Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ultra Compress your Files 

I recently came to know that there are many users on the net who compress files to such an extent that GBS worth of files can be compressed to a few hundred MBS, and this is how they share soft wares and games which demand a lot of space. In fact one of my friend told me that he found GTA IV, requiring more than 10 GB, compressed to around 400 MB!!!!

I tried using WinZip and 7 zip and compressed a 1 GB file at the maximum compression level, unfortunately the results were not quite as expected. I was only able to save around 100 MBs when ultra compression with 7z format.

So I googled around with keywords such as "best compression tool", and "maximum compression" but only found references to Winrar, WinZip and & 7 zip. Finally I found a software worthy of being called an "Ultra compressor". It is called KGB Archiver and links to its homepage are given below.

One thing I found out was that compressing videos and music formats will not be that efficient as compared to normal text files and maybe exe's.

Unique features of KGB archiver:

1.Its free!! :)

2.High compression rates in different formats including zip,7zip, bz2, its own format which is the most efficient, and many more.

3.Easy to use, includes option to vary the level of compression.

4.It is available for both Windows and Linux( Newer versions are not available for Linux though)

But there is a problem which might put you off from using this software. The KGB Archiver requires a very high amount of hardware and the process of compressing and decompressing is extremely slow if high compression levels are used. Decompressing 10-20 MBS of data can easily take a few hours. It is a big resource consumer!

Nevertheless, if you want to store your important data on some remote server, or if the storage is limited, it is worth giving a try.

I discovered another important aspect of compression. You cannot compress an already compressed file. I tried compressing the same archive multiple times but instead of shrinking in size the archive got bigger! On looking up on the net I found that there is a limit till which you can compress a file. It is called the "Shannon limit".

Some important links:
1.KGB Archiver Home-Page

2.Compression Comparison

3.Data Compression theory

4.Practical Application of the Shannon limit

5.Reviews of other compression tools


  1. it appears that kgb2 beta version needs you to disable the UAC in vista, these links are helpful (it shows how to disable UAC)

    also it is a beta version therefore i will recommend you use the stable version. I have installed kgb gui and its working perfectly

  2. I had tried this sometime ago. I downloaded Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 in KGB format(60 MB only ;)) It was showing 8 hrs time to decompress it :P Left it.

  3. @malav exactly...its very high on resources..but people having access to servers or 24/7 running machines tend to utilize the power of KGB to the fullest!! :P