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Softonic Review: Is This Download Service Safe To Use?

We know a lot of you are concerned about malicious software, so in our Softonic review, we take you through everything that you need to know.

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softonic review is this download service safe to use

There are countless websites on the internet that offer free software applications, and Softonic is among the largest and oldest among them. But just because a website has been around for a long time and is used by millions of people every day doesn’t guarantee that it’s also safe to use. In our Softonic review, we’re taking a closer look at this download service to provide a definitive answer to everyone who is concerned about downloading malicious software.

What Is Softonic?

what is this download service

Before diving straight into the Softonic review, let’s briefly talk about the basics. The Softonic download service is a website that allows its users to download millions of software applications and games free of charge. It’s used by over 100 million users every month, making it one of the largest of its kind.

The website was launched in 1997 as a file-oriented download service called Shareware Intercom. Initially, it was owned and operated by a Spanish provider of internet services and selected as one of the best places to work in Spain.

In 2015, Softonic changed leadership when industry veteran and Download.com co-founder Scott Arpajian was appointed as its CEO. Today, the download service delivers more than 4 million software applications per day and has a revenue of between $25 and $50 million.

What Does Softonic Offer?

softonic download categories

Softonic offers a broad selection of software applications and games for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The available applications are subdivided into the following categories:

  • Browsers
  • Security & Privacy
  • Business & Productivity
  • Internet & Network
  • Multimedia
  • Development & IT
  • Education & Reference
  • Lifestyle
  • Personalization
  • Social & Communication
  • Travel & Navigation
  • Utilities & Tools

While all applications offered by Softonic can be downloaded for free, the applications themselves are not always free, depending on their license. Here are the most common license types that you may encounter on the website:

  • Free: You can use these applications for free without any restrictions.
  • Free (GPL – General Public License): You can not only use these applications for free, but you can also study their code, modify them, and distribute them.
  • Free With Ads: Ad-supported applications can be used for free, but they will display ads.
  • Trial Version: Applications of this kind can be used free of charge only for a limited amount of time.
  • Demo: These are limited versions of full applications that don’t provide access to all features.
  • Paid: Such software can be used only after purchasing a valid license.

In practice, this means that clicking the download button when attempting to download an open source software application like VLC results in the download of an installation file, while clicking the download button on, let’s say, the Microsoft Word page redirects you to Microsoft’s website, where you can purchase a license.

Why Do Some People Doubt Softonic?

why some people doubt softonic

Softonic has been offering software applications for more than two decades, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has both fans and critics. In fact, it doesn’t take much effort to find a whole host of negative reviews that accuse the website of distributing dangerous malware.

Just take a look at these examples:

  • This website is a virus farm which will completely destroy your computer and litter it with so many viruses and trojans. You will have to either get your whole computer fixed or get a new one. (Source)
  • Had so much trouble with Softonic before, installing stuff on my PC without permission, malware and takes forever to figure out how to get it off. Takes over your browser, and always leaves some unknown process running in task manager. (Source)
  • I downloaded a software here and got a virus. Contacted them on twitter, they said everything was checked by over 30 antiviruses. I Trusted them, they lied. (Source)

Reviews like these are not to be taken lightly because a single malware infection can cost you hours and hours of valuable time, not to mention your data. That’s why it’s important to investigate whether they’re based on facts or fiction.

Is Softonic Safe?

On its website, Softonic claims to be the safest software destination on the internet, offering Clean and Safe guarantee to ensure a totally safe user experience.

During our Softonic review and thorough testing, we were pleased to discover that the platform doesn’t package software installers inside custom wrappers configured to download additional software and display annoying ads. When an application wasn’t available on Softonic’s servers, the site promptly redirected us to its official download page.

download softonic software

When it comes to downloading paid software, Softonic gives you the option to purchase a license from a trusted partner, which is sometimes the developer itself and sometimes a third-party company. We highly recommend you avoid giving your credit card information to third parties since doing so introduces too many security risks.

As long as you stick to free software and protect yourself by following the tips described in the next section of this article, you should be safe when downloading from Softonic.

How To Stay Protected When Downloading From Softonic?

The dangers you face when downloading software from Softonic are not much different than the dangers you face when downloading any files from the internet, which means that you can effectively protect yourself by keeping in mind the following tips for safe downloading:

  • Use an antivirus: You can’t see inside installation files, but an antivirus can so make sure to always have one running on your computer.
  • Install an ad-block: Like most websites today, Softonic displays ads to make money. Since the ads are selected algorithmically, they may not always be legitimate, so proactively blocking them by installing an ad-block is the safe thing to do.
  • Avoid questionable software: Softonic isn’t responsible for the quality of the applications it offers, so you need to use common sense and avoid those with an overwhelming number of negative reviews.
  • Don’t download what you don’t need: We understand that software applications can be extremely interesting to explore, but you should try to resist the urge to download everything you see.
  • Back up your data: You should always be ready for the worst-case scenario by keeping your data safely backed up on an external storage device or in the cloud.

