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What is a .RAR file and how do I make it work?

I downloaded a file that has the extension ".RAR." What does it mean and how do I make that file function?
RAR

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is a compressed file like a ZIP, but uses a different encoding format. To expand RAR files, WinRAR is quite popular. The Web site at www.mountpoint.ch/unique/project/urarfilelib/ lists information on how to create and read RAR files.

This was first published in April 2002

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