cPanel's backup compression method

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http://forums.cpanel.net – I noticed that when cPanel does a full backup using tar compression, I'm able to open/view the archive without extracting it (in Windows). However, when I compress a directory myself using tar -cvf, it forces me to extract the contents before viewing it. What command(s) is cPanel using to create/compress the directories into a tar? I apologize if this is basic Linux/cPanel knowledge. (HowTos)