capabilities, yet many of these programs expire quickly, provide questionable performance, or require purchase to ensure license compliance.

Mac professionals should turn to WinZip 5 Mac, the new WinZip computing application that does far more than just ensure organizations properly license zip utilities. WinZip delivers reliable and trustworthy operation, while continuing to create reduced file sizes that simplify emailing, sharing, sending, and storing files.

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Notable upgrades and features in WinZip 5 Mac

WinZip’s packed numerous upgrades into its newest version. Using WinZip 5, Mac users can encrypt files using industry standard AES encryption. WinZip 5 even enables securing files already packaged within a zip file by encrypting them without having to manually rezip the package. Users can also bolster security by leveraging the utility to password-protect files and email attachments.

The updated utility also permits users to share zip files by sending authorized recipients a link to files uploaded to cloud services. Images can be resized and don’t require re-opening a zip package, and additional larger image resizing options are now available.

Commonly performed actions are more easily accessible, thanks to a new Actions pane. Using the new feature, WinZip 5 Mac users can quickly access commonly performed actions–including image resizing, encryption, and link sharing–from the context-sensitive menu that appears by default within the program’s right-hand window.

Possessing support for Zip, RAR, ZipX, 7z, and other popular compression file formats, WinZip 5 Mac users can easily transfer files between Windows and Mac computers and mobile devices, including those powered by iOS and Android.

WinZip’s Mac file compression and protection tool supports drag-and-drop functionality (Figure A), whether the files in question are locally present on the Mac or in the cloud. Users need only to drag the files they wish to zip and/or protect to the application’s main menu. The new Actions pane remembers commonly performed routines and makes it easier to perform frequently completed tasks. Files can also be unzipped directly to a cloud account.

Figure A

WinZip 5 Mac’s UI is easy to navigate and provides the ability to perform a multitude of compression, encryption, file-sharing, and password-protection tasks. Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic

Preferences are straightforward. Default compression file formats are set from the General tab, as are encryption settings, among other options. A File Types tab enables specifying default applications for a variety of common compression formats, including Zip, ZipX, RAR, and 7z. Cloud service account logins, meanwhile, are configured from the Cloud Service Preferences tab.

The application’s footprint is minimal at less than 30MB.

Pricing and licensing

The program is priced competitively at $29.95. Multi-user discounts are available. Free trials are also an option, although I’m sufficiently confident, having used WinZip products for more than a decade that a free trial isn’t required to confirm WinZip’s reliable, proven operation. And proceeding directly to licensing the application helps ensure users avoid the pitfalls of expired trials.