If You Should Buy Cheap SSL
Whether you have an eCommerce platform, a small blog, or a company website, an SSL certificate is important to have installed. Nowadays, it has become an obligation to install SSL because of cybersecurity reasons. Attackers are always sniffing around to see if they can intercept sensitive data. The browser community has identified non-secure SSL websites. Hence, the necessity to install SSL is more important than ever. However, you will notice that there are expensive and cheap SSL certificates as you do your research. You will also find out from here if it is okay to buy the cheap one or not depending on what you need.
Take a look at this information about SSL certificates so you can determine if you should buy cheap SSL or not.
The Purpose of SSL
The SSL certificate gives data protection on the data that is transferred between the client and the server. Therefore, all information that gets transmitted back and forth receives protection from encryption. This kind of protection is very important with sensitive information like bank details, credit card details, passwords, and more. This encourages attackers from doing data breaches and man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. In easier terms, SSL certificates are almost the same as having an envelope seal.
What are the Free SSL Certificates?
To understand the basic difference between paid and almost free or cheap SSL certificates, you must know what certificate authority is.
Free SSL certificates come from non-profit certificate authorities. A non-profit certificate authority gives SSL/TLS certificates without asking for a payment. They encrypt the whole web until HTTPS becomes normal. This sounds great, right? However, you should know that this comes with a catch.
Not SSL Certificates are Made the Same Way
Yes, that is right. The SSL certificates are divided into three categories according to their characteristics. These are – Organization Validation, Domain Validation, and Extended Validation.
The lifespan of an SSL certificate depends on the validity period. The maximum validity of a paid SSL certificate is two years. You can issue your certificate again after two years.
Free SSL certificates only last for 90 days. That means you must renew it every 90 days.
The Brand Name is a Factor
The main rule when buying an SSL certificate is to only get it from trusted certificate authorities. That means only from the top certificate authorities that have proven themselves. That means buying from Comodo, Symantec, GeoTrust, Thawte, RapidSSL, and the like. These are recognized brands with trust seals, and users from all over the world have purchased them with confidence. Keep in mind that encryption only covers half of everything that an SSL certificate does. The other one is authentication. People tend to go for names they already know, which is why some brands already have an edge.
Options for SSL Certificates
The paid SSL certificates have many shapes and sizes, each one is under a validation level and it serves a unique purpose. For instance, a domain validated (DV) SSL certificate is the most basic SSL type. The extended validation (EV) SSL certificate is the most preferred because it has the green address bar, but there is a rigorous vetting process before you are given one.
Free SSL certificates only have the domain validation (DV) option. Therefore, if you want your organization’s name to be displayed in the green bar or be shown in the certificate details, a free one cannot do this. You should also know that there are companies that now issue Wildcard SSL certificates. You can use it to protect your sub-domains. However, this one also has a 90-day limited validation.
Do Not Consider SSL as a One-Stop Solution
Most people think that after having an SSL certificate installed, your site is completely secure. This sounds very appealing, but that is not the reality. SSL certificates only secure data that are in transit. It does not secure the information that you store on your servers and systems. SSL is a major part of web security, but not everything.
Paid Ones Have Better Browser Support
There are some cheap SSL certificates that browsers do not recognize. That means people who use these browsers cannot have proper use of your website. They will also not benefit from any protection offered. The more expensive SSL certificates have been tested to make sure they are highly compatible so your website can have a wider reach.
This could be a hypothetical factor for some people, but it could be realistic for others. However, no matter what side you choose, paid and more expensive SSL certificates offer a better warranty. This is if something goes wrong on their end. The good thing is that there have not been a lot of cases like this, but it is possible.
The Price War Among SSL Certificates
The SSL certificate pricing is normally based on the validation process, as well as the CA’s reputation. You are going to see big price differences between the providers, but this also depends on other services they have. These could be vulnerability assessment, phishing detection, seal-in search, daily malware scans, and more. That is why you must first know what you need before choosing to buy cheap SSL or the more expensive one.
Better Level of Security
The higher priced ones have higher encryption levels compared to the lower-priced competitors. For your customers’ security and their personal information, make sure to purchase one with at least 256-bit encryption support.
You Can Do a Trial
There are certificate authorities that offer a free trial for a certain period to their customers. For instance, Comodo gives you a trial period of 90 days on your website. In case you do not know which brand to choose, trial periods will really help you decide.
Some SSL Myths
A lot of people think that browser compatibility and warranty are huge factors in SSL pricing, which is wrong.
Even the amount of warranty that different SSL certificates have to vary, which give users the protection of certificate non-issuance. There is no doubt that every certificate has the same SHA-2 algorithms and more than 99% compatibility with browsers. This is a determining factor in the certification level.
Green Bar, Identity Verification, and Trust Signs
You might want to see the green bar with your URL to show the identity of your company and establish trust. In order to have this, you need to have an EV SSL certificate, and not having to renew it in less than two years gives you convenience. The cheap SSL certificates may not offer the same length. Hence, consider the more expensive ones.
Some certificate authorities give a huge discount if you choose the two-year plan, which is enough reason why you should go with it.
Price Difference Between CA and Re-seller
This is an important point you must know. You will see that there is a huge price difference between re-sellers and certificate authorities that offer the same certificate. This is because authorized re-sellers make huge purchases. There is nothing wrong with buying from re-sellers because they give big discounts and instant support while your SSL certificate is being installed.
Before buying an SSL certificate, make sure that it has everything you need especially if you are considering the more expensive one.