0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Microphone Month 5

PACE iLok 2nd Generation Reviews

3.5 stars based on 80 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Wayne Davis

    If you've got hundreds of licenses and are wishing that you didn't have to carry a pocketful of iLoks to your sessions... your wish is granted!

  • Stuart Niven

    Finally, I can lose my three iLoks and consolidate all of my licenses onto this newly designed key. Built a lot tougher than its predecessor, you no longer have to worry about snapping it in half!

  • Ron Poole
    from Bridgeport WV April 27, 2016Music Background:
    Professional musician, songwriter and reording artist

    Ilock 2

    Great device - I am able to use the Ilock2 for Pro Tools and SGear - I use one in my studio and another in my computer generated guitar rig - I would recommend it as a great step in the future of live and studio production and performance.

  • Curtis D. Cousins
    from Vero Beach, Florida April 14, 2016Music Background:
    Music Theorist, Composer, Producer

    A necessity for my software.

    I own a TON of software these days.

    Which means that any time I have to format any of my computers, I have to spend several days reinstalling and updating my software.

    The worst part in my experience, with reinstalling software, is recalling all of the serial numbers for each product I own.

    iLok takes care of that. No longer do I have to sift through boxes or log on to online accounts to recall my activation keys. I just plug the iLok into a USB port, and the software runs, fully registered.

    I own 3 of the 1st Generation, and eventually with certain software upgrades, I was faced with buying a 2nd Generation iLok (some software will only put their activation keys on the newer, 2nd Generation iLok).

    To my surprise, all of my activation keys transferred effortlessly to the newer iLok, and I also discovered that the 2nd Generation iLok can hold up to a whopping 500 serials/activation keys. Compare that to the 1st Generation, which can hold only 100.

    The beauty of the iLok is that, if you are on the go, and you find yourself needing to install your software on another computer for a weekend session far away from home, the software will run as the fully registered version the moment you plug your iLok into that computer. You don't have to worry about someone else coming along and stealing your serial or your activation key, because the moment you remove the iLok from a computer, the software reverts back to Demo mode.

    I recommend iLok. In fact, I have iLoks currently plugged into 4 out of my 5 computers. I honestly think that iLok (and other related gear/tech such as dongles in general) should be an option not just for music software, but for ALL software. It is so convenient, you might not understand until you try this item out for yourself. I no longer have to sit there and search all day through my various software manuals or through my online accounts just to find my registration serials/keys.

    THIS PRODUCT WILL SAVE YOU SO MUCH TIME! You just install your favorite music software, plug in the iLok, and you are good to go! It's a beautiful thing.

  • Maurice Alban
    from New York, NY February 27, 2016Music Background:
    The Marquee

    Works Great

    Such an improvement from my first generation iLok. Sleek and works like a charm. Very happy with my purchase.

  • Daniel Rigler
    from February 5, 2016

    Works great

    Works as intended.

  • Customer
    from January 18, 2016

    wow sweetwater does it again!!

    I ordered the most simple item to ship ever a tiny little usb iLok2. It was packaged better that the HD Native PCI card (an expensive Fragile item) i bought on ebay, that just goes to show you what a quality business provides. Also how they put there knowledge of the industry to work!!! WOW BLOWN AWAY AGAIN BY SWEETWATER *better get use to it Quick, if you haven't had the privlidge of SWEETWATER'S service*Highly recommend

  • Dew
    from Dsm, IA January 25, 2015Music Background:
    Songwriter, musician, semi-pro Home studio, part time musician

    iLok 2nd Generation Review

    iLok works great. I transferred my licenses from my old iLok with no problems and have no issues using it at all. Great little product.

  • ALK3997
    from Houston, TX December 29, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Does The Job

    If you own Pro Tools 11, then you need an iLok 2nd generation dongle. Installation was easy - plug it into a USB port. I then transferred my licenses from the 1st generation iLok to my iLok account. Then transferred all of the licenses from my iLok account to the second generation iLok. Very simple and no fees involved (other than the cost of the iLok 2).

  • Robert
    from Downers Grove August 2, 2014Music Background:
    video/music edition pro

    EastWest/Quantum Leap - iLok 2nd

    Perfect ! Easy to use. Clear instructions. No problems

    from United States March 7, 2014Music Background:



  • Thomas Damnitz
    from lake villa, IL September 7, 2013

    Pace ILok 2nd gen Review

    Needed, works great. Fragile, so be careful. Keep in safe place when not using. Fast shipping, easy set up.

  • Everett
    from San Jose CA February 12, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer - Being in Him series

    It Works

    Hard to say I'm blown away, but that is what you get with a full 5 rating. It worked as designed - my sofware runs.

