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StarForce ProActive

StarForce ProActive

This reliable solution for software protection and licensing is designed to protect games and other end user software against illegal distribution and pirate use, commercial replication and private copying, reverse engineering and cracking. It has fully functional DRM and Steam integration.

StarForce ProActive is the best copy protection software for business programs, computer games, educational, entertainment and other end user software.

StarForce ProActive provides

  • copy protection to prevent commercial replication and private copying;
  • piracy protection to prevent illegal software distribution and loss of revenue;
  • advanced software license management to control breach of software license (expiration time, number of activations, etc.);
  • protection against analysis and reverse engineering.

Distribution models for protected programs

StarForce ProActive combines reliable software code protection technology with a flexible Digital Rights Management (DRM) system and supports the following licensing models:

DemoProvides the product with reduced functionality, but without time limitations.  |  TrialAllows a user to use your software product for free on your terms. After the trial period ends, the user can only continue using the application in case a license is purchased.  |  Try&DieProvides the end user access to the product for a certain period of time, without a paid license. After this trial period expires, the application can no longer be run.  |  Buy OnlyProvides full access to the product with a valid (paid) license.

How StarForce ProActive works

After an application has been protected on StarForce Server, its code has some modification that prevents the software from running, unless two tests have been passed:

  • Check for Licensing Compliance;
  • Authentication of the license. This includes the verification of a serial number and the user’s PC.

The existence of a license is confirmed by a valid serial number. A serial number is a unique string of characters that identifies a specific license. License restrictions for each serial number can be edited using StarForce’s License Control Service. This Service has a user friendly web interface that helps to manage licenses in one click, e.g. to renew or revoke licenses, to change functional limitations or the number of end users.

The application can run only on a particular computer. This way copy protection is performed. Binding of the application to the computer occurs during installation or first launch. During the activation, information about the parameters of the computer is attached to the serial number. It's stored by the StarForce License Control Service. Connection to the StarForce License Control Service is not required for the next launches.

StarForce ProActive versions

StarForce offers the following licensing schemes for its copy protection software:

Basic - Low-cost protection for low-priced software. Supports Buy Only licensing model.

Pro - Fully customizable protection for all types of software.

Elite - Maximum protection for all types of software.

Protection options
Automatic activation of the protected software via the Internet and the ProActive website      
Protection incl. Buy Only licensing model      
Support of Demo / Trial / Try&Die licensing models      
Function selection to increase the level of software protection      
Protection of internal variables of the software      
Data file protection      
GUI customization      
Protection of several executable files in a single protection session      
StarForce SDK included      
Application deactivation
Add Activations Automatically
Serial number editing  
Time Limited Tamper Resistance Warranty      

 -  this service is available at extra charge.

If you need a Local Network or a Remote Server binding please meet StarForce ProActive for Business.

tamper resistance High level of tamper resistance is achieved through code conversion in commands of secure Virtual Machine.
Automatic activation Automatic activation of serial numbers. StarForce servers are located around the world, including Germany, China and USA, which allows to guarantee automatic activation for end-users via the Internet and on the ProActive website (if a PC where a protected software is installed does not have an Internet connection).
Integration with Steam Integration with Steam, an online game platform. Changes to the source code are not needed.
product protection Fast product protection over Internet (from work and from home).
distribution protected software An option to distribute protected software product on any media and over the Internet.
Wide variety of licensing models Wide variety of licensing models with flexible settings.
flexible binding Reliable and flexible binding to a computer's configuration.
binding to USB flash drive Ability to bind a protected product to any USB flash drives.
Integration of protection into software build in automatic mode.
Protection for promo and beta versions Protection for promo and beta versions, as well as downloadable content (DLC) for computer games.
license check Periodic license confirmation.
16 GUI languages Support of more than 16 GUI languages.
Statistics reports Statistics reports for marketing analysis and sales forecasting.
updates StarForce Technologies constantly issues updates and adds new features for StarForce ProActive.

Software development companies as well as freelance developers create a lot of different applications for end users: COTS, custom software, games, educational software, etc. To protect software against reverse engineering and piracy you can use StarForce ProActive, a professional copy protection solution.

Software copy protection

Software copy protection

StarForce ProActive copy protection system is implemented by binding a copy of software to a personal computer. Binding ensures a protected application can only run on a specific computer. This prevents illegal copying and software distribution by third parties.

Case Study. Copy protection of educational software

Educational Computer Technologies develops paid educational courses for various purposes. These training programs comprise the intellectual property of the company, so the company decided to protect their products against copying and piracy with a StarForce solution.

Reliable protection of educational software is achieved by binding it to the end user’s computer. This solution helps to block pirate distribution of software and significantly reduces the risk of profit loss for developer.

Protection against license violation - DRM protection

DRM protection

Protection against license violation is provided by the StarForce Digital Rights Management System (DRM).  StarForce DRM provides a developer an opportunity to choose parameters of protected product activation and use. It allows to configure settings individually for each product. End user actions can be restricted by license parameters for the protected product.

