Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
WinRAR sold 5,449 licenses in a day (twitter.com/winrar_rarlab)
59 points by Brajeshwar 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 44 comments

What's the use-case for WinRAR in 2023? I switched to 7zip over a ~decade ago and never looked back. Although I also have fond memories of using WinRAR as a kid and always felt thankful for the unlimited trial.

- better .tar.gz handling: Winrar treats it as one file, 7zip as a tar in a gz that have to be extracted separately

- recovery records to be able to recover from mild bit rot

- support for more NTFS attributes and features (saving alternate streams, security records, turning hard links into links, etc)

- can do useful things with the archive attribute of files if you so desire (archiving only files with the attribute set, clearing the attribute after, optionally deleting them)

- better GUI (7zip UI is an incomplete WinRAR clone)

- when selecting multiple archives, you can extract each to their own subfolder with a single command

Overall WinRAR is the much more solid archival tool. If all you need is something to decompress archives WinRAR isn't too different from 7zip, but has a slightly nicer UX.

The UX on 7zip isn't as good.

This. 7zip it's amazing in its own right but some UX choices are weird like by default double clicking a rar file will not open 7zip (vs WinRAR that opens the preview what's files are inside, like any other program). Here you need to right click>7zip>Open in 7zip.

Not a huge issue, but I can see someone who installed 7zip, think didn't worked and then install WinRAR.

WinRAR supports explicitly selecting the character set to use to decompress a .zip file - super helpful when opening Japanese ZIP files.

For me, support for archive recovery record, which 7zip does not support.

Because I didn’t know about this, and was curious to find out more: https://www.win-rar.com/recovery-record.html

“Using Recovery Record slightly increases the size of your .rar files, but it helps to recover data should your file become corrupted by a virus, bad disc, etc. The larger recovery record allows you to restore a bigger damaged area, but increases the size of the archive and the process is slower."

I used this a lot in early 2000s when my only internet connection was at school or internet cafes, and the data transfer was via a bunch floppy disks I carried with me.

The floppies often had issues, so a single corrupted byte would normally corrupt the downloaded files (especially images and binaries) but with 10% or 20% of recovery data written in a non-damaged place, it could manage to un-rar.

If you're curious how this works: say you have some data like below:

You can calculate a sum of each row and each column, mod 2, and store it somewhere. When a single bit gets flipped, with the extra data (assuming the recovery data itself is not borked), you can calculate exactly which bit got flipped. (You can also calculate other kinds of extra data which can deal with more complex bit flips).

So it's like appending a par2

I seen this mentioned a few times in the thread. While true, there are other tools (with more control) for creating recovery data, notably, parchive[1].

[1] https://github.com/Parchive/par2cmdline

Well first it was at a promotional price (~10€), for 24 hour, and was a dare with the 9gag community.

Also, from what I read in the comments and tweets, a lot of people who bought the licence did it more as a "thank you for all this year where we could use it for free"

And finally, as it was a promotion, the guy(s ?) at the end of the email adress had to make the links one by one and didn't had enough times to reply to all demands. If they'd planed it, with a dedicated page, I think the result could have been huge

Select many archives, right click, and selecting extract each archive to a separate folder.

Or doing the opposite, selecting many folders and telling winrar to create a .RAR file from each folder.


I had to modify a RAR file for some weird software a while back and WinRAR was the easiest way to do it. 7zip can extract RAR but cannot modify it.

It’s a bit surprising considering that even Windows has libarchive now.

I read that windows support for .rar, .gz, .7z and other archive formats only comes next year.

Isn't the CLI already available though? I recall reading that it was made available in Windows 10.

Doesn't support compression though, only decompression. Something to do with RAR licencing I believe.

That's a feature IMHO. Openness and interoperability is a bare minimum requirement for a general purpose archive format. RAR doesn't meet those requirements, so we'd benefit by having less people creating and distributing them.

WinRar is where its at. Never liked 7zip.

Good for them! Lately I have been enjoying PeaZip[1] since it supports all platforms and a lot of formats. It also has some good UI and helpful functions.

[1] https://peazip.github.io

Seems to be a promotion based on the suggestion here: https://9gag.com/gag/axoQ8qW

Which the Winrar people agreed to: https://9gag.com/gag/aeQywvq

From a previous tweet "OK, let's do a deal. €9.99 for a WinRAR license for anyone who writes to me at sales@win-rar.com with 9GAG in the email subject line." Official price is €29.95. [edit: that's onetime, not a per-year]

Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but I prefer zip or (even better) tar.gz at this point... I never understood winrar. I always thought it was a Windows specific thing. I never even heard of people using winrar on Linux/MacOS, etc.

It definitely is more of a Windows thing, but that's not saying much, since it's not like Windows is this niche OS that no one uses. I'd actually dare to say that more people have heard of WinRAR than tar.gz.

WinRAR became popular at the time because the rar compression was superior to what zip offered (useful in the age of 1.44MB floppys) and the UX of the tool made creating, splitting and extracting archives easy for noobs.

It was a game changer in the days you would split a larger file into chucks the size of a 1.44MB floppy disk or several 650MB CDs. WinRAR made that process less of a headache for the non-tech-savvy user.

Same with WinACE which also dominated the scene for a while.

Spot on !

A lot of pirated games and office software were distributed as multi part RARs.

Uh, a friend told me.

Yeah the combination of multipart and solid archives (for higher compression ratio) was quite nice once upon a time. Also solid self extraction IIRC?

> Also solid self extraction IIRC?

Yeah, with a risk of trojans. The usual advice then (as now) was to open that self-extractor up in the decompressor (WinRar/7zip) and manually extract it that way instead of letting it run itself.

I paid WinRAR to use its zip function. There a lot of convenience features even if you don’t use rar format.

Would you mind listing some features you use? I use 7-zip and can't really think of anything i miss there

The only time I've used RAR is for Usenet downloads where there are also PAR files to repair any missing segments. And that was a decade ago.

Saving 25% compression vs zip/gzip on your 500 MB of code/text files doesn't matter anymore in 2023, all the files we really want to compress are already compressed (media files)

I think it had better multi-part archive support than zip (multipart zips were definitely a thing, but IIRC they were clunky and possibly non-standard) so became popular with pirates during the USENET era.

Incredible marketing model, software license as trophy. This is like the opposite of that featureless $1,000 iPhone app.

I thought this was related to the recent security vulnerability in WinRAR and that the sales were triggered by people upgrading their old trial licenses that don't run out.

In a similar vein to WinRAR, there’s BetterZip for macOS users:


It’s nice. I got it in a cheap Mac software bundle many moons ago and ended up upgrading to the latest version. Daily driver as far as GUI is concerned.

And on the Windows side of things, there's NanaZip https://github.com/M2Team/NanaZip which gives 7-zip better integration with W11 context menus, and a better file manager UI

While not identical in functionality, I highly recommend Keka: https://www.keka.io there's even an iOS app

Not bad, considering you can paste a text file into a folder on Windows and get a gratis license unlock.

I would have bought maybe 2 licenses for that price...

It is a Russian software!

> It is a Russian software!

What is the "it" in this case? If you mean WinRAR, no, it is made by a German company. 7-Zip's lead developer, however, is Russian.

WinRAR has been developed by win.rar GmbH from Berlin since 1995. This is still majority-owned by the two founders Burak Canboy and Öncül Kaya. Approximately 12% of the shares in WinRAR GmbH belong to the company Givanto.[3]

WinRAR is free in Russia.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2024

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact