Milestone MAC Licensing MythBy: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 05, 2014
One of the most consistent complaints about Milestone is wrong and has been for years.
In this note, we look at how Milestone used to license cameras, the problems with that process, and how it is done now.
Old MAC/DLK Approach
In older Milestone versions, users were required to manually document MAC addresses of cameras to be added to the server and send them to Milestone. A .dlk (device license key) file was then generated by Milestone and emailed back to the integrator, who then uploaded the file to the server, activating the licenses. Any time a new camera was added to the system, this process had to be followed.
Originally, the cameras could not be used at all until the license was activated, making same-day changes problematic. Later versions allowed a temporary grace period to account for the activation process. This process also applied to OnSSI systems, due to their use of the Milestone 'recording engine'.
New Method/Online Activation
In current versions of Milestone, the activation process has been automated. For systems which are connected to the internet, the user runs an activation wizard which sends camera information to Milestone, checks it against their registration information, and activates the camera licenses automatically, as long as free licenses are available.
This process is shown in the following video:
For systems without an internet connection, users download a single file to a USB key which is then uploaded via an internet connected PC to Milestone's software registration site. A .dlk is generated, which is transferred to the server and activated. No manual documentation or emailing are required.
Compared to Other VMSes
Most major VMSes use methods similar to Milestone's current approach, though license activation can vary. Genetec and Avigilon, for example, both require new licenses to be activated online or via file download/upload when changes are made. Exacq requires a new license key to be applied via file upload or pasting a new license key anytime the license is updated. Compared to these, Milestone license activation should take no more time during installation.