The High Tech Society

RAR and Zip Password Removers – Do They Work?

Software

RAR and Zip Password Removers – Do They Work?

RAR and Zip files are easy to encrypt with a password, but unencrypting them without that password is often extremely difficult. Whether you created a file on your computer and forgot the password over time, borrowed a file from a friend and they don’t know the password, or downloaded a password protected file from the Internet, a password remover may seem like the best option. However, there are a couple of things to watch out for.

Free Rar and Zip Password Removers

Winrar remover screenshot 1

Free Rar and Zip password removers like RAR Password Remover are free to download and easy to install, but you will quickly find that they come with a catch. Almost all of these programs will unencrypt or claim to unencrypt the file for you and then send you to get keys to register the program in order to save or access the file.

winrar remover screenshot 2

 

Unfortunately they want you to give your phone number to a sponsor, after which you will most likely be spammed with dozens of texts for the next forseeable future. Whether or not these programs actually work has not yet been tested because I wasn’t keen on putting my phone number into a spam ad network. That aside, they may actually work if you choose to do so, but considering the speed in which they found the password, I highly doubt it.

Winrar remover screenshot 3

Other options that claim to be free offer free password cracks for passwords of up to 3 letters in length, but their spammy use of proliferate fake reviews also makes their efficiency rather doubtful.

Paid Password Recovery

password recovery 1

Paid password recovery programs like RAR Password Recovery look a little more promising, but unfortunately, they are for the most part, quite expensive.  The average price is usually right around $30, which is significant if you just want to unzip a few old family photos, an old project, or something else nostalgic. If you’re using it for business then the price is a little better, but the truth is that even these expensive program are not guaranteed to find your password. For example,  RAR Password Recovery allows you to use three types of attacks to attempt to guess the password. The shortest of these is the dictionary attack which simply runs through every word in the dictionary, and took about an average of 30 minutes on every file I tried it on. Needless to say it was unsuccessful, because the program did try the dictionary attack with a combination of numbers or symbols at the end.  The Brute Force Attack took over 28 hours and failed to find the password, probably because it only works with a series of a maximum of 4 letter differences, meaning that you can work with number and letter combinations from 1-4, or 6-10, but not 1-10, which means that you might spend over a week systematically testing longer and longer password combinations. For a $30 program, that is depressingly slow.

The truth is that with the current options on the market, your best option is to just not forget your password. If you do, you’re not extremely likely to get it back with any of the password recovery options that I tested.