While using your Android device, there is hardly ever a situation where you need to look beyond the Google Play Store for your app needs. In the rare case that the Play Store doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can always turn to third-party stores to find the desired APK. However, this can be a risky affair as it can lead to harmful malware coming along with the download. While, Google utilizes Play Protect to keep the security in its Play Store airtight, not every third-party store can say the same. Today, we bring you the 8 best websites for safe and secure android APK downloads.
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Perhaps the biggest and the most popular third-party app store for Android apps, APK Mirror is the go-to website for all APK needs. APK mirror verifies all uploads prior to publishing. It uses cryptographic signatures to identify verified developers and restricts any duplicates. For newer apps, it tries to match the signature to other existing apps by the same developer.
When the match is successful, the app is green-lit. In case the signature doesn’t match, APK mirror looks for the same app in other stores and compares it to the upload on their site. If it cannot obtain a match, it contacts the developers. APK Mirror does not publish any APKs prior to verification.
Like APK Mirror, APKPure also employs cryptographic signatures to check the validity of the app it hosts. On top of that, it also utilizes the SHA certificate to ensure no harmful APKs are published on its website.
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One of the largest APK hosting websites, Aptoide was founded in 2011 and currently holds 1 million apps in its catalogue with over 300 million users worldwide. Aptoide claims to hold one of the best malware detection systems among its contemporaries. It was rated the safest third-party app store according to a study by Waseda University in Japan.
Aptoide uses a collection of tools to recognise malware within the apps hosted in its store. Following that, the apps also go through a manual scan by Aptoide’s ‘Quality Team’.
F-droid is a free and open-source app repository, a great alternative to the Google Play Store. Unlike the Google Play Store, you do not need to sign in using an account to download from F-droid.
All APKs hosted on F-droid are verified against their public logs of observed SHA-256 checksums. On F-droid you can find a wide array of open-source apps that aren’t available on the Google Play Store.
APKMonk offers an exhaustive collection of apps and games on its website. It performs regular malware checks and weeds out any problematic apps. You can also find multiple previous versions of an app on APKMonk. The metadata of these apps is sourced directly from the Google Play Store and links back to the original listing of the app.
APKHere provides access to a plethora of apps from across the world that aren’t published on the Google Play Store. You can find tons of apps in several different languages on this website, which you wouldn’t be able to download from the Google Play Store due to a region lock.
Based out of Romania, Softpedia is a comprehensive encyclopedia for all things tech. The website provides a ton of apps and software not only for Android, but also for Windows, Linux, and Mac. On top of that, the website also has a news and review section, to cover all your tech queries.
APK Downloader (www.apk-dl.com)
As the name suggests, APK Downloader provides you with all the latest apps on offer. The APKs are shared from Google Play Store, which leaves little room for questionable malware. The website design is minimal and easy to navigate, making it one of the more user-friendly APK download websites out there.
Even though the websites listed above are as safe as they come, it is still advised to observe caution when downloading items from third-party stores. There are a variety of malware detection tools present on the Play Store which will help you in avoiding problematic downloads to your smartphone.
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