How good is the new RAR 5 format

rar5WinRAR is regarded as the master of compression. Recently, its 5th format was released after several months break.

RAR 5.0 is a new version that assures better and speedy compression & depression along with an enhanced secure encryption algorithm.

RAR 5.0 archiving format

You can apply RAR 5 alternative in archiving dialog. Old WinRAR programs are unable to decompress new RAR 5.0 archives, so to send an archive you will have to consider the compatibility issue.

Installation & interface

WinRAR now supports XZ archive formats. It can be incorporated with Explorer context menu that facilitates you to modify menu entries. Ultimately, you can compress, remove, check and fix archives rapidly without introducing the interface.

The app remains loyal to the meek appearance of its interface, which has been popular among users. It is intuitive enough for beginners to rapidly understand the navigation options, which are arranged methodically in the menu bar & right click menu.

Notable options

  • Archive locking
  • Tests
  • Comments
  • Repairs
  • Password protection
  • Damage protection
  • Bench marking
  • Search function
  • Self-extracting option
  • Virus scanning tool
  • Creative wizard
  • Adding files to current archives

Modification in new RAR 5.0 compression algorithm

  • Compression dictionary size (maximum) increased to 1 GB
  • Default dictionary size is 32 MB usually resulting in high compression ratio, but speed is reduced.
  • -md switch syntax has been modified to support large dictionary sizes.
  • Delta compression algorithms and Intel IA-32 executable are included in this new format.
  • RAR 5.0 decompression makes use of several CPU cores. It enhances the decompression speed of poorly compressible data in the large files.

Alterations in RAR 5.0 archive format

  • Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the regulated time standard used around the world. UTC is used to store file times instead of local time making file exchange easy among different time zones.
  • UTF-8 encoding is used in file names & archive comments.

RAR 5.0 recovery records

  • If recovery record size exceeds the new error, correction scheme provides high resistance to multiple damages in comparison to RAR 4 recovery record. Efficiency in small or less random damages is same in RAR 5.0 and 4.x
  • Insertions and deletions of larger size in comparison to previous versions can be detected.
  • New RAR 5.0 is the most damage resistant during recovery record.
  • ‘Repair’ command corrects file data and not broken blocks.
  • ‘Test’ command validates RAR 5.0 recovery record after all archived files are processed.

Alterations in RAR 5.0 encryption algorithm

  • Algorithm is modified from AES-128 mode to AES-256 CBC mode.
  • Special password verification feature allows identifying wrong passwords without any necessity to unload the entire file. RAR 4.X cannot distinguish wrong passwords or data damage.

Other changes

  • Max path length for ZIP and RAR archives has increased to 2048 characters.
  • ‘l’ and ‘V’ commands show the archived file names at the end of the line not in the beginning as before.