Differences between free vs paid SSL Certificates

Differences between free vs paid SSL Certificates

Free vs Paid SSL Certificates

The key differences between Free vs Paid SSL Certificates to come down to the level of trust behind the certificate, and the features included in each type of certificate.

All free SSL certificates are Domain Validation certificates. Domain Validation (DV SSL) certificates provide the lowest level of certification available.

Beneficial features free SSL offers:

Heightened security – Any SSL certificate allows you to use the HTTPS protocol throughout your website.
Less hassle – Adding and renewing certificates can be a bit of a process, but Let’s Encrypt keeps things simple.

SEO advantages – Search engines such as Google are strongly encouraging website owners to use the HTTPS protocol on their sites. In practice, this may translate to better SEO results.

Downsides of Free SSL

Free SSL providers only offer Domain Validation certificates because these are cost-free and can be issued quickly. While this can be a great fit for a small website or blog, it’s not the best option for larger websites or those collecting personal information about their users.

Unsuitable for e-commerce websites
Free Certificates are domain validation only which means they don’t certify the identity of the website owner, they simply ensure a secure connection. Customers can’t be sure of the integrity and trustworthiness of the website owner. If you need to secure credit card and personal information on e-commerce websites, free certificates aren’t the answer. It’s important your customers trust your business is safe enough to hand over these details. To gain this trust, you need a certification of your authenticity, which you can only get with a (paid) Business Validation or Extended Validation SSL Certificates.

May damage customers trust
As a consequence of having a basic free SSL certificate, your customers may not trust you. It might appear that you aren’t willing to invest in an SSL Certificate issued by a reputable Certificate Authority. Any lack of trust from your visitors will affect your reputation and profitability.

Constant renewals
Most free SSL Certificates are issued for around 90 days which means they need to be renewed each time this short period lapses.

While domain validation certificate verifies the consent of a domain owner, they don’t make any effort to verify who the domain owner is. Since the real identity of the website owner is not validated, it’s not mentioned on the certificate. Due to the manner, the domain is validated, this certificate is open to man- in- the middle and phishing attacks. For this reason, major players in SSL don’t supply domain validation certificates.

Premium SSL/certificates

Paid certificates are issued and signed by the most trustworthy certificate authorities (CA). You either get it directly from the certificate authority’s website, or you can purchase conveniently from us.

There are many reasons why we’d recommend opting for a premium SSL Certificate. The most valuable benefits include:

Well recognized
Certificates issued by reputable authorities make a website seem more reliable. With paid certificates, clients may report any issue they come across to their CA, which is obliged to promptly investigate them. As a result, clients feel safer having their backs ensured by trusted CAs.

More choice
Paid SSL Certificates are issued in all three validation types — Domain, Extended, and Business Validation. There are even types based on the complexity of the website, for example, One-Domain, Wildcard, and Multi-Domain Certificates, and Code Signing SSL Certificates to secure downloadable software and digital goods.

Longer renewals
Paid certificates are issued for up to three years. This means your online business will stay secured for a long time without you having to concern yourself about the impending renewal of your certificate.

All server compatibility
Conveniently, premium SSL certificates are compatible with any hosting services as well as self-managed or dedicated servers, making it easier to set up.

In any situation where you expect users to feel comfortable entering their credit card details or giving out personal information, paid SSL is a must. A premium SSL seal (green browser bar or padlock) will reassure consumers that they are doing business with a reliable company.

About the Author

Leave a Reply