The 7 Best Sites to Securely Download Safe Mac Apps
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Mac software is not immune to security problems. Third-party apps can harbor malware, spyware, adware, ransomware, and numerous other security-based threats.

As such, you need to make sure you only download Mac apps from safe, secure, and trustworthy websites. Here are some of the safest sites to download Mac software.

Analyzing Site Security

When we looked at the safest free software sites for Windows The Safest Free Software Download Sites for Windows The Safest Free Software Download Sites for Windows Many software download sites are loaded with malware. We compiled websites you can trust when you need a free software download. Read More , we ran each site through two reputation checkers—Web of Trust (WOT) and URLVoid.

We’re going to apply the same philosophy in this article. Web of Trust provides a trustworthiness score out of 100 while URLVoid grades each site out of 36.

1. MacUpdate

macupdate secure mac downloads

WOT Trustworthiness: 91/100
URLVoid Rating: 36/36

MacUpdate is one of the most popular websites to download Mac software safely. It has a library of more than 40,000 apps. By comparison, the official Mac App Store only has about 15,000 apps available.

All the apps in the library have been hand-picked by the site’s team of experts, so you can be confident they’ve all gone through a full vetting process.

MacUpdate can also save you money. Every day, there’s an “App of the Day” with a 50 percent discount. Occasionally, you can find discounts that run as high as 90 percent.

Navigating the site is easy; all the apps are divided between 10 well-defined categories. They are Internet, Utilities, Drivers, Games, Education, Home, Business, Multimedia Design, Development, and Graphics and Design.

2. Softpedia

softpedia secure mac downloads

WOT Trustworthiness: 93/100
URLVoid Rating: 36/36

Softpedia is one of the largest software download sites on the web. Unsurprisingly, it has an entire section dedicated to Mac apps.

The download files are updated every day, so you can be sure you’re always getting the latest available version. Using up-to-date versions is critical for avoiding security bugs and flaws.

Many apps are also tagged with the “Softpedia Secure Download” label. It means the download is coming directly from Softpedia’s servers, all of which are regularly tested for viruses and other malware.

Softpedia also has user reviews for many of the available apps. They can provide insight on any issues you may encounter during use.

3. Pure Mac

pure mac secure mac downloads

WOT Trustworthiness: 92/100
URLVoid Rating: 36/36

If you can look past the slightly dated visuals, Pure Mac is another of the most secure sites to download Mac software and apps.

The site boasts one of the most extensive selections of categories; there are more than 80 to choose from. The large number of groups means the site is excellent for finding a Mac app to perform a particular function.

On the downside, Pure Mac does not run its own download servers. All the downloads on the site are direct links that the app’s publisher or developer has provided. Remember, using one of the best anti-virus apps for Mac The 7 Best Truly Free Antivirus Software for Mac The 7 Best Truly Free Antivirus Software for Mac Viruses and security issues abound, even on Mac. It's critical that you use a free antivirus for Mac, no matter how smart you are. Read More can help to catch any malware-laden downloads you encounter.

4. CNET Download

cnet download best mac download sites

WOT Trustworthiness: 90/100
URLVoid Rating: 36/36

CNET’s Download.com is another of the web’s largest collections of apps. Like Softpedia, it covers all the major operating systems, including macOS. In total, the site offers more than 150,000 free downloads.

All the Mac software on the site goes through a rigorous testing procedure to check for malware and other viruses.

Download.com also bans any apps that:

  • Don’t have easy-to-read end-user license agreements.
  • Modifies default browsers, search-engine home pages, or other security settings.
  • Send information about your computer usage habits to the developer without prior notification.

Because it’s part of CNET, many of the Mac apps you can download have editorial reviews, accompanying blog posts, and how-to articles. They combine to make sure that not only is the initial download safe, but that you also use the software in a safe and secure way once it’s on your system.

5. MacApps

macapps safe mac downloads

WOT Trustworthiness: Not Ranked
URLVoid Rating: 36/36

If you’ve ever bought a new Windows machine, you may be familiar with Ninite. It provides a comprehensive list of many of the most popular Windows apps across a range of categories. You can choose the ones you want, then download them in bulk via a custom installer. It can save hours during the system setup phase.

Sadly, Ninite does not provide a solution for Macs—but there is an alternative: MacApps. The software is divided into seven categories: internet, Productivity, Developer, Tools, Utilities, Multimedia, and Messaging. There are download links for all the apps you probably use every day, including Spotify, GitHub, Docker, Evernote, Firefox, Chrome, and many more. In total, there are more than 120 apps to choose from.

To use the tool, select the apps you want from the list, and MacApps will provide you with a custom Terminal command. Paste the command into the Terminal app, and the download will begin.

6. Mac App Store

mac app store safe mac download

WOT Trustworthiness: 92/100
URLVoid Rating: 36/36

Of course, if you want to avoid third-party Mac software sites entirely, you could just head to the official Mac App Store. In theory, it has highly robust processes to prevent malicious apps from finding their way into the listings.

But contrary to popular belief, the Mac App Store isn’t bulletproof from a security standpoint. Some bad stuff does sneak through.

For example, in September 2018, Malwarebytes discovered multiple apps were collecting sensitive user data and uploading it to servers controlled by the developer. In many cases, the servers were in China. Amazingly, one of the apps—Adware Doctor—was number one in the chart for paid utilities until the research was made public.

7. Download Directly From the Developer

It’s easy to understand why sites which curate libraries of Mac app downloads are popular. They save time, offer unbiased reviews, and allow you to download older versions of software to get rid of unwanted new features.

But none of the sites we’ve looked at are perfect. If Apple can’t even keep bad actors out of its own store, you can be sure that some malicious software makes its way onto the other platforms as well.

The most reliable way to safely and securely download Mac apps, therefore, is to head to the developers’ own sites and download the file directly. Just beware of phishing attacks for the most popular software!

Learn More About Downloading Safely

As long as you take reasonable precautions while downloading Mac apps, you should be safe. All the usual advice applies— don’t download pirated or cracked apps, don’t use unknown mirrors, don’t use third-party installers, and run an anti-virus at all times.

If you’d like to learn more about safely downloading from the web, make sure you read our article on the safest places to download free apps 5 Safe and Clean Places to Download Free Apps 5 Safe and Clean Places to Download Free Apps Finding clean downloads of open source software, and other free software can be tricky. Here are five safe places to get clean software installers and updates for a wide variety of free programs. Read More .

Explore more about: Mac Apps, Online Security.

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