ionCube Logo
Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions and answers can be found in our FAQ sections below. For questions regarding the Loader, please see our separate Loaders FAQ.

Purchasing

How do I purchase your products?
How can I pay for products?
Can you provide an invoice/receipt?
How do you provide the product?
Can I get a refund?
How soon can I download the software after payment?

Standalone Encoder

How much does the standalone encoder cost?
How do I run encoded scripts?
What platforms can encoded scripts be run on?
My scripts must run on Unix and I develop on Windows. Which Encoder should I purchase?
I develop on a desktop and laptop; do I need to purchase twice?
I develop on Windows and want to create license files on Linux. Do I need two licenses?

The Loader

Do encoded files or the loader affect performance?
I/my client has no access to php.ini. What can I do?
Can I install Zend Optimizer with the Loader?
Can I distribute the Loaders with my scripts?

Licensing

How are your products licensed?
Do I need licenses to distribute or run encoded scripts?
Can I move my license from one machine to another?
Can I get a new license if my computer has failed?
Why are no license request files generated on Vista?
Why does my license file not work on Vista?

Support

What support do you provide?

Purchasing

Q. How do I purchase your products?
A. Purchasing is possible from the members area. If you have already registered, just login via the Members menu item and visit the 'Purchase Products' page. If not registered yet, please register and then click the Members link to login.

Q. How can I pay for products?
A. We support several ways of payment. You can purchase products and online encoding credits using any major credit card or paypal by arrangement (please contact sales@ioncube.com in this case). For software products payment can be made by credit card, paypal (instant payment, credit card, echeque, EFT etc.), or bank transfer.

Q. Can you provide an invoice/receipt?
A. Yes. You will receive payment receipts from our payment processors, and you can display a printable invoice with full order details simply by clicking the order number on the My Account page in the member's area.

Q. How do you provide the product?
A. Once an order has been approved, our software products are made available as a download link in the member's area. The download link is always available and does not expire. To keep product costs to a minimum, we do not ship a CD or physical item

Q. Can I get a refund?
A. In the unlikely event that you might require a refund, a refund can be given up to 48 hours after purchase provided that the software has not been licensed. After that time a 15% fee will apply to cover administration and processing costs. ´╗┐Refunds are not possible once our software has been licensed and a license file has been issued.

Q. How soon can I download the software after payment?
A. Download links are available once an order has been approved. For orders placed during UK business hours the approval process is usually complete within 8 hours. The time is often less, or could be longer if we need to contact the card holder by telephone or email. Orders placed outside of business hours may still be processed same day, but if not they are given priority processing the next day. Sadly we cannot provide instant downloads because most days we receive fraud order attempts from Vietnam (and occasionally elsewhere) with stolen credit cards or compromised paypal accounts, and we need to analyse each order and decide whether to accept or refund each payment based on the probability of fraud. We have a near 100% success rate at identifying the fraud orders, and this due diligence helps to reduce internet crime and also keeps the product costs down for the genuine customers.

Standalone Encoder

Q. How much does the standalone encoder cost?
A. There are three versions of the Encoder. The base version is available for $199, and offers the core encoding features essential to protecting PHP source code. The Pro Version ($299) and Cerberus ($399) add features for creating license files to restrict scripts to run on specific machines, and also to stop files from running beyond a certain point in time if this is required. The Pro version can restrict files to any combination of IP addresses and server names, and Cerberus can also lock files to specified MAC addresses. The Windows Pro and Cerberus Encoder also includes a license generator for Linux (and optionally FreeBSD or OS X) so that with a single product license, you can encode scripts on Windows and create license file for your scripts either from Windows or Unix. This is great if wanting to automate license file generation from a web server.

Q. How do I run encoded scripts?
A. We provide a free Loader for Intel Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OS X, Sparc Solaris and Windows that loads and executes encoded files. Please contact support for information on other platform support, and see the loaders page for more details.

Q. What platforms can encoded scripts be run on?
A. Encoded files use a platform independent file format, and can be run on any platform for which we supply a Loader. Currently the platforms are Windows (e.g. NT, XP, W2K), Intel Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OS X, and Sparc Solaris.

Q. My scripts must run on Unix and I develop on Windows. Which Encoder should I purchase?
A. Generally it is best to select the platform where you develop, which in this case would be Windows. Encoded files are cross platform and run on any system that we support with Loaders.

Q. I develop on a desktop and laptop; do I need to purchase twice?
A. To use our software on two machines does require two licenses, however the cost is not double. Additional licenses are lower cost than the first product license, and if you purchase an additional license at the same time as the first license, there is a further discount. If purchasing two licenses together, the second license is about half price.

Q. I develop on Windows and want to create license files on Linux. Do I need two licenses?
A. No. We bundle a Linux version of the license generator program with the Windows Encoder, so for this scenario you would need only one license.

The Loader

Q. Do encoded files or the loader affect performance?
A. Not much, and when the loader is installed in the php.ini file, encoded files may run faster than the unencoded scripts. Unlike unencoded scripts and those from source based encoders, ionCube encoded files are compiled and optimised at encoding time, and so don't need to be parsed or compiled at runtime. This reduces the usual overhead in PHP, and offsets the performance overheads of the code protection.

Q. I/my client has no access to php.ini. What can I do?
A. On many systems, encoded files can automatically install the Loader when needed. We call this runtime loading, and it requires no changes to php.ini or server restart. The Loader packages contain a script that can test whether a server supports this mechanism.

Q. Can I install Zend Optimizer with the Loader?
A. Yes. We permit trusted software to be installed, and so we support the installing of Zend Optimizer along with our Loader in the php.ini file. Note that our Loader must be installed before Zend Optimizer in the php.ini file. If you do see messages claiming any incompatibility then this is incorrect and will be a configuration problem. Please let us know and we'll let you know what's wrong.

Q. Can I distribute the Loaders with my scripts?
A. Yes, and coupled with our runtime install feature for Loaders, this can be a really great way to distribute your software. By doing so, if runtime loading is supported on their system, your user can just unpack your encoded software and start using it without installing any loaders in config files or restarting their system. This unique feature makes installing encoded software easier than ever before.

Licensing

Q. How are your products licensed?
A. With the exception of the Bundler, our products are licensed on a per machine basis, locked to machine identity. Part of the machine identity is the MAC address, and so a network interface is required. However, you do not need to be connected to any network to use our software.

Q. Do I need licenses to distribute or run encoded scripts?
A. No. Our Loader comes with a simple license agreement, and encoded files are yours to distribute however you wish.

Q. Can I move my license from one machine to another?
A. In general yes, and our Encoder product has a feature to help with this. If you need to move the Encoder, use the delete license feature on the machine that you have licensed currently, and then send the file that gets created to us. We should be able to free the license ready for allocation to a new machine.

Q. Can I get a new license if my computer has failed?
A. Provided that you have a current support plan then yes, we can arrange for your license to be moved in this case too. If the support plan has expired, an administration fee may apply. On Windows machines it may be necessary for the Windows computer name on the replacement machine to be the same as on the machine that it replaces.

Q. Why are no license request files generated on Vista?
A. With Vista you should use right-click "run as administrator" to launch the license request generator.

Q. Why does my license file not work on Vista?
A. With Vista you should use right-click "run as administrator" to launch the software. This can be made the default via the Windows program properties dialog, and is unnecessary if installing outside of the program files folder.

Support

Q. What support do you provide?
A. ionCube provides premium support as standard with all products. We're recognised as offering some of the very best customer support in the industry and pride ourselves in setting the standard for how customer support should be handled. View our customer testimonials for their views.