Over 20 years, legal protection for software has increased rapidly around the world, the technology and scope of enforcement of software protection continues to increase in varies methods significantly.
The ultimate software protection is the hardware based software protection dongle, or we can call hardware key, dongle-based protection, software copy protection dongle, etc. This kind of protection might be the best, and it can maximum the software vendors’ revenue.
The advantages of USB software protection dongles.
~ Hardware-based protection with the USB dongle secures sales and profits by preventing software piracy and license infringements.
~ Provides flexible variable licensing methods such, subscription, leasing, pay-per-use, by period, etc.
~ A single USB dongle can protect several applications. An entire network can be protected with only one hardware key.
~ Remote Update provides conveniences of distribution, updates and follow-up of sales.
~ Every copy of the software is registered and prohibits the illegal usage.
~ USB security dongle offers two levels of protection: envelope and the API. The envelope contains the decryption engine plus several pre-canned defenses to defeat reverse engineering. API allows embedding calls to the hardware key in code and performs custom checks to defeat reverse engineering attackers.
Differentiate dongles by port:
~ Serial port: It seems the serial port dongle is a history for now.
~ Parallel port: with the increasing USB port in all types of computers the parallel port dongles are vanishing from the marketing.
~ USB dongles: USB port dongles are the absolutely mainstream and take up all the positions in every district.
Differentiate dongles by driver
~ The dongle with driver: customers have to install the driver before insert the dongle, actually most the dongle problem are caused by the driver.
~ The driverless dongle: end users do not have to install the driver, just insert the dongle to the USB port, it works perfectly. This saves loads of work of technical support team.
Differentiate dongles by cases
~ Water-Proofed dongles: these dongles are waterproofed as the case is plastic injection molded to resist water filter into the dongle body, it perfectly fit the use of oceanic software.
~ Non Water-Proofed: the case is buttoned up, it is with possibility of water leakage into the dongle body.
Differentiate dongles by real time clock.
~ Dongles that with a real time clock inside is called real time dongle. Real Time is specially designed for software vendors who needs to control and manage the software’s rental and selling in subscription or maintenance, it allows to pay per use, in this way software vendor can completely control the sales by charging the end users timely and periodically. This function is based on a real time clock deposited in the dongle indicating the specific time (hour, minute, second) and date (day, month, year).
~ Non-real time dongle- There is no real time clock inside the dongle, vendors can set the time by virtual clock, but the time can be changed with the system time changing.
Differentiate dongles by storage.
~ Normally the USB dongles has only small storage from a few bytes to maximum of 64k for storing credentials. Currently this is the mainstream of USB dongles.
~ Dongles with mass storage and the data inside can be encrypted on key, this is a technology newly introduced by UniKey Drive. It is ideal for distributing software on-key, stored in on-key storage.
Key Features of the mass storage with data encrypted on-key
~ Smaller size, less oxygen
The hardware keys go with dimension of 30 * 2mm, extremely thin package. Up to 1GB flash memory and a smartcard dongle are assemble in such cute case.
~ Smartcard technology
It is based on advanced smart card technologies, the proven most secure technology. Such processor controls the software licenses and flash storage inside memory.
~ 1GB on-key flash storage
It includes a 1GB flash storage on-key. This is for storing user’s data, such like software, digital credentials. This storage is versatile, can be partitioned to several virtual drives.
~ Virtual CD-ROM with auto run
A virtual CD-ROM can be created in the hardware key. Software might utilize the auto-run function to deploy the software with ease.
~ Password protected flash drive
The virtual flash drive can be password-protected. None authorized users cannot access the data on the protected flash drive.
~ Encrypted and hidden flash drive
The encrypted/hidden drive function gives software vendors an ideal secure storage for storing huge amount of data. Such drive is invisible for end-users, so there is no means to copy the data on such drive.
With the increasing of software piracy, not only does software piracy reduce revenues, it also results in less R&D, and in less investment in marketing and channel development, the new technologies of software protection are keeping to be introduced by hard work of software protection providers.