Can I buy just the USB licenser at a local music store?

Hello all,

I wanted to upgrade from Cubase AI to Cubase Pro 10 from the online shop of Steinberg. The only thing is that the USB licenser dongle, which Cubase Pro needs, comes upto 4 times the cost including shipping and other customs and taxes in my country.

I have seen Cubase and the licenser dongle sold seperately in many stores online and locally. So can I buy the downloadable version of Cubase at the Steinberg online store and purchase the license dongle at a local store? Will that work?

I am very new to dongle licenses. Would really appreciate if anyone can answer my noob question. :slight_smile:

Thank you!

You can do as you propose - buy the USB eLicenser locally and buy the downloadable version of the Cubase Pro upgrade online. Make sure that you decline any suggestion to buy a USB eLicenser alongside your upgrade purchase; you might find one has been added to your online store shopping basket that you need to delete before checking out.

I got my USB eLicenser from Amazon UK when I bought Cubase Pro - with Amazon Prime I had the eLicenser the evening I ordered it and paid a negligible amount more than having an eLicenser shipped from the online store. If the eLicenser is more expensive online, it makes sense to buy it locally.

Enjoy Cubase Pro when you upgrade.

Hey David,

Thanks for the quick reply! Yes I plan on doing exactly what you did. Did you buy Cubase at the Steinberg store or some other online store? Because I just checked and I might have to buy it from Sweetwater because of payment methods. Are there any other stores online where I can get a cubase upgrade?

Reading your reply, it seems that the software can be bought at any store and the dongle at any different store and the licenses will work. Did I get that right? Just trying to wrap my head around this dongle business.

I bought all my Steinberg licences (Cubase, Dorico and Ionica) on the Steinberg store online. They take cards and PayPal - I used my American Express card to pay.

There are two ways to buy Cubase.

If you buy a downloadable version, you get an Activation Code that allows you to download a licence onto a USB eLicenser using eLicenser Control Center. This is likely to be the same process you used to obtain your licence for Cubase AI other than the licence must be downloaded to a USB eLicenser and will not work with a soft eLicenser on your computer.

A boxed version of Cubase Pro includes a licence and a USB eLicenser. I believe you get the licence code on a card and there is a process to follow to turn it into an Activation Code that downloads the permanent licence onto the USB eLicenser. I have never bought a boxed product.

The USB eLicenser can come from anywhere - it has to be a Steinberg eLicenser or a Vienna Key (which is a Vienna Symphonic Library branded eLicenser). iLoks and other USB dongles will not work with Steinberg products. To get your Cubase Pro licence you will need:

  • a computer with a recent version of eLicenser Control Center installed - if you have installed Cubase Pro from the latest version of the full installed from Steinberg Download Manager, you already have this
  • Internet access
  • the Cubase AI licence you are upgrading on your computer
  • the Activation Code for the upgrade
  • a USB eLicenser plugged into the computer

Once you have those things, you enter the Activation Code and you should be guided through the process of replacing your Cubase AI licence with a Cubase Pro licence. I am not sure whether you need to put the Cubase AI licence on the USB eLicenser first, but if you do that is simply a matter of drag and drop in eLicenser Control Center.

Make sure you use the option in eLicenser Control Center to register the USB eLicenser against your My Steinberg account. Amongst other things, this entitles you to a ‘zero downtime’ replacement of any Steinberg licences on the eLicenser if it is broken, lost or stolen - you just need a replacement USB eLicenser (at your expense).

Hey David,

Just wasn’t being able to login on the forum for days. Thank you so much for such detailed walkthrough. I finally bought the download version and had the dongle shipped seperately. The shipment is due next week. Super excited. :slight_smile:

Will keep in mind all the things you said while installing. Thank you so much for the help!

I was so excited about my purchase I didn’t even see that extra item. Now I bought one from a local music store and gave Steinberg an extra couple of bucks. :confused:

Oh well, I guess it’s always good to have backup dongles in case I lose it.

A spare is no bad thing in case you ever damage your dongle and need to transfer its licence(s) to a new one, or your dongle is lost / stolen / stops working and you need to make a zero downtime claim.