  • Tracy Towns
    from United States December 27, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer.

    It works well

    This was easy to set up and works well. Like everything from Sweetwater I received it extremely quickly.

  • Don Gillespie
    from Inman, SC December 26, 2012Music Background:
    Professional musician, concert pianist, published composer, 40-year veteran professional programmer.

    iLok 2

    Great product! Easy to use. Clear instructions.

  • Gustavo Remon
    from Orlando, FL USA November 9, 2012Music Background:
    Recording engineer

    Just great

    I don't know why but I use to have problems with the first generation iLok. With this new one so far so good. I no longer get errors while im working in my sessions. Great purchase

  • Rick Shelley
    from Baker, FL USA October 24, 2012Music Background:
    Church Musician, Amateur Recording Engineer

    iLok 2nd Gen works great!

    The iLok 2nd Gen works great - wonderful to be able to port my licenses from machine to machine using it. Zero issues using with Pro Tools 10

  • Customer
    from Michigan September 19, 2012Music Background:
    Song writer/musician

    Great update

    Can hold alot of licenses, 1 ilok can and will go a long ways!

  • Customer
    from July 31, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Regards To iLock Purchase

    Excellent, Great Online Service , Fast On Processing / Shipping To The Customer.

  • Eric Hunter
    from Fort Worth, TX USA May 19, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Guitarist, Touring Musician

    It's USB awesome!

    This thing is absolutely amazing. Well... it's as amazing as something like this could be. It's got a little hole on it to make a necklace out of it, or you could use it as a keychain. I wouldn't recommend the keychain option so much myself though, as it might weigh down the device and break your USB port. But all that being said, it's still pretty cool. I really like the blue stripe on the key itself. It totally says "I'm a cool, sleek device that will hold your licenses!"

    And on top of all these great aesthetics, it holds 500 licenses! That's a lot of licenses to be had. I can only imagine that one would have to spend enough money for a luxury car or a house to fill the thing up, so that's a great deal for license management.

    In all seriousness though, it's a dongle that holds your licenses. It's not the most exciting thing on the market, and it really does nothing to get me excited. It's a necessary evil to be had to keep people from stealing quality products that a lot of developers put a lot of time and money into. If you need one for your software, then good for you... you're doing the right thing.

    from CLeveland, Ohio USA April 8, 2012Music Background:
    Recording engineer/Producer

    ILOK 2 NICE!!!!

    Whats to say . Nice,well built, works great. And it holds lots of license. It look amazing more when its plugged in.Also a need this for pro tools 10 you know. Like always, THANKS TO MY SALES ENGINEER TONY DAYTON.

  • Dean Saghafi
    from Flushing, NY January 26, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Perfect Size

    Size is perfect!!! Transferred over 110 licenses with no problem.

  • Customer
    from Los Angeles, CA January 9, 2012Music Background:
    Recording/Live Sound Engineer, Beatmaker-Producer, DJ, Musician, ADR/Foley Artist

    iLok 2nd Gen

    Although this is my first iLok, it works great as expected.

  • Randall Moon
    from United States December 30, 2011Music Background:

    New style iLok is a definite improvement.

    Great improvement over the old style.Huge capacity compared to the old one. It's very nice to be able to get all your plugins on one iLok. Now I only need to buy one "Zero downtime" iLok account protection in stead of 2. Nice!

  • Jordan
    from Atlanta, GA October 10, 2011Music Background:
    guitar god

    Does the job without error

    Works great- not much else to say.

  • Beechstudio
    from North Carolina August 27, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    PACE iLOK 2nd generation

    Works flawlessly! Installation was a breeze. Build is sturdy. What more could you ask for?

  • Chris Taylor
    from Destin, fl August 3, 2011Music Background:

    Necessary evil.

    I mean, come on! You know, you get that feeling that the entire class is being punished for a few diamond bundle thieves. Ok ok...I understand though, I get it. Plug-ins are worth the investment and they are worth protecting the folks who spend the time creating this great stuff. I think the ilok does just that and does it well.

    Freaked I'm gonna break it though:(

    It's all part of it.

  • Beto Montalvao
    from Sao Paulo - SP - Brazil August 3, 2011Music Background:
    Sound Designer

    Ilok 2nd Generation rocks

    More licenses,studier and easy to handle...I was waiting for this.

  • Markeyse
    from California February 21, 2011Music Background:
    Sound Engineer/Producer, Composer, Keyboardist

    A Slam Dunk for the new iLok

    This item works as good as the gen 1 version. Where it exceeds it at is the build quality. It doesn't feel "cheap" as the old one did. This feels a lot stiffer.