Case Study. Protection of games against license violation.

StarForce ProActive is successfully used for the licensing of video games released for personal computers. Akella, a software company, specializing in the development, publishing and distribution of video games, uses StarForce solution for over five years.

StarForce DRM offered Akella flexible customization of distribution terms for gaming software thanks to several licensing models. It also allows to collect statistics of software activations for marketing analysis and sales forecasting.

Also Akella uses StarForce protection for beta and promotional versions of games (licensing models: Try & Die and Demo), and for patches and additions to existing releases, providing protection against cracking at various stages of the product life cycle.

The full text of the customer’s testimonial

Protection via StarForce Cloud

  1. Download and install StarForce Protection Studio (available for free).

  2. Using StarForce Protection Studio, select software functions that will be protected against analysis and reverse engineering. This action is not essential, but strongly recommended for a higher class protection.

  3. Set the parameters of protection and binding.

  4. Customize the elements of the GUI (if needed).

  5. Protect the application via StarForce Cloud (Internet connection is necessary).

  6. Generate test serial numbers.

  7. Test the protected application.

  8. Generate release serial numbers.

  9. Start selling.

Protection by StarForce staff

StarForce offers the following chargeable services:

Protection is performed by StarForce employees and may include:

  • Protection with functions selection;
  • Protection without functions selection;
  • Protection with functions to be selected by the customer.

Analysis of the protection performed by the customer.

Supported Technologies

StarForce ProActive supports the protection of the following file formats:

  • applications compiled in a PE-file containing executable machine code (native code) for processors x8632 and x8664. These files usually have exe or dll extension.
  • applications compiled into an .NET executable file (managed code). These files also usually have exe or dll extension.
  • immutable data files of any format. During protection StarForce ProActive encrypts the content of data files and hides the files in containers.

Example of programs to protect:

  • Educational and entertaining software written in C++, Delphi, Flash, Java, Python.
  • Installers.
  • Games developed by .Net game engines and their unique data (location, characters, levels, textures, etc.).

Please contact us if you need a consultation from our specialist.

Supported operating systems

  • Windows Vista 32/64-bit.
  • Windows 7 32/64-bit.
  • Windows 8 32/64-bit.
  • Windows 10 32/64-bit.
  • Mac and Linux with Wine
  • Windows Server 32/64-bit.

StarForce ProActive editions side by side

  Basic Pro Elite
Protection options
Protection level basic customizable maximum
Code obfuscation
Function protectionA function is a named section of the source code (subroutine) that can be called from another section of the program. Protection of function is optional and is designed to significantly increase the level of protection of the code of executable files from hacking. During protection, a function is deleted from the source code of the developer’s module and is moved to the protection core. When the protected function is called at run-time, the application transfers the control to the protection core, and the function execution is hidden. - + +
Protection of internal variables of the applicationTo protect internal variables of the application from unauthorized access/modification, protected (secured) classes from StarForce API are used instead of built-in types (integer types, floating point types). Such protection makes the modification of the application variables at run-time much more difficult. - + +
Protection of several executable files in a single protection sessionThe application can consist of several executable files: .EXE and .DLL. The Pro version allows protecting them all in a single protection session. The Basic version allows protecting a single file only. - + +
Data file protectionData files can be any information that the application contains: text, digits, videos, etc. When data files are protected, their contents are encrypted and the files are hidden in a container file. The contents of the container file are decrypted automatically when the file is accessed from the protected executable file. - + +
StarForce SDKStarForce ProActive SDK allows the customer to embed the license and activation management service into the customer’s website (for example, the script that automatically generates a serial number with the required settings, right after the purchase). - + +
Time Limited Tamper Resistance WarrantyThe main feature of the Elite version is tamper resistance warranty. Duration and cost should always be discussed with each customer individually. - - +
DRM options
Available licensing modes Buy Only Demo, Trial, Try & Die; Buy Only Demo, Trial, Try & Die; Buy Only
Licensing options and settings
Serial number expiration date + + +
License start date + + +
License expiration date + + +
License duration + + +
Serial number regional settings + + +
Maximum number of runs setting + + +
Continuous run setting + + +
Periodic license confirmation + + +
Serial number blacklisting + + +
Serial number activation/generation statistics
By date + + +
By product name + + +
By countries + + +
By serial number or batch + + +
Custom reports - + +
Additional options
GUI customization - + +
Application deactivationDeactivation is used as a part of license transfer. License transfer is the technology that allows the end user to transfer the application protected with binding to computer, to another computer while preserving the license. The end user can use license transfer to transfer the product from one computer to another, or to change the computer configuration. + + +
Add Activations AutomaticallyAdding activations automatically also applies to the long-term use of the protected product. Unlike deactivation, the end user uses a new license (activation) when she/he transfers the application to another computer in this case. The developer specifies when a new license should be added. + + +
Serial number editingThe customer can change the parameters of a generated serial number or of a batch of serial numbers. Thus, the customer can change the lifetime of serial numbers, maximum number of the application runs, etc. (See section 3.5.2.) - + +