Softonic Safe and Legal to Use?
If you have the habit of downloading software files for your computer from the internet you should have definitely come across the Windows software download provider Softonic.
Since it deals with the download of software then the question naturally will pop up in your mind. Is this Softonic website safe and legal to use? Will it cause any problem to my computer if I download any software from the website? Let’s get into the details.
Softonic – What is it and who is it?
Softonic is a windows software download provider site where you can download all the useful software for the Windows operating system. You can either download the free software or you can also purchase a paid software there.
This website is very useful since you can browse and download any number of files from Softonic. Once you start browsing the website you can see a lot of software that might be free and useful for you at the same time.
This company Softonic was started in Spain during the year 1997. This site was started by the internet service provider Grupo intercom. The age-old company provides you with good quality software that is safe to install and use.
But there is a controversy with the Softonic company on how it makes the money. Nearly 4 million downloads are happening every day from this website.
The whole revenue of the company is somewhere between $20 million dollars to $60 million dollars per year.
The user can download many software and games for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. All the software and games are available for free to download. The user will not have to pay a single penny to download any content available on Softonic.com.
If we talk about Windows, there are almost all category apps such as Browsers, Security and Privacy, Business and Productivity, Internet and Network, Multimedia, Development and IT, Education and Reference, Lifestyle, Personalization, Social and Communication, Travel and Navigation, and Utilities and Tools.
Softonic.com offers malware and virus free content. Softonic.com contains app news and reviews. So, the user can read the reviews of the particular app before downloading.
Software categories by Softonic:
Windows OS grew leaps and bounds by the software that can be installed in them. Windows OS gave the users an opportunity to create software for them and then the software flooded like anything and millions and millions of software are available on the internet as of now.
Multiple categories of software are available on the Softonic website to download for free. The best of these things is that all the software is regularly updated to their latest version.
Some of the most popular software categories are listed here.
- Anti-Virus Software (Security)
- Browser Applications
- Business and Productivity
- Multimedia Softwares
- IT and development
- Social Media Applications
The above six are the most popular categories of Softonic which see a lot of downloads every day. Most of the software is free to use and it won’t cost you a dime. Some of the software might be just a trial version.
You can download the trial version and use it for a specific period of time. If you like the trial version then you can download the paid version and use it.
Some software is free to use but there will be ads on them which helps the developers to maintain the software and make updates.
Some software will let you use a demo version of the application. Also, there are paid applications available. You can make a purchase and buy the application from Softonic itself.
Open-source software can be downloaded directly from the Softonic website but the paid versions of the software will direct you to the companies page where you can buy the license and use the software.
Is Softonic really safe?
Softonic is a very old website that is absolutely legit and safe. But still, people complain about the way they think Softonic stole their personal data and it’s not safe. All of this is because of Softonic’s revenue model. Let me explain to you how.
Since Softonic lets you download the open-source software and other demo software for free, it won’t be earning any amount since all the downloads are free and there is no subscription system.
The monetization method they use to earn money is to install extra software during the installation of the software you download.
Basically, they cover the installation software with another installer which will ask you to install a few other software which might include browser extensions and other adware also.
Here’s the problem. Users always don’t know what is being installed along with the software they wish to install. That might be adware or malware that could steal the user information.
If such threats are installed and stole the information then people generally think that the Softonic is unsafe and prefers not to use it.
Softonic website is genuine and will not install any kind of malware in your computer but not the applications that install with the Softonic installer.
Few people still believe that Softonic itself is responsible for the viruses and trojans that are installed in their system by the Softonic installer.
One user says that this Softonic installer has installed viruses and trojans in my computer and has literally destroyed the computer.
You have to be careful with these Softonic installers. Because they will cost you a lot. You will lose your,
- Valuable time in cleaning the virus from your system.
- Scanning and deleting all the adware that installed without your permission.
- Uninstalling the software that you don’t even want to be installed in your computer.
My advice is that using the Softonic is not a problem. But using them as a default installer will be a problem.
Precautions to take while installing from Softonic:
Here are some precautionary measures that you need to do before installing software from Softonic. If not, be prepared to be infected with some adware and malware.
Note: I highly recommend you install the software using the direct download option. Uncheck the box where it says Download using Softonic downloader. Do direct download.
- Make sure you are not installing it using the Softonic downloader. Uncheck all the boxes where it asks for additional installs.
- Scan the downloads with updated anti-virus software. Softonic also uses advertisements to earn money. There will be too many ads on the website. To install a proper ad-blocker so that you are not getting distracted by the ads.
- This step is optional but I suggest you do this. Take a backup of all your important files at least once in 15 days. Since your work involves files and installing software, one bad installation of a virus might cause heavy damage to your files.
- So it is recommended to take backup of all your files now and then and store it in a separate hard disk away unconnected to the production system.
Negative aspects of the Softonic:
Of course, Softonic has a lot of advantages as the biggest software download provider. But it also has some disadvantages along with it.
- Most of the software are at their latest versions but much important software is not updated and you are provided with the oldest version. You can download the latest version on the software’s official site.
- Too many ads are not pleasing. Softonic doesn’t have any subscription-based model so they have to earn only using the ads. Thus they have started placing too many ads and they have really started ruining their user experience.
- Softonic installer is really annoying since it is always trying to install some adware on our system. It is also trying to install the malware in the browser.
The Softonic website is really safe to use and they are genuine download providers. But still, they use the installer to help you in the installation process and also installs spyware. So make sure to select the direct download option and download the software directly. So that this site is safe to use.