·.·. Computer forensics software made in Germany .·.·


As a genuinely licensed user of our dongle-based software product variants, you are provided with a small sophisticated USB hardware device that unlocks the software and that is required for execution of the software (a copy protection method).

Our dongles have the following advantages:

  • A dongle driver does not need to be installed. No reboot is required after attaching the dongle. Since X-Ways Forensics does not need to be installed either, that means you can run X-Ways Forensics directly on a live machine from media such as a CD or USB stick, without unnecessarily destroying data by overwriting free space on the subject drive, without unnecessary changes to the system registry, etc.

  • The dongle does not act as a USB mass storage device, but as a human interface device (HID), just like a USB mouse. Like that, the dongle usually is not affected by USB port security locks enforced by administration.

  • 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. Attaching the dongle renders an installation executable. A dongle can be quickly exchanged between different computers.

  • Your license is represented by a physical object. It is easy to connect to your system. Install or simply execute X-Ways Forensics, plug in the dongle, and everything works.

  • You can store textual information inside the dongle from within X-Ways Forensics. Use this to have notes always available when working with X-Ways Forensics or simply to personalize your dongle with your name and address. The dongle could thus be a good place to store some hints, best-practice procedures or the like you wish to keep handy when using X-Ways Forensics.

  • The dongle helps us to protect against software piracy and consequently to keep prices reasonably low.

  • It can be insured against loss or theft, free of charge. If not insured, lost means lost and no replacement. If you lose an uninsured dongle, do not ask us about a new dongle and do not ask us to use the dongle of a different license as a replacement for the lost dongle. Questions like these are futile and only have disadvantages for you. You will forfeit the chance of a good-will discount on the purchase of a new license.

  • The software does not require Internet access to authenticate the license.

  • Works in virtual machines. (If your dongle repeatedly disconnects in a virtual machine, change settings to use USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0.)

  • Up to 16 dongles can be attached to the same computer at the same time. (However, you may want to consider a single multi-user dongle instead, see below.)

Weight: approx. 7 g ~ 110 grains ~ 1/4 ounce
Dimensions: 5.3 × 1.7 × 0.7 cm or 2.07 × 0.62 × 0.37 inches
Operating temperature: 0°C - 70°C
Storage temperature: -10°C - 80°C
Humidity: 20% - 80%
Certifications: CE, FCC

Material value declared when mailing the dongle overseas: EUR 11 / USD 12
Price that we charge for a dongle: EUR 0 (we do not sell the dongles, just "provide" them to unlock the software, 1 per license)
Delivery time overseas by postal mail: 4 days - 6 weeks (varies greatly, no shipping charges, no tracking number)
Delivery time overseas via DHL Express or FedEx Int'l Priority: 1-3 working days (for a surcharge, please specify your phone number in the order form!)
Surcharge for delivery of the dongle via DHL Express or FedEx Int'l Priority: depends on destination country, please see order form

A malfunctioning dongle can be exchanged for a new dongle. It must still be in your possession, including the metallic plug. Lost, misplaced or stolen dongles are not replaced, only if they were insured. If you lose an uninsured dongle, you cannot receive another dongle for that license. You could purchase a new license, and in that case we may be able to offer you a discount and apply the calculatory value of unused access to updates of the previous license (only if you do not ask us about a new dongle for the existing license).

Dongles have a serial number printed on the outer case or engraved in the metallic plug, starting with the letter R. However, we do not use that number to reference dongles. We use the so-called hardware ID instead, which is displayed in the program if the dongle is attached, in the Help | Dongle dialog. You can easily copy the ID from there. The first 8 digits are constant and sufficient to identify a dongle.


Two alternative to dongles that may be available for certain license types are BYOD and BYOD+. With BYOD there is no waiting time before you can use the software!

There are different types of dongles:

  • Regular dongles (color: green) represent 1 license each and allow 1 user to execute X-Ways Forensics on 1 computer at a time each, locally, even multiple instances of the program. Multiple dongles attached to the same computer are supported as of v16.5 to allow for multiple simultaneous users. The new "Smart" dongles are supported by default as of v17.7 SR-13, v17.8 SR-16, v17.9 SR-9, and v18.0 and later. They are labelled "R4 SMART".

  • Multi-user dongles (color: green) represent x licenses each (more than 1, no more than 50) and allow x users to execute X-Ways Forensics on 1 computer (e.g. via Remote Desktop Services/Terminal Services) at a time.

  • Network dongles (color: red) can represent 1 or more licenses (depends on how many licenses you order/have) and can be found by the software on the network. A dongle server program (alternatively available as a service) that we supply must be run on the machine with the dongle (a Windows machine) so that the dongle can be found. Supported by v16.8 SR-10, v16.9 SR-4, and v17.0 and later. If a network dongle with no more than 50 licenses is attached locally, it works exactly like a regular or multi-user dongle (depends on the number of licenses). With more than 50 licenses, it can only be used through the network interface (i.e. the dongle server program must be running on that computer). Multiple network dongles on the same or different machines on the same network can be used at the same time, and if more than 1 network dongle is found by the program, the user can choose one (if any of the dongles are fully utilized already by as many users as possible based on the number of licenses that they represent, this is shown).

How many simultaneous users a dongle supports, i.e. how many licenses it represents, can be verified in X-Ways Forensics at Help | Dongle. When multiple users at the same time share a regular dongle (which in fact must not be shared) or a multi-user dongle and they exceed the maximum number of allowed simultaneous uses (1 for a regular dongle), then the new user will push aside a previous user, i.e. a previous user will be requested by the software to save and stop his work and will eventually be kicked out. The behavior may change at any time. With a network dongle if the maximum number of allowed simultaneous uses has been reached, new users have to wait until the session(s) of a previous user terminates.

If you would like to exchange regular dongles that you already have for 1 network dongle, you can find pricing and an order form here (pricing subject to change). All the dongles that you wish to swap must still be functional and returned to us upon receipt of the network dongle, and they must actually reach us (you can request deactivation codes for them and apply them to at least make them useless when you send them out).

Important: If you wish to order your licenses with anything other than regular dongles, you must select that with your online order/must specify that on a purchase order sent to us, or else you will get regular dongles!

Dongles may be sent out in an inactive or only temporarily usable state and once received must be activated with an activation code. All dongles remain our property. If you are interested in a multi-user dongle when buying multiple licenses, please ask first.

X-Ways dongles can be made available to a remote system, e.g. a virtual machine in the cloud, where to run X-Ways Forensics, through RDP (RemoteFX USB Redirection). For instructions please see here. This can extend the range and flexibility of X-Ways Forensics for data acquisition and analysis work. Other instructions for similar dongles can be found hereUSB Network Gate, USB over Ethernet and Donglify also work.

Returning dongles