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Compressed Archives

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Compressed Archives

A compressed archive is a collection of files, merged into one larger file. They are used to conveniently send multiple files quickly or to store several files for a project in one place. In Windows, they are called ZIP files. On a Mac, they are known as SIT files.

For security reasons, some file types are unable to be sent by email or other means. In some cases, those same files can be sent as compressed archives. This is because you have to consciously decide to extract (unzip) the files.

Why compressed?

An advantage of zip files is that they take up less space than the individual files which they contain. Part of the reason for this is that they are able to reduce some of the duplicated information present in the various files. By Zipping files more data can be stored in a smaller space.

Why archive?

Zip files are excellent ways to store or back-up multiple files from old projects. They are also useful for sharing multiple files quickly and efficiently over the Internet, or file sharing networks.

A good example is a software patch for a video game, the zip file you download to update your game may have hundred or thousands of individual files inside. The zip file automatically creates all the necessary files and folders for you.

Compressed Archives
Compressed archives work both ways: Files can be added to an archive and archives can be opened to reveal the original files.

Watch these videos to learn more.

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