There are two methods of license verification available for the ShowSim software: 1) a physical USB dongle that must be plugged into the computer in order for the software to run and 2) a dongle-free method where a username and password is entered when the software first starts up. Each method has advantages and disadvantages as explained below.
The primary advantage of dongles is they allow the software to be installed on multiple computers and then the dongle is moved between them as needed. This is a pretty big advantage for those who work both in an office and on the road or at home. When you upgrade your computer or hardware there is no need to contact us to get the license reset the way there is with dongle-free versions. The primary disadvantage to dongles is that you can incur unexpected down time in the event that a dongle is lost, broken or stolen. While this does not happen often, it has the potential to create big problems when it does happen due to the shipping delay when ordering a replacement dongle. The shipping costs to some locations can also exceed the $50 replacement cost of the dongle as well. However, this risk can be eliminated by simply ordering a backup dongle at the time of your initial order so that you already have it on hand for emergencies.
The advantage of not using a dongle is that you avoid shipping costs, you can download the software and get started right away without a shipping delay and you never have to worry about down time caused from a lost, stolen or broken dongle and the resulting delays of replacing it. The disadvantage is that dongle-free licenses are locked to a single computer, so there is no ability to use ShowSim from multiple locations. While it is possible to have the license reset when upgrading your hardware or buying a new computer, this requires sending an email request to us and it is not something you can keep doing on a daily basis.
The only version of ShowSim where dongles are not an option is the Backyard Edition, since it is a very low cost option intended for hobbyists. The Lite version is a dongle-free version by default, but for $50 additional charge it can can be converted to a dongle version. Dongles are standard with the Pro and 3D versions at no additional charge. All versions have the option of not using dongles if desired.