Protect your applications with PHP encoding

NEW! Support for PHP 5.5 & 5.6

The Leading PHP Encode and PHP Obfuscation Solution

Zend Guard, the most widely accepted PHP encoding and obfuscation product on the market, protects your application from unlicensed use and reverse engineering.


Zend Guard maximizes software profitability by:

  • Limiting unauthorized duplication or use of your applications.

  • Ensuring that only licensed customers use your products and that they remain within the terms of your license.

  • Offering flexible licensing terms that make your software products more attractive, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction.

  • Increasing conversion rate from evaluation to licensed product.

  • Preventing other people from changing your code (all files are rendered as un-editable and external changes will corrupt the code) protecting the files against external tampering.

PHP Encryption and PHP Obfuscation Solution Features

Encoding with the Zend Guard allows developers to encode their PHP script at any time during the development process. More importantly, this enables code to be encoded prior to distribution or publishing.

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Documentation Links

Encoding :: Obfuscation :: Software Licensing :: Command Line Tools :: IDE Integration


Encode and Obfuscate your Apps


Prevent reverse engineering through PHP encoding and obfuscation

You worked hard to develop your code.  Now you need to protect it.  Zend Guard's powerful encoding and obfuscation technologies prevent reverse engineering, copyright infringement and unauthorized modification of your code.

Encoding is a process where the PHP source code is converted to an intermediate machine readable format, just like PHP encryption.  This format is hard for humans to read and convert back to source code.  As a result it protects your code from casual browsing.  This means that if people obtain access to your site's code they will not be able to use that for unintended purposes.

Obfuscation is a process where the code is intentionally made very hard to read as source code or as reverse engineered code.  This obfuscation is designed to manage risks that stem from unauthorized access to source code. These risks include loss of intellectual property, ease of probing for application vulnerabilities and loss of revenue that can result when applications are reverse engineered, modified to circumvent licensing and then recompiled. Although reverse engineering always existed in computer software, it is especially important for in computing environments such as PHP which take advantage of dynamic processing of language elements rather than code which has been compiled into machine language before being deployed.


Protect your PHP code from unauthorized use

Zend Guard's licensing capabilities allow Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to create a variety of licensing policies for their commercial PHP applications.  The product supports most commonly used licensing models such as concurrent users, time limited, segment of network, or server specific licensing.  These capabilities allow vendors to maximize their revenue by preventing unauthorized use.  

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PHP Encoder

Compiles and converts the plain-text PHP scripts into a platform-independent binary format known as a 'Zend Intermediate Code' file. These encoded binary files can then be distributed instead of the plain text PHP protecting your hard programming efforts. Benefits of using this PHP encrypt process:

  • Enables PHP source code protection (against copyright infringement and reverse-engineering) of commercial PHP applications through advanced encoding and obfuscation technologies.
  • Provides IT Managers with a solution that prohibits modification of their internal PHP application source code so they can effectively support them.
  • Streamlined integration with Zend Studio – just one click and your PHP application is encoded.
  • Auto-detects and suggests PHP code elements (such as functions and methods) to exclude them from being obfuscated significantly reducing development time.


PHP Encoding and PHP Obfuscation License Manager

The Zend Guard License Manager both strengthens protection and enhances revenue generation opportunities.

  • Choose from a variety of licensing models such as concurrent users, time limited, segment of network, or server specific.


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How the PHP Encoder and PHP Obfuscator works

The license file, deployed along with the encoded PHP, is validated at runtime. Licenses can be easily modified or renewed, without the need to deploy new software. Vendors can pick-and-choose from a variety of flexible licensing models:

  • Concurrent Users - Usage is limited by the number of real-time users.
  • Time Limited: - A time limited license used for evaluation purposes or time dependent terms, with pre-set expiration dates.
  • Segment of Network: - Usage is limited by IP address range restricting licenses according to network topology.
  • Specific Server: - License limited to specific hardware, based on Host ID.
  • Advanced Options: - Specify advanced licensing options by adding custom code.


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PHP Decoding with Zend Guard Loader

Zend Guard Loader is a free runtime application that enables PHP to run the scripts encoded by Zend Guard. It can be freely used by anyone looking to run encoded applications.

Looking to run an application encoded by Zend Guard?

The simplest way to set up a PHP runtime environment that can execute scripts protected by Zend Guard is to install Zend Server, our pre-integrated PHP application stack. Zend Server includes:

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Download Zend Guard Loader

What's New with the PHP Encoding and PHP Obfuscation Solution


Changes in Zend Guard from version 6.0 to 7.0

Full support for PHP 5.5 and 5.6

Changes in Zend Guard from version 5.5 to 6.0

Full support for PHP 5.4

Changes in Zend Guard from version 5.0.1 to 5.5

Full support for PHP 5.3


System Requirements


Supported Operating Systems: 

Supported PHP Versions: