- Computers & Software
How to Open a Rar File
You just received a file through your computer that has an extension you've never seen before. It's a "Rar" file. What is this thing? And more importantly, how can you open it to see what it is that someone you know has sent to you? Don't worry; the name may be strange and the file may be different but the process for opening it is something that you've probably done plenty of times before. And even if you haven't, it's a relatively easy thing to learn how to do.
But first, what is a Rar file? Why are you even receiving this thing?
A "Rar" file is basically just another name for a "Zip" file. You've surely sent and received Zip files before so you know that they take the information you are trying to send and compress it in order to reduce the size of the file to make sending it over the Internet easier. If you've unzipped a zip file, you know that the material looks basically the same as it did in its bigger format; it was just reduced so that it could be attached to email. A "Rar" file is basically the same thing.
So why not just call is a Zip file?
Okay, okay, the "Rar" file is a little bit different than a Zip file. The way that the file is compressed differs in that it uses a more complex algorithm for the compression. As far as you're concerned, this doesn't mean much at all. What does matter on your end is that the "Rar" file is compressed to smaller sizes than a Zip file can be so you're able to send more in open file in one email attachment if you use Rar than if you use Zip. That's probably why you're receiving a Rar file. Someone wanted to send you a big file that couldn't be zipped down to an e-mail-attachable size so they sent it as a Rar file instead.
Okay, great, you know what a Rar file is now. So how do you open it?
You'll need to download a program that is capable of opening a Rar file. The most commonly used program for this purpose is probably BitZipper. You can get a free trial download of it online by typing BitZipper into your favorite search engine. There are plenty of other software programs that you can download for free that will also be able to open your Rar file. If you want to play around with your different options, head over to CNET downloads (www.download.com) and type "open rar" or "open compressed files" into a search. You can download any of the software available that says it can be used to open these files. Once you have downloaded the software, you can follow the simple step-by-step instructions available on the program to complete opening of the Rar file. If you're not too good at things like this, make sure that the program you download has a "Wizard" interface. That's the step-by-step thing that will run you through an easy method of using the program. It's as easy as telling a Zip file to unzip.