Softonic is a highly popular website known to offer loads of freeware. Every Window user may have seen or visited it at least once in his life. But, a lot of people also doubt it to distribute malware. So, we are here to discuss the frequently asked question- “Is Softonic Safe?”
If you are wondering about the legitimacy of the software distribution website, this detailed review is specifically written for you. Here, we’ll take a brief look if Softonic is safe, legit, and genuine to use. Or, if it is harmful.
What is Softonic?
The biggest advantage of using Windows is that you have free software available for almost everything. You can find these free software on websites like Softonic, CNET, and many more. A quick google search would lead you to them. Softonic is a California based Spanish organization having an aim to provide free software to the users. It was founded in 1997 and has been active since then.
It is now used by millions of users and has thousands of software and apps available. Whenever you go looking to download any free software online, you’d meet Softonic. It has become huge in 2020. Consequently, a lot of users are concerned about their genuineness. Let’s find out if they are or they aren’t.
Why do people doubt Softonic?
Softonic is a popular and free website to download freeware. Most of the content available on the portal is copyright-free and third-party apps. But, it is a human instinct to doubt things that are too good. The same is the case with Softonic. It provides everything for free and never asks for money. So, it is essential to consider that if they are legit or not.
Along with this, there have been reports from users on the internet that their computers have started having issues after they installed a program from Softonic. Some users have also reported that the website provides malicious software, spyware, and other threats along with their download.
So, we are going to find out if this is really happening or a hoax.
Is Softonic Safe?
The shortest answer to this question is Yes, it is partially safe but not completely. To find out if the website is safe or not, we checked it through a number of safety tools and tried to download several programs from it. We are going to share our findings below.
1. Google Transparency Report of Softonic
Google Transparency Report is a part of Google’s safe browsing experience. By using it, you can know about the safety of any website on the internet. We tried it to know if Softonic is safe or not. After scanning for around a couple of minutes, Google reported Softonic as safe.
It reported no issues whatsoever. But, it also suggested that sites like Softonic that have so much content cannot be provided a sure safety status. So, it is recommended that you always check the content you download from them before using it.
2. Web of Trust (WoT) Rating
Web of Trust (WoT) is the next safety measure that we used to test Softonic. It is a browser extension that helps you to recognize if a website is authentic, reliable, or secure. WoT also provided a positive rating to Softonic. It reported the trustworthiness score of 85 and a child safety score of 86.
It displayed no concerns that you should have while browsing through Softonic. But, WoT provided no rating about the safety of the website for our computers.
3. Softonic Trustpilot Reviews
Trustpilot.com is a well-known website that has honest user reviews of popular websites, apps, and programs. We visited Trustpilot and check the reviews for Softonic. Here, we were shocked by the results. The users have rated Softonic as ‘Bad’ and rated it 1.4 stars in the overall rating.
After going through the reviews, we realized that the problems they were facing with Softonic were the uninformed installation of malware, spyware, adware, and other installers. Also, a lot of users faced issues while uninstalling the programs from Softonic.
Our Personal Softonic Experience
We have previously installed software and apps from Softonic but haven’t faced any issues. We downloaded multiple programs from the website to test if they are safe or contain any malicious component. After downloading and testing 15 samples with Norton Antivirus, there were slightly harmful traits like adware, installers, and spyware present in 4 of them.
We did a bit more research and have found out that software available on their site is bundled with ads or a modified (monetized) setup/installer version. So, it helps them to pay the bills. But, at the same time, people are unaware of that kind of practice
Conclusion: Is Softonic Safe?
Softonic is partially safe and partially not. Some content available on their website contains malicious components that may harm your computer or may frustrate you at least. So, if you are using it, it is advisable that you test everything with a reliable antivirus before using it.
Apart from that, everything is fine with the website. There are no major issues with it.
Is Softonic Legit?
Yes, Softonic is a legit free software distribution website. They have a legit URL with domain registration of 28 January 2000. No fake website can last for that long. They have already been available for 21 years and continue to provide services without any issues.
The website poses no threats when you browse it. Safety tools also report it as safe to visit. The data transferred over the website is through a secure connection. Hence, it is a legit website.
Should you use it?
Yes, you can use it to download free software and apps. Or, to know about any software. But, I would recommend that you should check any content that you download from them with a trusted antivirus before installing it. Also, you should download software from the developer’s website instead of the third-party ones.
This will help you to stay safe and will also help the developer to get his share of fruits. The content available on third-party websites is not guaranteed to be fully secure.
Softonic is a popular free software distribution website. The availability of lots of free software and the user reviews on the internet make the users concerned about the safety of the website. Now you know that it is partially safe and partially not. You can also share your reviews about Softonic with us in the comments.
That’s all for this post. I hope you find it helpful.