Protect your AVA investment!
September 9, 2013
We would like to remind all our customers of the importance of protecting your AVA investment. We have been recommending for many years that you transition your dongles to ikeys (free of charge) as soon as you possibly can in order to safeguard your asset.
AVA currently supports two types of software dongle – the traditional ‘stand alone’ type and the more secure, ‘ikey’ type. For anyone not familiar with these terms, here is a brief description…
Stand Alone keys
Traditional USB keys or ‘dongles’ run independently and will continue to work for as long as the computer and the software version being used continue to run. This type of dongle offers less security to the owner in an instance of loss or theft as it can be used on any other Macintosh computer (providing the user has a copy of the AVA software and the corresponding key code). Unfortunately, this means that when a stand alone dongle is lost or stolen we are unable to prevent the key from being used by a third party.
This is why we strongly advise our customers to ensure that their AVA software is fully covered against loss, fire or theft in their business insurance policy for the full replacement cost of the software. If a stand alone AVA dongle is stolen, you will need to pay the full price of your software again before your key is replaced. As we have no way of deactivating a traditional dongle in such an instance, it is likely to be re-sold on the black market or used by the thief – thus depriving AVA of the revenue which we rely upon to finance the support and further development of our product. We are aware of the fact that there are a number of ‘lost or stolen’ such keys in circulation.
Ikeys (internet enabled keys)
Ikeys, on the other hand, were introduced by AVA several years ago, and do not have the above problems. Instead, they offer increased security and flexibility to their owners.
An ikey is an internet enabled key which charges while the software is being used with an internet connection. It looks exactly the same as a stand alone dongle, but has the benefit of being much more secure. If an ikey is reported lost or stolen, AVA can remotely disable the software to prevent further use of that key. This means that we can replace ikeys for a small fee to cover the cost of the hardware and administration, rather than the full cost of the software – so you don’t need to worry about insuring your software.
Ikeys will work off-line for approximately 10 days (100 hours), ensuring that you can travel and work with AVA. Without a connection, an ikey will eventually lose its charge and, having given due warning, simply stop working. All you have to do to ‘top up’ an ikey, is connect to the internet briefly and launch the AVA software. This in turn contacts our server, validates the license and recharges the key.
Ikeys are available to all AVA customers with a current CAD Development Plan or Lease. Switching from stand alone to ikeys is completely free of charge, and the process is very simple. We carry out to a quick test check whether you are able to use ikeys with your network/internet set up as proxy servers and firewalls can prevent them from working and then arrange physical exchange of keys with you.
If you are interested in transitioning any of your existing dongles over to keys, please contact AVA Technical Support for further information.