    The smaller footprint also helps alot. It is not the big clunky USB key. It is actually the size of the other USB devices that I own, and the new color scheme with the blue LED light is just sexy, as it matches my USB hub.

    I also used a sharpie to write in the area to distinguish my iLok, though I most likely won't have a lot with the expanded 500 slots for the licenses, allowing for future licenses on one iLok without the worry of running out of space. A huge plus, especially with the Waves bundles that is in my wishlist.

    My only gripe is the cap. I wish there was some way to have the cap stay on the iLok, like maybe a string to keep it attach. Nothing to knock it for. This is probably the most excited I ever been about a device like this.

    Matt Masek is my Sales Engineer, and made sure my order got through. Thank you!

  • John
    from Saugus MA March 28, 2015

    PACE ilok 2nd Generation

    I obviously am happy with it because without it I can't run Pro Tools 11 or Auto Tune 8. What I don't like is that I had to buy it. The first ilok2 I had which came with MP9 worked for about 2 years. Then one day it started to continuously flash and would not work. I contacted ilok via e-mail as they do not have a phone number and they said it was defective and I should send it in. It was out of warranty and therefore it would have cost a lot to get a new one and have license restored. So I read on the internet and this is true believe me was for me to put it in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes and then try it. Amazing it worked so I did not unplug it. I immediately ordered a new one from Sweetwater and while the old one was still running I was able to transfer my license to the new one through the ilok site. I unplugged the old one tried the new one and it works fine. I also purchased the insurance from ilok just in case. I think that PACE should be more consumer friendly and understand that selling a known defective product of such importance should be reviewed. I search all over the internet and it amazing how many complaints were registered against PACE. Sweetwater is a great company to work with they are supportive and you can actually talk to someone in time of need.

  • Marcus Mclaurine
    from Richmond Hill, NY March 11, 2015Music Background:

    iLok 3nd generation

    I just set up my new iLok and everything worked just fine. Very easy to use. Thanks Sweeetwater!

  • Rick
    from Gillette, WYoming August 3, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    iLOK Gen 2

    It works, and does what it's designed for. I just feel it's so sad for companies to require this "license manager" to enable use of their software. I still feel like a criminal every time I use the software I purchased when I have to use use the iLok. It was a little bit difficult to understand the setup instructions, but the setup did go well.

  • Matthew W Seniff
    from Normal, IL February 15, 2012Music Background:
    semi-Pro musician

    Makes your software portable

    I purchased an iLok to use with a recent plugin purchase so that I can use the software at multiple places. I have a duplicate of my studio DAW in my bedroom where I frequently work due to failed back syndrome. I am somewhat limited in the time I can spend in my studio and the duplicate DAW allows me to work on mixes and mastering while confined to bed. The iLOk allows me to install software I have only one license for on multiple machines and it allows me to use the software on whichever machine I am at (one at a time). The iLOk was easy to install and use I just take it with me to the basement studio (The Mattcave) or to my bedroom (The Boredroom) depending on my need. I was a bit hesitant about the iLok but it is a well designed system that is easy to use. I recommend to any user as it also will help protect your investment in licensed software against disk crashes etc.

  • dschwaig
    from CA October 25, 2011Music Background:
    Home Studio Hobbyist

    Works Well

    Not sure "blown away" would be a good description so that's why I didn't give it a 5, but it works as it should and is an easy way to keep track of everything. Sucks you have to pay $50 for it, but at least it interfaced well with everything i needed to put on it...

  • Wado
    from LBC October 14, 2015Music Background:
    Musician, Studio owner

    Needed it, they had it

    Needed an I Lock, they had one at the same price as anywhere, they even sent info on the registration hassle and made it easy for me. . .

  • Michael
    from Santa Monica April 9, 2015

    New to me

    Just upgraded and using this for the first time. Registration and setup easy. The only thing better would be TO NOT HAVE TO USE THIS.

  • Phil
    from Sag Harbor, NY March 7, 2015Music Background:
    singer, songwriter

    Does what it's supposed to do

    only reason it's not a 5 is because you can't just plug n play. It takes time to set up and you better keep a record of all the access codes!

  • Ed
    from California January 27, 2015Music Background:
    Active Musician for many years

    Purchased to run Pro Tools 11

    Works as it is suppose to. I did not have any problems installing it. I had the 1st generation iLOK before but needed the 2nd generation to run Pro Tools 11.

  • Andrew Tucker
    from Waterford, MI December 9, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Worship Leader, Guitarist, Drummer...

