File compression and archiving can be listed among the most common ways to save disk space and to distribute bulky sets of multiple files over the Internet in one single message, among other useful benefits. OSToto Archiver offers an attractive archiving tool that will allow you to view and extract archive files for free in all the most common compression formats, as well as to create and encrypt new archives for free.
At first sight and even though it’s clearly advertised as a free tool, OSToto Archiver appears to be yet another crippled trial whose entire functionality is limited to viewing the contents of an archive file. Whenever you try to do something different, such as adding a new file to an archive, compressing files into a new one, or even just extracting files from an existing archive, you’ll get a pop-up window asking you to register your software first and move to Pro. Don’t panic – all they want from you is your e-mail address so they can send you a free key to unlock all of its functionality.
Once you’ve activated your copy, you’re free to open, extract, create, encrypt, and password-protect your archive files. When it comes to viewing and extracting archives, OSToto Archiver supports more than 15 formats, including ZIP, 7Z, ARJ, ISO, JAR, TAR, and RAR. When it comes to producing a new archive, though, you can only choose between ZIP – labeled as “Fastest speed” – and 7Z, referred to as “Least size” (sic). Alternatively, you can also create EXE self-extracting archives, known as SFX files. All of the pop-up windows that open up whenever you perform any of these tasks are extremely simple – they merely ask you to confirm or produce the name of the output file. Only when you wish to encrypt an archive file, you’ll be asked additionally to provide a password to protect it.
All in all, OSToto Archiver is a fine free utility to manage your archive files. I find it a bit limited when it comes to the number of output formats supported, but for many users those two are, usually, more than enough. Functionality-wise, there are other free archiving tools out there with a much wider choice of features and customization options. I advise you to take a look at some of those before committing your e-mail address to this one.