An essential tool for computer users. It is a method of making data smaller so that more of it can be transmitted in less time. Compression takes place via one of several compression standards, including JPG, MPEG, GIF, TIF, and ZIP. Files that contain more sophisticated data, such as audio, video, JAVA, VRML, Shockwave, and other multimedia, are usually compressed quite thoroughly before being made accessible over the Internet. Many shareware or freeware programs found on the Internet come compressed in one of many different formats, such as .ZIP, .HQX, .BIN, or in a self-extracting .EXE format. Programs such as StuffIt and WinZip are available to make the decompression of a compressed file easy and fast. Data compression is an important concern for netcentric businesses: Exponential growth in the volume of data that companies (and individuals) must manage, the increased need for conserving local and network storage space, and the increased need to conserve system bandwidth continue to "drive demand" (or create a need) for data compression tools.