    Does What It's Supposed To Do

    You know, it's a solid state USB stick, so either the thing works or it doesn't. Mine works great and I haven't had any issues with it. If I had one gripe, it would be that I wish the cap was a different setup. I think mine's already in the black hole under my desk.

    Now, iLok's service is a completely different topic. I have never had an issue with licensing software through iLok that their customer service team didn't make up for by far. Wonderful people to work with.

  • Flying Cloud Studios
    from Phoenix November 19, 2014

    Upgrade to 2nd Gen

    I think the ilok program is critical in todays environment to protect program developers. That said, its a pain to upgrade, but the support is good to get you through the process. Call Sweetwater support, get they help and it will be up and running before long.

  • Lee ewell
    from Hamtramack Michigan November 3, 2014Music Background:
    hobbyist, student songwriing


    well, there is not much to say about an Ilok, it does what it is suppose to do, luanches my pro tools rig. so I am happy

  • Lexx
    from Stockton,ca April 29, 2014Music Background:

    Works fine

    It works as advertised, looks cool and portable too what more can u ask for

  • David Garver
    from Everton, MO November 27, 2013Music Background:

    iLok 2nd Generation

    This device works perfectly but ! The cover cap is thin plastic and very flimsy. The cover cap will crack or break if anything is accidentally set on top of it, or if you have it in your pocket and you lean against something. Just have to be careful with it.

  • Bobby Winkelman
    from Carson City, Nevada October 2, 2013Music Background:
    Professional Singer, song writer, bassist, guitarist, drummer, & audio studio sound producer

    The iLok 2

    It works just as first advertised.
    However, with one caveat. That requires that the Sweetwaters' sage technicians both help one out over the phone. While at the same time take control of ones' computer, right over the internet. To make this come true. And, to thereby first get it working right.

    Thanks be to their higher spiritual power, & source of empowerment.
    Who constantly guides them, & us all!
    Bobby Winkelman

  • Customer
    from United States September 20, 2013Music Background:
    recording artist

    it works!!

    Yes I does what it supposed to do

  • Alex
    from July 16, 2013Music Background:
    Musician (Guitar, drums, bass, keyboards) and recording hobbyist.

    Pace Ilok 2nd generation

    This pendrive is a great tool for taking my liscenses everywhere. It would be awesome, if I could include wave liscenses in it, instead using a regular pendrive for it.
    Despite of that, it is a great and usefull tool.

  • P. Kelleher
    from Plattsburgh, NY October 22, 2012Music Background:
    Teacher of HS Digital Media,

    iLok 2nd Gen

    This is the firist iLok I have needed. It works as described. I have used it daily for the past two weeks on three different computers. It engages flawlessly with each (just what I needed)

  • Brian English
    from Vancouver Canada September 20, 2012Music Background:
    Working Hobbyist

    It does what it supposed to...work!

    What's to say ? It was very simple to activate and being a user who is not all that well integrated into all things digital that says a lot !

  • JoeTheFlow
    from January 30, 2012

    It's a dongle

    I wish we didn't need these things. I find them incredibly annoying. Forgot it once and was forced to have someone drive out to me.

    That being said, as far as dongles go, it does the job and it doesn't look as stupid as the 1st generation.

  • Last Stand Studio
    from NY October 13, 2011Music Background:
    Home Studio


    I say great because it is something you need for pro tools and a lot of other plugins. But honestly it is a ton better than the first one. I just plug it to the USB port on my keyboard and you do not even notice it is there. I have read in other reviews that there should have been a place to store the cap, I agree with that. Although I do not really need it because for me the Ilok becomes a permanent part of my computer.

  • Randy Akins
    from Fort Wayne, IN September 20, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    Easy Upgrade!

    Moving my software licenses from my multiple original ilok keys was very easy and fast. I look forward to filling the ilok2 up with new licenses!

  • Danny
    from Long Beach,CA December 30, 2015

    USB 3 Users Beware!!

    I was having problems installing my Lexicon Reverb software on my newly acquired iMac;iLok kept asking for authorization each time I opened it which is utter nonsense.I called Sweetwater and they recommended I get a USB hub(DLink) that's better equipped at handling USB 2 hardware.Well,that seems to have done the trick,at least so far.Just thought I'd let everyone know. :)

  • Dwayne Ford
    from Indio, Ca July 16, 2013Music Background:
    Composer, producer, musician

    It works

    I'm reviewing a product that should never need a review. An iLok should just work ... period. Pace iLok's have taken a ton of heat for locking composers out of their own production DAWS due to some software malfunction. This is absolutely unacceptable, of course, and there was chatter about class action lawsuits against Pace. This new iLok works and that's what it's supposed to do. However, the software that is supposed to be newer, better, faster etc. still has bugs. Pace is now public enemy number one in the composer/producer community and they have a lot of work to do to gain the trust back. This is a good start. Sadly, this new software still does not work on my Mac Pro. I had to plug it into another computer to make it work. Buggy, buggy buggy.

