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HW license management technology

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HW license management technology

PostTue Sep 26, 2023 12:01 pm

I am sure a lot has been written about this topic, but I just want to give my 2 cents to the discussion.

I think that for HW installations and PC's, one of the main requirements is that the PC remains air gapped from the internet. Once I have gotten my setup running, I don't want any uncontrolled changes to it. Neither through Windows Update or any other channels since you never know what kind of functionality that might break.
This requirement is in direct opposition to the typical ILOK technology that is based on cloud activation.

I looked at using the USB key, but that was pretty pricey and not so easily available where I live.

Another VST synthesizer, Phase Plant, solves this by using license code strings that are moved manually from a PC with internet connection to the PC running the software.
I think this is a much better solution for the common use case of having air gapped computers for running sound and studio software.

I looked, but couldn't see that ILOK offered this feature.

Is there some feature in the HW - sample set ecosystem that can't be realized using license files or license strings?

I looked at upgrading from v4 advanced to v8, because I think it is a good offer. But one of the deal breakers for me is having to switch to ILOK. Though, I might be making too much of a big deal about it.



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Re: HW license management technology

PostTue Sep 26, 2023 12:22 pm

iLok does seem to allow for activating a license to the local computer, but that would require temporarily connecting to the internet. And I'm not sure if Hauptwerk supports computer-based licenses at this time, though it seems like a useful thing for some cases.

I use an iLok USB key (wuth a spare and ZDT subscriotion) and update it on a different internet-connected computer.

But I still connect the Hauptwerk computer to the internet every few months to check for driver updates anyway. Disabling Windows Updates for 7 days right before that keeps out unwanted changes.

You didn't mention where you live. Sweetwater has USB-A keys for $45 US and USB-c keys for $55. Amazon and Best Buy have USB-c at $55. Shipping may be costly where you are.

Buying USB keys directly from iLok can include surprisingly high shipping charges even in the same country, and you only get that information at checkout. I went with Best Buy at the time, free shipping.



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Re: HW license management technology

PostTue Sep 26, 2023 1:33 pm

I'm using "cloud-based" iLok. Your computer does need to be connected to the internet, but that's all. Works well. I suppose it doesn't have the problem of tying the license to your computer (when you lose the computer, you lose the license).
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Re: HW license management technology

PostTue Sep 26, 2023 1:54 pm

Hello Principal8,

Thanks very much for the interest in upgrading. To add to others' replies:

Although the iLok system itself does technically have the ability for products to be activated to computers, we don't allow that option for Hauptwerk, I'm afraid, since it's less secure (and would need an Internet connection when activating/deactivating anyway).

The options Hauptwerk v5+ does support are:

- iLok Cloud, which has no additional cost, but requires an always-on Internet connection whilst running Hauptwerk. Or:

- An iLok dongle. That doesn't need the computer running Hauptwerk to have an Internet connection, since you can use a different, Internet-connected, computer for activating/deactivating licences to/from it, then move it back to the Hauptwerk computer. Whilst you would need to buy one of those, they're readily available from music shops, so shopping around may find a good price.

Regardless of Hauptwerk, even if you normally keep your computer disconnected from the Internet, if upgrading any software on it you might find you need to connect it to the Internet briefly to allow Windows Update to bring the Windows installation up to date, since software may depend upon Windows being reasonably up-to-date, and Microsoft distribute code signature updates via Windows updates, for example.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: HW license management technology

PostFri Sep 29, 2023 12:32 pm

I am surprised you regard an iLok dongle as expensive. It is one of the cheapest parts of any Hauptwerk system and much cheaper than most of those sample sets that require it.

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