With internet security becoming a major cause of concern, more and more websites (especially transactional and membership based ones) are opting for SSL certificates that increase visitor security by encrypting the data transmitted between the client (visitor’s browser) and the server (which hosts the website).
Apart from making websites secure for visitors, these SSL certificates also increase a website’s credibility and also its search engine ranking, as browsers these days (especially Google’s Chrome which is the most popular browser at the moment) recommend only websites which contain SSL certificates as ‘secure ones’.
Studies indicate even a blog can benefit from an SSL certificate as it’s known to boost search engine ranking.
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With SSL having gained so much importance, it is worth making note of some of the Certificate Authorities (CAs) out there which are offering SSL Certificates for free. Yes, you read it right. For free!
- Let’s Encrypt
Let’s Encrypt is a recently launched Certificate Authority (CA) which aims at securing or encrypting all connections to the World Wide Web servers. It automates the certificate issuance process, making it less complicated. Only domain-validaton certificates are being issued currently. Others (Organization, Extended, and Wildcard Certificates) are not available.
- Comodo and Instantssl.com
Certificate Authorities Comodo and Instantssl.com provide free SSL certificate for 60 and 90 days respectively; enough time for those who wish to find or try out how SSL works. Of the two, Comodo issued certificates command high value among the popular browsers.
- Cloud Flare
Another Certificate Authority which offers SSL for free is website performance and security company Cloud Flare. Cloud Flare powers popular websites including Reddit, yelp, StackOverflow etc. Recently, Cloud Flare announced free universal SSL for all the users. That’s right even if you are in the free plan. So if you are using Cloud Flare and SSL is not yet activated then here is how you can do it quickly.
- Login into Cloud Flare
- Select the website you want to enable SSL
- Click on Crypto icon
- Ensure it’s configured as “Flexible” and status shows as “ACTIVE CERTIFICATE”
StartCom gives free certificate for personal use. In order to get the cert, you need to validate the domain ownership.
- SSL For Free
SSL for free offers 100% free SSL certificates and the certificates are usually issued in minutes. These certificates are generated using Let’s Encrypt’s ACME Server.
Other CA(s) Which Offer SSL Free for 30 Days:
- Entrust (60 days)
- Quality SSL
How the Different Types of SSL Certificates help in protecting website.
There are a range of SSL certificates that would help to secure the business websites and its customer information, however all the SSL certificates work on the same principle with just a few differences with serve specific set of demands with unique traits to serve the purpose.
#1. Single Domain
Single Domain SSL Certificates secure websites with a single domain and not with sub domains
it is good to protect – www.abc.com and it does not work to protect the information of its supporting subdomain – menu.abc.com
#2. Multi-Domain (SAN)
Multi-domain SSL certificates as the name says secures websites with multi domains and in common known as SAN (Subject Alternative Names). So one certificate to protect all the domains (100 to 200 domains) of the websites.
Wildcrad SSL Certificate works well to protect all the subdomains on a single host name
for instance a business website www.shopcart.com has the following subdomains
Wildcard SSL helps to protect www.shopcart.com and its subdomains mail.shopcart.com, login.shopcart.com, shop.shopcart.com and order.shopcart.com. Hence there is never a need of multiple number of certificates to protect each of the domain.
#5. Extended Validated Certificate
Extended Validated SSL Certificates are the most sought after SSL certificates to offer strict validation process to ensure genuine authenticity of the website. It turns on the address bar green and hence increases customer trust and confidence on the website security which improves the rate of sales conversion.
Ashraf is a Technical Blog Writer from Comodo. He writes about information security, focusing on web security, operating system security and endpoint protection systems.