  • Jeff Costa
    from Myrtle Beach, SC June 30, 2011Music Background:
    Live Sound/ Recording Engineer

    So far, so good

    Pretty straight forward on the license transferring. No problems with Pro Tools 9 recognizing it yet!

  • Chuck Naffier
    from Bartlett, IL February 4, 2015Music Background:
    Composer, arranger, performer, mixing engineer, teacher, consultant.

    iLok 2nd Generation

    Functional and a necessity for running ProTools 11.

    Know that if you're using Waves Plugins, you no longer need an iLok, as they now provide iCloud licensing directly onto a regular Flash Drive.

  • Kevin Mooney
    from IL December 30, 2014Music Background:
    Kazoo wizzard

    I lok

    Hard to get excited about paying to protect others proprietary intellectual properties. It does what it says it does and is relatively painless to use.

  • John
    from Los Angeles, CA June 17, 2014Music Background:

    Great product

    Works like it should

  • Sabrinasvoice
    from Ohio March 10, 2014Music Background:

    The Pace Ilock 2nd Generation

    I dont like that I have to have this plugged in each time I use Protools. I understand why this is necessary so I will just get used to it and purchase another item to hold all of my USB's.

  • Trey Xavier
    from United States December 16, 2013Music Background:
    All of it

    Functions as described

    I'm not entirely sure how to rate this thing - it works like it's supposed to, but it's basically just something that if you lose it, you're totally screwed. It's like the key to the kingdom, and it does a good job of locking the door, but I'm not going to sing the praises of a key. "Hey, how do you like your new house?" "The house is okay, but let me tell you about how awesome the KEY is that opens the front door! It stops me from stealing the house that I already paid for!" Nom sayin?

  • Robert Xeno
    from Nashville, TN March 23, 2012Music Background:
    35 years producing, engeneering and recording very cool and excellent music.

    iLok 2nd Generation

    So it is finally awesome that they have decided to make an iLok that will hold 500 license.....
    But in the year 2012 , to design a usb device with a cap /end that comes off and then is completely detached from the main unit is absurd.

    It should slide in and out, hang from a string or chain, or in SOME way be LOGICALLY connected.

    I believe that we can clearly see that rather than thinking the designers were brain dead, it is more a case of their planned obsolescence.
    And the hope we LOSE the end cover then byu traveling (I have 6 I take them everywhere) they hope we break or destroy the iLok and then have to buy a new one. Also, to “protect us” along the way they offer the $29 a year license protection plan FOR EACH iLOK. OMG Seriously?

    We are NOT being well se4rved here people. This is insulting.

  • Ryan Mowdy
    from Earth June 20, 2016Music Background:
    lots o' stuff


    Okay so the first generation was built like a tank. Now what do we have? This? Are you kidding? Now it works fine but think of all the damage you could accidently cause - maybe you kneel down and your knee bust it wide open (it happened to me). I would have thought iLok would have released a TANK not this piece of plastic junk.

  • Customer
    from April 3, 2015


    iLock gave me nothing but problems since I got it. My MacBook Pro and mac Mini almost never recognize it, so any download I bought that requires an iLock takes about 15 minutes of restarting over and over and signing back in my iLock account multiple times to get it to work. I've experienced nothing but frustration since I bought. I even switched DAWs from Pro Tools to Ableton Live 9 so I would not have to use it, and it was probably the best thing that happened to me cause I now LOVE Ableton. Unfortunately I will not buy any products that require an iLock.

  • Ben Meyers
    from Binghamton, NY December 20, 2014Music Background:
    Guitarist/pianist/mediocre drummer; Sound Engineering major; songwriter; musician in general

    Kind of missed some things...

    It works and that's really all that matters, but for a glorified flash drive whose sole purpose is to hold a license.txt file... Why could they not give you somewhere to put the cap? I got a blue light, sure, but I don't have somewhere to put the cap? I don't think I'll lose mine, but I know hundreds of thousands of people probably are losing or have lost theirs. They should also allow you to transfer your license to a computer temporarily (until you put it back on the iLok) so you don't need it in the computer to run a program/plugin. My professor said it used to do this, but now it doesn't. That would be a really nice feature.

