The 7 best sites for secure Android APK downloads
The Google Play Store is the most secure site to download Android apps. But he is not the only one. There are other sites with applications for your Android devices. Check out the best secure APK download sites.
Sometimes an Android app you want to install may not be available in the Google Play Store. This can happen for a number of reasons: it may be geographically blocked, it may contain adult content, or it may have been removed by the developer.
But even when an app is not available through the regular Google Play Store channel, you still have ways to install it on your device. You need to download a copy of the application as an APK file before you can upload it.
Many sites specialize in offering APK files for download. Some are good, others are scary, so keep reading if you want to discover the best sites for secure APK downloads.
The Importance of Choosing a Secure APK Website
An APK file (short for Android Package Kit) is the primary way to distribute and install Android applications. When you download an app from Google Play, you download and run an APK file in the background, but you do not have access to the APK itself.
Because APK files install applications on your system, they can pose a serious security threat. A person with malicious intent can modify the APK before installing it and then use it as a digital Trojan horse to install and run malware.
Therefore, you need to ensure that the site you are downloading is trustworthy. It should thoroughly check all the APKs available for download and have a history of security and reliability.
APKMirror is probably the best site for downloading APK files for Android.
The site is owned and operated by the same team that is responsible for the widely read Android news site, Android Police, which assures you that you are in safe hands.
In terms of security, APKMirror implements some strong policies:
a. Staff verify all APKs uploaded to the site before they are published.
b. The site matches the cryptographic signatures for newer versions of applications with previous versions (to ensure that they were signed by the actual developers).
c. Brand new applications are matched with other applications by the same developer to verify their legitimacy.
The bottom line is that if APKMirror cannot verify the validity of an APK file, it will not publish the file. Because of this, you will not find pirated applications or paid applications on the modeded APK website.
For each application, you can view older versions, information drawn from Google Play, and access a list of related applications. If an application you install from APKMirror receives an update from Google Play after it is installed on your device, it will automatically upgrade to the latest version.
APKMirror's biggest and main competitor is undoubtedly APKPure. The two sites started at the same time. Like APKMirror, the site adheres to strict security practices to ensure that all APKs you download are secure and virus-free.
So how safe is APKPure? The site verifies the legitimacy of all applications prior to publication using SHA1 to ensure that the certificate is valid. Cryptographic signatures for newer versions of applications must match previous versions, and completely new applications must be matched with other software from the same developer.
Once again, if APKPure has any doubts about the security or origin of an application, the company will not publish it on the site. There are no modded APKs in APKPure. In terms of site usability, APKPure captures screenshots, application descriptions, and general metadata directly from Google.
There is also a list of previous versions of applications in case you want to go back to an older version (either due to features or errors).
APKPure also has an Android application, similar to the Google Play Store. If you download the app and install it, it will replace Google Play.
We really like APKMirror and APKPure. In fact, you should not go to a different site with these two. But because things are changing we will quickly show you some other options.
The first is APK Downloader. All APKs are downloaded from the Google Play Store, so you can be sure of their security. As with the other sites on this list, there is also plenty of metadata, which means you can avoid Google Play altogether if you wish.
Aptoide is another giant of the APK world. It has more than 200 million users and is responsible for six billion downloads. Like APKPure, the site offers an Android application that lets you access the store and download APK files directly from your Android device.
The company was also one of the first to adopt blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The site badge - called AppCoins - allows developers to increase their revenue share, among other uses.
Why isn't Aptoide closer to the top of this list? In short, because it allows users to manage their own stores and thus leave modded APKs on the platform. They are well signed, but if you are not careful, you may accidentally download something scary.
The Yalp Store is a little different from the other apps. There is no web version and instead you need to install the app from F-Droid, which is one of the best alternatives on Google Play.
Once the Yalp Store app is installed on your Android device, you can use it to download the APK directly from the Google Play Store. This means that you do not have to worry about intermediaries inserting malware into your APK files before you obtain them.
If you have rooted your device, the Yalp Store can even update applications in the background without having to bother. Best of all, you do not need a Google Account to download APKs from Google Play. It will please many people who are wary of Google's privacy practices.
APKMonk is another popular APK download site. The site has a strong emphasis on gaming applications, with currently popular games at the heart of the site's home page.
We believe that APKMonk is safe to use. When you click on an entry, you will see all previous versions of the application, metadata taken from the Google Play Store, application images and links from the original listing in the store. The site performs its own malware checks before allowing an application on its platform.
APKHere is the best APK site for foreign language APKs not available in the default Google Play Store due to your location. Sure, there is plenty of English content to discover, however you will also find German APKs, Chinese APKs, Russian APKs and more.
While the APKs in APKHere are secure, we cannot guarantee the security of some of the applications. China and Russia are not known for strong security and privacy practices, so you should be careful and do your own research before installing any of them on your device.
Take extra precautions before installing an APK
No matter where you download the APK from, you should always make sure that there are no hidden surprises in the code. There are many services that can scan APK files for malware. We suggest you use some of them.