The very first utility of it’s kind was PKZip (and PKUnZip which was included) for DOS. The ZIP standard was created in 1989 by Phillip Katz, hence the name “PKZip”. It was originally a DOS utility with usage similar to “PKUnZip filename.zip”. That’s no fun, so several Windows ZIP utilities were created. PKZip now comes in a Windows version in addition to the original DOS version and can be obtained at www.pkware.com. Note that this program is SHAREWARE.
The most popular ZIP utility by far is Winzip. It is fast, easy to use and has a lot of useful features. It is my favorite and I wouldn’t have a computer without it.
The only thing wrong with Winzip is that it is shareware. The authors want money for the product. It is well worth the money, but if you want freeware, I recommend the following program, ZipGenius, which is a full-fledged Zip tool suite and completely free. You can find more free Zip programs here: http://www.webattack.com/Freeware/downloader/fwzip.html.
Depending on which program you choose, the menu options can vary slightly and may not exactly match the following instructions but they will be similar and you should be able to figure it out pretty quickly.
Install your program of choice, and let it assume the file association for .zip files. With Winzip (and most other Zip programs), this is done during setup. Simply choose Express Setup (recommended) and it will do this in addition to creating handy right-click Windows Explorer menu choices. Now that you have a utility installed, we’ll proceed with learning how to use it.