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 you wish to run the software to unlock it, similar to a regular
is BYOD plus more options, as described here.
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
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).
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 for
exceptions will be denied or more likely completely ignored,
Which devices are usually
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.
Still experimental, availability subject to change,
and currently offered only for long-term licenses for X-Ways
Forensics, as of v19.3: You can select our web server as an online key device.
That means the software requires Internet access while running
to get and stay unlocked. Only program-specific
data is sent to the web server: Program name, version, session
identification, license identification. The total amount
of data sent out is very small. Your IP address
will be received by the web server, of course, and is allowed to
change while running the software. On the way from the web
server to you only data to unlock full functionality in the
software is sent. Selecting our web server as the key
device is useful in particular if your intention is to run
X-Ways Forensics under Linux in Wine or on a virtual machine to
whose host machine you do not have physical access and thus
cannot plug in any USB storage device.
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
or X-Ways Forensics (for example just the evaluation version of WinHex,
downloadable from here),
explicitly as administrator.
Hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard
and click the version
number in the upper right corner of the main window.
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.