Product Information

PKZIP Professional Edition

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February 01, 2003
Website:

http://www.pkware.com

Price

$49.95

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
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  • Documentation:
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  • Value for Money:
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  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Already a vitally important tool, the new security features add even more power.

  • Weaknesses:

      None.

  • Verdict:

    What would life be like without PKZIP? The addition of email security features ensures this is the best compression tool on the market.

One of the major headaches for network administrators is bandwidth consumption. However big your pipe into the internet happens to be, it's the last few feet from the server to the desktop that is the killer. A few years ago, people took their eye off the ball where bandwidth is concerned, as it was assumed that everyone would be migrating to the fatter cables of category 6. However, standards issues and an unwillingness to spend money in today's uncertain times means bandwidth is still at a premium. Files have not stopped growing, with multimedia data bringing many networks grinding to a halt.

Matters would be considerably worse if it weren't for the godsend that is PKZIP. Files are compressed by as much as 90 percent, allowing hefty files to shrink to more manageable and less bandwidth-hungry sizes. Probably the most ubiquitous non-Microsoft application around, PKWARE's PKZIP is probably the best compression program available - well, they did invent the Zip format.

Version 5 Professional has been improved further by a host of security features. The addition of password protection is extremely welcome and extremely simple - check a box, enter a password and away you go. There is also X509 encryption, allowing the use of digital certificates and 168-bit strong encryption. Many people forget that viruses can not only survive multiple compressions, but often remain undetected in that format. PKZIP comes complete with its own virus scanner, which scans inside the archive.

That isn't to say that PKZIP has not had a general makeover. You now have a choice of methods for using the product; the very powerful GUI, through Windows Explorer, and, for the traditionalists, a command line interface. 'Zipped' files can have attributes and content modified without having to 'unzip' them, and there is seamless integration with Micro­ soft Outlook. And while some vendors have what is fast becoming unrealistic upper limits on compressed file size, PKWARE claim that their product can handle terabyte archives effortlessly.

Almost all of the features are supported by extensive wizards, and there is comprehensive online help available.

With the addition of email security features, PKZIP ensures that it has a clear lead over the competition, and the bandwidth savings alone justify its purchase.

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