In today’s online world, security is an essential aspect for every entrepreneur or company with a website. The rising increase of online attacks is a serious threat to the success of every business. Your brand and reputation are both depending on the online security of your website, considering your customers are putting sensitive information in your hands such as credit cards information and identity details.
In case your business suffers a data breach or loss of customer data, it’s highly likely for customers never to return to you again, because you’ll lose all your credibility. Worst scenario, customers write about their negative experience with your business, warning other people not to buy your product or service.
In this article, I’ll explain what an SSL certificate is, how it works, and list the best SSL certificate providers in 2021.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate creates a secure connection between your website and a visitor. An SSL connection encrypts every visitor’s data. So, if a visitor enters his or her credit card details, full name or home address details, it’s encrypted through the secured connection. Simply put, hackers can’t see the data since it’s encrypted and therefore doesn’t show what information a visitor left behind.
An SSL secured website contains a green padlock and the “https” protocol. Visitors can quickly spot whether they’re visiting a secure or insecure website.
How Does it Work?
When a website is secured with an SSL protection, the website’s server will send a “finished” message to the visitor, which is encrypted with an encryption key. This process, also called a “handshake,” indicates that the connection is finished, which means secured in this case.
The process can generate three different encryption keys, which are the following:
- Public key
- Private key
- Session key
Encrypted connections with a public key can only be decrypted with a private and key. Private keys can only be decrypted with a public key.
Types of Certificates
Only trusted third-party businesses are able to issue SSL certificates to websites, also called “Certificate Authority.” There are a few different types of certificates available, I listed the three most important types below:
1. Domain Validation SSL (DV)
DV certificates offer a high level of encryption security, but a DV certificate does not guarantee to provide the identity of the business behind the website enabling the secured connection. On the contrary to the other two certificates, DV certificates are issued after a domain has been registered through an online process.
This certificate is popular amongst people launching a new website, because it’s fast and relatively cheap.
2. Organization Validation SSL (OV)
OV certificates provide a complete business validation profile that contains the company name and address details, which is issued by a Certificate Authority that manually checked accepted the applicant’s request.
3. Extended Validation SSL (EV)
EV certificates offer the highest level of protection. These certificates are only issued by Certificate Authorities once a thorough background check of the business and its owners has been conducted.
EV certificates are used by high-authority websites, banks, insurance companies, governments, and so on.
Factors to consider before buying an SSL Certificate
When you register a new website, you should consider the following list of factors before you decide what SSL protection you want to buy:
- Type of encryption certificate
- Trusted padlock icon
- Security level
- Process time
- Browser compatibility
- Warranty & Refund policy
- Availability of SSL experts for support
Best SSL Certificate Providers to Secure Your Website
Top 10 best SSL certificate providers that you can choose this year. All the SSL certificate providers we’ve listed are highly-reputed providers who have been in the SSL industry for a long time. They offer the best service and support.
Comodo is one of the biggest SSL certificate providers, targeting small and medium-sized websites offering relatively low priced SSL protection, 30-day money-back policy, and advanced support staff.
Additional features of Comodo SSL provide website visitors with the possibility to view real-time verification of your business credentials. All they have to do is hover over the padlock.
The certificate offers high-end level of security with 2048 bit signatures, plus 256-bit encryption keys.
It’s priced at $199.5 per year.
It’s honors its name because, at the time of writing this article, EV SSL certificates are priced at only $78,88 per year (46% discount).
SSL2BUY is an authorized reseller of SSL certificates of leading certificate authorities and provides different types of SSL/TLS.
It provides 24*7 tech support, unlimited server license, 2048-bit CSR encryption with 256-bit encryption and SHA-2 enabled.
Single domain price starts from $9 and Wildcard SSL certificate at lowest cost starts from $40 per year.
GeoTrust is another major player in the SSL market. It’s mainly targeting eCommerce websites and with SSL certificates that enable 256-bit encryption. GeoTrust offers packages to protect multiple domains with one subscription.
The basic DV encryption package starts at $149 per year.
GoDaddy is mostly known for selling hosting packages, but they also offer quality SSL protection. They provide DV, OV and EV SSL certificates, including SH2 and 2048-bit encryption and a McAfee “Secure” Trustmark.
When you opt for the EV SSL, your website will show the green padlock.
It’s priced at $59,99 per year for one website.
DigiCert provides a unique possibility that enables you to reissue your SSL for free on unlimited servers for the lifetime of your chosen SSL certificates.
SSL certificates of DigiCert features awesome perks: 2048-bit encryption signed with SHA-256, plus 256-bit encryption.
It’s priced at $175 per year for regular SSL protection and $295 per year for EV SSL.
RapidSSL is another “price fighter” when it comes to SSL solutions. They offer low-priced protection with a 30-day money-back policy.
RapidSSL secures a single domain with strong 256-bit encryption. Quickly issued and active within 3 steps.
It’s currently priced at $59 per year for one domain.
Symantec SSL is an extension of Symantec, often known as Norton antivirus, and widely used by big websites. Aside from the 256-bit encryption, Symantec SSL provides an all-round solution against malware threats.
You’ll receive the “Norton Secured Seal” on your website if you opt for their SSL protection.
Symantec SSL is not cheap, the cheapest solution is priced at $399.
Entrust provides high-standard SSL security with a 30-day re-issuance guarantee. They have their own trustworthy seal. Similar to Symantec, Entrust provides extra protection against malware threats, scanning your website on a regular base for potentially infected files.
It’s priced at $174 for standard protection and $187 for EV SSL.
GlobalSign provides the essential security for all websites, regardless the size. It comes with an SHA-256 hashing algorithm and RSA 2048-bit keys.
GlobalSign SSL also comes with their own “GlobalSign Site Seal.”
It’s relatively expensive, as pricing starts at $249 per year for the lowest priced package.
11. Network Solutions
Network Solutions include data encryption level, web browser compatibility at 128 bits, and the ability to support 256-bits.
The WebTrust “Site Seal” is only not available when you opt for the cheapest package, all the other options provide the site secure seal.
The cheapest SSL solution starts at $59.99 with 2-year term followed by the “basic” plan priced at $124.50 with 2-year term.