I have been using a cracked copy of Winzip for the past 2 years, but I don’t think that is a good way. As I was also not be able to upgrade the software, I opted for Open Source Software. So far, the best open source file archiver that I have been using (since December 2006) is 7-zip.
7-zip is a file archiver with high compression ratio. It gives you the same function as Winzip and Winrar, but for you to use for free.
The main features of 7-Zip
- High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
- Supported formats:
- Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
- Unpacking only: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS
- For ZIP and GZIP formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
- Self-extracting capability for 7z format
- Integration with Windows Shell
- Powerful File Manager
- Powerful command line version
- Plugin for FAR Manager
- Localizations for 63 languages
Personally, it’s the best alternative for Winzip and Winrar for me. I use to have both as my file archiver, but I am not really easy with illegal/cracked copy of the software. 7-zip did what I wanted and for a free software, I have no complain. It worked with both my OS, Windows XP and Xandros Linux.