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User Review

Warning about iLok - Reviews PACE Anti-Piracy Inc. iLok

Value For Money : Poor Audience: Beginners
The iLok dongle system is too unpredictable and therefore not reliable for live performance. I recently went thru terrible stress when, on a major production in New Zealand, the licenses of my iLok 2 weren't recognised anymore and moreover I couldn't open Logic X files using Sonnox plugins (at least to replace them with iZotope equivalents or else). I noticed that the plugins that can be transferred to my HD (GRM Tools, Flux, etc…) never failed whereas the Sonnox which cannot be transferred and requires the use of the physical iLok fail from time to time (and require internet connection to work again…). During a studio session you might spend a couple of hours to fix the problem but forget about it in live show/performance or in a place without internet connection.

I’ve read here and there advices about getting cracked versions of my plugins. What a ridiculous situation: I would have to use cracked versions of plugins for which I paid and own the license… How can the software industry let such thing happen? It is like they are paradoxically rewarding theft…

On the other hand, I never had problems with any challenge/response protection in over 20 years (Native Instruments, Ableton Live, iZotope, etc, etc…). So handy not having to plug a dongle when travelling a lot with a laptop (working in cars, trains, flights…) plus the risk of forgetting to take the dongle with me.

I wrote a letter to iLok and Sonnox support letting them know in details my awful experience and asking them to allow for HD transferable licenses for any plugins I paid for and for which I need a professional grade reliability (especially the Sonnox in my case): they didn’t get back to me as of today. In the meantime, I’ll stop using the plugins “locked" on the iLok for any professional work…

Be warned.