There are a Billion of websites in the world today (InternetLiveStats). We rely on the Internet for anything and everything. From hailing a cab to making a wire transfer, the Internet has become ubiquitous.
Sadly, with the explosive growth of Internet usage, cyber security threats have also increased with an equal fervor. White Hat Security’s “2016 Website Security Statistics Report” states that at least 5 to 32 vulnerabilities per web site, researchers found from scanning thousands of websites.
Hackers and cyber security criminals have become too good to find their way into any secure website. In fact, their hacking methods have become sophisticated with time including methods like website cloning, SQL injection, XSS scripting, etc. – all of which are terms beyond the knowledge of a nonprofessional.
All this led to one common need – the need of a simple and easy to use security provision that is not overly demanding or expensive. Thus was born SSL certificates.
Table Of Contents
- What is an SSL certificate?
- Types of SSL certificates
- How you can select the best SSL certificate for your website?
- Which are the best & cheapest SSL certificate providers of 2017
- Final verdict
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate is a small bit sized file that contains a cryptographic key. The key contains critical information like the website’s ownership details, location, domain name, etc.
When a website is configured with an SSL certificate, it activates a HTTPS protocol (over port 443) and a green padlock symbol. This will encrypt all information that is transferred back and forth between the website.
Imagine it to be a safety tunnel between the web server and the user’s browser. It prevents any third-party or unauthorized user from intercepting the data that is being transferred.
Types of SSL certificates
There are several types of SSL certificates perform encryption but there are minor differences, in terms of security, utility and pricing, which differentiates SSL certificates.
The most commonly used SSL certificates are:
Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates
EV SSL certificates are considered the most secured kind because the Certificate Authorities (CA) performs an elaborate and strict verification (vetting process) of the applicant with legal documents before issuing an SSL certificate. EV SSL certificates can be purchased only by incorporate organizations. This heightens the reliability and trustworthiness of websites that are secured by EV SSL certificates. The vetting process for EV SSL certificate can take 5-6 days in issuance. It is considered to be the ideal choice for enterprise use like banks, e-commerce, subscriptions, credit card transactions, etc. because it enables green address bar, padlock icon, company name display in website URL in browser address bar.
Domain Validation (DV) SSL
DV SSL certificates are issued on request. The vetting process is not elaborate or intense as is the case in EV SSL Certificates. DV SSL certificates are issued for personal blogs, single domain. It is less preferred for enterprise use and more for personal use.
Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates
OV SSL certificates are a step ahead than DV SSL certificates but a step lower than EV SSL certificates. For OV SSL certificates CAs check whether the applicant has the right to apply a SSL certificate for the given domain name. The vetting process is not as elaborate as EV SSL certificates and hence is quickly processed within 3 days or less. In addition, OV SSL certificate cost considerably less compared to EV SSL certificates.
Wildcard SSL Certificates
Wildcard SSL certificates that have a special character, mostly asterisk (‘*’) used to secure any subdomain. This type of SSL certificate is an ideal option for website owners who want to secure their number of subdomains on a regular basis.
SAN SSL certificates
SAN SSL are designed to secure different multiple domains/sub domains like domain1.com, domain2.com, blog.domain.com. They are quite cost savior certificate than a single domain SSL as well offers cost effective certificate management. A purchaser does not need to spend extra money and mange individual SSL for each domain.
How you can select the best SSL certificate for your website?
There are several factors to bear in mind while picking an SSL certificate for your website.
The service provided by the Certificate Authority is definitely a critical factor to bear in mind while selecting an SSL certificate. The promptness in service, brand reputation, after-sales service, technical support, pricing are some factors to be borne in mind.
Level of Security required
Each SSL certificate is made for specific purpose and they are varied by their validation method. However, each SSL offer industry standard prescribed encryption level.
EV SSL certificates and DV SSL certificates form the premium kind, while the rest scale below in security.
Your choice of SSL certificate will also differ depending on the domain registration. EV and DV SSL certificates are best for domains while wildcard is best suited for internal server or sub-domain security.
