Compressed files are a handy way of sending things over the Internet, as archives are lighter than original files (so they take less time to upload or download) and can include whole folders inside them. WinRAR is created to manage and work with compressed files. Its algorithms are optimized for text, audio, and graphic files. It supports many various types of archive files, including ARJ, CAB, UUE, ZIP, 7-Zip, and of course RAR.
WinRAR may require some time to get used to, but if you have ever used it at least once, you won't have any difficulty getting back to it, as its interface doesn't change from one version to another. WinRAR's evolution mainly involves expansion of its capabilities. There is a total of 8 changes in this new version. They include changes in RAR and ZIP compression algorithms, and a newly implemented ability to search in 7-Zip files. Also, some compression processes can now utilize several CPU cores for higher speeds.
This tool stands out among other archivers thanks to its ability to repair files. This feature allows you to save your important data from damaged archives based on the recovery data stored in them. Moreover, when you're browsing archive contents, you can see which of the files are good and which may require repairing (this identification system is far from perfect, though: EXE files are likely to be labeled damaged even if they are okay).
My overall impression from WinRAR is quite positive. WinRAR works quickly and smoothly, even though there are still some very minor inconveniences. Still, with the 40-day trial version you have enough time to make up your mind whether to buy it or not.