Internet security must be the top priority for every online business to be successful, especially in today’s digital scenario, as there is an increase in the number of cybersecurity threats with each passing day. Your credibility and business reputation play key roles, and your customers should be confident about sharing their personal information and credit card numbers on your online business website.
A single customer who has had a terrible experience with your website, will never visit you again, and warn others as well to not visit your website. This is the reason having a secure website is critical for every business, to provide security to the customer, wherever his information is taken, from newsletter signups to purchasing a product online. This can be done with SSL certificates and hence, the purpose of this blog is to lets you know about SSL certificates and top SSL certificate providers in 2018.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it is the security protocol that establishes an encrypted and secure communication link between and a web browser and a web server.
What is an SSL Certificate?
To create an SSL connection and activate it on your web server, you need a certificate, called SSL Certificate.
When installed on a web server, SSL Certificates activate a secure padlock and https protocol, allowing end-users to securely submit sensitive information like credit card details, banking details, data transfer and logins, etc.
Used by millions of online businesses and individuals, SSL reduces the risk of confidential information from getting into the hands of hackers and thieves. In simple words, SSL security enables safe communication between two intended parties.
An SSL Certificate for website makes your visitors and customers feel confident that you protect their data. It helps you in earning their trust.
How to know if a website is secure?
There are three visual signs of a secure website.
- Check the URL of the website in browser’s address bar whether it starts with ‘http’ or ‘https’. If it starts with ‘https’, it’s secured with an SSL Certificate. ‘s’ in the https stands for secure.
- The close lock/padlock icon, visible in the address bar before the URL indicates a secure mode.
3. An SSL site seal: If the website has an SSL site seal, it means some legitimate CA has verified the website and has issued the SSL certificate.
What are Wildcard SSL Certificates?
Wildcard SSL Certificates can save you money and time by securing unlimited sub-domains of your main domain on a single certificate.
For example, if you want to secure your website ‘domain.com’ for all the subdomains, the Wildcard SSL can secure-
How does an SSL work?
When a website secured with SSL is accessed by any browser, an SSL connection is established between the web browser and the web server by a process called SSL Handshake.
There are three keys used to establish the SSL connection- public, private and session keys. The connection encrypted with public key can be decrypted only with a private key, and vice versa.
The SSL working process goes like this:
- Browser connects to the secure website, and requests for the server identity.
- The server sends its SSL Certificate copy with its public key.
- The browser verifies the certificate that it is not expired or revoked and is from a trusted CA. If everything is clear, the browser creates, encrypts, and sends back a session key to the website using the public key of server.
- The receiving server then decrypts the session key using its private key. It then sends acknowledgement and session key to start an encrypted session.
- All the transmitted data between the browser and server is now encrypted with session key.
Factors to consider before buying an SSL Certificate-
The CA Forum has over 50 Certificate Authorities (CA) registered, you should consider the following factors before choosing an SSL Certificate provider:
- Security Level
- Encryption Certificate Validation Type
- Issuance Time
- Browser Compatibility
- Trust Site Seal
- Warranty Policy
- Refund Policy
- Support of SSL Experts
- Period of Trial
Top SSL certificate providers 2018
Last year, Google Chrome had removed the trust from the certificates issued by WoSign, and its subsidiary StarCom, for not maintaining the high standard of security. So, to ensure that you get the real security, we have listed top 10 SSL certificate providers.
Comodo is one of the largest SSL certificate providers, offering cost-effective way for small and medium size online businesses to protect customer transactions.
Comodo SSL certificates provide additional features and tools like ‘point-to-verify’ technology which shows your customers the real-time verification of your business credentials whenever they move the cursor over the SSL seal.
It provides your customers prominent level of security with 2048 bit signatures and up to 256-bit encryption.
Prices start from $76.95/year with 30-day money-back guarantee, and comes with free SSL certificate management tool and Trustlogo site seal.
GeoTrust is said to be the second largest digital certificate provider worldwide. Providing SSL certificates in over 150 countries, GeoTrust enables up to 256-bit SSL encryption with GeoTrust True Site Seals on the basis of level of identity verification.
The basic encryption costs start from $149/year, while maximum security comes at $299/year. The GeoTrust Wildcard SSL certificates cost around $599/year.
DigiCert provides encryption solutions for websites and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and allows free reissues on unlimited servers for lifetime of your certificate (something other SSL providers don’t do). The DigiCert SSL certificates are trusted by most of the mail systems, web browsers, and mobile devices.
Featuring 256-bit encryption, and 2048-bit RSA keys signed with SHA-256, DigiCert SSL certificates ensure website security to the fullest. The SSL certificate provider also offers Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) support, the public-key encryption used to create faster, smaller, and more efficient cryptographic keys.
The standard DigiCert SSL costs as low as $139/year, while Wildcard SSL costs around $475/year.
GlobalSign, the SKI (public key infrastructure) solutions provider, enables businesses of all sizes to conduct secure online communications and manage millions of verified digital identities, as well as automate the authentication and encryption.
GlobalSign SSL Certificates provide encryption using SHA-256, and 20148-bit RSA keys, along with the ECC support.
Trusted by all major browsers, applications and devices, GlobalSign issues SSL Certificates with Secure Site Seal.
GlobalSign SSL Certificates pricing starts from $249/year, and it offers Wildcard SSL Certificates for $849/year. Single certificate secures both www.domain.com and domain.com.
Additionally, GlobalSign certificates can boost your SEO ranking on Google. Thousands of customers including Microsoft, BBC, Netflix, Ford, and Toyota rely on GlobalSign’s identity management services to protect their online environment.
