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I'll assume we're talking about File & Folder backups here rather than image backups. Yes, you need Reflect installed to mount File & Folder backups (and image backups, for that matter). If it hasn't been installed when you need to access data, then install it. I'm not sure what scenario you're picturing where you have Windows installed and need some data out of your backups but can't yet install Reflect. One thing you could do for convenience is save a Reflect installer EXE in the folder that contains your backups, though.
As for compression, you can disable that, but your source data will still be rolled into a single file; it will just be larger. That design is necessary for some of Reflect's most fundamental operations to work, such as Differential and Incremental backups. The Explorer copy scenario you're talking about is simple file replication. That certainly has its uses, but maintaining backups is not one of them. Simple file replication makes it rather difficult to maintain historical versions of your data, at least in a way that would make it easy to restore to the time of a specific backup later. Normal copy operations simply overwrite the existing data with newer versions, which doesn't retain previous versions at all. The other options would be moving updated/deleted files to some subfolder, which gets messy if you ever want to restore all of your data to a specific point in time, or else running each backup job to a different target folder, which makes restores easy but will also produce a lot of redundant data copies.
If file replication is what you want, there are already a lot of excellent tools out there for that purpose. I personally use Allway Sync because it is very powerful and flexible if you take the time to look through the options you can configure. It's free if your average usage over a 30-day period doesn't exceed what they consider personal use, but even the unlimited Pro version is pretty inexpensive. Or depending on your needs, you could even potentially use something as simple as Robocopy, which is built into Windows. But file replication and backups are not the same thing. They each have their uses, and there are excellent tools on the market for each. Reflect is a tool for backups, not file replication, so I would not expect to see file replication functionality added. It would prevent most of Reflect's existing features from being used, which would mean completely redesigning the interface to offer a different set of options, and chances are it would confuse users. And given the quality of some of the file replication applications out there, I personally don't see the point. It's important to pick the right tool for the job, and I generally find that when an application tries to do too many different things, it stops doing any of them particularly well.
Lastly, a few notes about restoring File & Folder backups. First, you don't have to mount them in order to restore data from them; there's a Restore wizard that can be started from Reflect. And second, you actually have to use that wizard if you're restoring files larger than 4GB, because files larger than 4GB don't restore properly if you mount an F&F backup and use Explorer to copy them back. The reason is that F&F backups emulate a FAT32 file system when mounted, and FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4GB, so files larger than that get broken up into multiple chunks when mounted. Macrium has said they're looking into working around this limitation, but for now it exists. Image backups do not have this issue.