The most common way of downloading Android apps is through the Google Play Store. But what happens when the app you are looking for isn’t available in your region or just isn’t on Play Store? This is where APK sites come in.
APK sites are alternatives to the traditional way of downloading apps through the Google Play Store. You can download the APK files of the apps you need on these sites and then install them on your phone.
In this article, we’ll show you the best and safest sites to download your APK files without fear of getting malware.
What Are APK Files?
APK stands for Android Package Kit and is the file format used to distribute and install Android apps. It’s the equivalent of an .exe file on Windows or a .dmg file on macOS.
When you download an app from the Google Play Store, you are actually downloading an APK and installing it on your phone.
The only difference is that you do not have access to the APK file itself after the download. You just have the app installed on your device.
It is important to be careful when downloading files from the internet, especially APK files, as they may be corrupt and pose a threat to your device.
APKMirror is arguably the most secure third-party APK download site on the Internet. It is free, reliable, and safe.
APKMirror was created by the popular Android news blog, Android Police. This makes the site a lot more acceptable to the general public who trusts the blog.
More importantly, APKMirror goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the apps submitted to them before publishing them.
When an APK file is submitted, APKMirror’s team manually checks the cryptographic signature and compares it to previous APKs submitted by the developer. Cryptographic keys are codes that are used by the developer to ensure the integrity of the file.
APKMirror also compares the apps submitted to them with the ones on the Google Play Store.
When an update that is not available on Play Store is submitted, APKMirror contacts the developer of the app to confirm the authenticity before making the file public.
APK also doesn’t allow any paid or modded apps on its site. It is safe to say that if APKMirror cannot confirm whether your app is legitimate, it will not publish it.
When downloading an app, you can view more information about it on the site. If it is verified, you will see a “Verified Safe to Install” badge at the bottom of the Description page. When you click on it, it shows the APK certificate fingerprints.
APKPure is also a widely trusted APK download site. It is a direct competitor to APKMirror and is also known for its safety and thorough verification process. They do not accept apps with debug certificates because they are very unsafe.
APKPure uses SHA1 technology to confirm that the certification of an APK file is legitimate. They verify all apps before publishing them.
And just like APKMirror, they also check certificate signatures against previously published apps to confirm that the same developer submitted the APK file.
Users can leave reviews on the apps they download for others to read and make their decisions.
You can also download previous versions of the app you are looking for. Under each app is a list of the available previous versions.
Uptodown is a free and safe APK download site. You do not need to sign up or log in to use their services.
Uptodown works with VirusTotal to inspect all APK files uploaded to the site using over 70 antiviruses.
When you open an app and click on the blue shield icon, you can view the technical and security information of the APK file.
Aptoide is a commonly visited site with millions of users and billions of downloads. According to Aptoide, the site has up-to-date anti-malware systems that check apps and a Quality Team that manually tests and confirms that each app is safe.
Its credibility is also backed by a scientific study made by Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.
The site gives descriptions, reviews, and ratings of the apps you search for. You can also find a lot of apps restricted in your country on Aptoide.
Since users are allowed to manage their own stores on Aptoide, they can upload modded APK files that might be unsafe for your device, so be cautious when downloading apps.
You should also only download apps that have the green shield with a checkmark. That shows that it is a trusted app and that is free from viruses.
5. APK Downloader
APK Downloader (or APK-DL) is a good option for downloading apps as it gets all its APK files from the Google Play Store. This means you can trust it.
You can easily search for an app by pasting the Google Play Store link into the search bar. This way, you get exactly what you’re looking for.
However, our options are limited to just what is available on the Google Play Store app. If you’re looking for more uncommon apps, you might have to check other sites.
F-Droid provides free and open-source applications to its users. It doesn’t track you or allow apps in its repository to do so unless you expressly allow it.
F-Droid has a wide selection of applications built by independent developers. F-Droid also has an app you can install on your device to access all of the APK files without using a website.
APKMonk is quite popular for its wide assortment of games. It also offers other common apps.
When you click on an app, you can read its description, check its rating and also see previous versions of the app. APKMonk’s site runs very few ads and gives more focus to the games and apps uploaded.
Softpedia is popular for downloading programs, drivers and applications for desktop operating systems.
But it also allows you to download APK files for your android device. Softpedia provides secure software for all its file downloads.
Besides downloading APKs, you can also find Android news and reviews on Softpedia.
On the Softonic site, you can download a wide variety of apps ranging from productivity to the internet and even multimedia. It is safe and secure. The site also provides news and tutorial articles.
APKBe formerly known as APKHere is widely known for having foreign apps. On its homepage, you can select a language of your choice by clicking on the flags just beside the search bar.
There are Chinese, Russian, German and even French APKs on the site that you would normally not find on Google Play Store.
What to Know Before Using APK Sites
Downloading APKs from APK sites can offer a wider selection of apps that may not be available on the official Google Play Store.
However, it is important to exercise caution when downloading APKs from third-party sources as they may come with security risks such as malware or malicious apps.
It’s always best to only download from reputable APK sites and to verify the authenticity of the app before installation.
By being cautious and aware, you can take advantage of the benefits of downloading APKs while minimizing the risks to your device’s security.