  • Customer
    from February 18, 2016

    2nd in a few months

    I'm buying this one because the last one promptly died suddenly and without warning.
    Sweetwater was great about handling the order.

  • David Renfro
    from Sonora, CA July 23, 2013Music Background:
    composer/synthesist/home engineer

    Interesting but weird concept

    They say registering and authorizing and reauthorizing this product is a simple process. Sorry. If you're not a user of audio plug-ins, setting up iLok can be confusing. One of the main reasons is that they used to have it set up where you had to manage the use of iLok through their web site. That no longer is true. Now you download the iLok Manager into your computer, so you don't have to go to their web site. Problem is, at the time I purchased this key, the directions everywhere on the net and even from the retailer I bought it from gave me the old instructions to set it up through the web site. Took me two days to figure out what was happening. Let it be known the iLok 2nd generation has the capability of storing 500 licenses, not 100 like the old one. Overall, I give it an average rating, because I just know there's going to come that day where I lose the stupid little thing.

  • Stormy Weather
    from San Angelo, tx March 28, 2013Music Background:
    hobbyest, noise maker, with rare live performances,

    iSaw,ilike, iBought it.

    Its a necessary evil for unlocking or selling software that I wanted, my top complaint is the fornfactor, at least compared to the old ilock design this one is actually a respectable looking drive, but I think its too long, it begs to snap away the precious and flimsy USB port its attached to, But then again there are features that the Pace Software and iLok website provide that arent bad and thus warrant my lack of "overpriced" as it seems to cover its features well. it saves me from having to plug in software keys everytime I plug it in. On the plug side, it glows blue! I'm paranoid of looking the iLock cap. It does what I need and has capacity to hold more liscenses then I could dream of owning. so it works I suppose.. gets a 2 for being a rather "long" dongle by moderns tandards, and having an easy to loose cap.
    Pros; Reliable and easy registration, looks way better then their old key, and finally does what it supposed to.

  • Customer
    from June 14, 2012

    Cap Suggestion

    I appreciate the cap comments. What I am going to do is use Velcro tape to secure the cap to the side. I use this to organize my tools. This stuff is handy to have around.

    I had to buy this thing to get a free software offer. The old iLok won't work with it. Hopefully I won't have to buy another one but I doubt it. It must have a new type of encryption. More companies may require this at some point I think for their new software.

    I hated dongles when they first came out but now I like the freedom of being able to switch computers easily. Companies which use iLok shouldn't require a password to download software updates. That is stupid, redundant and annoying!

  • Brian Seeger
    from New Orleans May 4, 2011Music Background:
    Producer, Composer, Professional Musician

    iLok 2nd Generation

    Plusses: Smaller, seems more sturdy, fits more licenses, labeling, cap. Relatively easy to move licenses from old iLok to new one

    Minuses: Kind of expensive for what it is

    Totally Stupid: Why would you totally redesign this thing, and even include a cap, and then not make it so the cap fits on it somehow, or is connected to it when you take it off. Brainless! How much are spare caps going to cost, and/or are they even going to be available? It is very likely people are going to lose caps.

  • Michael
    from Atlanta, GA October 29, 2015Music Background:
    producer/ engineer/ songwriter

    Huge pain

    I've had 2 iLoks go bad on me in a few months. So it costs more and more money for plugins & software I've already bought. Huge amounts of down time & troubleshooting where I can't work.

  • S. M. Harris
    from NY - New York April 2, 2017Music Background:


    I don't recall even buying iLok, maybe it came preinstalled on a thumb drive I bought? At any rate, I went tried to open a file in the SCW (movie magic screenwriter) format that I hadn't opened lately, and iLok had "Lok'd" me out my own writing project!

    I had to uninstall iLok, then re-download the & reinstall the SCW software.

    So, my one star does NOT mean "Just not right for me." It means what the title says: iLok is a a nightmare.

  • Brad
    from USA August 25, 2016Music Background:

    Terrible Service. Zero Downtime is false advetising

    This company is a con! I've been using PT and loads of plugs for 15 years. Never have I dealt with a more frustrating group than Pace and ILOK. This is not an emotional review based on an isolated event. This is based on many separate occasions when I had the unfortunate experience of trying to use the services I paid them to provide.

    Seriously have considered mixing on plugs that do not require iLok just to avoid doing business with PACE. Really that bad!!

  • Lamar Fandango
    from Paris July 11, 2015Music Background:

    Out of date already

    This doesn't work with USB 3 ports. That's a critical failure for a tech company.

