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#1 Posted : Sunday, October 9, 2011 11:04:50 PM(UTC)

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I cite from Backup theory (help file):

Bulk compression

Compression is a good thing in theory. You have X bytes of data and, voila, now you have the same data, but using less space. There are different methods of compression and all of them have different advantages/disadvantages in relationship to the other. But compression as cool at it seems has actually some disadvantages: all your data is stored in one file, so if only one byte on that file is corrupted, you can lose all your data at once!

Compression is often a slow process, much slower than a plain copy. Updating a large archive takes also a lot of time and sometimes you need a lot of extra-space as well. Compressing directly to a remote location can eat a lot of bandwidth as well. Many files like mp3, jpg, etc compress very badly because they are already compressed, you may be wasting your time compressing them. Oh, and did I say that storage is very cheap these days?

I can add: zip files don't work natively with unicode file names, long paths, files larger than 2 Gb, etc, so in order to adapt to the new times, some extensions has been added (unicode headers, zip64, etc). The problem is, there is no "standard" for this, and a lot of unpacker don't support these extensions.

Note that compressing files individually can be a good idea: you don't risk to lose all your files just because one of them is corrupted, compressing individual files usually don't use so much memory and is a relatively fast process.
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