Is Softonic Safe and Legal to Use In 2023? – Honest Review
Softonic is a popular website that millions of people use to download games, software, applications, movies, and more for free. The Spanish language site is located in California and attracts more than 100 million visitors each month.
In addition, the owners claim that the website offers more than 4 million downloads a day. You can easily find content for Windows 10, macOS Big Sur, Android, and iOS on Softonic.
What is Softonic?
Softonic is a Spanish website based in California, with the aim of providing free content, applications and games for online users. Softonic was founded in 1997 and is now used by millions of users around the world to download free software available on their website.
However, the content that is available on Softonic is free, but because it is open source, I have many concerns about security issues.
Why do Users Think Softonic is not Safe?
One thing that is clear about Softonic is that its use is completely legal and legitimate, since most of the content that is available on this online portal is mainly free and copyrighted third-party applications.
However, there are many cases where users find that Softonic adds malicious malware and infected applications into the software and applications available on their websites.
But most of the Softonic users reviewed the application with excellent feedback and some of them never saw any abnormal activity or their system performance decreases when they download something from it. However, these two side checks make the situation more difficult for us to get the answer as to whether Softonic is virus free.
For this reason, with my deep concern, I decided to explain some important pros and cons of Softonic that will help you decide if Softonic is safe to use or not.
Is Softonic Safe?
On its website, Softonic claims to be the safest software destination on the internet, offering a Clean and Safe guarantee to ensure a totally secure user experience.
During our Softonic review and extensive testing, we were pleased to find that the platform does not package software installers within custom containers configured to download additional software and display annoying advertisements. When an application was not available on Softonic’s servers, the site would immediately redirect us to its official download page.
When it comes to downloading paid software, Softonic offers you the option of purchasing a license from a trusted partner, which is sometimes the developer himself, and sometimes an outside company. We strongly recommend that you avoid giving your credit card information to third parties, as doing so presents too many security risks.
As long as you stick with free software and protect yourself by following the tips outlined in the next section of this article, you should be safe when downloading from Softonic.
How to safely download programs and games from Softonic?
As we now understand the site and how they place an ad that affects the user experience. Now if the user wants to download programs and games only from Softonic, he should take precautionary measures while doing so and know what he is clicking on.
Let’s understand more about this with an example of a VLC media player website below. When a user reaches the Softonic website, they will land on the home page or on a software (game specific program or page, in this example it is VLC, therefore the landing page will be https: // vlc-media -player.en). softonic.com/).
Now the VLC home page contains a lot of information grouped together (it seems that the site is running out of space to place banners or data).
Finding a download button for a user will be confusing. If you consider the screenshot above, it is visible that there are many “download now” options with the same color coding, which means that finding the actual button will be difficult. Therefore, it is always recommended to find the actual button by hovering your mouse over each button on the site when in doubt and looking for the URLs it points to before clicking on it.
After finding and clicking the right download button, Softonic can show another popup banner again before reaching the next page, as shown below; users can click “No thanks, continue to download VLC media player”.
On this page, the user should not press any button, as the download will start automatically; however, in case you don’t, it would not be a good idea to click the green “Free downloads for Windows”. Instead, the alternative VLC media player download option would be much easier to complete the download process.
In the early days of Softonic, they used to provide clean and easy browsing, but as we progressed they started adding more advertisements, pop-up banners, and malware-infected programs that started annoying users who just came to get an installation file. for a show or games. .
Let us know what you think about Softonic, consider “Softonic safe” and what other sites you prefer for downloads in the comments section below.
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Softonic Pros & Cons
- Large variety of software available on the site
- You can easily download any software in just a few steps.
- Best & reliable software to download open-source software or apps
- Don’t charge any fees or commission
- Allow you to purchase license versions of popular windows software and apps.
- Also has app reviews for user’s reference
- All the content available on the site are free from malware and viruses.
- Trusted by Google as a Legal Site
- Many software listed on the site doesn’t available in their updated version.
- Too many ads on the site distract users from downloading the relevant content.
- Softonic installer lets users install some potentially harmful software or adware, resulting in security threats and data loss.
- Its app or web permissions are not set correctly and might take control of the device.
Alternatives to Softonic
Here is the alternatives list to Softonic:
FileHippo: Offers a large library of free software downloads across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Reputable site established in 2004.
Uptodown: Android app store with over 4 million APKs available. It also offers PC software downloads reviewed by editors.
Malavida: Popular in Europe, this site offers apps screened for viruses and spyware and is mainly focused on Android apps.
MajorGeeks: Features a wide selection of freeware, shareware, and open-source software to download. Known for having trusted, safe files.
TechSpot Downloads: Repository focused on system utilities, security, and optimization tools for PC. All apps are hand-picked by their editors.
So after intensively reviewing its positives and negatives, we can say that Softonic is safe and legal to use if you take care of the aforementioned steps for safe downloading.
The site is half protected and half not, as your installer can cause various security threats if you don’t pay attention to the software that is installed on your system.
So before allowing any software, check all the details, backup, and be careful. For any other software related queries or updates, stay tuned for us or write to us in the comment sections!
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