I found this file archiving and extracting too by happy accident. I ordered some cd’s to study for the MCAT, and the UPS delivery didn’t make it. When I called the company, angry about the money I had sent for over-night shipping, they sent me a link to download “mp3’s” of their lectures while I waited. I followed their instructions, but to my dismay they were files of a “.rar” type, which my computer could not extract. Windows media player denied the files even existed. I didn’t want to spend any more money on new software, but I really didn’t want to catch a virus! I didn’t want to buy a WINRAR archiver from http://www.rarlab.com.
I am usually wary of free software, but I decided to at least look up the file type on wikipedia. In their external links section they led me to an open-source .rar unpacker. I’ve been using 7-zip ever since and have been very happy. It contained no worms or spyware, and didn’t install unwanted features or icons all over my desktop. I didn’t notice any bugs, and it extracts my files nicely. It also works with windows media player. I am not particularly savvy about software, and I have been burned before. I really am promoting this archiver, and I’ve found myself using it to extract all my compressed files, because it is so easy to use. Here is their site: http://www.7-zip.org