Softonic Review – Is It Safe & Legal?

Softonic is a web portal based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, that offers software and app downloads, reviews, news, articles, and guides.

Softonic emphasizes the safety of its downloads, with automated processes and expert reviews to minimize the risk of infected files. Users are encouraged to report any issues with software through the site’s Report Software feature. The company claims to have a strong user base that trusts the safety of its downloads.

So, Softonic is relatively safe to download softwares.

In this review, we will delve deeply into the reality behind Softonic’s safety claims. Whether you’re a regular user or considering your first download, this review provides the insights you need to make an informed decision about Softonic’s safety.

Let’s start with the basics first.

About Softonic

Softonic is a web portal launched in 1997. The site is owned by Softonic International and is currently led by CEO Scott Arpajian.

On Softonic, you find a plethora of applications and software programs for mobile and desktop devices alike. Initially, Softonic was focused on providing downloads for DOS and Windows software, but it has expanded to include Mac and mobile platforms.

The platform is trusted by millions of users worldwide, with 60 million users a month downloading four million apps and software.

Softonic is available in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Indonesian, Italian, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Polish, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

While the website mainly features top and most popular software programs and apps, developers are also allowed to upload their apps and programs. The popularity of the download site makes it a favorite for new developers seeking publicity for their apps.

Before now, developers could upload their apps easily using the Softonic Developer Hub. However, following safety concerns – contributing to the safety of the platform being questioned – the developer hub was shut down.

Now, if you want to upload your software or app on Softonic, you have to contact the platform’s sales team. After submitting your app, it will be reviewed by Softonic’s editors to be sure it’s safe, free from virus, and genuine before it’ll be added to the catalog.

Related: Best GetIntoPC Alternatives

Is Softonic Safe To Use?

Softonic is a legitimate & safe website that offers a platform for discovering and downloading applications for various devices. It employs security measures such as scanning content with over 60 antivirus programs to ensure that the software and games available for download are safe from malicious content. 

Softonic also has a feature that allows users to report any software issues, which contributes to the safety of the platform.

However, despite these measures, there have been reports of adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) associated with Softonic. For example, Malwarebytes identifies “PUP.Optional.Softonic” as a generic detection name for the Softonic Downloader, which is an adware-supported bundler targeting Windows systems.

Additionally, some users have reported that their devices became infected with malware after downloading from Softonic.

While Softonic takes steps to ensure the safety of its downloads, it is not 100% secure, and there are risks involved. It is recommended to have reliable antivirus software installed and to exercise caution when downloading from third-party websites.

Users should also consider downloading software directly from official sites or well-known, legitimate sources whenever possible.

In summary, while Softonic is a legitimate & safe website with safety measures in place, it is not entirely risk-free. Users should remain vigilant and use additional security measures to protect their devices when downloading software from Softonic or similar platforms.

Is Softonic Legal?

Softonic is 100 percent legal to use. The website offers a platform for downloading software and apps, and the content provided is legal and legitimate.

However, while the platform itself is legal, the legality of specific software available for download can be more complex. Users are responsible for ensuring that their use of the software complies with all relevant laws, including copyright laws. This means that while Softonic provides the platform, it is up to the individual user to verify that the software they download and use is legal.

Also, while the site is legal, there have been concerns raised about the safety of some downloads. 

It’s also recommended to read user reviews before downloading files and to use custom installation options when available to control what components are installed on your system.

In summary, while Softonic is a legal platform, it is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the software they are downloading and using is legal and complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

Related: 5 Best Softonic Alternatives

What Can You Download From Softonic?

Softonic features almost every legitimate software and app. You can download Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, PWA, Web, and WordPress apps and programs from Softonic. By default, the Softonic homepage will feature apps for your operating system for quick download.

For example, if you visit the website using an Android phone, the homepage will feature a list of Android apps. If you visit the website using a Windows PC, the homepage will feature a list of Windows software programs.

In terms of functionality, the categories of apps on Softonic include:

Some of these categories also have subcategories. Other sections include Top Downloaded Apps, New Apps, Trending Apps, Latest Apps, Top New Apps, and Recently Updated Apps.

