X-Ways
·.·. Computer forensics software made in Germany .·.·
   
 

Licensing Terminology and Details

Some definitions as used by X-Ways...

License: Invisible, non-physical permission/right to use a certain software product (limited to certain versions or limited to a certain time). Granted upon purchase. Cannot be sent by postal mail or e-mail or in any other way. Either you have it or not.

License codes/license file/dongle/BYOD: Technical means to allow licensed users to use a software product and prevent others from doing the same. Not identical to the license itself. License codes/file/dongle can be sent either physically or electronically.

Perpetual license: Unless described otherwise (for example as a non-perpetual, annual, or temporary license), licenses for X-Ways software products are perpetual (permanent) licenses, which means they never expire. That means they allow the customer to use the licensed software indefinitely. What is limited is just the period during which you have access to updates if that is included in the license. 
 

 

Temporary/annual/non-perpetual license: A license that allows to use the software for a limited time only (e.g. for 1 or 2 years). Also called a “subscription” elsewhere. Includes access to updates for the same period. Cannot be converted to a perpetual license. If you buy a license for 2 years in advance instead of just 1 year, you save money because another annual license or a renewal for 1 year will be more expensive if bought 1 year later. The validity period of temporary licenses for 1 months or 1 or 2 years starts immediately when ordered. There are no automatic renewals.

Licenses for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days come in handy if you have a need to run the software on many more computers at the same time than usually, such as for training purposes or if you wish to parallelize processing (keyword searches, volume snapshot refinements) with X-Ways Forensics using multiple instances on multiple computers for an unusually large or urgent case or if you generally only need X-Ways Forensics occasionally on a few days per year. Useful also when conducting triage on a large number of computers on site, i.e. where you have to quickly verify using special methods (keyword search, filename filter, skin tone computation on 10% of all pictures, ...) whether or not there is potential evidence on a computer, and depending on the result decide to acquire all its data on site or take the hardware away or just leave the computer alone.

The validity of a temporary license for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days starts when the license file for a certain BYOD key device is retrieved. For each license (if not Start & Go, see below) you may request a license file for a different key device at different times! Example: You purchase such 10 licenses in January, and could decide to use 2 of them right away, 1 in mid February, 3 in early March, 2 in late March, and 2 in May. The licenses expire if the license files are not retrieved within 1 year from the date of purchase. 1 day usage means 24 hours (+at least 1 extra hour is granted automatically, e.g. for preparation). 2 days = 48 hours (+1). 3 days = 72 hours (+1). Daily licenses are cost-effective if you purchase larger numbers licenses at the same time. Available for X-Ways Forensics 18.0 and later.

 

Access to updates: New versions (updates) that are released during this period of time will be made available to a licensed user at no additional cost. The exact date when access to updates ends is defined when you purchase the license. Not when you start using the software as some users think when they have to wait for a while to receive their dongle. The period during which you have access to updates is totally unrelated to the time when you start using the software and the indefinite time that you can use a perpetual license for. With a perpetual license, you are permitted to continue to use the last version that was released and downloaded before your access to updates expired, for an indefinite time, as long as technically possible.

Upgrade: To fit an existing perpetual license with longer access to updates (before or after the previous access period expires) or to convert it to a superior license type (e.g. a specialist license for WinHex to a license for X-Ways Forensics), which may extend the period of access to updates as well. If users wish to use a newer version of the software which is no longer covered by their access to updates, they need to upgrade their licenses with access for a longer time, i.e. pay for a new period of access to updates for those licenses. In that situation the new period is counted either from the date when that upgrade is purchased or, if the licenses currently still have access to updates, from the date when the current acess period will expire, whichever is later. Upgrades are usually offered when you query your license status once you approach the end of your current access term and still after access to updates has expired.

Renewal: Extending the validity of an annual/temporary/non-perpetual license. Such a renewal for X-Ways Forensics by 1 full year is usually offered during the last 2 months before the license expires, when you query your license status, with a discount, or at any later time.

Technical support: Support contracts are not currently being offered by X-Ways.

Version: Development state of the software identified by a number such as 1.2 or 15.0. The dot functions as a decimal point, i.e. 6.1 is newer than 6.09.

Update: Newer version, i.e. a version with a higher version number. The availability of an update to X-Ways Forensics/X-Ways Investigator/WinHex is announced through the newsletter.

Preview version: Version that is not yet officially released, but introduces new interesting features that are worth seeing in advance for some users to get an idea of what improvements one can expect and to give feedback for the final design or because they cannot or do not want to wait to get this functionality. Comes with a built-in expiration date. Users are notified of the availability of a preview version in the "Announcements" section of the forum.

Beta version: Version that is not yet officially released, but contains new feature or improvements that are worth seeing and testing. Comes with a built-in expiration date. Already nearer to the final release than a preview version. Also announced in the forum.

Service release: Error corrections or minor improvements added to an already officially released version. Abbreviation: SR. Also announced in the forum.

Start & Go: A variant of BYOD, available for license types whose description contains the word "Start & Go". Means that you may use a single BYOD key device (a removable medium) for multiple licenses, and may unplug the device as soon as the software is running on one computer, and then immediately use the same device again to start up the software on another machine, and then another and another. As always, x licenses allow you to run the software on x computers at a time, but the software is unlocked on all of these computers with just a single key device. Unlike with ordinary multiple daily licenses purchased together, all licenses with Start & Go have the exact same validity period (which starts when requesting the license file).

Addresses: When ordering our software online, you can specify a separate delivery, billing, and licensee address. Only the delivery address will receive the electronic delivery by e-mail (and also the physical delivery, if any). Only the billing address will receive the invoice (and also the quote, if a quote is generated first). The person or organization entered as the licensee address will become the owner of the license. Of course, all three addresses can be identical, if you like, but especially for resellers it is useful to distinguish between the three. When you sign up one of your colleagues for our training, please enter his or her name in the delivery address, so that we will know who will actually attend. Thank you.

License agreement

License type comparison, Upgrade chart