The security dongle is one of the most reliable and convenient methods to protect software from illegal execution and distribution. This type of solutions is primarily used to protect ‘business” software: accounting and warehousing programs, legal and corporate systems, construction estimates, electronic directories, analytical software, environmental and medical programs, etc. To create such programs is rather costly, which greatly affects the apps price, and software piracy can, therefore, cause significant damage to not only software users but developers and distributors. Hardware security keys come as a great way to resolve this problem.
In this article, we’ll tell you about the main features of USB security dongles, possible difficulties you may face while using your hardware keys, and the simplest way to duplicate USB dongle over the network to optimize its use.
- What is a USB security dongle?
- Challenges of using USB keys.
- USB duplicator software as a universal solution.
- “How to” guide.
What is a USB security dongle?
An electronic key is typically a compact electronic device which connects to one of the USB ports of the computer. The key includes a board with microcircuits (auxiliary elements, microcontroller, and memory) enclosed in a plastic casing. The microcontroller contains so-called "algorithm" - a set of commands that implement a function or functions that serve to generate information blocks that will be exchanged with a protected program. The memory of the electronic key contains information about its characteristics, as well as user data.
USB dongles prevent the illegal execution of licensed programs. There’s also a widely held view that hardware keys protect against unauthorized copying of software, but this is not exactly true. A protected program can be copied, but the illegal program copy won’t work without a key. Thus, copying simply does not make sense.
Challenges of using USB keys
As you may know, some USB dongles can be shared over LAN so that several users of the same network can access a single dongle from several computers. However, by no means all hardware keys can support such network license management option. Most USB keys are tailored to be used on only one PC at a time, and, in this case, to duplicate a USB key to multiple machines won’t be easy unless you have a dedicated third-party tool that can help you with this task.
Also, you may need to access a USB key (plugged into your local PC) from a virtual machine (VMware, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, etc), which is a common situation when the OS of your local computer is not compatible with the protected software. And here you’ll face a challenge of redirecting local devices to a virtual environment.
The simple way to duplicate your USB key and connect to it remotely
FlexiHub is just what you need to resolve these and many other problems related to using USB keys.
FlexiHub is a dedicated software designed to virtualize USB devices and redirect them over the network. This handy app will easily duplicate your hardware key so that you can access it from any remote computer. Thanks to its cross-platform compatibility, the software allows connecting from Windows PC to Mac, or Linux and vice versa. More than that, you’ll get the opportunity to easily access your local peripherals from virtually any guest OS.
The benefits FlexiHub offers:
- Totally secure connections protected with advanced 256-bit SSL encryption;
- Convenient FlexiChat that lets exchange comments while sharing your USB key with other users;
- Cross-platform connections across Ethernet, LAN, WiFi, and the Internet;
- The ability to block access to your hardware key, if you don’t want any remote computers to connect to it;
- The ability to make your USB dongle accessible to multiple users at a time, and many others.
Here’s a simple step-by-step instruction of how to duplicate HASP dongle with FlexiHub:
- First of all, you need to install FlexiHub on all machines that will communicate with the USB dongle, including the one to which the device is connected physically.
- Then, you create FlexiHub account and log into it on the computer where the dongle is physically attached. You will see the list of devices ready to be shared.
- After that, start the software on a remote PC and log into FlexiHub account using the same credentials. In the app’s interface, you’ll see the required dongle, all you need to do is click “Connect” and the device will appear in the Device Manager of your computer as though it were directly connected to the machine.
Here you go! Just a few easy steps with the dongle duplicate software and your USB security key becomes accessible to any remote PC.