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Safe software download sites – Beware of deceptive download links & PUPs


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Over a period of time, something somewhere changed. Reputed download sites started getting a lot of traffic. Search Engines rank these sites well, so many visit them to download software. People trusted them. Then came a day when such sites decided to encash that trust – and betrayed their users! It was all about money!


This article is a good read for...well, everyone I would say.  :D




So we then come to the question – which are the safe software download sites. Well today, if I have to download freeware, I usually prefer to download it from the developers website. This ensures that I get the latest version too.

But if I have to visit a download sites, I prefer and trust the following:  









I am sure that there maybe a few more clean download sites. If you know of any other safe software download sites, please do share them with us in the comments, for the benefit of others. I am open to updating this list of safe software download sites.

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  • ESET Insiders

I'm a Majorgeeks and Filehippo user & I'm yet to have a single issue on either website. My ISP offers a DL mirror on the MajorGeeks website :)

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Has anyone used Softonic.com? 

Hello Stubby & welcome.


Personally No i've seen too many bad stories about it, but some users that have come here to the forum afterwards saying that ESET detected something or prevented them from downloading what they wanted to download  :P And I have no reason to use it when there are many other sites I can go to.


They have some software that I would like but I haven't downloaded it due to my paranoia of malware.


Have you search on other downloadsites to see if that software is hosted elsewhere, where the risk of PUA's is lower?

Edited by SweX
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Softsonic for sure has some PUA's ;)

Yes Indeed. :(  Some users reading the thread may wonder what a PUA is so I thought i'll add this from the VirusRadar glossary...


PUA  Grayware (or PUA - a Potentially Unwanted Application) is a broad category of software, whose intent is not as unequivocally malicious as with other types of malware, such as viruses or trojan horses. It may however install additional unwanted software, change the behavior of the digital device, or perform activities not approved or expected by the user. Categories that may be considered grayware include: adware, spyware, various browser toolbars, rogue software, bundleware, trackware, or any other borderline software, or software that uses illicit or at least unethical business practices (despite appearing legitimate) and might be deemed undesirable by an end user who became aware of what the software would do if allowed to install.


A Possibly Unsafe Application is one that is in itself legitimate (possibly commercial) software but which might be misused by an attacker. Detection of these types of application can be enabled or disabled by users of ESET software.

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