Files with a file extension RAR are those which have been compressed in order to reduce the amount of space required for storage. RAR files can contain a single file or they can be comprised of many folders compressed using a mathematical algorithm. This not only makes them easier to store, it also assists with faster transmission when you are forwarding the files via an email attachment or embedding them in a website online for download.
RAR is similar to Zip which is also a form of a compressed file format. The difference is that RAR is capable of creating a compressed format which can be as much as 20 percent smaller than Zip files. This makes the format ideal for downloading and transmitting over the Internet since the process is faster than Zip files.
How to Open RAR Files
RAR files can be opened with the Windows operating system or Mac OS X. However, the procedure for opening is slightly different.
If you are using a Windows-based PC, it is necessary to use an application compatible with Windows and designed for opening RAR files. Programs such as BitZipper, which are available for download on the Internet, can easily help you open RAR files.
Once you download and install the application, such as BitZipper, you are presented with a user interface which makes it easy to access the contents of a RAR file. The user interface contains a wizard which will walk you through the process of opening a RAR file. You can also use the program to create your own compressed RAR files.
If you are using Mac OS X, there are RAR file applications that are compatible with this operating system. Programs, such as Stuffit Deluxe, are designed to open files with this extension. If you perform a Google search, you will also find a host of other applications which will help you open RAR files.
To provide you with an idea of how the Mac OS X RAR applications work, Stuffit Deluxe provides you with a user interface to look inside RAR files to view the contents prior to opening them. It also contains a search utility that allows you to browse through your files to locate the RAR file you want to open. Then a wizard in the interface will step you through the process of opening RAR files.
The reason software applications are required for opening RAR files is there is no operating system which offers a built-in method for working with the file extension RAR. This is why a third party application is necessary. Most of the applications offer other features you can use, such as compressing files to save space, opening Zip file formats, and much more.