Bandizip is a useful file compression and extractor utility

Screenshot of Bandizip's main UI

Bandizip is a file archiver that can compress and extract in a variety of formats which include .zip, .rar, .7z, and way more than I can list. It was only available for Windows for many years, but there is now a Mac version as well. It’s got a few useful features that make it stand out from the endless list of other software in this category.

Background Info on Bandizip

Bandizip is one of a variety of useful software utilities made by South Korean developer Bandisoft. It was first released for Windows in September of 2011 with continuous development as well as a macOS version in 2017.

Pros and Cons of Bandizip

File archivers are a dime a dozen on Windows in particular, but what makes Bandizip stand out? Here are some of the noteworthy features.

Nice interface

One of the most popular file archivers on Windows is 7-zip, but it’s interface is very bare bones and it’s icons are not particularly useful. 

Opening an archive with Bandizip, you can see a nice, colorful interface that’s easy on the eyes. In addition, the icons change depending on file type so you can see at a glance in a download folder whether something is a .zip, .rar, or .7z file.

different file type icons in a folder list

Performance

Bandizip is very light weight and I noticed right away compared to another free file archiver (PeaZip), file extraction times were much quicker. For compressing files, multi-core support allows the software to make use of all those CPU cores on modern computers to speed up the time it takes to compress files.

Double Click to X

I was a full time Mac user for about 8 years. One of the features I really loved was from “The Unarchiver” app that would extract files with a double click and delete the archive when it finished. Instead of having to right click>extract and then delete the file manually, I can do all of that with just a double click.

For my workflow, this has proven to be an essential feature I didn’t see too often in Windows file archivers, at least until I came across the option in Bandizip.

Smart Extract

One thing I really like is the smart extraction feature. If you choose this option, the software will determine the best course of action when unzipping the file. For example, if there is only 1 file in the archive, then that file alone will be extracted. However, if there are multiple files, then Bandizip will create a new folder and extract the files there. It saves you the hassle of having redundant folders.

Paid edition

As I write this review, Bandizip is free (version 6.25). However, with the upcoming version 7 of the software, it looks like the software will be split into two editions, free and paid.

The change in Bandizip editions

The paid edition will have some premium features such as a password manager, file recovery, and password recovery. 

For those that don’t need those features, the free edition will work just fine, but I have read that there will be advertisements in the program starting with version 7. If this bothers you, you can either use a different file archiver or upgrade to the paid edition. 

I’ve used Bandizip for a few years now and I personally don’t think the inclusion of advertising would sway me from using this program unless it was invasive which I feel it probably won’t be.

Doesn’t destroy non-latin characters 

This might be a minor problem for most, but if you are one of those people that download zip files that contain non-latin characters (Korea/Japanese/Chinese), you may have experienced opening an archive only to find all the file names were garbled or messed up.

An animated gif demonstrating Bandizip's ability to handle Japanese/Korean/Chinese characters in file names
With this example, you can see the wrong characters being shown for file names. This can be fixed by using the “code page” feature.

The great thing with Bandizip is it has a way for you to avoid the name mess altogether by specifying what language the file names were encoded in such as Japanese.

Final Thoughts on Bandizip

Many people probably don’t think too much about utilities like this because they use whatever is built into their operating system, but I think the devs at Bandisoft have done a great job at making a freeware utility that makes dealing with archive files just a bit easier. 

It will be interesting to see how people deal with upcoming version 7 which will introduce ads, but there is so much competition in this space that unsatisfied users can find ad-free programs elsewhere. 

Link: Download it!

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