Latest 5 Best APK Safe Download Sites, Perfect Substitute for Google Play

Do you need to download APKs to your Android device without the Google Play Store? Check out the safest APK download sites. Sometimes, the Android app you want to install is not available in the Google Play store. There can be many reasons for this: it might be geographically locked, contain adult content, or the developer might have removed it.

But even if the app cannot be obtained through regular channels, you can still install it on your device in various ways. You need to get a copy of the APK file so that you can sideload it.

There are several websites that specialize in providing APK file downloads. Some are better than others, so if you want to discover the best websites for safely downloading APKs, keep reading.

The Importance of Choosing a Safe APK Site

APK is an Android file format. An abbreviation for Android Package Kit, it is the primary way Android apps are distributed and installed. When you download an app from Google Play, you download and run an APK file in the background, but you don’t have access to the APK itself.

Because APK files install apps on your system, they can pose serious security threats. Malicious individuals could modify an APK before installing it, and then use it as a digital Trojan horse to install and run malware.

Therefore, if you download APKs from outside the Play Store, you need to ensure that the website you use is reliable. Google’s Play Protect security system will scan any apps you sideload, but the site you download these apps from should thoroughly review all APKs and have a history of security and reliability.

1. APKPure

Provided: Web, App

APKPure is arguably the best Android APK download site. This APK downloader adheres to strict security practices to ensure that all APKs you save are safe and virus-free.

So, how is APKPure safe? The site uses SHA1 to verify the legitimacy of all applications before publication to ensure certificate safety. The encrypted signature of new version applications must match the previously released version, and brand new applications must match other software from the same developer.

If APKPure has doubts about the safety or origin of an application, the company will not publish the application on the website. There are no modified APKs on APKPure. In terms of website usability, APKPure directly extracts screenshots, application descriptions, and general metadata from Google.

There is also a list of previous application versions in case you want to roll back to an old version (due to features or errors).

APKPure also provides an Android application. You need to sideload the application to install it, but once it’s up and running, it can serve as a substitute for Google Play.

2. APKMirror

APKPure’s biggest mainstream competitor could be said to be APKMirror. Both of these websites were launched around the same time. APKMirror is owned and operated by the same team that created the widely-read Android news site, Android Police, which should give you peace of mind about your safety.

From a security perspective, APKMirror has some strong strategies:

  • All APKs uploaded to the site are verified by staff before they are published.
  • The site matches the encrypted signature of new version apps with previous versions (to ensure they were truly signed by the actual developers).
  • Brand new applications are matched with other applications from the same developer to verify their legitimacy.

Most importantly, if APKMirror cannot verify the validity of an APK file, it will not publish that file. Therefore, you will not find any modified APKs, pirated apps, or paid apps on the website.

For each application, you can obtain old versions, view information extracted from Google Play, and access a list of related applications. If an app you installed from APKMirror receives an update from Google Play after you’ve installed it on your device, it will automatically upgrade to the latest version.

3. APP Notifylater

APKPure and APKMirror are both excellent and give you enough reason to not look for other websites. However, for the sake of caution, it’s best to introduce some other options.

First up is APP Notifylater. All APKs come from the Google Play Store, so you can be fully confident in their safety, which also means that if you wish, you can totally use APP Notifylater as a substitute for Google Play. What sets APP Notifylater apart from the other sites on this list is that it provides many app review articles. You can understand the pros and cons before downloading an app, which will help you make better decisions.

4. APKCombo

APKCombo is the largest APK store with 8 million Android games and apps. APKCombo.com was founded in May 2018. It can help you download any APK/OBB file you need (without country/region restrictions).

APKCombo.com extracts APK and OBB files directly from the Play Store. There are no modified APKs on APKCombo.com. You can check whether an APK is safe and virus-free before installing it using the VirusTotal Analyzer (MD5/SHA1/SHA256, developer certificates, Android permissions, Android activities, Android services).

5. Aptoide

Aptoide is another giant in the APK download world; it has over 200 million users and has achieved 6 billion downloads. Like APKPure, the site offers an Android APK app that allows you to access the store and download APK files directly from your Android device.

The company is also one of the earliest to adopt blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The site’s tokens (called AppCoins) allow developers to increase their revenue share, among other uses.

Take Extra Precautions When Using APK Download Sites

No matter where you download APK files from, you should always take responsibility to ensure there are no nasty surprises lurking in the code. Do not attempt to download paid applications for free – this is not only wrong, but also the most common way malware makes its way onto people’s phones so far.

Several services can scan for malware in APK files; we recommend the drag-and-drop tools MetaDefender and VirusTotal. Although most of the time you don’t need to install antivirus software on Android, if you download a lot of APKs, it might also be worth installing protective measures on your phone.

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