There’s not much competition when it comes to compression utilities: 7-Zip is king of the hill. If you have it installed, but haven’t updated in a while, grab version 18.05 right now. The latest official release, it contains a bunch of speed improvements so archiving is that much snappier.
You can see a list of all the changes and tweaks on the 7-Zip homepage, but here’s the important stuff, introduced in 18.05:
- The speed for single-thread LZMA/LZMA2 decoding was increased by 30% in x64 version and by 3% in x86 version.
- 7-Zip now can use multi-threading for 7z/LZMA2 decoding, if there are multiple independent data chunks in LZMA2 stream.
- 7-Zip now can use multi-threading for xz decoding, if there are multiple blocks in xz stream.
- The speed for LZMA/LZMA2 compressing was increased by 8% for fastest/fast compression levels and by 3% for normal/maximum compression levels.
- Previous versions of 7-Zip could work incorrectly in “Large memory pages” mode in Windows 10 because of some BUG with “Large Pages” in Windows 10. Now 7-Zip doesn’t use “Large Pages” on Windows 10 up to revision 1709 (16299).
- The vulnerability in RAR unpacking code was fixed (CVE-2018-10115).
It’s easy to forget to update a basic tool such as your compressor of choice on a regular basis — I know I’ve had years between downloads sometimes — but in this case, it’s well worth it.
7-Zip [Official site]