SecureMetric Technology SecureDongle X
Strengths: Driverless dongle that can integrate into software applications for licensing and security.
Weaknesses: Weak documentation and difficult to use.
Verdict: Seems to lack maturity in all but functionality. However, don’t be put off by its drawbacks. It’s well worth a look if you are adding hardware license protection to your product.
SummaryThe SecureMetric SecureDongle X provides license protection so that software developers can protect their software against piracy. This is achieved by requiring the dongle be present to use the software. This tool includes many features to allow software developers to easily integrate the dongle into their software.
We found the software development kit (SDK) to be quite easy to install. The installation took just a few minutes and was guided by an easy-to-follow setup wizard. Using the product was a different story. The tool is broken up into several programs, which we found to be confusing and difficult to use. This device is geared specifically to developers and you have to be a developer to understand how to use it most effectively. We attribute this to the poor documentation.
The dongle can protect various types of files and executables, and parameters can be set, as well as various encryption options. The dongle itself is an HID (hardware ID) standard device, making it driverless on the PC. It does not have a footprint on the computer on which it is used because the driver is on the dongle. This allows for lots of deployment flexibility.
The documentation included only a short developer guide PDF, which outlined product features and error codes. This PDF was basic and provided no installation or configuration information. The SDK has several pieces of example code and other supporting files, but the supplied developer guide is poorly organized and there is little guidance for using the included examples. We would like to have seen a more comprehesive developer's guide that supports the good examples.
SecureMetric offers phone and email tech support eight hours a day/five days a week. This includes help integrating the product with the customer's software. There is a small support section on the website. We found the FAQ mostly to address marketing-related questions with little technical depth.
At a price ranging from $2.95 to $5.35 per dongle depending on quantity, we find that while fairly inexpensive, this product is an average value for the money. While it does provide some solid features, it is difficult to use and lacks solid documentation.