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Pace iLok USB Dongle copy protection device

Pace's iLok USB Dongle copy protector reaches its third iteration  ·  Source: ilok.com

USB-based copy protection is a “marmite” technology: you either love it or hate it. Pace’s venerable iLok platform is (one of?) the audio industry’s biggest, providing “protection” for licenses from a number of manufacturers, including Avid, Line6, iZotope and many others. The third iLok generation has just been announced, promising smaller devices that are faster to access and can store more licenses.

The first thing that iLok users will like is that version 3 is substantially smaller than its predecessor. That’s good news in the age of smaller computers and more compact arrangements of USB ports. It also comes in a metal case. Ever found yourself frantically searching for the sticky tape, praying that the electronics of your USB dongle have survived that nudge with a coffee mug? Of course you have. Pace reckon the new version will provide better protection against “casual damage”.

These days smaller also means bigger; as computer components shrink they also get more powerful or can store more information. And so it is with iLok 3, which can now store 1500 licenses. That’s three times more than its predecessor. Great, if you need that many.

The advantages to USB dongles – yes, there are some – include the ability to take your licenses with you and work away from your main computer. Just plug your dongle into your other machine and off you go. Also, if your computer tanks all your licenses are safe and secure on your copy protection device. No need to re-authorise, just re-install and launch. But that’s pretty much it as far as advantages go…

Price and availability

The price has remained just shy of $50, so no change there. iLok 3 is shipping now. Head over to iLok.com to get your new key ring ornament now.

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ilok is a necessary evil, I’m afraid, but having been using it for over a decade, it rarely goes wrong. I’ve had one start to misbehave in all that time, and managed to replace it with minimal hassle.