Does PHPshadow work on shared hosting platforms?

Regular users will not be able to install PHPshadow on a shared hosting platform because that requires administrator rights. We suggest you ask your hosting provider to install it for you.

Will PHPshadow work on my server?

You will need the ability to install a PHP extension (usually root access), or have a system administrator do it for you. Your server must be Linux, FreeBSD or Mac OS X and have PHP already installed.

Is version 10 compatible with earlier versions?

No. Code encrypted with version 10 requires version 10 of the server extension. Conversely, code encrypted with version 7.x requires version 7.x of the server extension.

Does it work on XAMPP?

Yes, PHPshadow will work on the Linux and Mac OS X versions of XAMPP. However, PHPshadow will not work with the Windows version of XAMPP.

Does it work on MAMP?

Yes, PHPshadow has been successfully tested on MAMP.

Is there a Windows version available?

We have not yet released a Windows version. However, you can run the Encoder Tool under WSL on windows. For more information please visit the Microsoft WSL Page.

Does PHPshadow work under Windows Services for Linux (WSL)?

You can run the Encoder Tool under WSL, but you won't be able to install the server extension as you would on a Linux web server.

Does PHPshadow work with thread-safe (ZTS) configurations of PHP?

No, we do not support thread-safe configurations of PHP.

Are there any known incompatibility issues?

Please refer to our Known Issues page.


Can I encrypt binary files?

No. PHPshadow is designed to encrypt text files.

Is it possible for me to decrypt files I've encrypted?

No. We strongly suggest you keep a copy of your plaintext code because once it is encrypted it cannot be decrypted.

Does my encrypted code ever expire or require a licence to work?

No. Encrypted code will work forever, unlimited, without requiring a licence.


What encryption algorithm does it use?

The core encryption algorithm is AES, but there are other encryption algorithms and techniques involved.

Is encryption better than obfuscation?

Definitely. Compared with encryption, obfuscation is weak because it is easy to reverse. Encryption is much stronger because a key is required to encrypt and decrypt data.

If a hacker gets hold of my encrypted PHP files as well as the PHPshadow server extension, can they decrypt my files?

No. Of course, no encryption can offer 100% security, but insofar as encryption is concerned, the PHPshadow server extension does not enable someone to decrypt code.


How do I uninstall PHPshadow from my computer or server?

Refer to page 5 of the user guide.

How do I renew my licence?

When your licence expires, you will need to purchase another one if you wish to use the encoder tool again. You can do this from our Buy Encoder Tool Licence page.

How can I test whether PHPshadow has been correctly installed on my server?

Please refer to page 2 of the user guide.

How do I get my files encrypted in the cloud?

Files encrypted using our cloud encryption service will be sent to you via email. Normally the email should arrive within 10 minutes.


Does PHPshadow make my site slower?

There is a small but negligible impact due to the overheads of translating encrypted code. Testing has shown that any impact is not noticeable (real-world metrics suggest overhead is a few milliseconds).

Pricing and Purchasing

How much does it cost?

You only pay a fee when you want to encrypt your files. Once encrypted, your code will work forever at no cost. There are no on-going monthly subscription fees. For details, visit our Pricing page.

Can I get a refund on a licence I have never used?

Sure. Send us an email with the details.

I have placed an order for a licence. When can I expect it to arrive?

Normally your licence should arrive in your email within 10 minutes. If it still has not arrived after that time, please contact us.


Why am I getting an error when using the Encoder Tool?

Please refer to the list of Encoder Tool Errors for details.

When I try to run the Encoder Tool I get the error Shared object libxml2.so.2 not found, required by phps-encoder

Install libxml2 on your workstation and then try again.

When I try to run the Encoder Tool I get the error Shared object libcurl.so.4 not found, required by phps-encoder

Install curl on your workstation and then try again.

When I try to run the Encoder Tool on my Mac I get the error phps-encoder cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified.

Open System Preferences, click Security & Privacy. At the bottom of the window click Allow Anyway.

I am getting the error error Call to undefined function phpshadow_exec()

This indicates PHPshadow has not been successfully installed on the server. Please refer to the user guide for instructions on installing the server extension.

I am getting the error Unable to initialize module

You have installed the wrong version of the server extension. Make sure the server extension you download and install has the correct PHP Extension value that matches your web server.

I am getting the error Unable to load dynamic library ... wrong ELF class

You have installed the wrong version of the server extension. Make sure the server extension you download is for the correct architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

Cloud Encryption

User Guide

The user guide explains how to install PHPshadow on your web server and how to encrypt your code using the Encoder Tool.

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