Which are the best & cheapest SSL certificate providers of 2017
Like e-commerce stores, the options are plenty when it comes to cheapest and best SSL certificate providers. Here are some of the popular SSL certificate authorities and SSL resellers that you can consider:
Comodo (Certificate Authority)
Comodo is an SSL certificate provider whose offerings fit the needs of all kinds of website owners. From hobbyist bloggers to enterprise-grade websites, Comodo certificate has SSL certificates of all ranges in its arsenal. Comodo’s Positive SSL certificate price range begins from $49 per annum for up to 3 years validity, and come with a warranty, 128/256 bit encryption, unlimited re-issuance, website vulnerability scanning and much more.
SSL2BUY (SSL reseller)
SSL2BUY is an authorized reseller of branded SSL certificates. The website provides a different class of SSL certificates with a price range beginning from $8.67 per annum. Comodo, RapidSSL, AlphaSSL, GlobalSign are some of the branded SSL certificates that are in an offer from SSL2BUY. Further, SSL2BUY also offers a wide range of single-domain certificates with 99.99% browser compatibility.
Symantec (Certificate Authority)
Symantec is yet another web security giant, which has been helping small-scale businesses, as well as enterprises to keep their data and website secure from online phishing and intrusion attempts. The Symantec Secure Site is a domain-validated SSL certificate that comes for a great price of $399 per annum. The certificate will be validated within one days and can be used to secure both www and non-www websites. There is also a free Norton Site Seal, which can be used for display in checkout and login pages for additional security.
Cheap SSL Shop (SSL reseller)
Cheap SSL Shop is one of the reputed SSL certificate providers on the web today. The website displays a wide range of SSL certificates from reputed Certificate Authorities like Comodo, RapidSSL, Thawte, Symantec, etc. You can pick DV SSL certificates from Cheap SSL Shop price starting from $4.95 per year on 3 years validity term.
RapidSSL (Certificate Authority)
RapidSSL certificates are a value for money SSL certificate. It comes with warranty, sub domains security, 256-bit encryption and 24/7 accessible knowledge base. It also offers 99% browser compatibility so that your users can browse your website without any weird notifications or alerts. The price range starts from $59 per year, which can be further scaled as per requirements.
GlobalSign (Certificate Authority)
GlobalSign is considered the pioneer in SSL certificates. The brand has been in the business of verifying and issuing SSL certificate since the early days of the Internet boom. GlobalSign SSL certificate can also be used to secure multiple domains and comes with Universal Device Support. Further, there are also ECC algorithms, which further ensure that your website remains safe at all times. GlobalSign DV SSL certificate is priced at $249 per annum.
ClickSSL (SSL reseller)
ClickSSL is yet another name of trust in the SSL certificate providers list. It comes with a long list of SSL certificates ranging from single-domain certificates to multi domain SSL as well different types of Validation certificates. The DV SSL certificates start from a price range of $11.66 per annum onwards. Along with single domain SSL certificates, several popular multi-domain SSL certificates are also available.
Thawte (Certificate Authority)
Thawte is a Certificate Authority that sanctions Domain Validated SSL certificates for website owners. It also has its own brand of SSL certificates that secure single and multiple domains. Thawte’s DV SSL certificates are priced from $149 per year. There are also occasional discounts and offers, which again help business owners to get the best deals on SSL certificates at lucrative prices.
GeoTrust (Certificate Authority)
GeoTrust certificate is an ideal way to secure your online transactions from fraud and hacking. GeoTrust offers an automatic verification process, which gets your SSL certificate approved almost instantly. It is priced at a competitive $149 per annum, which is a good pick for those website owners who do not want to break their bank. There is also a renewal option, which is priced at $149, which you can renew easily when it expires.
An SSL certificate is a small data file containing a cryptographic key that encrypts and decrypts data sent back and forth between a web server and a browser. Having an SSL certificate is necessary for all website owners. The initial investment required to buy an SSL certificate is minimal comparing the security threat that exists in today’s Internet environment.
If you are planning to which SSL certificate will suit you the best, you can make your pick from the here listed options. The above are the top SSL certificate choices and providers in the industry today that help website owners of all scale to enjoy peace of mind.
So, which is your pick to secure your website? Let us know.