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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.



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 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


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

Live Commenting Helps Build Customer Loyalty & Brand Affinity

Live commenting is a real-time, interactive way for customers and followers to engage with a company or product.



live commenting can help build customer loyalty and brand affinity

“The secret to marketing success is no secret at all: word of mouth is all that matters.” So said entrepreneur and digital marketing guru Seth Godin, and we couldn’t agree more. The rise and rise again of social media has generated an unprecedented quantity of customer word of mouth about companies, their products, and the service received. Customers that used to engage in water-cooler talks with co-workers or backyard discussions with neighbors are now live commenting, reviewing, and rating companies like never before.

What was once a private conversation is now on full public display for other potential customers as well as leaders of companies, and that’s a good thing.

Live Commenting Is Good For Business

Live commenting is a real-time, interactive way for customers and followers to engage with a company or product. Customers can give their opinions, offer suggestions, and even ask questions.

This live interaction builds trust and rapport between the customer and the company. It also humanizes the company, making it seem more approachable and responsive.

All of this leads to increased customer loyalty and advocacy, which is the best kind of word of mouth marketing there is.

It’s Also Great For Customers

Live commenting offers customers a way to have their voices heard. It gives them a platform to share their positive experiences and, just as importantly, to give constructive criticism.

Live commenting also allows customers to connect with each other. Customers can ask each other questions, offer advice, and build relationships. This sense of community is one of the main reasons live commenting platforms like FastComments are becoming so sought after.

FastComments Makes The Process Fast & Easy

FastComments is a platform that easily lets you add live comments to any website, blog, or app in seconds.

Imagine the impact you can create when your community is interacting over shared experiences with your product in real-time on your website or application. Don’t worry, with FastComments you won’t face any problems with spam as all comments are vetted by a classifier that is continuously trained, meaning unverified comments are automatically removed.

If you’re looking for an innovative way to keep your members engaged, look no further than FastComments. With their live commenting feature, members can post comments in real-time – perfect for lively discussion and debate. What’s more, live commenting also works with private member-only communities. So, if you’re looking for a way to add an extra element of interaction to your community, FastComments is the perfect solution.

Once you try their free demo you will ask yourself how you ever lived without live comments!

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