Pace’s iLok key has made plug-in management hassles a thing of the past. If you don’t know what iLok is and how it works.
The iLok hardware key and iLok.com were developed by a company called Pace Anti-Piracy, Inc. They develop and license tools and technology that help software publishers enforce their software licenses.
Why iLok? The Problem
Back in about 2002, someone invented a way of placing plug-in authorizations onto a little blue USB dongle called an iLok.
This was a very welcome change because up until then, plug-in authorizations could potentially be very time consuming things to manage.
iLok as a Solution
Using iLok, you put all of the authorizations for your plug-ins onto an iLok USB key instead of on your hard drive.
A single iLok will easily store 100+ licenses. Once your authorizations are on the iLok, you just insert it in a USB port. When you launch Pro Tools, it’ll see all the licenses and authorizes the plugins. It’s a breeze.
Storing the licenses (authorizations) this way makes plug-in authorization much easier than it was a few years ago. Now your plug-in licenses can travel from computer to computer with no need to re-authorize the plug-in. Massive time and hassle saver.
iLok.com is the official Pace Anti-Piracy website where you can manage all of your plug-in licenses. Transfer licenses between iLoks (and users), make use of demo licenses, or just gaze lovingly at the list of the licenses you already own.
iLok Zero Downtime Insurance
iLok.com offers an insurance program called Zero Downtime for $30.00 a year.
Here’s how iLok explains the Zero Downtime coverage:
- Sign up for Zero Downtime coverage for each critical iLok you own. You also purchase spare iLoks as needed for emergency.
- When a covered iLok breaks or is lost or stolen, log in to iLok.com and go through the RMA process for the affected iLok.
- iLok.com automatically deposits time limited temporary licenses in your account.
- Using iLok.com, you download the temporary licenses onto a spare iLok. You can now continue to work using these temporary licenses.
- You send Pace/iLok your broken iLok.
- Once they’ve validated the broken iLok, they provide you with permanent replacement licenses in your iLok.com account.
- You put the replacement licenses on your spare (new, permanent) iLok. You now have a complete replacement of your licenses.
- If the iLok was defective and under warranty, we send you a blank replacement. You can use the replacement as your spare if you like.
Zero Downtime coverage is way better than if you had to claim it under your personal insurance, re-buy all the plug-ins, re-authorize them to a newly purchased iLok, etc, etc.
Buy iLok USB keys from Amazon.com
iLok with Waves plug-ins
Waves plug-ins use iLok. For many years, Waves used their own unique method for authorizing Waves plugs to the iLok key. Many people grumbled and complained. Waves listened. As of Waves V6, you can manage your Waves plug-ins using iLok.com.
Using iLok for DEMO plug-ins
When it comes time to use a Demo or Trial plugin, software companies will deposit a temporary iLok license to your iLok.com account. All they need to do this is your iLok.com username.
The Demo License Process
Although it’s bound to vary a little depending on the plugin developer, the process generally goes like this.
Fill in the usual registration info that software companies usually ask for and ive them your iLok username. Within minutes you’ll see a little message in your iLok.com account saying
You have Licenses.
Demo licenses are effective from the time you transfer the license from your iLok account onto one of your iLoks – not from the time you request the demo. So, you can wait until you’re actually ready to demo it before you transfer the demo license onto your iLok.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to delete an expired demo licenses if you chose not to buy the plug-in you demo’d. If you’re like me and like to keep things organized just go and buy an iLok key specifically for demo plug-ins.
Software Vendors that use iLok
There are currently 49+ Software Vendors listed at iLok.com that use/support the iLok. You can view the complete up-to-date list of supported developers here.