RAR files are a space-saving method of saving single files or a collection of related files. Today, there are several different compression systems used. RAR is a development of Zip compression technique, created by Eugene Roshal, a Russian programmer thus the name Roshal Archive. The RAR format applies the advanced compression algorithms that are capable of creating some small archives, perhaps 8 to 30 percent tinier than Zip archives although the compression task may earn a longer period of time.
There are other advantages of the RAR file format, including its redundancy where repair can be done for damaged archives, allowing files of non-English names to be saved and the support for international character sets. Hence for such reasons, this file format is vastly used in computers by Russian or any other countries that apply the use of different alphabets.
The files stored in the RAR archive will be automatically decompressed to their original state and this is called the “lossless compression”. In contrary, the compression techniques used to create MP3 music files or JPG photo image files are named “lossy compression”. This is because part of the original sound or image quality has been eliminated throughout the compression process to the RAR files.
Basically the files will take up lesser storage space and consume lesser time to download or send. They also provide a more convenient route to package and send collections of correlated files. Nevertheless, a direct running of the program from the file is not allowed. The contents in the archive must first be extracted to any folder on your hard drive before anything program can act upon them. This is somehow one disadvantage of the RAR file format, although not a severe issue.
There is no computer operating system that is built with the RAR archive format support. So in cases where you receive such files, you will have to download and install third party software to gain access to the files. There are various programs available for both the Windows and Mac OS to open the files in RAR format.