A compressed file is any kind of computer file which has been optimized to consume less drive space that usual using the process of data compression. Since there is so much redundant data in any large file, compressed files can consume.
- Storage space is conserved
- Network communication can be reduced
In some cases, compression can be potentially harmful. These include:
- Flash memory wear: Flash Drives, Secure Digital (SD) cards, and solid-state drives can wear out more quickly due to the increased read/write operations required
- Increased file vulnerability: A single lost of corrupted bit can result in the entire file being destroyed
- Increased drive vulnerability: If an entire drive is compressed (an option which Windows makes easy in its modern versions) then this problem can be magnified—a lost bit or two can cause the entire contents of the drive to be destroyed.
Additionally, compressing files (or file systems) requires more work from the computer's processor, so this tends to decrease the operating speed on the computer while it is accessing such files.
Common file extensions
When a file or group of files is compressed, it is stored in an archive file using a specific format, which will be marked as such by a file extension. Common file extensions include: