Forgot the dongle - what are my options?

You mean from one dongle to another?

I’m guessing it might work like iLok where the manager software is the one that “authorizes” the license on the dongle, but it also deletes licenses. So if you need to move from one to the other you can’t do that with only the software and the target dongle, because the source dongle needs to have the license deleted. If that wasn’t the case users would do this all the time - they’d buy or even just borrow a dongle with a license and view it in software and just “duplicate” it to new dongles.

Hi Chris…
I never change my trousers nor shirt, but I have a little compartment surgically carved into my belly where I keep the dongle, …always!…

Nah, I know in advance if I might need the dongle ( with licenses for Elements and demo versions) and keep it in a little hard shell box for safe keeping.
I also carry a Stick with me containing the full version downloads to be able to work anywhere and when if that is necessary.
Also for many Plugins and soundlibraries / Sound-FXs.
These days I test a bootable Win-USB stick with all necessary Programs and data already installed on it. Plug&play, so to speak.
If you have occasionally to deal with unforseeable Jobs or fixes, I agree, carrying the dongle with you at all times is a bit of a pain.
Mind you, my original eLicenser stick is, for many years now, still functioning without any flaws. Call it luck or cautiousness…
But, a temporary license for Nuendo via internet over the MySteinberg account seems a feasible idea I’d fully support.
Cheers Big K

You need two dongles connected to one machine, then it’s easy. Which won’t help in your case. But a demo would.

My keys are very old, and it’s just caused huge problems, see this thread

I found it hard to believe that 3 different keys (however old) would fail at one time, but that’s what happened, as I transferred the N8 license from one to another they all showed the same fault. The new key is fine so far and N8 loads considerably quicker with it.

IIRC audio software is the only thing using dongles any more.

It’s ridiculous, dongles should have been rendered a thing of the past 10 years ago.

Quite contrary. Dongles are a very simple, straight-forward way to have your software travelling with you, even when you work on different systems all the time (… which is daily business when you’re a freelancing professional). As a matter of fact I have consciously stopped buying software which licenses are somehow linked to anything else than (movable) keyfiles or hardware dongles.

Respectfully, but strongly disagree. There are advantages in some instances, but in my case, the dongle is an extraordinary inconvenience. I’m interested in options. The iLok License Manager, for example, at least gives you a choice…


In my experience I tend strongly to agree with Dietz ( how are you, Pal? ).
Meanwhile, I have tested the traveling setup with a bootable USB stick containing all essential progs/data/files/libraries
and the eLicenser dongle.
It is swift and reliable. Sure, keeping the gadgets protected against any physical harm is essential, but is not “Mission Impossible”, is it?
And using online license managers in addition is not taken from anybody, either.

Hello ffg:
My dongles are just as old, but maybe not as heavily used/ transported. I think, they would keep on for a while longer, yet, nobody can say…
A new e-Licenser dongle is waiting to be brought into use. I’ll might swap them in a few days time and keep the old one as backup…
Always better safe than sorry.

Servus, Big K
LOL… I still have a white Nuendo parallel port dongle from way back when somewhere. How was that for inconvenient?
Btw., it is for sale… Anybody? :wink:

It’s a numbers game. In my case it seems to be Mission Impossible indeed! Sooner or later the law of averages, or Murphy’s Law, or good old bad luck finds its opening around whatever protective measures are in place, and dongle gets whacked by a flight attendant or a kid running through the airport, or… whoops, there goes another USB port and/or plastic dongle case…

Just goes to show how different our working environments can be. I’m sure I’m harder on the hardware than your average post person, but that’s the unavoidable nature of my situation(s).

I guess I could just blame technology all around for making it even possible to work under less-than-optimal conditions… :slight_smile:

But still, I’d love to see options.


All the professional software I use that isn’t dongle based generally allows me to install it on as many machines as I like, I just need to authorise it once when I install it.

Steinberg eradicated piracy of it’s products for how long, 5 years was it? What benefits of that did we see? Because I can’t say I noticed any kind of radical shift in development or pricing or anything.

Dongles are a useless relic of the past that it’s simply embarassing us in audio still cling to.

What would you do if there is no internet availlable on location or on the studio’s computer?
Servus, Big K

Then I would use a dongle. But this is the only scenario, something that became very rare. I dont recall a studio without an internet in the last 10 years.

i dont get the “pros” of physical dongles at all. When Steinberg were the only player without hacked products, It had some logic, but now?
Pro tools is secure and you can use ilok cloud, dongle free.

