As a Windows user I occasionally receive .rar files that I need to expand. In the past I’ve had to install a piece of software (I generally went with Stuff It Expander) to extract the contents. Of course every piece of software you install wants to add context menus, program groups and system tray icons – something I wanted to avoid adding to my new machine.
I’ve found www.wobzip.org that will allow me to extract the contents of .rar files online. As my need to do this is infrequent the overhead of uploading the file isn’t too much pay. The beauty of this site is that as well as downloading individual extracted files you can also download a .zip file that can be handled natively by Windows XP/Vista.
I was a long time Winzip user, but have put 7-zip onto my newly reformatted machine. Seems to work well.
I particularly hate programs that give me useless system tray icons. That’s just burning resources, often for no good reason.
A second vote for 7-zip. Free, small, no spam, not a trojan, opens every achive file I could want to open… what more could you ask for?