How Hardware-based Software Licensing Key Work and Types

Software license is that the software publisher grants a license to use one or more copies of software, but that ownership of those copies remains with the software publisher. One consequence of this feature of proprietary software licenses is that virtually all rights regarding the software are reserved by the software publisher. Only a very limited set of well-defined rights are conceded to the end-user.

Software License Types

Individual licenses

Individual (Single-user): This license type allows the software to be used on only one computer which is not accessed by other users over a network. The other users are not allowed to use software while connected to your computer. Types of individual licenses are:

Perpetual license: allows the customer to install and use the software indefinitely without any limitation.

Subscription license: Allows the user to use the software for a specific time period. At the end of the term the user has several options: (1) renew the subscription; or (2) purchase a perpetual license at a discounted cost; or (3) remove the software from the computer.

Trial license: Allows software venders to release the software for a period time like a month as marketing tool. The end user can only use this software for only one month.

Evaluation license: This license allows the expensive software to be evaluated with certain period.

Demo license: This license allows end users to demonstrate the software with partial function or certain period.

Feature based license: This license allows end users to use partial function of the software to save money than to use the whole package.

Time limited rental license: This allows the end user to pay per time. The end user pre-pay a period of time that fits their needs. The end user can also renew before the license expired.

Concurrent Use: This license type requires the end users purchase licenses for the maximum number of people who will be running the software simultaneously. However, end users can usually install the software on more computers than

Network/Multi-user licenses

Server (Network): Licensed per server – This license type requires that you have a single copy of the software residing on the file server

Per Seat (Machine): Licensed per machine/seat – This license requires that you purchase a license for each client computer and/or device where access to services is needed. This license is typically used in conjunction with a network license.

Add-on’s to existing or new licenses

Upgrade: This license is acquired when a user has a previously acquired software license and would like to move up to a newer version.

Student use:This allows students to use the software as long as they are students of the institutions. Students are required to uninstall software upon leaving the University.

Secondary use: Allows the licensed end user to use the software on a second computer.

Work-at-home rights: Allows Facult/Staff to use software at home. This is effective for as long as the primary work computer is licensed and as long as the person is an employee. Termination of employment also terminates this benefit.

Home use: Similar to Work-at-home rights

How hardware based software license key works?

In order to improve the relationships between vendors and customers as well as grow revenue, software pricing and licensing policies are made more flexible. Hardware keys are made to feature secure software licensing options and offers multiple licensing molds locked into the hardware key to supply flexible licensing protection. Such as HASP from Aladdin, Sentinel from Safenet, UniKey from SecuTech.

Hardware key or software protection dongle is the hardware-based protection and licensing management tool.  It is a USB key with memory that protects software against piracy and illegal use by allowing access and execution of the protected software only when the key is connected to the computer.

The hardware keys provide licensing method with envelope-base automatic implementation and API-based automatic implementation.

The only thing that would make hardware key better for software license management is if there were an industry-standard way to store multiple software licenses on one physical dongle (and transfer them securely if need be). Public computers could have those software installed on them at no cost to the business providing the computer, but they would only work when someone presented a valid license via their dongle. And the end user would never have to think about moving the licenses to a new computer or losing valuable software when they dispose of the old one.

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