Review: Hamster Free Zip Archiver 2.0 compresses files in a snap

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Hamster Free Zip Archiver 2.0

    PCWorld Rating

    Drag and drop your files to either open a compressed file or to make one. Feels faster than some of its rivals.

Hamster Free Zip Archiver comes across as cute and cuddly, thanks to its nicely designed user interface and a bouncy GIF animation. And once you start using it, you can almost hear a whirring hamster wheel. It's fast.

The Hamster website claims that it takes advantage of multi-core computing to go faster. That claim held up when I tested Hamster on a new Windows 8 PC Quad-Core. The company claims it's faster than its competitors on older machines, too.

Thanks to its drag and drop interface, it's easy to use, too. To create a compressed file, you simply drag and drop the files you want to include onto HFZA main screen. Hamster tells you the folder's current size and asks you to choose between the ZIP and 7Z formats. Choose your file format (ZIP is faster, as it was when using 7-Zip), whether or not you want to split the file up, and whether or not you want to lock the file. You then press "compress," and Hamster does its job.

Hamster's actual compression results were less impressive: It reduced my folder to only 26MB, so there is no extra advantage, file size-wise. But, like PeaZip, Hamster offers the ability to split compressed files. To send an email, you can split the file in two as long as the recipient also has Hamster ready and waiting to put the file back together again.

You can add a password to lock the archive, but no actual encryption is promised.

Note: The Download button takes you to to the vendor's website, where you can download the latest version of the software.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Drag and drop your files to either open a compressed file or to make one. Feels faster than some of its rivals.

    Pros

    • Nice drag-and-drop function for compressing multiple files
    • Uses multiple cores to deliver more speed
    • Choice between ZIP and 7Z formats

    Cons

    • Unresponsive tech support
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