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I've been testing the entire package of WinZip 14 (14.5) Plus for the past several weeks and I'd like to offer this review just for the main product WinZip 14, which is now WinZip 14.5 for individuals, home-based businesses or a small business office as an indispensible software that you must own.

WinZip is a file compression software that's been around for about 20 years. In fact, Corel was the company that first created the compression software know as "zip." A lot of time has passed, and a lot of other companies make compression software to send over the internet, but this product has gotten so much better that it's a no-brainer to own.

First of all, the WinZip the new version compresses file folders better than 20% of its original size. This is important because if you're sending files over the internet as an attachment to, let's say Gmail, then you have a limit as to what you can send. Gmail's attachment limit is now at 25MB. That's great if you have a file that's 25MB or less, and you're sending it to someone who has a Gmail account. What if the person you're sending it to has a different email service? On average the limit on an attachment-- sending and receiving is only 10MB. With WinZip, you can compress a large file and send it to most email accounts without it being rejected.

Second point. The free zip compression sites that have been mentioned offer good products but a couple of things to be aware of. These are donation-oriented sites. So, if the creators cannot afford to make/ update their product and something goes wrong-- there's no one to reach out to for help. That means endless hours doing Google searches for someone who may have an answer. With this inexpensive software, you can always call the toll free number during business hours to get a tech's help.

One of the reviewers also mentioned that WinZip doesn't open up older compression files...not true! I have WinZip running on WinXP via VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro and you have two options. You can select what WinZip calls the "legacy setting" which is a list of older file formats or you can choose the "Current" setting which gives you the active formats from the past plus the new formats that were just created. You select that when you first open up the software (or change the default settings, afterwards.)

Encryption. If you're sending files to employees who work remotely or to staff in a different location you have a choice of 8, 16, or 32 character password protection. You can send a file, then send a follow-up email with the password for that file. It's that secure.

For Fun. If you're like me and you share videos on YouTube...or music...or photographs, etc. you can create a folder and compress it and send it without it being corrupted.

Pro's
+ Best compression software available.
+ Can call the company anytime during business hours for help, if you have a current version of WinZip.
+ You have the ability to apply strong encryption to secure your private or personal information.
+ Cheap

Con's
- Only Windows-based. (You can use on a Mac, if you have a virtual software that runs Windows, like VMWare Fusion)
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on 8 August 2010
I waited a couple of weeks to purchase the imminent release of WinZip 14.5. When the item arrived the case showed WinZip 14 but inside was a label giving the activation code for WinZip 14.5 so I loaded this believing that was what it was. WinZip has worked since purchase but a couple of days ago I received a message from Corel telling me that I needed to upgrade as WinZip 14.5 was now available. Admittedly I did not have to pay for this upgrade but I mistakenly believed that this was what I had initially waited to purchase. Be warned.
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