X-Ways
·.·. Computer forensics software made in Germany .·.·
   
 

X-Ways BYOD

Certain license types that we offer may use BYOD copy protection to unlock the software. BYOD stands for "Bring your own device/disk/dongle". You select a physical storage device that you already own and have readily available when you order the software. That device will act as a key for one license and must be attached locally to the computer where and when you wish to run the software, similar to a regular dongle. BYOD+ is BYOD plus more options, as described here.

  

Advantages

  • You can start using the software immediately, typically within minutes after placing your order online (depending on your payment method), and do not need to wait for a dongle to arrive by postal mail days or weeks later. (Courier service still takes a few days and costs extra.)

  • No risk of additional delays in transit, problems at customs, or loss in the postal mail system.

  • As your key device you could choose a large external USB hard disk, serving as a storage location for data that you acquire on site and a substitute for a dongle at the same time, and can contain the software itself as well, all in one, requiring only 1 free USB port. A very portable solution.

  • As your key device you could choose an internal hard disk/SSD, so that you don't need any free USB port.

  • For work in your own office, the software may be installed on several of your computers at the same time even if you only own a single license, for your convenience. While the key device is attached to a given machine, the software is executable on that machine. A USB stick can be quickly exchanged between different computers and would be very suitable in this scenario, an internal hard disk/SSD obviously not so much.

  • The same key device may also hold multiple licenses. That is useful if the software is run by multiple users at a time on the same computer, e.g. a terminal server.

  • The software does not need Internet access to authenticate the license. The key device does not need to have Internet access either. Only with your web browser (on a different computer if you prefer) you will need Internet access for a few seconds. The only data transmitted to us at that occasion is a 26-digit hexadecimal code = the ID of your key device (see below). This process usually needs to be repeated regularly (see below).

  • Same full forensic feature set as the dongle-based version of the software. Functionality 100% identical, 100% compatibility. (But different download.)

  • Certain organizations with high security sensibilities do not need to trust/test additional hardware such as the regular USB dongles.

  • Risk of loss limited: If you lose your key device and if it was activated only for a short time, e.g. 1 month, you can select a new key device at the end of the current activation period. A dongle for unlimited use on the other hand would not be replaced if lost or stolen.

  • “Start & Go” (simultaneous execution of the software on multiple computers with just 1 key device) available for certain licenses types (details here).

Disadvantage

  • Your key device becomes an object of value. Please mark it clearly and take good care of it. If you lose it or if it malfunctions, then you have a problem, as you will not be able to use the software any more for a while. The risk is limited because the key device is activated only for a finite time. When you start using the storage device as a BYOD key device, we let you decide for how many months it should be activated: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 months (the first time 3 at most). At the end of each such sub-period you can activate the same device again or choose a different device, but only then! You cannot select a new key device during the period for which another key device was already activated! Requests to make an exceptions will be denied or more likely simply ignored, sorry.

Which devices are usually suitable

  • Most internal hard disks and SSDs. (RAIDs, Windows Storage Spaces, and the simulated main storage devices in virtual machines are obviously not hard disks or SSDs.)

  • Most large external hard disks directly attached via USB.

  • Many current USB stick models, for example of these brands: SanDisk, Imation, Kingston, Intenso, TDK, Verbatim, Toshiba, Sony, I-O DATA, Buffalo, ADATA, PNY (models Mini-Mobile Design and Brick), Patriot Supersonic/Xporter, Transcend JetFlash (370 and 530 and probably others), HP v165w, Lexar JumpDrive, Lexar JumpDrive FireFly. The following models for example are known to be incompatible: HP v225w, Team Group S112.

The device must have at least one drive letter assigned to it where you can store files.

How to select a device

This is how to make sure that a particular device that you have is accepted by the software for BYOD, ideally before the purchase (to avoid unpleasant surprises!) and to find out its device ID:

  1. Execute WinHex or X-Ways Forensics (for example just the evaluation version of WinHex, downloadable from here), explicitly as administrator.

  2. Hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click the version number in the upper right corner of the main window.

  3. In the “BYOD” section you will hopefully be shown a list of devices that are most likely suitable that are currently attached to your system. Select your favorite device and click OK. If and only if a device ID is shown, the device is suitable! (when connected to the computer that way, very possibly not when connected in another way, for example through a different bus type)

How to activate your key device

Once you have obtained a license, you copy the device ID and paste it on a web page that we point you to. In return you will receive data to store on the device. This will activate it as a BYOD key device. You need to repeat this simple procedure (visit the web page, enter the device ID, and save the result) every x months (see above) to keep your device activated and be able to use the software. You can only choose 1 key device per license for a given period, of course.

 

An old version of this document applicable to purchases before Feb 22, 2017 is here.