There is only one way to start off this review: If you own a PC and create or download files, need to compress them and don't have this program, you need your head checked. StuffIt Deluxe is a compression program that puts absolutely any compression program I have used, including Winzip to shame.
After initially receiving the software I must confess to being somewhat blasť about reviewing compression software but the sheer power and ability of StuffIt had me rethinking that straightaway. We set up a number of files for compression and put StuffIt up against Winzip and for the most part I was pleasantly surprised to say that StuffIts compression ratio was slightly better than Winzip.
For the most part compression rates weren't enough to set the world on fire, with Stuffit compressing an mpeg file 3kb smaller than Winzip, a .jpg file compression was won by 1kb by Winzip. So for the most part the two files were very much on a par with each other, with StuffIt beating Winzip marginally on most tests. So I moved onto the next area that needed looking at.
Opening a .rar file with StuffIt was sheer simplicity and the extraction process an absolute breeze. Then upon right clicking and selecting open with Winzip I got nothing but an error message. Winzip does not support that file type. In a move that clearly impressed me, StuffIt has native support for opening and expanding the following file types:
|SIT ||RAR |
|ZIP ||ACE |
|EXE ||LHA |
|TAR ||UU |
|TGZ ||HQX |
|GZ ||BIN |
|ARJ ||MIME |
|ARC ||BASE 64 |
According to developers Aladdin Systems, StuffIt is also capable of recognising even more file types than that as well.
The product is so comprehensive that it has native self extracting capabilities as well, which do not come standard with Winzip. This is a great feature that ensures that the recipient of your file is going to be able to open the file irrespective of whether they own an extraction program or not. The only downside, and it's not a fault of this software is that many businesses have their servers filtered to automatically block out .exe files in case of viruses. This part of the software is covered with StuffIt SEA builder.
I will get the one thing that really bugged me about the software out of the way. I didn't want to register online at the time of installation and every time I start the software it tried to prompt me to connect or sought to seek its own server to send information. I found this a bit annoying however it seemed to get the message eventually.