Archiving, or file compression, is a special process that reduces the amount of free space on the drive that a file occupies. To date, there is a fairly large variety of special utilities for data compression. However, many do not even understand what an archive is. What is an archive and archiving, we will consider in this article.
It should be noted right away that the article is about computer archives, and not about departmental or any other. The departmental archive is a topic for a separate article, since it has nothing to do with the virtual one.
What is an archive?
Many people don't even know the benefits of this process. For those who wonder: "Archive - what is it and why is it needed?" - there is a fairly simple explanation.
An archive is a kind of analogue of a folder in which several files are stored. However, in order to open these files or copy them to some other folder, you first need to unzip them. Which sometimes takes quite a lot of time. It is worth noting thatthe time it takes to extract files from a certain archive directly depends on how exactly the dearchiving is carried out, how powerful the computer is, and also how large the files will be extracted.
Increasing the available amount of data is the main purpose that the archive contains. What is the volume of data and how important it is for modern users, it is hardly necessary to explain to anyone. After all, even the constant development of modern drives and all kinds of storage media does not satisfy the needs of many people.
The second purpose of the archive is to facilitate data transfer. Today, not all Internet has a high enough speed for fast file transfer, so their volume is of great importance. Considering that in the vast majority of cases information is uploaded through specialized file sharing services, it takes double the time to transfer files from one computer to another. First, for uploading to the exchanger, and then for downloading directly to the user's computer.
That's why it's much easier to transfer files by first placing them in a standard archive. What is an archive has already been mentioned above.
How to archive?
Today, there is no difficulty in finding specialized archivers, each of which has its own set of features. Some include only basicfeatures, while others provide more options, including scanning files for all kinds of viruses or the ability to view information of various types without extracting it from the archive. It is worth noting that a fairly large number of programs prompt the user to select a specific compression ratio, forming the so-called self-extracting archives.
The most common types of archives today are considered to be such as Zip and RAR. Such archivers are initially installed on almost all computers and are actively developed at the same time.
Data extraction and archiving
The user has the opportunity to completely choose a name for his future archive, as well as determine which extension and compression method is best to use. The archive contains a certain number of files and various folders, and to unpack, you just need to specify the path to the folder into which the extraction will be carried out. As mentioned above, some modern programs provide the ability to preview certain files in read-only mode.
Recently, such a specialized function as the creation of self-extracting archives has been widely used. A self-extracting archive file is a specialized type that allows you to extract files without using any additional utilities. Indeed, today not all computers have archivers installed, so you need to somehowprovide the ability to extract information to such users. By itself, this option is a standard.exe file, which includes directly encrypted data, as well as a special installation module.
How to restore archives after they are damaged?
Document archive is far from the safest option for storing a large amount of information. Since, due to one reason or another, such a situation may occur that it will be damaged and it will be impossible to extract files from it. In the vast majority of cases, such problems arise due to the fact that during the downloading of the archive the user's connection was lost or the archive was damaged due to exposure to a standard virus program.
Modern developers were able to get out of this situation by using the special function "Leave damaged files on the disk", as well as another additional function - "Add recovery information". Thus, it is possible to significantly increase the chances that in the end the unpacking of the archive will be successful and the user will be able to use the data he needs.
How to protect yourself from unauthorized access?
Another useful and quite popular feature is the use of passwords, which allow you to protect the archive from prying eyes, excluding the possibility of viewing it. In this case, it will not be possible to also unpack it, providing an effectiveprotection of confidential and commercial information. Thus, you can archive certain data not only to reduce its volume or to simplify transportation, but also to hide it from prying eyes. This is especially recommended for people who store important confidential information on a work computer when there is a risk that someone else might see it.
Among other things, special attention should be paid to such a type as a continuous archive. A continuous archive in a computer is a set of files that represent a sequential flow of information. In this case, the compression ratio increases by an order of magnitude. But at the same time, the update, as well as the subsequent unpacking of the archive, are carried out for a longer time. And you need to understand correctly that if one of the files in such an archive gets any damage, then in this case there will no longer be the possibility of recovering information. For this reason, it is best to archive in such a way that the information can eventually be restored.
Thus, continuous archiving is rarely used by modern companies. An organization archive is primarily a secure repository of information that will be protected from accidental deletion as well as prying eyes, so using a continuous archive in this role that can eventually completely destroy files is far from the best option.