Initial release1999
Stable release
12.22[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 7 February 2024
Written inMFC
Operating systemWindows 7 or later
Available inKorean
TypeFile archiver
LicenseShareware/Freeware(only non-commercial use)

ALZip is an archive and compression utility software application from ESTsoft for Microsoft Windows that can unzip 40 different zip file archives. ALZip can zip files into eight different archive formats such as ZIP, EGG, TAR, and others. Introduced in ALZip version 8, the EGG archive format can be used, which supports Unicode and other features.


ALZip was developed in 1999 as an internal application by the South Korean software company ESTsoft in response to employee frustration with using the English interface in WinZip.

The Korean interface was immediately well received[2] and later that year, ALZip was publicly released[3][4][5] as freeware.[6] In just over a year, ALZip became the most popular zip program in Korea[7] and by December 2001, was the top downloaded software[8][9] in the country. By 2004, it had reached a 70% market share in South Korea.[10] The popularity of the software and the ALZ archive format played a large role in earning ESTsoft a place in the Digital Innovation Awards Top 100 Companies in South Korea[11] with the software taking special mention.

Early in its development, ALZip introduced the ALZ file format to deal with file size limitations of the ZIP file format. ALZ compression has no theoretical upper limit for file sizes, as they are only limited by operating system limits or the amount of available storage. The file format has become common in Korea.

The first English version was released in 2002. Since then, support for over 20 languages has been added.

Version 11.07 is available through Microsoft Store.[12]

Licensing changes

ALZip was originally released as pure freeware. However in October 2001, it changed to free for home use, with government usage requiring a software license. In April 2002, a business license was also introduced[5] for commercial usage.[13] Licensing was based on the honor system, and there were no nag screens.

With the version 7 release, the license was changed from freeware to adware, displaying downloaded banner ads. Beginning on December 1, 2008, all new releases are shareware requiring a paid license[14] except in its original Korean language, which requires no licensing fee.

With version 8.51 from 22 August 2012, ALZip changed the license so that it can be licensed freely. On the download page of ALZip is a serial number to copy and paste when you start the program, in order to have the license for the software free of charge.[15]

Naming and mascots

The name "ALZip" was chosen as the "AL" part is a transliteration from the program's Korean name "aljip" (Hangul: 알집), literally EggZip. Other ALTools feature similar egghead cartoon characters as mascots for each program.

Additionally, ALZip integrates into the "New Folder" function of Windows Explorer, where new folders are created with the option of using custom icons and names.[5]

File format controversy

In 2003, there was a controversy over ALZip's own compression file format ALZ when a developer of another Korean compression utility, "빵집," insisted that ALZip users were forced to use the ALZip archiver when decompressing ALZ files. He also insisted that ESTsoft does not offer decompression libraries, and that third-party archiver developers have had to use reverse engineering to develop their own algorithms.[16]

EGG format and AZO Algorithm

EGG format is compress another algorithms in file extension.(ex: .txt -> Bzip2, .exe -> Deflate) if file extension is .com or .sys, ALZip compresses them in the AZO algorithm. The AZO algorithm is slow but has a very high compression ratio. Basically, it shows a much better compression rate than the Deflate algorithm used in the ZIP format, and even showed a compression rate comparable to or better than the LZMA algorithm of 7zip , which is known to have the strongest compression rate. You can experiment by changing the extension of the file to .com and compressing it in egg format.

As a result of reverse engineering, it seems to be using almost the same compression method as LZMA. It has been confirmed that LZ77 is used, and it seems to use Binary Range Coding as the backend.

See also


  1. ^ "알집 v12.22 출시!". 7 February 2024. Archived from the original on 11 February 2024.
  2. ^ Jeong, Jong Oh (November 1999). "HOW: 한글 지원 국산 압축 유틸리티 3종". HowPC (in Korean): 308–311.
  3. ^ Lee, J. N. (23 August 1999). 모든 압축파일 자유자재로 풀어줍니다. Yonhap News (in Korean). Yonhap.
  4. ^ Yoon, H. J. (30 August 1999). 압축유틸리티 '알집' 발표. 전자신문 (in Korean). Chunjashinmun.
  5. ^ a b c Wi, Yoonhee; Ji, Hyunjung (February 2003). "PC 유틸리티는 쉽고 편하게, 알집에서 알툴즈까지". Microsoftware (in Korean) (2): 152–155.
  6. ^ Han, Sujin (November 2002). "CEO of the Month: 국산 소프트웨어의 자존심". Popular Science (in Korean) (11): 90.
  7. ^ "Most used compression program poll". 9 February 2001. Archived from the original on 13 August 2002. Retrieved 27 February 2001.
  8. ^ Maeilkyungjae IT Internet (2001-12-03)
  9. ^ Choi, Yeonjin (19 December 2001). "2001 디지탈 이노베이션 大賞 수상업체". Hankooki (in Korean). Hankook Ilbo.
  10. ^ "Korea Software Industry Association" (in Korean). 1999. Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2006.
  11. ^ 디지탈 이노베이션 大賞. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). 28 November 2001. p. 2.
  12. ^ "Get ALZip". Microsoft Store. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Program Deliberation and Mediation Committee" (in Korean). June 2003. Archived from the original on 22 June 2006.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "ALTools News – New product releases, updates, company info, events, and other points of interest at ALTools". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  16. ^ "중앙대 국문학과 > 칼럼게시판 > 알집 alz 포맷의 비밀". Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009.