Among the various types of compression technology used to allow large files to be transmitted with lower bandwidth, a RAR file is among the more popular. RAR simply refers to the method of compression and decompression. It is among the types of compression which require proprietary software to shrink the size of a file. This compression type allows for effective means of ensuring the security of the files contained and can create files which are broken into multiple parts which allows for greater control over the finished project. The multi-part files are oftentimes confusing to novice users but are very easy to understand.
The appellation RAR file derives from the name of the compression method's inventor. Eugene Roshal is a Russian programmer who first developed this compression. The name RAR is an acronym for Rosha ARchive. There have been several different versions of this compression released since it initially came into popular usage. Older types of RAR file decompressors will likely be unable to handle the newest versions of the files.
RAR file security capabilities make it very useful. These files can be password protected. The only ways one may break this encryption is through the use of brute force attacks or dictionary attacks, both of which take a considerable amount of time and, given that a properly-secure password is selected, are unlikely to succeed. A RAR files security capabilities extend beyond the simple ability to limit the file's decompression to those with proper access. Each individual file in a RAR archive may be hidden from view. This allows these archives to be used to transmit secure data with relative safety and makes it essentially impossible for anyone to retrieve any information from the compressed file without having the correct password required to unlock it.
Multi-part RAR files are one of the other innovations of this compression format. Very large files are oftentimes split up in this way to make downloading more convenient. Uncompressing these files is easy enough that it oftentimes baffles new users as they search for whatever complicated process they assume must be involved. To unpack one of these files, one simply unpacks the main file and the decompressor will take care of the rest. There is no need for the user to engage in part-by-part reconstruction of the files in any regard. This makes them very convenient for file types such as video and audio which can be quite large.
The RAR file compression type is heavily-used for internet file sharing. Usenet groups are full of RAR files, their high compression rates making the attachment of large files to posts and the downloading of those posts by readers convenient and reliable. To unpack a RAR file, one may use any of the various free unpacking software products on the market. For Mac users, StuffIt will handle the unpacking work. Creating these archives, however, does require proprietary software which will require the user to pay a license fee. This format is quickly becoming more and more used.