A file is a collection of related data and information. There are different types of files that are used for various purposes. Files can be music files, databases, text documents, video clips, executable files etc. The size of the files denotes the amount of content stored in the file. The size is expressed in terms of bytes. One byte is equal to 8 bits where one bit can either be 0 or 1. The size of the file depends on the type of information stored in the file. At times, the size of the file gets very large. This will mean it will use much more memory and processing capabilities. This leads to the need for file compression.
File compression is the method by which the data in a file is encoded so that lesser information is used to store certain data. The compression is effective only if there is a receiver capable of decoding the information that has been encoded by the sender. There may be an overhead of compressing and decompressing of data compared to when there is no compression. The compression algorithm is the technique by which large files are converted into smaller files. The compression may be a lossy or a lossless compression. Lossless compression results in no data loss during compression and decompression. Though there is data consistency, lossless compression can compress data in files only to an extent. Lossy compression will give great levels of compression but will result in data losses.
File compression is particularly useful when large amounts of data are stored for future reference. The may be decompressed whenever it is needed. File compression is very helpful when sending files over the World Wide Web. This enables efficient use of bandwidth and time. File compression is used when sending data as an attachment in Email. There are softwares that compress a file and encode it into a smaller file. The file may be sent to receiver who uses the software to decompress the encoded file to get the original file back. File compression is very useful and better algorithms are developed to make the process more efficient.