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FARO® Knowledge Base

Licensing Options for FARO Software

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FARO® offers several types of licenses you can use to activate your software. Depending on the size of your organization and the way your users want to access the software, certain options may better meet your needs.

License Types, Containers, and Terms

Your software license can be provided using different license types and containers. When you purchase FARO software, discuss with your Sales Agent which license type and container are best for you. There are two license types, single-user or network. Each of these license types can be stored in different containers.

License Type

Typically, two types of licenses are available for FARO software, a local single-user license and a multiple user network license.

Single User

A single-user license provides one product key can only be activated once. Making them specific to one computer/user and not interchangeable with other computers.


A network license provides a specified number of keys, which are available in a pool, and are supplied by a network server to client computers that request a license whenever a FARO software application is launched. For more information see “Network Licensing and Servers” in this article.

License Container

Both above license types are delivered in a license container. FARO refers to the “License Container” as whether the license is applied as a “Softlock” (an alphanumeric code you enter into the software) or a “Hardlock” (physical USB device that look like a memory stick). When you purchase software from FARO, your sales representative will help you determine which License Container best meets your needs and this will be specified on your order.

Softlock (Product Key)

An alphanumeric code that you enter into the software (on first run) or license server.

Softlocks are also called product keys, license codes, soft locks, soft keys, SKs or SLs

Where is my Product Key Located?

  • It appears on a sticker on the front, back, or inside of the software package or on the memory stick that contains the software
  • Delivered through email

TIP: Always keep a copy of the key. You may need it when you renew your software maintenance plan or upgrade your software. You cannot get it from within the software.

AllHLs.pngHardlock (Dongle) (not available for some products)

Hardlocks (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. The dongle is programmed with your license key and can be used to license the software on any computer where it is installed. While there is an extra charge to purchase a license dongle, many customers prefer the extra level of freedom it provides.

Hardlocks are also called dongles, portlocks, hard locks, hard keys, HKs, HLs, USB dongles, or USB license sticks

Note: Not available on some products

License Terms

Perpetual (not available for some products)

A perpetual license allows the use of the FARO software indefinitely. You are eligible to update your software with any new features that are released while you are covered by an active software maintenance plan. Once the maintenance plan expires, you can continue to use your FARO software but will not be eligible for updates. Twelve months of software maintenance is included when you purchase FARO software. After that period, you can purchase an additional maintenance plan so do not miss any important software updates, for more information see: Software Maintenance Plan Benefits for FARO Software


A subscription license is time based and will allow use of the FARO software and access to all updates while the subscription is active. If the subscription expires, the software will no longer be accessible. For subscription licenses an additional software maintenance plan is not necessary.


Fully functional 30-day trial licenses are available for all FARO software. A trial enables you to evaluate and familiarize yourself with the software. Trial licenses must be requested via the Insights Center on, for more information see the article: FARO Software Trial Request.

Advantages and Disadvantages of License Types/Containers

Use Case Advantages Disadvantages
Single users, “softlock” licenses
  • Least expensive option for frequent users who do not change computers
  • License keys are updated automatically as long as a maintenance plan or subscription is active
  • Each license key tied to a single computer – a transfer process must be used to move it
  • Must purchase a license key for each computer even if that computer is not always used for FARO software (not concurrent users)
Single users, licenses on “hardlock” dongles
  • May need fewer licenses since pay only for concurrent users
  • Dongles can be made available to multiple users
  • The license is on the dongle so it can be moved to any computer
  • License keys are updated automatically as long as a maintenance plan is active
  • Dongles may be lost, and you must purchase a replacement or lose the use of that software license
Users on one network, “softlock” license on the server
  • Ideal for large deployments since it is not necessary to apply a license key to each installation of the software
  • May need fewer licenses since you pay only for concurrent users
  • Timing of all software updates can be controlled by your organization’s IT department
  • Licenses can be “detached” from the network for mobile use
  • Takes some effort to set up that may require help from your IT department and FARO Customer Service
  • Major FARO software updates require the license key on the server be manually updated (approximately twice a year)
Users on multiple networks, license on “hardlock” dongles
  • Ideal for large deployments with multiple network servers or domains
  • It is not necessary to apply a license key to each copy of the software
  • May need fewer licenses since you pay only for concurrent users
  • Timing of all software updates can be controlled by your organization’s IT department
  • Maximum of 50 licenses on each network dongle
  • Major FARO software updates require the network license on EACH dongle be manually updated (approximately twice a year)

Suggested License Types/Containers

There are several things to consider when choosing the type of license key for your organization. Important considerations include whether your users are connected on a network and whether the freedom to move their software license to different computers is important. The following table suggests the best type of license based on four common uses of FARO software.

How are users connected? Where do users access the soft-ware? Are users physically near each other? Suggested License Container Suggested License
Individual users, not connected on a network Always use the same computer (not mobile) Does not apply Softlock Single User License for each computer you want to run the software
Individual users, not connected on a network Often use computers in different locations (mobile) Located near or work out of a common office Hardlock Single user License for each person you want to run the software
Multiple users on the same network Licenses can all be hosted on the same network server All users work on the same network Softlock Network License programmed to provide the desired number of concurrent License Keys
Multiple Users spread across multiple networks Licenses must be hosted on different servers Users spread across multiple networks Hardlock Network License on multiple dongles, each programmed with the number of licenses for concurrent users on each server
Not available with Subscription Licenses. Use Softlock instead 

Network Licensing and Servers

For large organizations, a network license key is normally the best choice to license multiple copies of FARO software. A network license key does have to be manually updated for each major software update, but only one key must be updated, even if you have 1,000 copies of FARO software running. The manual update process is completely controlled by the organization’s IT department, so they decide when to perform the update.

To set up a network license, a system administrator creates a license server on the network which makes a pool of licenses available to client computers running FARO software. On the network server the Sentinel SafeNet HASP license driver and the FARO Remote Update System (RUS) are installed and the licenses activated. On the client computers, the FARO software is installed, and each client computer is configured to search for remote licenses.

After the license server is set up, when the FARO software is launched on a client computer, that computer queries the network license server for an available license. If a key is available, the software opens for that user. When all the available 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. 

Improvements to FARO software are frequently released as software updates. Minor updates do not require a change to the license key. Approximately twice a year, a major update is released. Before installing this update on the client computers, the network license key must be manually updated. The update process creates a small file from the computer that hosts the network license server, called a “.c2v” file, which you email to FARO Customer Service or upload to the FARO Licensing Portal. A “.v2c” file is then returned so you can copy it back to the computer that hosts the network license server.

For more information see: Network License Server and Client Configuration

Detachable License Keys

If you have a network license server that uses an alphanumeric network license key, not a dongle, you can detach a key from the server and assign it to a client computer. This enables that client computer to run the software when it is not connected to the network. If you assign the detached key an expiration date, when that date is reached the detached key is automatically disabled on the client computer and restored to the server.

Detachable keys are an advantage for large organizations who rotate groups of computers used in the field. For example, if the FARO software is running on laptop computers used in a mobile or remote location, using a detached key allows the software to run off the network. When those mobile computers are brought in for updating, the keys are released back into the pool of licenses managed by the network license server.

For more information see: Network License Server and Client Configuration