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FARO® Knowledge Base

About FARO Software License Keys, Activating, and Updating

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Understanding FARO® license keys makes it easier to install, activate, and upgrade your FARO software license. Click here to view your complete FARO software license agreement (EULA).

When you first download and install FARO® software, you can run it using a trial license. The time frame for the trial license varies depending the which FARO software you are using. Search this knowledge base for the Activate and Update article for your FARO software and find the trial license time frame in the Overview section. 

The trial key is meant to give you time to familiarize yourself with software or to contact FARO sales to make a purchase and choose a warranty option. As part of this purchase you receive a license key. The key provides secure access to FARO software and entitles you to receive software upgrades during the specified time frame. The license key appears on a sticker on the front, back, or inside of the software package or on the memory stick that contains the software.

TIP: Always keep a copy of the key. You will need it when you renew your warranty or upgrade your software. You cannot get it within the software.

The sections in this article provide an overview of keys and how to work with them. 

License Types and Containers

Your software license can be provided using different license types and containers. When you purchase FARO software, discuss with the Sales Agent which license types and containers are best for you. There are two license types: single-user or network. Each of these license types can be stored in different containers: a product key that you enter into the software or a USB dongle.

License Types and Containers  
Single-User License / Product Key Network License / Product Key
Single-User License / Dongle Network License / Dongle

You can use product keys or dongles regardless of how you get the software: from a digital download or from a physical media, such as a memory stick. Both product keys and dongles can contain more than one key.

See the following sections for descriptions of each license type and container.

Single-User or Network Licenses

  • A single-user license provides one key only that can be used by one specific person at a time. 
  • A Network license provides a specified number of keys, which are available in a pool, and are supplied by a network server on a first-come-first-serve basis to requesting client computers where FARO software is installed and running. When all the keys are in use, the next client computer to request a license is denied. When one computer stops using a key, that key becomes available to be requested by any other computer. 

Product Keys or Dongles

  • Product keys are alphanumeric codes that you enter into the software when prompted. This makes them specific to a particular computer and not interchangeable with other computers. Product keys are also called license codes, soft locks, soft keys, SKs or SLs. When you order FARO software, a product key is the default license container.  

    With each product key you get three activations. A key activation is a count of the times you use a particular product product key to run FARO software on different computers or hard disks. Activations only apply to product keys. 

    Activations are meant to enable you to work if a computer or hard disk fails. For example, when you initially install the software on a computer or hard disk, you use one activation. If that computer becomes unusable for some reason, such as the hard drive fails, the second activation enables you to install the software on a second computer or hard disk. This leaves you one more activation in case you need it. If you no longer plan to run FARO software on a computer or hard disk, you can contact FARO Support to transfer and reactivate your key on a different computer. This removes the activation from the original computer so that you cannot run FARO software on that computer. If you use all three activations and need more, contact FARO Support. Agents will work with you to determine your needs.

    The license key for a product key appears on the front or back, outside or inside the software packaging.
  • Dongles are physical USB devices that look like memory sticks. You insert the dongle into a USB port on your computer before you run FARO software so that the software can automatically detect the key. A dongle can be used with more than one computer by moving it from one computer to another. Dongles are also called portlocks, hard locks, hard keys, HKs,  HLs, USB dongles, or USB license sticks. When you order FARO software, a dongle is optional. Although there is an extra charge to purchase a dongle, they enable you to be mobile, running FARO software on more than one computer without having to pay for additional licenses.

    The license key for a dongle appears on the front or back, outside or inside the dongle packaging. On some dongles, the key is eched on the back of the dongle.
    Dongle or PortLock     DongleWithLicenseKeyOnBack.png

Combining License Key Types and Containers

To purchase the right combination of license key types and containers, consider the Conditions for Purchase table below. For help deciding which combination license key type and container is right for you, please contact your regional FARO Sales representative.

Conditions       Purchase
No Network One or More Users Always Use the Same Computer
(Not Mobile)
  Single User License/Product Key
for each computer/person you want  to run FARO software 
No Network One or More Users Often Use More Than One Computer In Different Locations
Can Share a Dongle
(Users are Located Near Each Other)
Single User License/Dongle
1 for each person you want to run FARO software concurrently
Network More than One User Licenses Always Hosted on the Same Server All Users Work On Network Network User License/Product Key with a number of licenses to cover the pool of concurrent users 
Network More than One User Licenses Hosted on Different Servers or Computers All Users Work On Network Network User License/Dongle
with a number of licenses to covers the pool of concurrent users
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When to Activate Keys

You activate a key the first time you run any FARO software that requires a license to run on a computer or hard disk. The type of container that delivers the key to the software determines if you need to activate the key before you can use the software. 

  • Using a dongle? License keys contained on a dongle do not need to be activated. They are activated for you before the dongle is shipped.
  • Using a product Key? A product key must always be activated before you can run the software. For information about how to activate your key, search this knowledge base for the Activation and Update article for your FARO software.

If you are using the trial license, you do not have to activate it. 

When to Update Keys

Updating a key refreshes information stored in the key: product key or dongle. Under the following conditions you might be prompted to update your existing key before you can run FARO software. 

