Ashampoo ZIP Pro 3
Zip Pro 3 is the latest version of popular file archiving suite from Ashampoo, a suite which can handle virtually any archiving task you can think of and then some! Not only does it have all archive, encryption and compression options covered but the 64-bit multi-core support really does shine through with video and audio files compressed and encrypted in a very impressive time-frame.
Whilst looking at Zip Pro 3 it is also fair to say that Ashampoo have not used the “Pro” label lightly, made up of several very powerful archive and file management tools this suite really does have all of the bases covered. In particular I really like the Zip Script tool which provides a wizard-style interface for building automated archiving tasks on a schedule, ideal as a supplementary backup tool in certain use cases.
- (New) Fast 64bit / multi-core compression engine
- (New) 4K and touch ready interface
- (New) Up to 300% faster MP3 compression
- Secure, reliable and easy to use software
- Cloud storage manager and (S)FTP support
- Zip scripting tool (very powerful archiving / backup tool)
- Impressive archive formats supported
- Strong compression and encryption support
- Portable version included (run from a USB drive)
- MS Office file encryption, compression and signing
- PDF compression, encryption and signing
- Customisable shell menu editor
- Split screen file manager tool
- Mount ISO as VHD and rip DVDs to ISO files
- Archive repair tool
- Create self-unpacking archives (.exe format)
- Competitively priced for such a powerful suite of tools
Given this is primarily an archiving tool it makes sense to start with the archiving functionality on offer, most common formats including ZIP, 7-ZIP, RAR and TAR are covered as are an impressive range of compression and encryption options. In fact, this tool does not skimp in the archiving department with the very powerful base tools supported by a whole range of supplementary archiving and file management tools.
Creating an archive can be done in several ways, including via the context menu which provides a quick and easy way of adding files to an archive simply by right clicking on one or more files in the file explorer:
In the above example I have used the “Compress with Options” option which provides not only an easy way to archive a set of files but also allows for advanced options to be set. These options include adding or removing additional files as well as setting the archive type, the compression and the level of encryption used, if any.
This options screen (above) shows all available options in one easy to use screen meaning the act of creating an archive with advanced options really is quick and simple!
The Batch Archive Creation tool is another interesting addition which essentially allows for turning multiple files within a container into a collection of archive files both quickly and easily (automatically). Potentially very useful for photographers and content creators where large sets of media files which might need to be archived individually for future sharing etc.
The Multi-Volume ZIP is another great addition allowing a single existing ZIP archive to be automatically split up into multiple smaller ZIP archives. Ideal for applications such as writing ZIP files to CD / DVDs where a maximum individual file restriction exists!
The Archive Converter tool allows for archives to be quickly and easily converted from one format (say ZIP) to another format such as RAR.
During the configuration (as shown above) the type of archive to convert to can be set as well as the level of compression used. It doesn’t look like encryption can be added to the new, converted file at present so this would be a great addition to see in a future version if possible Ashampoo!
The SFX Archive tool is another great tool which allows for the creation of a self extracting EXE file which can be unpacked on any PC with just a double click. This is ideal for distributing large files via a network or in a workplace perhaps.
I have split this tool away from the main archiving section above for a very important reason, that reason being this tool is a very impressive addition to the suite. Not only can you create any type of archive along with specified compression and encryption settings but such tasks can be performed automatically on a schedule.
Once the archive file has been created the tool will then allow other actions to be performed (again automatically and on a schedule). These actions include writing archives to a DVD, uploading them to an (S)FTP server or to a cloud storage provider such as Dropbox.
The tool also allows for more advanced filtering of the selected files to be applied, for example, only including files older than 24HRs and of a certain file format.
All in all a very impressive tool in its own right, great for supplementary backup tasks and very impressive to see included in this suite at no additional charge!
One of the features which makes ZIP Pro 3 so powerful is its ability to integrate with mainstream cloud providers including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and DropBox amongst others. This integration not only makes browsing your cloud storage nice and easy but the sharing and backup of archived files also becomes much easier as well.
The cloud browser itself works on profiles, this means you can add in as many cloud storage accounts as you like and that the application will have you storage ready as and when you need to share or store a file there.
Another great addition to Zip Pro 3 is the portable version of the suite which can be run from a flash drive. This is delivered as a separate tool which can be downloaded via the applications home screen.
Zip Pro 3 has a built in file explorer tool, the most relevant aspect of which is the split screen view which allows for a split view file explorer window. It also features a tabbed interface making it very useful for people (like me) who frequently have several file explorer windows open at once.
The virtual drive tool allows for ripping a DVD to an ISO file and also turning an ISO file into a virtual hard drive (VHD) which can then be mounted within Windows. Very useful if you want to archive and preserve physical DVDs or simply access them without the physical disk to hand.
Finally, other tools include the Microsoft Office plug-in integrates into the Microsoft Office suite and helps simplify the process of compressing, encrypting and sharing files securely. And finally the archive repair tool which allows for the attempted repair of broken ZIP files.
One of the most appealing features of Zip Pro 3 is its ability to make securing and sharing archive files quick and simple. By giving users the choice of which compression and encryption methods are being used along with cloud storage integration ZIP Pro 3 helps achieve this aim. All in all, depending upon your preferences this software will help make your files as secure as you need them to be!
Ashampoo have a great website and provide a comprehensive Q&A section which handles most problems you might encounter. Should you still need to get in touch with a support representative you can submit support tickets online.
Ashampoo ZIP Pro 3 is priced at a one off $39.99. Regular deals can be found on all Ashampoo software (including Zip Pro 3) at the Ashampoo Special Deals page!
I have been very impressed so far with ZIP Pro 3 so far, in fact, I now have a licence on my main PC and amongst other things find the ZIP Script functionality to be excellent!
The scripting tool aside this software does, as you would expect, work very well as a file archiving and management tool and provides a large number of compression and encryption options. In addition some of the other archiving tools such as archive spanning and format conversion tools will also be very useful to some. The cloud storage browser and split-window file explorer are also very useful as are the virtual drive tools allowing DVDs to be ripped to ISO files and in-turn the ISOs mounted as virtual drives (VHDs).
Finally, working with archives is easy and straightforward thanks to the clean, intuitive and well designed user interface and the excellent right-click context menu system (which is also fully customisable!). Whilst this tool is obviously overkill for creating the occasional ZIP file here and there it does come into its own thanks to the many supplementary tools bundled in with it.
Overall a great tool which I am very impressed with – A great job Ashampoo!