Last Updated: May 17, 2022
When it comes to downloading apps outside of Google Play Store, you might come across APKPure.
But, is it safe to download apps from APKPure?
In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know relevant to its safety, such as:
- Is APKPure Safe?
- How To Verify The Downloaded APK Files Are Safe?
- Is APKPure a Virus?
- Is APKPure Legal?
- Is APKPure Only Available for Android?
Let’s dive right in!
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Is APKPure Safe?
APKPure is generally safe to download from as it verifies all apps before publishing by using SHA-1 to ensure the application is original and has not been modified in any way. However, it is not as safe as Google Play Store.
Before we go into any further details of why it’s not as safe as Play Store and other important information, let me explain briefly what SHA-1 is for those who are unfamiliar with it since I’ll be using this term a lot throughout this article.
Basically, it is a cryptographic computer security algorithm most often used to verify file integrity.
It’s a unique signature or key that is associated with each application by the real developer to help in identifying whether the file is in its original state or it has been modified by someone pretending to be the developer of that app.
For more details about how it works, visit this article.
Now, let me explain why APKPure is not as safe as Play Store.
Play Store is operated and developed by Google, one of the most trustworthy and reputable companies.
Google Play Store has strict rules and policies for developers and they have to undergo a complete verification process before Google approves and publishes their app.
In contrast, APKPure usually downloads apps from the Play Store, extracts its APK file, verifies the files using SHA-1, and publishes them on their platform.
Instead of doing the complete verification process as Google Play Store does, APKPure just verifies the app already published on the Play Store using its signature (SHA-1) and if there’s a match, they simply publish that app on their platform as well.
APKPure shares the Signature and SHA-1 key of each file with users as well.
However, it also allows developers to submit apps but most of the apps hosted on APKPure are uploaded by them, not the developers.
Even though, if the developers submit the apps to APKPure, they don’t have to go through the lengthy verification process and follow the same strict guidelines as they have to when publishing apps on Play Store.
While on the Play Store, only the developers can publish apps after completing a lengthy verification process.
Not only that, the developers must have to follow their policies even though their app is published and if they do not do so, Google’s team removes that developer’s app from the Play Store to provide a safe experience for users.
That’s what makes Google Play Store much safer than APKPure,
However, it’s important to bear in mind that no app store is 100 percent safe whether it’s Play Store or Apple App Store but they are the safest places to download apps.
It is because of their strict policies for developers, restrictions for users, and a high level of protection in place to combat malicious apps and provide a safe and trusted experience for both the developers and the users.
To sum up, I would say:
It is safe to download apps from APKPure but not as safe as the Play Store. Despite the fact that the Play Store is not entirely safe as well, it is much safer than APKPure or any other third-party app store.
The risk associated with downloading malicious apps from APKPure is high as compared to Google Play Store.
However, my experience with APKPure is so far good. I have downloaded some apps from there a couple of times and haven’t encountered any issues to date.
But, I always recommend downloading from the official stores like Google Play Store or Apple App Store rather than APKPure or any other third-party app stores.
With that being said, if you still want to download apps from APKPure then you must verify the files to avoid the risk of malware or viruses entering your device.
How To Verify The Downloaded APK Files Are Safe?
To ensure the APK files you are going to download and install on your device are safe, follow these two methods.
1. APK Signature Verification
Although APKPure claims they only share the original APK as it is in the Play Store and verifies it using SHA-1, we’ll check manually to ensure the files hosted on their platform are not modified in any way.
For this method, we have to download an app from the Play Store, extract its APK file, and verify its signature (SHA-1).
To verify the signature of both applications downloaded from the Play Store and APKPure, follow these steps:
- First of all, download APK Extractor from Play Store.
- Go to the Play Store and download any app you want to verify. However, if you already have that app installed on your device then follow the next step.
- Extract the APK file of the app you want to verify using APK Extractor.
- Once extracted, download that exact app from APKPure as well.
- Upload both the APK files (the one downloaded from Play Store and the one from APKPure) one by one in APK Signature Verification.
- If the signature of both APK files matches that means the file you downloaded from APKPure is in its original state and if not then it has been modified by someone.
Now that you verified the files, it’s also important you should scan the APK file to further ensure it is safe to install on your device.
2. Scan the file using VirusTotal
Just upload the APK file (downloaded from APKPure) to VirusTotal and it will analyze it with over 70 antiviruses. Here’s how.
- Go to VirusTotal and click on Choose file.
- Select the APK file from your device.
Once analyzed, check whether it detected any threats, security vendors, or any malicious content.
If nothing is detected, that means the APK file is safe to install on your device.
By following these two methods, you are pretty much safe when installing applications from APKPure to your android device.
Is APKPure a Virus?
APKPure itself is not a virus but one of its app store versions (3.17.18) was infected by a malicious component that downloads trojans to android devices and it was detected by Kaspersky.
Shortly after the detection of that malicious module in their app store, Kaspersky informed APKPure about the issue and they released a new version (3.17.19).
After the release of their new release, Kaspersky confirmed that the security problem has been fixed by APKPure in the new version and it is safe now.
Currently, it is safe to use APKPure for downloading apps but I always recommend downloading apps from official sources like Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or any other official store.
The lack of security can occur in the Play Store or other official stores as well but they have a much stronger layer of protection in place than APKPure or any other unofficial stores to protect its users against harmful apps and keep their devices safe and secure.
However, if you don’t have any other choice than downloading apps from APKPure then don’t forget to take both safety measures or at least scan the downloaded APK file with VirusTotal before installing it on your device.
It is so because despite APKPure being virus-free, there is no 100% guarantee of APK apps being virus-free as well.
Is APKPure Legal?
APKPure is legal to use but since it is not an official store and not all the apps on their platform are published by the developers themselves. Therefore, APKPure may be infringing on copyright for some apps if published without the permission of the copyright owner.
However, they allow the developers to submit DMCA if they want to take down their app from APKPure.
Additionally, installing APK is legal and Google has no restrictions over downloading apps outside the Play Store.
If installing APK files would have been illegal then Google would not have even allowed the users to install them on android devices since Android is owned by Google.
However, installing an APK or any application becomes illegal when an APK site or any other website hosts and allows the users to download pirated or cracked applications but APKPure is an authentic site and they don’t do anything like that.
APKPure only shares the free apps, not cracked or pirated ones.
Plus, it allows the owners of the apps to take down their app if they want to so there is no illegal activity going on APKPure which makes it a legal platform.
Is APKPure Only Available for Android?
APKPure is only available on Android, however, they have an app for iPhone as well but you can’t download apps directly from there instead their app for iOS only contains download links that redirect you to the official Apple App Store.
Therefore, it makes no sense to mention that it is also available for iOS.
In addition to that, APKPure offers a Pure APK Install which allows you to install apps from your PC to Android mobile phones or tablets.
Generally, it is safe and legal to download apps from APKPure, however, I would recommend you to consider Google Play Store as the first priority because it is the most reliable and safest store as compared to third-party app stores like APKPure.
In case you have no other option than to download apps from APKPure then be sure to verify the downloaded APK files before installing them into your device to know if they are safe or not.
As I manually verify every file I download from APKPure before installing it on my device, I’ve never encountered any virus threats or other issues.
Therefore, I recommend you do the same!
Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
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