Protecting PHP Code

With Zend Guard, you can encode, obfuscate and protect your PHP code to prevent unlicensed use and reverse engineering.

Zend Guard maximizes software profitability by:

  • Limiting unauthorized duplication or use of your applications.
  • Ensuring only licensed customers use your products — in a way that complies with your license.
  • Supporting flexible licensing terms to minimize product costs.
  • Preventing other people from changing your code.

Zend Guard supports PHP versions up through 5.6. Please read this blog for more information. 


PHP Encryption and PHP Obfuscation Solution Features


With Zend Guard, developers can encode their PHP script at any time during the development process, protecting PHP code prior to distribution or publishing. 


You can prevent external code tampering by using obfuscation in Zend Server. It converts tags and names in code files into cryptic names. As a result, external parties will not be able to easily understand your code, yet your applications will run successfully.


Choose a license model that meets your requirements. Options include number of concurrent users or specific amounts of time, network segments, or servers.

Prevent Reverse Engineering

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 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.


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:

  • Prohibits modification of internal PHP application source code.
  • Supports one-click encoding from Zend Studio.
  • Auto-detects and suggests PHP code elements (such as functions and methods) to exclude them from being obfuscated, significantly reducing development time.
Zend Guard Encoder
Zend Guard License

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.

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.


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.

See Release Notes

Changes in Zend Guard from Version 5.0.1 to 5.5

Full support for PHP 5.3.

System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems: 

  • Linux x86.
  • Linux x86-64 with 32 bit libraries installed.
  • Windows x86 7 / 8.1 / 2008R2.
  • Windows x86-64 7 / 8.1 / 2008R2.
  • Mac OS X 10.10.

Supported PHP Versions: 

  • 5.3.x through 5.6 (using Zend Guard Loader as the runtime PHP decoder).
  • 4.2.x through 5.2.x (using Zend Optimizer as the runtime PHP decoder).

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