Among the many compression formats out there some go way back and are scarcely used these days. This is the case of the old '.ace' archives that are so hard to come by today. The tool of choice for handling this particular format as well as many others, WinAce, still exists though and it works pretty good.
The software has a very clean interface, with a classic layout which resembles other famous compression tools you might be more familiar with. Upon opening it, you will find a file browser in the middle of the main window, a toolbar with the most common functions and several menus filled with features.
WinAce can also integrate into the Windows context menu, so you'll be able to create an archive or extract files on the fly, just by right clicking the files. The application can also handle a wide variety of formats, so it can easily replace your traditional file archiver.
If you want to secure the compressed files, the 'Options' tab provides the means to create passwords on the spot. There is also an interesting function to be found in the 'Tools' menu, a feature that allows you to convert other types of archives to its native '.ace' format.
During our tests WinAce worked without glitches and proved that it can still compete in both processing speed and compression capabilities with more recent applications. Also, the software manages to archive files almost twice as fast as the default Windows Zip function.
All in all, WinAce is a good application, with excellent features, has its proprietary format and can work just as well with many more types of archives. It performs well when it comes to compression ratio as well as speed and the ease of use is also one of WinAce's attributes.