WinRAR is one of the most well-known and widely-spread archive managers available on the software market. While allowing you to create archives in ZIP and RAR formats, it helps you browse archives in many other ones such as ZIP, RAR, CAB, ARJ, TAR, GZ, BZ2, JAR, ISO an more. The program is available in more than 40 languages and offers native 32-bit and 64-bit installers for Windows.
Since the program integrates itself in Windows Explorer contextual menu, creating a new archive is as simple as intuitive. You just need to select the file(s) and/or folder(s) you want to package and compress, and select the "Add to archive [filename.rar]" command to get your file in RAR format automatically, without any further intervention on your side. This is perfect if you are a novice user, however, you can also select the "Add to archive..." command to open the creation dialog and adjust all the configurable parameters, but of course, this option requires a good level of technical knowledge. Among those parameters are the archive format (RAR, RAR5 or ZIP), the compression level, the file update mode and whether to keep the folders/sub-folders structure or not. Creating multi-part archives is also possible, being you able to specify the split size in Gigabytes, Megabytes, Kilobytes or Bytes. WinRAR's security features are also very helpful, as they allow you to protect your archives through passwords and files encryption. In this sense, the program even includes its own passwords manager but it stores them in plain text format, which of course is a security risk, so I don't really recommend using this feature.
As for archives browsing, WinRAR is also a versatile tool as it allows you to open, run, copy, delete and test any of the compressed files without requiring to previously extract it. You can also add files and folders to an existing archive with easy, as long as it is in RAR or ZIP formats. Another key possibility is creating self-extracting archives, which can be extracted in any PC without requiring the installation of WinRAR or any other archives manager. Finally, the program also includes a utility that converts your archive files into any of the supported output formats.
In a nutshell, WinRAR is a robust and reliable solution for managing archive files in multiple formats, and for creating them in RAR or ZIP formats, probably the most popular ones. The program can also be used in command-line mode, if your prefer so. Besides, the publishers provide editions for multiple platforms other than Windows, such as Android, Linux, FreeBSD and MacOS.