Also Read: Fresha Review – The Best Salon & Spa Management Software

Conclusion

Just like all download services that offer large quantities of software, Softonic contains both legitimate applications as well as applications that should be avoided. The site itself, however, can be trusted because it doesn’t distribute malware and actively tries to make its users safe. If you found this Softonic review helpful, do let us know in the comments below!

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Website Reviews

Help Scout Review: The Only Help Desk Software You’ll Ever Need

If you’re looking for a help desk software that’s easy to use, feature-packed, plays well with other third-party applications, and is easy on the pocket, Help Scout is an excellent option to consider.

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help scout review the only help desk software you'll ever need

Customer service matters. It’s estimated that 90 percent of consumers use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

Despite the tremendous importance of immediately and accurately responding to customer service questions, many businesses have not taken any steps to improve the quality of their customer service.

Why not? Often it’s because they’re not aware of the existence of powerful yet easy-to-implement help desk software solutions like Help Scout.

If you’re among them — or if you want to compare Help Scout with other similar help desk software solutions, such as Zendesk or Freshdesk — then this in-depth review is just what you need to make an informed decision.

What Is Help Scout?

Help Scout is a help desk software solution designed to manage all your customer conversations in one powerful platform that feels just like your inbox.

It launched in April of 2011, and it has since been used by over 12,000 customer-facing teams in more than 140 countries, including everyone from small businesses to high-growth startups and non-profits.

As a company, Help Scout embraces a remote-first company culture to hire the best talent the world has to offer. Its employees are based in 80+ different cities worldwide, and they enjoy flexibility and work-life harmony.

The diverse nature of the Help Scout team has allowed the company to build a help desk software solution capable of meeting the needs of businesses from around the world, giving them a better way to talk with their own customers.

Help Scout Platform Overview

Most businesses with an online presence that have yet to implement a dedicated help desk software solution provide customer service primarily via email.

Typically, they set up a dedicated customer support email address and give all customer support employees access to the associated inbox so they can respond to questions directly from their email client of choice.

The email-based approach to customer service works reasonably well when the number of questions sent by customers is very small, but it can quickly turn into a disorganized nightmare. When that happens, customer service satisfaction metrics take a nosedive, and some customers may decide to leave for competitors.

Help Scout provides an elegant solution in the form of its email-based customer service platform. As a user, you can configure all support messages to be automatically forwarded to the Help Scout platform, which provides a single point of communication with a wealth of customer service features that no regular email client offers.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these features to illustrate how Help Scout can elevate your customer service to the next level.

Shared Inbox

help scout help desk software - shared inbox

At the heart of Help Scout is its shared inbox, whose main purpose is to make it possible for multiple customer service employees to collaborate with ease.

Received messages can be assigned to individual team members based on their experience and areas of expertise, and they can be sorted by priority to ensure that the most urgent messages are dealt with first.

Private Notes

private notes

The users of the Help Scout platform can communicate internally directly within the platform itself using private notes. Such notes are not visible to customers, but they are displayed right next to messages in a convenient chronological view.

Individual notes can be assigned to specific team members, and you can even change their status to separate relevant notes from those that can be safely ignored.

Tagging

tagging

Just like most modern email clients, Help Scout has a flexible internal tagging system that can be used to organize customer support tickets by separating them into different categories, such as pre-sales, bugs, and returns.

All tickets that have been assigned a certain tag can be filtered out using the powerful search feature, which can also filter tickets based on their status, type, subject, time of creation, and more.

Saved Replies

help scout help desk software - saved replies

Anyone who has extensive experience with customer support knows that some questions are asked over and over again. Instead of always writing a reply to each such question from scratch, Help Scout lets you use smart templates to reply with a few clicks.

What’s great about saved replies in Help Scout is that they can include variables, such as the recipient’s name, that are automatically filled in with the relevant information when used.

Automatic Workflows

help scout help desk software - automatic workflows

Helps Scout has powerful workflow automation capabilities that can be used to automate all sorts of repetitive tasks, from internal tracking and organization to sending automatic replies or notifications.

