An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is used to encrypt information transferred between a website and a user's browser. In other words, it is used to reduce the risk of hackers and identity thieves stealing or manipulating your confidential information. Basically, it helps protect users' privacy and security online.
This certificate is very important, not only to ensure that you are ranked well in Google search engines, but also to give trust and reliability to people who visit your website and take actions such as entering personal and/or financial data. If you store sensitive or confidential information about your users and yourself on the web, it is important to make a good investment in an SSL certificate to avoid external security risks and vulnerabilities. Or, in the worst scenario, you could have your website data manipulated and lose your administrator user access to the site.
Differences between Free and Paid SSL Certificates
As you have just seen, an SSL certificate is essential for all websites, both for positioning and security reasons. Now it's time to see what the differences are between a free SSL, such as Let's Encryt, and a paid SSL, such as Comodo, RapidSSL and Digicert. This will help you to understand the real importance of investing in an SSL, and which one really suits your needs.
|Features||Free SSL (Let's Encrypt)||Paid SSL (RapidSSL, Comodo, etc.)|
|Type of website||
· Basic level of encryption for simple websites; such as Blogging
· Websites that do not collect personal data
· For encrypting all types of websites; eCommerce, small/large businesses, etc.
· Ideal for collecting personal and financial information
|Type of validation||Only who owns the domain is validated||Contains wide-ranging verification:
· Who is the legitimate owner of the brand and domain
· The data of the organisation
· The data of the applicant
|Period of protection||Between 30-90 days||For 1 year, and can be extended up to 2 or 3 years|
|Price||Free||Between 8 and €695, depending on the level of protection and the number of domains or subdomains you want to include|
There is no financial compensation in case of a problem or incident.
|You receive €9.057 between €1.132.125 of financial compensation from the Certificate Authority in case of a failure of SSL reliability and security|
|HTTPS||Only this protocol appears in the address||Next to the address bar appears this protocol and the green padlock|
|SSL Variety||The certificate only includes one main domain||
· Includes the main domain
· It can include the name of the organisation in the certificate (True BusinessID)
· It can include several domains in the same certificate (UC/SAN)
· It can include the main domain and its subdomains (Wildcard)
Basic or Advanced Trust?
After having explained the differences between a free SSL and a paid SSL, we would like to tell you what a basic trust SSL certificate and an advanced trust SSL certificate are, so that you can also keep them in mind when choosing the certificate that best suits your needs and the level of security required for your website.
The ownership of the domain for which the request for issuance of a basic trust SSL certificate, which is made to any certification authority, is validated through the creation of a unique DNS record, which will be indicated by the certification authority itself and which, once created, can be validated through a DNS query. If the DNS record communicated by the certification authority, prior to issuing the certificate, is created in the DNS zone of the domain to request the SSL certificate, the ownership of the domain by the applicant is validated and the SSL certificate is generated so that the certification authority can check its existence.
Another method of validating domain ownership for basic trust certificates, which can also be used by certification authorities, is to send an e-mail message with a verification link to an e-mail account of the domain to be certified.
Once the basic trust certificate has been issued, you will see that it does not contain the name of the owner or company (you). For this reason, for online transactions this type of certificate does not provide much confidence, as you do not know who is behind the online business. The advantage of this certificate is that if you have a problem, you have a guarantee, which means that a certain amount of money will be refunded in case of a problem or incident.
The advanced trust SSL certificate also can be verified by DNS token or email, and there is a higher financial compensation in case of an incident in the reliability and security of the SSL. With an advanced trust certificate you have to enter more data in the forms. In addition, the certificate providers telephone to verify that the person really belongs to the company that ordered the certificate. Once you have the certificate, you can see that it is in your name, in other words, it contains the name of the owner.
Is it worth investing in an SSL?
As we have been saying from the beginning, it is very important to invest in an SSL certificate, but it all depends on your business model and particular needs. However, as soon as you can, it is recommended to invest in one, as the free one has more disadvantages than advantages in the long term. For example, if a problem happens with your SSL, with a Let's Encrypt you have no guarantee for damages or possible losses, but with a Comodo, RapidSSL or Digicert you have a financial compensation.
Finally, we have different manuals for any questions you may have about SSL certificates, how to manage them, how to activate the auto-renewal, etc., click here to see them.
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