RAR in computing is a file format that is a proprietary archive and supports error recovery, data compression as well as file spanning. These file format is commonly used on the World Wide Web for transfer of different forms of media. When a RAR file download is done either via e-mail attachment or a service for file sharing, there are instances when the file cannot be opened owing to password protection.

So how to open a password-protected RAR file? This setback can be overcome with the use of certain software programs. There are plenty of WinRAR based password recovery solutions over the Internet but most are not as effective as they should be. The reason for this is that they react to dictionary-based attacks whereas most of the RAR files do not contain basic dictionary-based passwords. They may either have the name of the website or the forum I.D of the uploader. A list of the most commonly used software for opening password protected files is as follows:

  • RAR Password Cracker – this is just about the most sought after software of its kind and with its trial version, three digit passwords can be. Its mode of execution is either dictionary or brute attack force. It is capable of supporting multiple volumes.
  • RAR Password Checker - is also effective software with its only setback being that it is somewhat outdated. It is even unavailable for Windows Vista. Some reports of this software being buggy have been heard. An advantage of RAR Password Cracker is that it is free, thus accessible to a many users in need of it. This software does not have many special requirements with regard to memory capacity however; processor performance needs to be high.

RAR archives are able to be protected using a password, which should be input prior to the input being unpacked by the computer system. When the password is forgotten, it means that either trial runs can be done or a password cracker used. This software tool uses a long password list known as dictionary files to check whether the password falls within the listing.

The manufacturers of these password software programs claim that it is not possible for a password to be uncrackable if the limits of the original key and encryption are known. This could be done with a dictionary attack. However, if this is not the case, then it calls for a brute attack. Getting the password is however not an absolute guarantee of opening password-protected RAR files.

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