Simple and free archiver with the high degree of compression and open source code (LGPL license).
Free archiver — free program, which can combine several files into one archive or some archives for transfer or keeping. Most of archivers use lossless compression for reduction of the archive's size.
The simplest archivers are only combined consecutively with all the file content into one archive. Besides, archive must contain information about the file names and the length of the original files for their back-up. Most of the archivers also save meta-data of the files, such as time of the creation and access rights.
Making an archive, the program can process both text and binary files. The first ones always compresses into several times (depending on archiver). As for the binary files, everything depends on their characteristics. Compressing is always slower than inverse operation.
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Related Link: File compression HaoZip