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Ebook Protection with Hardware-locked Keys

” I want to sell my ebooks and I want to prevent buyers from sharing my ebooks with others.”

➡️ A solution: using hardware-locked keys

The other solutions are online activation and dongle protection.

What is a hardware-locked key?

To open your application, users will have to enter an activation key. If they do not have a correct key, the application will not open.

A hardware-locked key is a key delivered to a user that will only work on their computer. It won’t work on any other machine, so it becomes useless if it is shared with others.

The key is based on a unique system ID that depends on the user’s computer hardware.

The key blacklist option lets you block stolen or refunded registration keys.

How to configure your ebook to use hardware-locked keys?

server 64In HTML Executable, go to Security tab → Certificates page. Then, tick « Create a restricted publication »:


Double-click on « Registered » in the list of certificates. Choose the « Activation Properties » tab, and tick « Use hardware-locked registration keys »:


Click OK.

Compile your project and it is ready for distribution.

How to generate a hardware-locked key for your customer?

You can distribute your ebook. When your customer runs it, a nag screen will pop up, as in the screenshot:

nag screen with system id

The customer sends you the system ID. Then, you can generate their key with HTML Executable.

Open HTML Executable, in Security tab → Certificates page. Click « Make Key »:

Make Key

Then, enter the name of your customer, the system ID they sent you, and click Generate.

image011A registration key is generated, you can send it to your customer. Thus, this key will only work on their computer, your ebook will not work in a registered mode on other PCs.

Offer a trial version or not?

Everything is possible with HTML Executable!

➡️ If you want to offer a trial version of your ebook to your customers, you can entirely set this version (called the Default one in HTML Executable): define the pages to display, the number of days the trial ebook should be accessible for or the number of runs it can do, add a nag screen… 

➡️ If you do not want your customers to run your ebook without paying first (no trial possibilities), double-click on Default and tick “Do not allow access to the publication without prior registration”:


Looking for a hassle-free, automated solution?

⇒ Our service is the solution for you! service manages everything for you:

  • no databases,
  • no web hosting required for PHP scripts,
  • no manual registration keys,
  • no hardware IDs.

It also provides you with a visual manager software for your customers. See an example below:


Discover Our Full Range of Features

Embark on Your Digital Publishing Journey Today!

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Ready to take the plunge? Download your free trial now! Your seamless digital publishing journey is just some clicks away.