Symantec (combination of “syntax” and “semantics” with “technology”) is a Fortune 500 company, providing cybersecurity software and services around the world.
Symantec SSL Certificates secure your website with up to 256-bit encryption, and help you to automatically safeguard the entire site against malicious infections.
It delivers the SSL Certificates with the most recognized trust seal- Norton Secured Seal. The SSL Certificates pricing from Symantec ranges from $399 to $1999 per year, depending on the use cases. 90% of the Fortune 500 companies use Symantec SSL Certificates to secure their websites.
Thawte accounts for 40% of the global SSL market. Protecting identities and transactions in over 240 countries, Thawte has issued around 945,000 SSL and code signing certificates worldwide till date.
Thawte provides its Trusted Site Seal, making customers feel confident to visit and transact on your website. It also provides a robust SSL certificate management tool to help you manage your certificates and maintain the website security.
The Thawte SSL Certificates can be installed on as many servers as you need, without any extra charge. Also, you can re-issue your certificate for free, in case you make changes or upgrade your server.
Compatible will nearly all browsers and systems, Thawte provides up to 256-bit encryption strength. Thawte SSL certificate prices start from just $149 per year, and Wildcard SSL Certificates cost as low as $599 per year.
IdenTrust, formerly called Digital Signature Trust (DST), provides premier digital identity authentication services to the US government, banks, finance departments, e-commerce sites, etc.
All the IdenTrust SSL certificates come with IdenTrust Secured seal of protection. IdenTrust, the experienced global Certification Authority has more than 5 million users globally. It asserts your domain name and business identity by providing 2048-bit SSL Certificate using the SHA-2 algorithm, and support for 256-bit and 128-bit encryption strength.
IdenTrust provides the SSL certificates at lowest prices, with standard SSL certificate priced at only $99/year and multi-domain certificates at only $299/year.
Entrust provides the standard SSL certificates from $163 to $199 per year, with the Entrust Site Seal. Entrust SSL Certificates can protect email, code-signing, device authentication and PDF document signing.
A partner of SiteLock, Entrust eliminates malware and vulnerabilities with SiteLock Website Security (SWS), bringing an extra lever of security for your business and customers.
All Entrust SSL Certificates include the SWS service which scans your website regularly and hunts down the harmful code, malware or other malicious attacks.
Moreover, these certificates come with certificate management tool which can be accessed from any web browser.
9. Network Solutions
Network Solutions SSL Certificates support up to 256-bit encryption, and are compatible with most of the browsers.
These certificates come with a new website and performance monitoring service which safeguards your website from hackers. It scans your website daily, and alerts you about any security or performance issues.
Additionally, Network Solutions replace your SSL Certificate for free in case you change your hosting provider.
The price for basic Network Solution SSL Certificate is $108/year. The Wildcard SSL Certificates cost around $512/year.
RapidSSL provides the SSL solutions at low prices, which include a 30-day money back guarantee. The RapidSSL SSL Certificates have 99% browser recognition and secure multiple servers without any additional cost.
It offers an SSL management console, enabling you to manage all certificates from one account. These certificates can be reissued for free.
Like all the above-mentioned SSL Certificate providers, RapidSSL also provides 256-bit encryption strength and comes with a Trusted Site Seal.
Priced at only $59 per year, RapidSSL Certificates are the cheapest in the list.
These are the most trusted SSL Certificate providers, and to make the things easier for you while selecting any one of them, we have made a comparison table as well. The table below shows the SSL Certificate price comparison, along with the respective features’ comparison as well.
|Sr.No.||SSL Certificate Provider||Standard SSL Price (USD per year)||Issuance Speed||Warranty (USD)||Refund policy||Site Seal||Encryption||Wildcard SSL availability||Management console|
|1.||Comodo||249||Within an hour||250K||30 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||Yes|
|2.||GeoTrust||149||Within minutes||500K||30 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||Yes|
|3.||DigiCert||139||Within an hour||1000K||30 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||Yes|
|4.||GlobalSign||249||Within minutes||10K||7 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||No|
|5.||Symantec||399||Within an hour||1500K||30 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||Yes|
|6.||Thawte||149||Within minutes||500K||30 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||No|
|7.||IdenTrust||66||Within a day||Up to 10000K||No refund||Yes||256-bit||No||No|
|8.||Entrust||163||1-2 days||Up to 100K||9 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||No|
|9.||Network Solutions||108||2-4 days||No warranty||No refund||Yes||256-bit||Yes||No|
|10.||RapidSSL||59||In minutes||10K||30 days||Yes||256-bit||Yes||Yes|
Where to get SSL Certificate from?
If you are looking for SSL certificates with the best in class technology, consisting 2084-bit encryption and multiple value-added cost saving features, then go for ZNetLive’s SSL certificates. For one thing, ZNetLive SSL certificates are compatible with all server types and trusted by all browsers and devices.
Plus, we offer live chat and call support 24*7 in case you need any help regarding applying or installing the SSL certificate.
All ZNetLive certificates can be installed on an unlimited number of servers without needing additional paid licenses. Validated by GlobalSign, and with CloudFlare as our partner, our SSL certificates ensure that your SSL secured website load many times faster regardless of where your customer is in the world.
We provide free SSL certificate (Let’s Encrypt) with many services, including managed WordPress hosting, shared hosting, etc.
Do let us know if you have any query regarding SSL certificates, in the comments below.
Virendra Soni, an Electronics engineer, is a technical content writer and blogger. Other than technical content, he likes to pen down what he observes. In leisure, Virendra loves to read books, watching cricket, and listening to music. Reach him on Instagram @theburning.desirer