RAR is a file format for data compression, similar to ZIP files.
RAR stands for Roshal ARchive. It is a non-documented archive file format that supports data compression, error recovery, and file spanning. It was developed by a Russian software engineer, Eugene Roshal (the first letter of his surname contributing to the name of the archive format), and is currently licensed by win.rar GmbH.
An RAR file is a special computer file format that can store single or multiple documents and folders in a highly compressed form. The file can later be decompressed to extract the original documents and folders. It works like ZIP files do on Windows, and like Stuff-It files do on the Mac. RAR files are 'archives' which can contain one or more compressed files.
It enables users to compress all kinds of computer documents and folders and store them under a single RAR file. This compressed file could now be used as an archive for backup purposes. It could also be easily transferred to another computer through a floppy disk or over the Internet. Since the RAR format decreases the size of the file considerably, one needs lesser amount of disks or used lesser bandwidth on the Internet to transfer the compressed files. Once the files are transferred to the destination, they could then be decompressed to extract the original content intact.
Apart from these useful features the RAR format also has others that make it a versatile compression and archiving tool. For instance, it packs within its file format, chunks of data known as recovery records which help in restoring the original content even if the RAR file gets damaged during storage or transfer. It also uses AES or Advanced Encryption Standard which is a strong 128 bit encryption algorithm to protect the file. RAR further supports Unicode in order to store non-English filenames within its archive. This particular feature has made it popular in non-English speaking countries like Russia and others.
In order open (decompress) RAR files, you need special software which understands the RAR format. There are many software packages that can decompress RAR files. Here, you can try WinRAR, 7-Zip, and BitZipper to open RAR files.
Open RAR files with WinRAR
Get WinRAR software.
Right-click on the New Text Document.rar file and choose *Extract to New Text Document* to decompress its contents to a folder called New Text Document.
Open RAR files with 7-Zip
Get 7-Zip software.
Right-click on the New Text Document.rar file and choose Extract files.... A new window will pop up.
Choose a location for the file you want to extract, and click OK.
Or you can right-click on the New Text Document.rar file and choose Extract Here.
Both can open the RAR file. The file can be seen below:
Open RAR files with BitZipper
Get BitZipper software.
First of all, after downloading the BitZipper software, run the downloaded file once to install BitZipper on your PC. When done, you can open RAR files simply by double-clicking on them. Alternatively, start BitZipper from the Start menu and click the Open button:
After clicking Open, a screen is displayed where you need to select your RAR file and click the OK button:
BitZipper will now show you the files stored inside the RAR archive. To extract (decompress) them, so you can work with them, click the Extract button:
After clicking Extract, a screen is displayed where you need to decide where to store the files you are extracting from the RAR archive. Also make sure that the 'All files in archive' option is selected if you wish to extract all files from the RAR file. Click Extract to proceed.
That's it! You have opened and extracted files from an RAR file.
An RAR file is a collection of documents, programs or other files that have been reduced in size and bundled together in a single compressed file (called an 'archive'). If you want to create an RAR file, you can use WinRAR to do it.
Get the WinRAR software
You will need to download and install the WinRAR software in order to work with RAR files.
Create an RAR file
Once the WinRAR software is installed, it will add a helpful new option to your Windows context menu.
Right-click on the file with which you want to create an RAR file. The right-click context menu will appear.
Click Add to "New Text Document.rar".
The RAR file can be seen below:
If you want to create an RAR file an email it on the Internet, you can choose Comperess to "New Text Document.rar" and email.