Please get rid of this dongle

Hey guys,

Steinberg is the only company in my software suite that makes us use a USB dongle. My MacBook Pro only has usb C ports, so I’m forced to use an adapter while working on the road.

Adobe $600/year: no dongle
Spitfire audio samples $10,000: no dongle
Komplete $1000: No dongle

Cubase $550: DONGLE? Come on guys, please use an internet activation system like everyone else.


I lost my dongle for 7.5 pro in a move. I screwed up in the E-license controller and accidently deleted something important. I phoned support (in Canada) and basically was told, oh well you lost your dongle tough luck your out the $899. This dongle crap is so 2005 technology. I now refuse to buy Cubase products. I wanted to upgrade to 10.5 but if it requires a dongle. I am NOT buying period. It is the dumbest security system in existence.

For lost or broken dongles like MattGunther tells you should for sure consult your home-insurance.
It takes some wrong steps to get into that situation. Steinberg is well prepared to help - we just have to take some simple precautionary steps.

The need of an Adapter (take a longer cable and protect your dongle in a case while connected - just a recommendation from my side).

Having said all that - I hate dongles.

And a side remark on the Komplete-Thing: We dont need a dongle to run Komplete. But this adavantage is more then killed by the missing option to download the installation files to one computer that is connected to the internet and then install the software on a different computer. This is a big issue and I would love to have it solved even if the price is to need a dongle…

The cable adapter thingy is a good idea. Will try it at home .

I have to add my 2 cents. I am new and maybe out of it .

I fail to see why we need a dongle if there is a software eLicencer option. Also, why can’t Steinberg just use the eLicencer solution to the way UVI and others use the iLok solution.

A big NO from me.
If Dongle-less means Challenge/response I won’t upgrade any further.

Cubase is also the only DAW application that has NOT been compromised in recent years. because of the dongle. piracy hurts us all

If they just allowed us to purchase a secondary/discount license that echos the Cubase version that the main license is, it could then sit on it’s own ‘portable’ dongle - would be an improvement.

Going between machines, every day i have to pop out and remove the dongle, take it with me at night etc. I may only need to use the dongle for 1 hour a week outside of my main studio, but i need to have it with me everyday ‘just in case’ - I can’t justify paying for a second Cubase Pro AND annual upgrades for that ability - but Steinberg could make things FAR easier with a secondary license option, it provides customers piece of mind if anything happens to the primary too.

To control/limit the chance of passing the second stick on to someone externally, they could just ask that you activate the secondary dongle to your primary once every 30 days by plugging them both in to a machine with the elicenser software.


Yeah, plugging the dongle in ever 30 days would be a reasonable compromise I guess.

I love my dongle.
My dongle is my best friend

I don’t have a problem with the dongle myself but I do understand why some people have issues with having a USB hardware dongle when travelling with a laptop etc.

Is your statement true though? As far as I can google, Bitwig hasn’t been compromised either and it does not use a hardware dongle.

I wish all my software licences were ‘dongled’, companies/developers have different protection systems and I find it a pain in the arse when doing the occasional clean re-install of the DAW.
Sometimes it takes several days to contact certain developers when attempting to authorise their products. Naah, give me the dongle any day :wink:

Butwig is relatively new compared to Cubase. Iirc, the last pirated version was C5. That was many years ago. I’m sure Steinberg has some data on lost revenue due to potential users who wont use Cubase for that reason.

Personally I like a developer who’s applications are not copied. For myself it adds value. Same concept for UAD. But I understand the lost convience for others. I’ll bet within a couple years there will be an alternative.

Wrong. Reason hasn’t been cracked either, and that doesn’t require a dongle.

When I worked as a studio manager in a college, I cable tied all the dongles to the keyboards of the macs. That’ll stop em I thought…buggers just nicked the whole keyboard and replaced it with another identical one…during a lesson…

Totally, i remember back in the day people who owned legit copies of Cubase running the hacked versions as the performance was better due to the CPU overhead of the protection system being disabled.

I used to feel a right mug in the years where i was DJing with Ableton too, i never met one person who owned a legal copy of it in their rig and i used to get laughed at cause i had paid for it, being asked ‘why?’…!

From my perspective I think anyone who’s grown up investing into audio hardware can see the value in well developed software, so i’ve always equated what a DAW can do with a hardware sequencer so they’ve always offered huge value for money in comparison. Someone coming from a different perspective of course would see things differently.

But yes, knowing that the product you’ve purchased is protected from others just walking in and taking it for free, definitely adds value… Particularly when you’re paying yearly for the upgrades. If there was a hacked copy of Cubase available that ran better or had bug fixes, that’d be a right kick in the nuts… But history has shown it’s possible.

Bigger problem is the fragility of the plasticy nub. I’ve superglued the shell shut to try and give it some greater rigidity but its only a matter of time. Don’t see why they haven’t moved to a small sturdy all metal dongle like the iLok3, which I have no worries about.

I like it. It means I can move between machines easily. When I install a new version I don’t have get an authorisation. If I build a new pc I don’t have to worry if I have the info to get authorisation or think about removing it from my current pc if I rebuild. I can see why it’s not good for others though

The Steinberg dongle keeps my iLok company.