Welcome to the ‘Practical Compressor Test’. Unlike some other compressor comparison sites, I won’t be looking for a compressor offering for the last bit of compression. Instead I’ll try to find the most practical compressor out there. This means compression and decompression times are taken into account, so PAQAR and the like, which can achieve very good compression at the expense of insanely long run times (several hours on this benchmark!) are not considered.
Instead I’ll be focusing on very well known, established compressors that are easily obtained (I only use precompiled packages and won’t build from source) and have reasonable run times. Also I won’t try every combination of compression options but limit the test to one general option (-1 to -9 for gzip and bzip2, -m1 to -m5 for RAR, …).