I assume I wouldn’t be installing my software on location, and I can’t imagine a studio without internet.

If desperate I guess I can always connect with my phone.

Besides, you still need internet to authorise the dongle anyway, so I’m not sure what your point is.

The classical example of “complication by progress”, in my book. I leave studio A with my dongles in their little hard case, switch to Studio B, go back to A next day … and all I have to do is to plug in the USB hub. I don’t have to open a browser/activate/deactivate/wait for the WiFi/etc. … everything simply works. Next month I’ll sit on the remote island, equipped with my notebook and do a few hours of work every now and then - and I don’t have to bother with roaming, pre-paid SIM cards and so on, just to open Nuendo (or other stuff).

… and so on.

Sunday I had a session as a player in a small recording studio, far from home. When I arrived things were already in progress. The producer was on a creative roll, so to speak, and the engineer was tightly focused on what he was saying– things were kind of tense. I had stems on my laptop that I needed to bounce to a usb drive they gave me. In that situation, at that moment, if I had a auth problem and had to ask for a wifi password it definitely would not have helped the situation. I just quietly plugged in the dongle, and did my stuff, passed the usb stick to the engineer and came out smelling like a Zen garden.

10 years ago, I hated the usb key, and now I have good habits for remembering to bring it along, and I love it. I also have a spare with a 25 hour license on it (I sacrificed a Cubase SX 1 dongle to get a zdt license).

SB will come out with a soft license for the big programs, just as they have for Dorico and Halion, and everybody will be able to screw things up exactly as they wish, with dongle, or without. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

With the words of the mighty Meat Loaf: you took the words right out of my mouth… :wink:

Btw., my main machine is only temporarily hooked up to the net when I want to install or register something.
I certainly would not allow a customer or an external engineer to freely install and register any softwares which
can amount to a frightenly high number. Who’ll clean the box up, afterwards? Nty…
Hey, has anybody ever been brutally stalled when Microsoft decides to run an update on Win 10…for s e v e r a l minutes,
when da customer is waiting in yar neck?

Apropos “Einsame Insel… Dietz…” some time ago I co-produced a short movie about Namibien Wildlife… Large cats with long teeth, a.s.f.
No Internet in the Namib Desert…I can tee ya…LOL … Dongles are my friends…all the way.
Sure, one could always drag an (old) NAGRA and a cutting set for tape into the sandy dunes…

Servus, Big K

I’ve never had to do that with any of my non-dongle software outside of the initial install.

Instead I can take my laptop to where Im working and everything just works, apart from Nuendo and my ilok plugins where if my dongle broke, got lost, or was simply forgotten, I’d be absolutely fucked.

But to add to that … I wonder if we really need any kind of security anyway?

Again, how long was Cubase/Nuendo ‘uncrackable’? Weren’t they completely unpirated from versions 5 to 8 or something? Did it make a significant difference to income?

I consider that standpoint as slightly starry-eyed…
Of course, there would be piracy and loss of revenue…and that would make Nuendo not any cheaper, I suppose.
As well as that, a load more of the bedroom setup competitors would come up which give you headache and
might make u think about the investments you’ve made in your studio and your further existence.
What makes the case for dropping a long year successful protection scheme against piracy and cracks ?
Just the enormous problem to carry a little dongle in a hard case with you when working out of studio?
Well, this is wailing on a very high level.
Peace, everybody should work the way he wants…

Servus, Big K

Enormity is relative. The little dongle doesn’t stay in the hard case when working out of the studio. The hassle of dealing with dongle-related issues, be they breakage or loss or damage to a mobile computer, is potentially enormous.

Over the past five years I’m not proud of having lost at least one dongle (thank goodness I had developed a relationship with a Yamaha/Steinberg rep at NAMM who sped my license reassignment through); I’ve had three break on me while in service, and two laptops have lost USB ports (ok, they were getting old anyway, but that’s beside the point) by dongles getting whacked by situationally unaware crew members. I do work with redundant systems, and have backup software in case of emergency. But that does not diminish the extreme (in the moment, enormous, even) hassle of having to deal with dongle-related issues when they occur in the field. There are plenty of prophylactic measures one can take to minimize the potential for these things to happen, but they still do. I’m pretty sure that the state of the art includes more versatile and less inconvenient means of piracy protection. I’d like to see something happen sooner than later. The idea is to enhance workflow, not complicate it. If you don’t do a lot of remote work, then this may not be an issue for you. For those of us who do, it is a big deal.