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Online Encoding

Why Offer Online Encoding?

We realised that for some users, the cost of purchasing an Encoder product was prohibitive, or just didn't make sense. If you want to protect a 5 line file containing passwords, which would cost just $0.50 with our online Encoder, or encode a product or minor product updates just occasionally, spending $$$ or even $$$$ to purchase an Encoder may not be justifiable.

With software piracy an ever increasing problem, and with PHP becoming more popular, we felt that the online Encoder was a much needed solution. Having now encoded thousands of PHP uploads via our service, we were clearly right.


ionCube encoding uses Compiled-Code-Translation that turns scripts into bytecode, similar to the form that PHP normally compiles scripts into before execution, but modified for extra security. This is preferable to source encoding and obfuscation, which in reality simply isn't secure at all.

Our Encoder also optimises code to reduce size and gain some performance (our paper on PHP Accelerator Internals gives an example of the optimiser in action).

To protect scripts being uploaded to and downloaded from the Encoder we use SSL encryption on a secure server. Source files and archives are contained inside a secure jail that prevents access in or out, and when encoding is complete, typically just a few seconds after uploading, the jail is removed and the source files are gone.

The Portal also offers an interface that's as easy to use for encoding a single script as encoding an archive of 100's of scripts, and handles jobs of any size with ease, including compressed archives in a variety of popular formats.

The Loader

The ionCube Loader loads and executes encoded files at runtime. The Loader is compatible with Zend Optimiser, and usually easily installed if not already. If a host has installed the Loader already then no action is required to use encoded files. On servers without the Loader, many will be able to install the Loader from the user's own web area or with a custom php.ini file. If this is not possible, hosts are usually helpful to install the Loader.