B1 is a free Windows, Linux, Mac and Android file compressor and archiver. It supports opening of the most common file formats, like .zip, .zipx, .rar, .7z and others. When it comes to creating files B1 will compress data with its own format called .b1 or alternatively .zip for compatibility with other programs. There is no adware or toolbars during installation, you don’t have to watch out for small checkboxes pushing you unwanted software.
B1 is extremely easy to configure and use, the help manual has screenshots, it is written in plain English and a wizard will launch when you first start the program, helping you to decide what file formats should be handled by B1 and if it should integrate with the Windows shell. B1 interface is eye candy with big icons including a big “Exit” button that you will not see anywhere else. A small detail that represented a time saver when I wanted to close the program by reducing clicks.
You can choose to split the compressed files if they huge or select the advanced compression mode made up of four different types. The default “Smart” mode automatically favours the best way to compress data analysing the file extension. Security conscious people will also appreciate AES256-bit encryption to password protect archived files that will not reveal the contained file names or content any other content and a built-in file integrity checker will let you know when a file is corrupted.
Compression time and size are similar to that of other applications. B1 main strengths are that it is open source, cross platform (including Android), is able to unpack 30 different file formats, support for AES256 encryption and a neat interface. B1 caveats are not being able to create .rar or .7.zip files and not having a way to repair damaged archived files like Winrar does.
Due to how easy it is to utilize B1, I would recommend this program for people who don’t want a ton of options or are new to computers. Just remember that few of your friends will be able to open a .b1 extension, you either always create .zip files or redirect the receiver to the B1 online unpacking service for those who don’t want to install the software.