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ZIP File

ZIP is a compressed archive using the ZIP archiving format, which supports data compression and spanning. ZIP file format was originally invented in 1989 by Phil Karz and was first used by PKZIP utility from PKWARE. ZIP file is one of the oldest data compression file formats and widely used for lossless compression.

ZIP file could store inside files and folders which are typically compressed by a DEFLATE algorithm (it is possible to use another algorithm but this feature of ZIP file is not frequently used). Most operating system support ZIP compression format either natively or through supplied tools.

.zip and .ZIP file extensions are typically used to denote ZIP compressed file. To transfer ZIP file over internet application/zip MIME type is utilized. There are many examples when ZIP format is used by a file with different file extension. For example Java Archive Files or JAR files use ZIP compression format to store information about classes and metadata.

ZIP file format could be used free of charge and there are many free applications which can create and extract ZIP files, but there are also several paid tools exists with more advanced UI and features.

Popular tools for ZIP archive are WinZip, WinRAR, Info-ZIP, 7-Zip, PeaZip and B1 Free Archiver.