  • When you make additional purchases that compliment your initial software purchase, the update adds the new products to your existing key
    For example, if after you purchase FARO software, you purchase an additional export translator or App, when you update the key it expands to include the new translator and App. Thereafter, each time you upgrade your software and update the key the process includes your additional purchases.
  • When you renew your warranty plan.
  • When you upgrade to a new Major Release of FARO software.

When it is time to upgrade your software, the version number may determine if you will be prompted to update the key. Usually, FARO software version numbers have three to four parts separated by decimal points (.). Major releases include new features, enhancements, fixes, and patches. A patch release primarily includes bug fixes, but may also include enhancements.

Typically, only major releases require you to update your key. You do not have to update your key for a patch release that is within the same major release series.

Ways to Activate or Update Keys

There are two ways you can activate or update keys: automatically or manually as described in the following sections. Search Activation and Update articles in this knowledge base for step-by-step instructions about how to automatically or manually activate or update keys.


Under these conditions, activate or update your key automatically. 

  • When you have an up-to-date warranty or you have just renewed it
    You can check the status of your warranty on FARONow
  • When the first two decimal places of the version number for the software you are currently running is not the same as that of a patch release,and your warranty is up to date 
  • When the computer that runs FARO software has a reliable and continuous internet connection
  • When corporate firewalls and virus protection do not block the communication port used by FARO licensing
    It may be necessary for an IT technician to turn off firewalls and virus protection on your computer or enter an exception for the port used by FARO licensing
  • When you are not using a network license server


Under these conditions, activate or update your key manually.

  • When the computer that runs FARO software does not have a reliable and continuous internet connection, but you can use another computer to access the internet and send email
  • When corporate firewalls and virus protection block the communication port used by FARO licensing
  • When you are using a network license server

Tools Used to Activate or Update Licenses

Most, but not all, FARO software uses two software packages to provide licensing and activate or update processes: SafeNet Sentinel HASP license driver and FARO Remote Update System (RUS). Typically, when needed by the software, both of these tools are included when you install FARO software and are upgraded when you upgrade the software. 

  • The HASP driver provides safe access to the license keys stored on your dongle or to the product key you type in the software. The driver software is stored on your computer's hard drive at the root of the install folder for your FARO software.
  • FARO RUS communicates with FARO, either automatically or manually, to check if your keys are eligible for the latest software upgrades and if there are updates for your keys for additional FARO product purchases. It applies the necessary changes the the keys. You can access RUS from the FARO software start menu. The RUS executable is stored on your computer's hard drive at the root of the install folder for your FARO software. 

If you activate or update keys automatically, you rarely interact with the HASP driver and RUS. If you activate or update keys manually or do troubleshooting, you use both the HASP driver and RUS. Search for articles in this knowledge base for step-by-step instructions about using the HASP driver and RUS.

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Keeping Warranties Up to Date

When you have an an up-to-date warranty, you are able to access and run new major or patch releases with the least impact on your daily workflow. You can check the status of your warranty on FARONOW.

If your warranty has expired, these are the conditions under which you typically must renew your warranty.

  • The software is a patch release and the first two decimal places of the version number have advanced beyond that of the software you are currently running.
  • The software is a major release

Depending on your needs, you can choose from several types of FARO warranty plans. To start the warranty renewal process click one of these links. Typically it takes 3 to 5 business days to process a renewed warranty. When the warranty process is complete, you can download, install, and automatically update your software. 

Network License Keys and Servers

System administrators can create a network license server to make a pool of keys available to client computers running FARO software. Keys are hosted on the license server and are shared with client computers over a network. The FARO software package need only be installed on client computers. On the server, administrators can add, manage, and activate FARO keys using the Sentinel SafeNet Admin Control Center, the Sentinel SafeNet HASP license driver, and the FARO Remote Update System (RUS). Once these tools are installed and configured on the server and client computers are set up, when FARO software runs on a client computer, it searches the network for an available key. If one is found, the client computer uses that key for the duration of the application session. When the software is closed, the key is released and becomes available for other client computers running FARO software.

On the license server, you manually activate keys when you upgrade from one major release to the next. You cannot automatically activate keys.

If setting up a network license server works best for you, when you purchase FARO software, ask for network alphanumeric key or a dongle. You can purchase 1 to 50 concurrences for either the network alphanumeric key or dongle. A concurrence is equivalent to a software seat, which can be used by any client computer on your internal network or a remote computer on your network.

  • If you chose a network alphanumeric key, you type it when prompted and it is tied to that specific server. An alphanumeric key must be transferred to be moved to another server. Only a FARO Support Agent can transfer alphanumeric keys.
  • If you choose a network dongle, keys are not tied to a specific server and can be moved by ejecting the dongle and inserting it into another computer. Network dongles may be inserted into any computer that has the HASP driver and RUS installed.

Click here for details about setting up a network license server.

See Also


product code, product key, software licensing, upgrade software, update warranty, licensing, license software, license option, licensing option, license type, licensing type, find license key on dongle, dongle license key