Automatic workflows in Help Scout can have AND and OR conditions, and it’s possible to combine them together. When you create a workflow, you can retroactively apply it to existing tickets to keep your entire inbox equally well organized.

Knowledge Base

knowledge base

One way to greatly reduce the number of customer support messages you have to deal with is to create a knowledge base, and Help Scout makes this easy.

It takes just a few simple steps to create an elegant knowledge base that works on any device and has an auto-generated sitemap and configurable SEO options to please search engines like Google and Bing.

Multiple knowledge base templates are available, and each of them is fully customizable using CSS. Help Scout knowledge bases can also be used for internal purposes, as private knowledge repositories accessible only to select users.

Reporting

reporting

Thanks to Help Scout’s extensive reporting, you can evaluate how many tickets you get by channel, busiest hours, and trending topics. You can also see which knowledge base content gets the most views or who on your team is talking with customers the most.

All gathered data can be exported to CSV/XLS or extracted directly using the provided API endpoints for additional analysis using third-party software tools.

Customer Management

customer management

Customers love it when they feel a personal touch when receiving customer support, and the customer management module of the Help Scout platform has you covered in this regard.

With its help, you can see customer data, previous conversations, and app activity right next to every support request. Empowered with a wealth of useful information about each customer, you can send better replies in less time.

Beacons

beacons

Beacons in Help Scout are small pop-up windows that put help content front and center to keep your customers on track. A Beacon can provide an easy way to send an email message or start a live chat, but it can also display help content in a self-service fashion.

Besides providing help when it’s needed the most, Beacons can be used to promote newly launched products, special discounts, or seasonal sales, among other things.

Help Scout Integrations

A help desk solution like Help Scout isn’t the only software businesses need to thrive in the increasingly competitive and sophisticated world of business.

Fortunately, Help Scout supports many third-party integrations, making it easy to integrate it into your existing workflow. Here are some popular tools Help Scout easily integrates with:

  • Slack: A team communication and collaboration app.
  • Freshbooks: Accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Mailchimp: A marketing automation platform and email marketing service.
  • Shopify: An e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.
  • CircleLoop: A cloud-based business phone system.
  • Olark: Live chat software for sales and customer support.
  • Capsule: A customer relationship management SaaS web application and mobile app.
  • Pipedrive: A sales customer relationship management tool.
  • WooCommerce: An open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress.

For example, you can configure Help Scout to automatically send a notification to your Slack channel when a new customer support message arrives, or you can pull customer information from WooCommerce and use it to write more informed responses.

But what if there’s no official third-party integration for a tool you strongly depend on? In that case, you can take advantage of Help Scout’s API and build anything you want.

Help Scout Pricing

Despite being so powerful, Help Scout is reasonably priced, and you can choose from three different pricing plans depending on your needs and size:

Standard: Plus: Pro:
$20 per user per month when paid annually $40 per user per month when paid annually $65 per user per month when paid annually

The Standard plan includes 2 mailboxes, 1 Docs site, up to 25 users, live chat, in-app messaging, the Beacon help widget, custom reports, automated workflows, customer properties, and third-party integrations.

The Plus plan includes everything the Standard plan does plus 3 additional mailboxes, 1 extra Docs site, no maximum user limit, 25 light users, custom fields, teams, advanced permissions, unlimited reporting history, advanced API access, Salesforce, Jira, HubSpot apps, HIPAA compliance, and enterprise security.

Finally, the Pro plan includes everything the Plus plan does plus tiered discounts, API rate limit increase, concierge onboarding service, and a dedicated account manager. Those who go with the Pro plan can create up to 25 mailboxes, 10 Docs sites, and 50 light users.

Non-profits and startups can apply for special discounted plans to save money. For example, non-profits that advocate for human rights, environmental sustainability, and underrepresentation in tech can get a discount of up to 100 percent.

Conclusion

With its emphasis on usability and a rich collection of powerful features, Help Scout gives businesses of all sizes everything they need to provide their customers with the customer service experience they demand and deserve.

Yes, there are even more advanced alternatives available, such as Zendesk, but the extra capabilities they offer, including Service Level Agreement (SLA) management, are not something many businesses are willing to spend a lot of extra money on.

If Help Scout seems like the right solution for you, then you should try the free version to see how it works in practice. You can also request Help Scout to give you a live 1:1 demo and answer any questions you might have about the help desktop software platform.

4.8 Reviewer
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros
• Easy to use.
• Feature-packed.
• Useful third-party integrations.
• Affordably priced.
• Free version available.
Cons
• No SLA management capabilities.
Ease Of Use5
Variety Of Features4
Integration Capabilities5
Pricing5

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