hardware key


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hardware key

[′här‚dwer ‚kē]
(computer science)

hardware key

Also called a "dongle," it is a software copy protection device that plugs into the USB port of the computer. Upon startup, the application looks for the key and will run only if the key contains the appropriate code. Typically used for expensive software, hardware keys offer very effective copy protection because they cannot be easily duplicated.

Earlier Keys Dangled
The first hardware keys plugged into the serial or parallel ports. Because there was only one serial and one parallel port on the computer, the key acted as a pass-through so that other keys and peripheral devices could connect. In fact, the nickname "dongle" was derived from multiple hardware keys "dangling" off the port. See DMCA and dongle.


An Earlier Parallel Key
Earlier parallel port keys provided a pass-through so that additional keys or devices could be plugged in. The photo (top) shows the electronics inside. (Top image courtesy of SafeNet, Inc., www.safenet-inc.com)


An Earlier Parallel Key
Earlier parallel port keys provided a pass-through so that additional keys or devices could be plugged in. The photo (top) shows the electronics inside. (Top image courtesy of SafeNet, Inc., www.safenet-inc.com)
References in periodicals archive ?
Software protection solutions almost always involve sending a license, either a hardware key or an electronic license, or even a paper license, to the end user.
That will make it the complete package, which will be a lot easier to use and will negate the need for the hardware keys.
A new software licensing method incorporates a hardware key for each tester in the form of a USB Stick, which can be transferred from workstation to workstation for fast repair times.
The 4-inch display at the front is paired up with 1 hardware key, essentially the Menu button.
The AES family are fully compliant with Advanced Encryption Standard, and include hardware key expansion.
SafeNet's Luna products feature an integrated hardware security module (HSM) offering hardware key management and cryptographic acceleration for unrivalled security and performance.
Luna products feature true hardware key management to maintain the integrity of encryption keys.
License Subscriptions of Softwares and Hardware Keys :Item Name: Licensing VS2015 with following components - 1 Usera) License for scichart wpf professional for VS2015b) License for extreme optimization library for .
and responsiveness of hardware keys, but the durability of a touchscreen thanks
It provides more vertical space between the keys, imitating the steel bands that separated the hardware keys on the BlackBerry Bold.
Below the screen there are a combination of hardware keys (Home, Call, End Call) and resistive touch-sensitive keys (Back, Menu).
This is far more flexible than standard hardware keys and eliminates the need to memorise exactly which key performs what function.

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