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ZendGuard is a program that encrypts PHP source files and make them unreadable and unmodifiable. The program is suitable for PHP programmers who need to protect their PHP projects' source code from stealing and also suitable for script vendors who want to establish a licensing system to increase their revenues and protect their product from unauthorized installations. Furthermore ZendGuard is useful for website owners who want to encode their configuration files to hide sensitive data such as database passwords from being readable by other users on the same shared hosting server (due to many vulnerabilities and system malconfigurations which is known by "local userdir exploit") or even from the server owner. ZendGuard is considered the most widely accepted and reliable encoding solution for PHP files because it depends on byte-code method of encoding which renders the encoded files impossible to be reversed back to its source according to Zend Inc. However hackers could decode encoded php files which were encoded by earlier versions of Zend encoder (the former name of Zend Guard). The Zend Guard version 4.0 provides wide range of new features such as the support for PHP version 5.1, new project step-by-step wizard, new design, higher level of protection and adds the support for Zend Optimizer 3.x along wit the legacy old versions of Zend Optiomizer.
- Hard or even impossible to decode protection
- Supports PHP V 5.1
- Supports ZendOptimizer 2.x and 3.x
- Rather expensive
- Competitor program such as IonCube have better encryption and more features