  • Todd Rittmann
    from Chicago Il usa February 15, 2015Music Background:

    Avoid at all costs

    So I've had the ilok 2 for 3 years and it suddenly fails today. I have never moved the ilok or the computer in all the time I've owned it. This company offers a "free" replacement ilok. What does "free" mean? It means for $49.95 they will take MY licenses off THEIR defective dongle and ship me another one "free"... After I pay $33.47 shipping. True story. I have been royally screwed. Let it be known I am done with ilok and any company who uses their service. Highway robbery! Don't give this company a dime of your money.

  • Edward Halterman
    from El Segundo, CA October 10, 2014

    ZERO STARS: Do not car about their customers

    So the other day I had an accident in my car and my iLok got broken when I was on the way to my computer guy. Pace/iLok is great as long as you never have to call them or try to communicate with them. So there is no customer service phone number and there is no email anywhere on the site. You can get an email through to them though if you click through the right things for about 30 minutes, one can figure it out.

    So now the fun stuff right? Music is obviously very important to all of us here, in fact it's our lives and livelihoods and it means the world to us. In my case my iLok is broken, so I am already disappointed, because I have to buy a new one for $49.

    I immediately purchase ZDT (Zero Downtime) from the iLok site for $30, thinking okay, this means I will have ZERO DOWNTIME. They advertise temporary licenses to keep you a float during the RMA process... READ THE FINE PRINT! The speak of a 7-Day Cooling Off Period.. WHAT?! Are you kidding me? So because I did not purchase the ZDT when I purchased my iLok, I am being punished and held hostage? Read on their site THE FINE PRINT, for an extra $100, they will release your temporary licenses before the 7 days... again, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So now, I am already upset at my accident, not being able to use my software and now I am being held hostage and cannot use it for 7 days, unless I pay an extra $100... they should call this AFTER 7 DAYS ZERO DOWNTIME. They are a very misleading company.

    So then I have to submit an RMA, but to get it through the system I have to pay another $49 (transfer fee) what? They claim because they have to retrieve the licenses off the old iLok... how can that happen when it broke into pieces... don't they have all of this on their servers and the answer is "Yes." So why am I paying extra... because it's a racket, that's why.

    Then, they tell me via an email that I must send in the broken iLok or they cannot send out my new licenses until they have that in hand. So yesterday shipped it out immediately.

    You guys might want to purchase the ZDT now, so you don't go through what I did... 7 Day Cooling Off period what a joke. In nearly 50 years of being on this planet, I have never in my life had a customer service experience this bad... not even close... Pace/iLok is the worst company I have ever dealt with period. What I want to know next is when does the waterboarding start, so I can hold my breath
    SO if I pay $231 today, I can get temporary licenses... wow thanks, Pace/iLok I can tell you really care about your customers.

  • Ron Foos
    from Simi Valley, Ca. June 27, 2014Music Background:
    Touring Bassist, award winning songwriter, producer for Paul Revere and the Raiders, Mary Wilson, The Association, The Beach Boys, Randy Bachman....and more.....

    iLok 2

    Whats the point of these "Dongels" anyway.....in a day and age where music software is instant, easy to use and ready to go...this seems like cave men still having to use flint to start a fire. This is so over kill and the 007 mind set of all this over-the-top security measures...its a music software program- for heavens sake.....not a Russian spy trying to see our Pentagon paper work. To be blunt...I HATE dongels...I will NEVER buy another &%^%$# Dongels in my life.... Its the VCR of the 21 century!

  • Ron Wells
    from NC, United States May 31, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer


    The iloks have consistently been a major pain for me to deal with. The documentation furnished doesn't match what you have to do to get the system to work. This is my 3rd ilok and it didn't get any easier. Again, Sweetwater support came to my rescue. It's not that I am that stupid (I have 8 years of college and a doctorate.)
    Unfortunately, I have ordered some more excellent equipment but they are going to require the ilok also.
    Hate is such a strong word, but.........thanks again Sweetwater support and Mark Magdich.

  • Russ
    from Los Angeles, CA May 7, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    An Unnecessary Evil

    My one star rating reflects the paranoia behind the iLok, not the product itself. The iLok 2 works fine; it's nothing more than a key to allow the use of software. The problem is that you and I must waste money to satisfy the greed of software companies that require the iLok.

    As a business owner who publishes content anybody might copy, I suppose I could require you purchase an iLok in order to access my products. But I put my money where my mouth is and chose not to. As far as I know all buyers of my products have been honest but, if I'm wrong and one or two crossed the line, they caused me minuscule financial loss. (And I sell to a lot of people!)

