My Biggest beef about Rhino 6 is the reliance on a web connection

Just in case… is there a country where the checking might fail?
or security that blocks the check?

Here are some links to support pages (with other sub-pages) that I think cover your concerns:

Please review these and come back with specific questions if you have any.

So far we are not aware of any countries where this is a problem.
We are aware of a firewall protection that Hewlett Packard uses which effectively blocks on-line V5 license validation and use the the V6 Cloud Zoo. This is the only blocking we are aware of.

If you’re concerned about traveling, you can always change from Cloud Zoo or LAN Zoo licensing to Stand-alone:

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What is the meaning of “license validation”? Does it mean that I have to type, by hand, every letter of the license number and my email address twice when I install Rhino update (e.g., from 6.5 to 6.6)?

Has McNeel obtained any certificate which says that the Cloud Zoo is not a security risk?

This should cover the security risk questions:


Hi Andrew,

Is there a source of a certificate that would make you feel comfortable that Cloud Zoo is not a security risk? What would that certificate communicate to you? Are you looking for a third-party audit of our systems?

Also, what kinds of security risks are you concerned about? I can think of many, so I won’t even list my own concerns. Perhaps if you could elaborate on the risks you’re thinking about, I can help you understand how likely it is that the Cloud Zoo would be a problem for you.

I have very good reasons not to share my Rhino files/models with hackers. I use Webroot SecureAnywhere antivirus program. How secure are my Rhino files/models, in your opinion?

Suppose that I have the single-computer license. Do I have to go through the “license validation” nuisance every time I install Rhino update (e.g., from 6.5 to 6.6)?


The cloud zoo does not store your files, only your license keys…

In addition, the Cloud Zoo doesn’t have a mechanism to access your file system at all. Here’s what it does do:

  • When it starts for the first time, it communicates with our Rhino Accounts server over a secure HTTPS connection to It then communicates with our license server at
  • While you are running, it maintains a connection to This connection allows your license to stay current and refreshed, helps us understand patterns of usage, and makes it possible for us to make sure your license is in use on only one computer at a time.
  • When you close Rhino, all connections to our servers are closed.
  • There isn’t a way for our servers to request information from Rhino
  • Rhino never sends information to the Cloud Zoo that contains your personal data (aside from your account and license information, of course).

But there are some big benefits of the Cloud Zoo:

  • When you install Rhino on multiple computers, you can use your license on any of them by just logging in.
  • The Cloud Zoo makes sure you are within the limits of the license agreement, so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Your computer can die completely, and you’ll be able to get a new one up and running by installing Rhino and logging in - you don’t need to contact us to get another chance at installing and validating your license.

Hope this helps.

Thousands of U.S. citizen do classified CAD work (mostly weapon design) and they want to know whether Chinese spymasters have bribed the CAD programmers. I could not find info on the Internet about security certification for CAD programs, but I believe that there is demand for such certification.

The National Security Agency (NSA) approved some cell phones for government and military use. It may offer security certification for CAD programs.

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) provides secure communications for the U.S. government, its military services, and individuals contributing to the defense of the United States. DISA may be the best source of information whether such CAD certification exists.

So do thousands of other citizens from other entities and locales - many of which we serve.

I work regularly with organizations throughout the world that know how to secure their networks. Sometimes it is quite a chore to get Rhino to work in their secure environments. They never allow the computer to access the internet for any reason.

I’ve never heard of a secure entity (Apple, Google, the Chinese military, etc.) that trusts external vendor software to ensure their data security. A basic premise of security is the principle of least privilege - only allow the things that must be allowed for a given task to be successfully completed.

Network and data security is something we take very seriously for our own network and data; that’s why we don’t house or transmit your data without your explicit permission (when Rhino crashes, we ask for the model, that’s the only time I can think of that we ask for your data, and it’s strictly optional). I strongly encourage you to set up your own network to match the level of security your work demands, and not trust any software to do it for you.

If you remain concerned, I encourage you to install your license as a single-computer license on the computer you want to use. If you need to use Rhino on multiple computers, buy a license for each one. Secure environments is one reason why single-computer licensing still exists in Rhino.

Thanks! This is very important info for me.

Yep, I had an issue with the Cloud Zoo connection the other night (14/6/18, ~10pm AEST). It was probably the first time in a few weeks I opened Rhino6, it couldn’t connect even though I had internet, so I had no option but to go with Rhino5 for that project. Felt a bit stupid, especially because I wasted about 30mins trying to get it to work. I logged out and in manually on the website, tried tethering my phone for a different internet connection, nothing worked. Just tried again now and it’s all working, but doesn’t fill me with confidence.
Is there a way we could check out a cloud zoo license? Mostly I’m on my desktop, so I could just check it out permanently and if I need to move I can check it in and move it over to the laptop.

All very well, but half the time I have to work/take laptop to work in places with no internet. Then what?

This reliance on assuming there is internet everywhere is getting to be annoying - not just in this case.

Right now, will bin v6 and stay with 5. Very disappointing release this one.

Install your license locally and you can work anywhere without an internet connection for as long as you want…

great, so I have to remember to transfer the licence every time from standalone desktop to travelling laptop every time I go somewhere. Which is a lot.

No thanks, stick with v5 and it’s limitations. How about offering a dongle based licence? Could live with that as it’s simple and don’t need to fart around with the internet - which is not that reliable out here int the sticks.

Well, currently your choice is between that and buying a second license.

Also your choice…

Not my choice… dongles are a pain in the a$$ and they get lost or broken. Plus your dealer would have to load the license into the dongle and send it to you via postal mail, which will add to delays, add to the cost and might be even more unreliable than the internet in some parts of the world.

You think it will be better for v7?