My parents both use Macs to do their work and my dad bought three licenses for Microsoft Word on Mac. The problem is that he somehow set up the programs so that only one can be used at a time, meaning if my dad has Word open on his computer my mom can't open it on hers. He's tried reinstalling and configuring the programs to no effect.

I thought of a solution to edit the hosts file on one or both of the macs to prevent Word from connecting to the internet to tell the other computer that it can't use Word. My problem is that I have no idea how to find out where Word connects to do this, or if it is even Word that is doing the connecting.

Working offline is out because both of my parents work and need to use the internet.

I know how to edit the files, but I don't know what I need to block. How would I find this information on my own?

  • your program will probably bypass the hosts file altogether by not using a DNS lookup.
    – washbow
    Mar 6, 2013 at 1:39
  • @washbow: Isn't that how pirating software works? I'm not gonna lie, I've done it before. The method of preventing programs from connecting to their parent servers to tell them that they're running pirated software is by using the hosts file.
    – AdAstra
    Mar 6, 2013 at 1:42
  • 2
    I do not know, it just seems to me like such a simple idea that the developers have probably thought of it already and taken steps to prevent exactly this.
    – washbow
    Mar 6, 2013 at 1:44
  • 1
    If you have three licenses it should be possible to configure one of the installations to use the separate license. What has been done to test that option? Mar 6, 2013 at 1:54
  • @washbow The chances of IP addresses being hardcoded into Word is almost zero. It must use DNS to have any chance of working long term.
    – Paul
    Mar 6, 2013 at 2:41


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