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What is a dongle, and why does some software need one?

Software companies have tried many methods over the years of protecting their products from unauthorized copying. Of all these methods, the one that most users hate the most is the dreaded dongle.

A dongle is a hardware device that attaches either between the keyboard and the computer or between the printer and the computer. Without it, the software won't run. The idea is you can't run a duplicate of the software since you can't reproduce the hardware.

While there are a few high end programs that still use dongles, most software uses other, non-hardware means of copyright protetection.

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