Do NOT trust WinZix and the .zix file format
I’ve learned something important today, and that is never to trust the .zix file format. It is a fake format developed by a bunch of scammers under the name “WinZix”. It claims to be a super-efficient compression utility, but functions as nothing more than a file container – it doesn’t compress files one bit. It instead, loads a large party of spyware and malware on your system.
They often create garbage files (mostly AVIs) and upload them to torrent trackers, with the files neatly packed in a .zix file. First off, look for the .zix format in the files and comments for the file you are about to download. Abort immediately if a .zix file is present. While there is still a chance of the file inside being valid, you’ll do better without it.
I’ve found UnZixWin to be the most helpful so far. Its latest version, 0.0.9 also allows you to open up version 2 files, so it’s the most up-to-date, in a way. There’s also a chance that the AVI file will be “encoded” in a special video format that only a player named 3wplayer can read. That player is filled with as much crap as WinZix. UnZixWin seems to do a good job of clearing up the AVI file as well.
Most importantly, avoid the format from the start. If you see anyone using it, tell them to stop it (unless it’s perpetrated by WinZix themselves – in such cases, it should be fairly obvious. Do not seed torrents with .zix files in them. You will be doing more harm to the community than good.