When you search using the catalog using the Search Button, you can sort the results according to license (Free/Paid) and platform.

How Does Softonic Work?

Programs and apps on the Softonic website are in two main categories – Apps and Games. Under the Apps section, the programs are categorized based on functionality. You can also sort the apps according to device type – Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android.

Softonic doesn’t require user registration; there’s no option to sign up. Simply visit the site, browse through the catalog or use the search bar to find any program or app you want to download. There is no paid subscription or purchase of any kind on Softonic.

If the app is free to download, you’ll find the Download Now button. If it’s not, you can either download the Trial Version or Buy. Selecting the Buy option will redirect you to the software owner site to purchase.

For example, Adobe Photoshop CC is a premium image editing software. When you click on Buy Now on the Softonic Page, you’ll be redirected to Adobe.com to choose any of the Adobe Creative Cloud Plans.

Hence, if you’re wondering if you pay money to Softonic to download programs and apps, the answer is NO.

The app features free and premium programs; you can download the free ones directly or be redirected to the program developer to purchase the premium ones. It’s unclear if Softonic gets commissions from program developers by referring users.

How to Download Softwares Safely From Softonic?

Softonic is safe to use but when it comes to downloading from the internet, there’s always a risk. The website is doing its part to ensure safety by scanning all apps and programs before adding them to its catalog.

As a user, you should also do your part. Here are some tips for downloading safely from Softonic:

1. Verify The Website Link

Phishing links is one of the most common internet threats at the moment. As mentioned earlier, Softonic is available in different languages – about 16 – and due to this, the website has different URL extensions.

The base URL, www.softonic.com, is available in Spanish as the website is based in Spain. The English version loads at en.softonic.com, the Arabic version loads at www.softonic-ar.com, the Chinese version loads at www.softonic.cn, and so on.

With all these different URLs, it’s easy to use the wrong URL thinking it’s a legit Softonic URL. Therefore, always confirm that the website you’re downloading from is indeed Softonic; don’t click on suspicious links.

2. Install An Antivirus

Image by rifkiedr via Pixabay

Softonic scans apps and programs with over 50 antiviruses. Similarly, you too should have an anti-virus app installed on your computer. The work of anti-virus is simply to prevent viruses and malware from infecting your device.

They stop these harms before they even get into your device. Hence, if you’re downloading any infection app or program from Softonic, a good antivirus will block it from the onset; they won’t even download.

An anti-virus will come in handy if you’re downloading from the wrong site. Also, after downloading an app from Softonic, it’s 100 percent your responsibility that it remains safe going forward; an anti-virus will help with that.

3. Install An Ad-block

Image by ayushprince1996 via Pixabay

On Softonic, you’ll find several ads as that’s one way the platform generates revenue. Softonic doesn’t display annoying ads but with web advertising, there’s always the risk of adware.

If you’re prioritizing safety and security, then you need to install an ad-block. The ad blocker may not completely block all ads on Softonic, but it’s sure to block malicious or distracting ads if there are any.

4. Prioritize Renowned Software Applications

Image by geralt via Pixabay

Downloading only apps from renowned developers is an ideal way to download safely with Softonic. This also applies to online downloading in general.

For example, if you want to download a web browser, go for renowned ones like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, etc. These are popular apps that users from all over the world trust so there’s very little risk of them being harmful.

Furthermore, popular apps will attract a lot of user reviews and ratings. You can go through these to know if an app or software program is safe for downloading.

Less popular apps not only have the risk of being harmful, but they could also be unauthorized and illegal. Softonic employs different mediums to ensure such apps are not on their catalog but, it’s also ideal that you’re vigilant.

5. Backup Your Files

Backing up files is a failsafe for using the internet. Whether you’re downloading apps from Softonic or anywhere else, do backup your files from time to time. That way, in the event of any virus or malware infection, you can always recover your files.

Bottom Line

To conclude, Softonic is safe & legal to use. The website scans all apps and programs in its catalog to ensure they’re free from any virus or malware. You have nothing to worry about if you download apps with a clean badge whilst avoiding those with warnings.

Furthermore, following the downloading tips will make your downloads even more secure and if you want, there are Softonic alternative websites you can use.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.