CBFS Storage vs. ZIP

CBFS Storage is first of all a file system, a method for storing and organizing named blocks of information. ZIP is a file format for storing various data in compressed form.

Feature CBFS Storage Zip
Cross-platform support
Adaptive compression1 2
Encryption of individual files
Encryption of directory information 3
Strong symmetric encryption 4
PKI-based encryption 5
Resistance to storage corruption6
Modification and updates of data7
Alternate file streams
Custom attributes
Built-in search mechanisms
File name length Unlimited 65536 bytes
File name character set Unicode OEM/UTF88
File name case sensitivity Optional Sensitive
Large (over 4GB) file support 9
Symbolic links
Storage metadata

1. With adaptive compression you can choose a specific compression algorithm for each file, depending on its type. For example, you can use PPM compression for text files, RLE for bitmaps, and some LZ* compression for binary files. CBFS Storage supports different compression algorithms via callbacks.

2. ZIP offers a limited choice of compression algorithms, most of which have a limited scope of availability across platforms and ZIP implementations. Moreover, control over the choice of algorithms is in many cases absent.

3. Encryption of a central directory is defined in APPNOTE of PKWare Corporation. It is not implemented by most ZIP libraries and components.

4. Strong encryption (AES, etc.) support was introduced independently by PKWare and WinZIP. These two formats are not compatible with each other and many implementations support none.

5. In CBFS Storage, PKI-based encryption is implemented via callbacks. In ZIP, PKI-based encryption is a proprietary extension used by PKWare and not licensed or implemented by another library (some libraries, including SecureBlackbox, implement the decryption part).

6. In most cases, if some pieces of data are broken in the CBFS Storage container, only one or several files are affected. In the case of ZIP, if the central directory is damaged, the archive is completely lost.

7. In CBFS Storage you can add, delete, or modify the files inside without rewriting the complete storage. Deletion and modification of files in a ZIP file requires that the complete archive is rewritten.

8. Most implementations do not support UTF8.

9. Support for files larger than 4GB requires ZIP64 support, which is missing from many ZIP implementations.

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