Compression utilities on my Mac

In the end of semester flurry of activity, having to move and exchange files requires compression to save space or to reduce multiple files into a single archive for transfer and security.

As I receive data, some file formats defy OSX’s built-in Archive Utility which is otherwise conjured up with a double-click. Happily there are plenty of free utilities each time I look. I appear to have kept just these two updated all this while – The Unarchiver, and StuffIt Expander (originally Raymond Lau’s 1987 pre-OSX utility).

Windows users who send me secure compressions tend to use 7-Zip, which produces 7z file formats. As a Mac user, I need something like Keka to open those files.


Gotta love the logo!

There are always new options – I have just started using Infinit, which seems lovely, as it can sends large files and folders to a Windows PC, iPhone, Android phone and other Macs, of course. Infinit promises secure encryption and transfers too.

It might just be the best thing since Wetransfer.

Skitched 20151125 233006

Encrypting a file for transfer means providing the password to your recipient. You should use a different avenue from your transfer, e.g. if you emailed a link or file, then use a message app for the password. Some apps reportedly have better security options that What’sApp or LINE, such as Telegram or Signal.

I’ve not examined security in detail since I have only a low volume of local transfers to make for exam matters. So I stick to old school methods – keep relevant files offline and encrypted on disk images, and transfer files by handing over a USB thumb drive.


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