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PeaZip is a free cross-platform archive manager and encryption utility that provides unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX... free alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar proprietary software.
- Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
- Open and extract ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more,
over 200 archive types supported
Features of PeaZip includes:
archives opener and extractor, batch creation and extraction of multiple archives at once, convert files, create self-extracting archives, split and join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hash and checksum, export job definition as script.

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Archive files with multiple encryption passwords

apply multiple encryption passwords

How to create archives with multiple passwords

Most of mainstream archive formats standards (including 7Z, RAR, and ZIP / ZIPX) provides file-level encryption scheme.
That architecture choice means a single archive can be created to contain files encrypted with different passwords - ideally a different password for each file can be applied. Also, this allows a single archive to contain both encrypted and non encrypted content, chosing to apply or not to apply password in each creation / update operation.

open rar files with multiple passwords

Updating existing archives let user set (or omit) an arbitrary password at each instance, allowing to (potentially) protect each group of files with a different password.
PeaZip supports creating and updating encrypted files under following standards implementing file-level selective encryption:
  • 7Z with 7-Zip / p7zip AES256-based encryption
  • ARC with FreeArc AES256, Twofish256, Serpent256, and Blowfish algorithm
  • RAR as RAR4 with AES128, and as RAR5 with AES256
  • ZIP / ZIPX with WinZip AES256-based AE (Advanced Encryption), and ZipCrypto (legacy)
PEA format supports only archive-level encryption so allows / guarantee a single password being set when the archive is created - which may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the user's needs.

How to extract archives with multiple passwords

Extracting data from encrypted archives requires the correct password being provided to the decryption procedure, otherwise protected data will result unreadable and extraction procedure will fail.

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Consequently, when working with archives whose content is selectively protected by different passwords for different groups of files, it is needed to extract each group of archived file with its own password, in separate passes.

PeaZip supports, for extraction / decrypting, all the previously mentioned formats (read/write supported) plus following read-only supported archive types:
  • ACE with WinAce Blowfish-based encryption
  • RAR4 with AES-128 encryption, and RAR5 with AES-256 in CBC mode
  • ZIP withPKZip's AES encryption standard (format is fully supported, but encryption routine is read-only supported)
  • ZIPX with WinZip's AE, based on AES-256 (encryption routine is fully supported, but format is read-only supported)
Current revision of PEA specifications supports a single password for the entire archive, so archives with multiple passwords does not exists in PEA format.

An different case of multi-password archive is when one or more existing password-protected archives are added to a new password protected archive container, and (potentially) so on, so a different password is added at each archive creation / update iteration.
This may be preformed in order to have different passwords and/or different types of cryptography to be applied to protect the content at each layer, but comes at cost of requiring multiple archiving iterations to build such archive - and obviously to equally require multiple extraction iterations, until the actual plain-text content is reached.
Since iterations will be performed sequentially, there is no technical difficulty for any archiving utility to handle this case of double ot triple or multiple password layers, providing appropriate password at each serial archiving / extraction iteration step.





FAQ > Security > Files with multiple passwords

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