    Maybe I should have thought twice. Maybe all of us should buy products that do NOT require an iLok and boycott companies that do. I certainly would feel like less of a sucker had I followed my own advice.

    I will be surprised if this review actually appears anywhere.

  • Jackson Morgan
    from Los Angeles, CA April 6, 2014Music Background:
    Professional Songwriter/Producer

    Fails When You Need It

    the most unreliable product i have in my setup. i have gone through three iLoks in 4 months because they keep breaking when i have a client in the studio. i never take it out of the computer, so the shortcomings can only be blamed on PACE's low-quality design.

  • Eric Gettinger
    from Fairbanks Alaska February 15, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer, iLok Hater

    Worst Product In Existence

    These Iloks are poorly built and if something goes wrong with them you are up a creek without a paddle. There is no phone number to contact Pace if you have problems and their customer service over email is the worst experience I have ever had with a "professional" company. They take days to communicate, they do not explain anything, I was told last time I had a problem with my key that I was lying to them... I was literally told that I was lying when I told them I had tried what they told me to do to try and fix it and it didn't work... It took days for them to admit fault and then after everything I was also told the "free" Ilok they would replace my broken one with would cost $43 to ship. It fits in an envelope and they are going to charge me $43 to ship my "free replacement" Ilok?

    First of course I would have to send in my broken one and wait for them to process everything, which means I would not be able to even open up Pro Tools for a week unless I wanted to pay $99 and have my Ilok account temporarily moved to another device (which means I would have to own 2 Iloks for that to even be a possibility). So just up front I was looking at $43 for the free replacement and $99 for a grand total of $142 just because their product stopped functioning properly. I have never felt so taken advantage of in my life.

  • jegler
    from illinois July 29, 2013Music Background:

    no good

    iLok's new license manager is horrible. has left many users (including me) unable to use the software for which they paid. no phone support and spotty email support. it's been 5 weeks since they "unauthorized" my Waves plugins. When they get around to answering my emails, iLok blames Waves. Waves insists it's iLok's fault. At least Waves offered a refund...

  • Chuck Larish
    from Bellevue, NE July 24, 2013Music Background:
    Recording and Mixing engineer, Pro Musician, Music Instructor

    It works? No it doesn't.

    I was dubious of the iLok for a long time but decided to take the plunge when some software I really wanted required the iLok. Convenient? Possibly, but mine failed after just over a year of use. If you can afford to be down for a month while your new iLok is delivered and the licenses are transferred, then you're ok without the ZDT coverage. If you can't afford to be down that long, you'll need to pay an extra $30 for the ZDT coverage as of this writing in addition to having a second iLok sitting around (another $50) in order to be back up and running quickly. And don't even try thinking about getting the ZDT coverage if and when your iLok fails. Because then, they'll try to hit you with a $100 "expediency fee". This product and Pace's "service" are terrible. The only good thing I can think of about the iLok is that if you are someone who travels around to different studios a lot, then this is the best solution there is. If you don't fit that category, please reconsider any software purchase that requires this piece of junk on behalf of consumers everywhere.

  • Greg Forest
    from United States July 12, 2012Music Background:
    musician, engineer, producer for 40 years.

    Concept & Deployment Sucks

    I've been programming and recording since the green screen days and this product appears to be one of the worst hardware/software designs I have encountered. Driver and client downloads are required (guess they forgot they could put it on the device itself). Many new USB devices are now loaded with the drivers on the device. Makers of $15 MIDI USB interfaces have figured it out. Duh. Driver and client footprint are HUGE - over 80MG - as big as many workstation applications.

    I understand the need for such products but it took me over an hour to install this widget that, if the designers and product afflitates had been thinking is entirely unnecessary. Modern operating systems can detect machine numbers and it would have been much easier to just stamp the software with the machine number and that number only via the web. I believe you get the dongle just to make you think you got something of value for your $50. You have to get to the website anyway to transfer or store any of your licensed devices.

    And being a USB device, they could have designed the worthless widget a bit better with a few gig of storage for your registered plugin DLLs and perhaps a ring or something to put it on a lanyard.. I'm truly amazed that there are so many five-star reviews the 1st generation of this product must have been even worse..

    Sweetwater is the best = I rarely buy anywhere else, but if these reviews are moderated, I doubt anyone but the moderator will ever see this review.

Questions about the PACE iLok 2nd Generation?

Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.

Type your question below or call us at (800) 222-4700

Thank You!

Thank you for your request. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer will get back to you shortly. You can also call us toll free at (800) 222-4700, Mon-Thu 9-9, Fri 9-8, and Sat 9-7 Eastern.

Enter the Giveaway