sArchiver 3.7 £13

14th May 2011 | 09:30

sArchiver 3.7

A versatile archive app for your Mac

TechRadar rating:

3 stars

Like:

Handles all the common formats; Supports creation of disk images

Dislike:

Painfully slow to start up; Quirky interface

Given that OS X comes with a perfectly serviceable file compression programme for creating archives, is there really any point in paying £12 for one? Bit Per Second, the maker of sArchiver, is betting that the slew of additional features its product has will persuade you it's worth the money.

And if judged solely on the spec sheet, sArchiver looks like it might just be a winner. As well as vanilla ZIP files, sArchiver is able to compress and extract RAR, 7z, Tar, .gz, Bzip2, LHA and ARJ formats, which covers just about all the files you're likely to find anywhere.

It is also one of the few compression programmes that create and manage split RAR archives.

sArchiver includes a couple of neat little extras which add to the appeal. It can create disk image files from any folder; it can also create a backup of your documents folder and application preferences, compressing it if you wish to save space.

But there are some drawbacks. The interface has some odd little quirks. Rather than simply dragging and dropping files onto the main window to add them to an archive, you have to drag them on to a 'drop zone' which slides out of the main window.

More seriously, we found sArchiver extremely slow starting up, taking over 30 seconds to start on a Core i7-equipped MacBook Pro. This made extracting archives a painful process.

Bit Per Second is working on this startup issue, which doesn't affect all Macs. Download the free trial and check its performance on your system before buying. If it's fine, it's worth it.

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