What is a compressed file?
A compressed file is a file that is smaller than its original size and can contain one or more files or even a directory. A compressed file has the compressed attribute activated. Compressed files have the advantage of being faster to transfer and download, and of allowing more data to be stored on physical or removable media.
Examples of compressed file extensions are .RAR, .ZIP, and .TAR. A compressed file is created using various file compression techniques that perform a mathematical analysis of the data in the file and remove the redundancies involved. Compressed files are ideal for text, word processing documents, .WAV audio files, and spreadsheets. However, compressed files are of poor quality for graphics files or certain audio and video formats. It is often recommended that you review the data contained in files before creating compressed files.
Compressed files have many advantages. Compressed files can save storage space and are also faster to transfer, download, and save. Compressed files are more convenient for faster reading and writing, especially in the case of text or word processing documents.
However, there are some disadvantages associated with compressed files. Working with a compressed file requires more processor time compared to an uncompressed file because the process of decompression and recompression is involved. In the case of the Windows operating system, the FAT file system does not support compressed files and only supports the NTFS file system. Not all files can be compressed because some files are required by the operating system at startup. For example, NTLDR and BOOTMGR are file types that should never be compressed.