The first compression algorithm I learned to use was RLE. Then I learned LZ77 and am currently using it in my program. However, it's rather slow and not that efficient. Check out a sample compression comparison of an actual file that my program would need to compress:
Original filesize: 15.2MB
My LZ77 algorithm:
Filesize: 4.5MB (29.49% compression)
Time: 9.24 seconds
Filesize: 905KB (5.79% compression)
Time: an instant
I could definitely use an improvement like that. What are my options?