SSL Certificates : Simple Info

In this article I have tried giving simple info regarding SSL certificates. I hope it might become simple and interesting topic for readers.

Thank You Let’s Encrypt :

Before starting this article I want to highlight some facts that are essential for everyone to know.

The first important fact is that most of the web hosts give free SSL certificates along with their hosting plans. If any organization deserves a credit for your free SSL certificates then it is Let’s Encrypt.

Let’s encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority that has been supported by many Internet giants and is operated by Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL certificates to all websites without any cost. So it makes Internet a more secure place.

So Let’s Encrypt deserves a lot of gratitude from the whole Internet and the people who use Internet.

SSL in General :

Generally you get free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates when you have purchased the hosting plan.

Most of the web hosts give free SSL certificates except for some web hosts like GoDaddy, Namecheap (Full Review).

These hosting providers are not giving free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates but instead of that they give SSL certificates other than Let’s Encrypt like SSL from Comodo, Sectigo etc.

Generally the SSL other than Let’s Encrypt are free for a year then on renewal it gets a bit costly.

So here the question rises that why certain web hosts give costly SSL certificates like Comodo and Sectigo ? And what is the difference between Comodo, Sectigo and Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates? – You will find the answer later on this article.

What is SSL certificate:

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is a guarantee of a secure connection. When a website has installed an SSL certificate it becomes more trustworthy and reliable for the users to be on that website.

SSL is a technology that encrypts the connection between client and host so that no data or private sensitive information can be leaked.

What is encrypting ? Encryption means converting the data into a code so that unauthorized people cannot access private sensitive data of yours.

In short when a session or connection is encrypted the data or information remains secure between the host and client. So there is lower risk of someone else seeing it or collecting the data from the encrypted session.

SSL certificates make sure that the connection between the two systems remains secure.

So there is low risk of any hacker or cyber criminal to read or collect the data from this secure connection.

Importance of SSL Certificates :

Here are some important points regarding importance of SSL certificates :

  • SSL certificates are highly important for those websites that are collecting personal information from users like password or credit card details etc. For example E-commerce sites.
  • Apart from business sites and E-commerce sites the SSL certificates have now become very important factor that defines the trustworthiness of any website. Because no user or customer wants to be on insecure environment.
  • From SEO point of view also search engines like Bing, Google gives higher ranks to the websites that have SSL certificates active on them.
  • Plus if there is SSL certificate active on your site then there are lesser chances that visitors will bounce off from your site. Because websites without SSL certificates shows warning signs to visitors like in this image given below.

Those websites which don’t have SSL certificates installed will show HTTP:// and a warning of insecure environment.

The websites having SSL certificates installed on them will show HTTPS:// where S stand for “secure” and a lock icon which will show to the client that the connection is secure and no one can see their personal data. See the image below of a website having an SSL installed.

Types of SSL certificates:

On the basis of level of validation the SSL certificates have three main category.

1) Domain Validation SSL certificates :

In this kind of SSL certificate the verification of ownership of the domain is done and basic level encryption is provided.

It is the least expensive. One can get free Domain Level certificate from Let’s encrypt also. Most of the Hosting providers give Let’s encrypt SSL certificates with their plan.

2) Organization Validation SSL certificates :

In this kind of SSL certificates the validation of organization which owns the domain is done. Information like organizations physical location are validated before providing SSL certificates to that organization. Provides moderate level of security.

3) Extended Validation SSL certificates :

These kind of SSL certificates are most secure and expensive one and the validation of information like company documents and identity etc are done before providing the SSL certificate.

The website holding the EV SSL certificate may show the company name along with green lock icon.

Why certain web hosts give costly SSL certificates that are not free.

So here the question rises that why certain web hosts give costly SSL certificates like Comodo, Sectigo ?

What is the difference between Comodo, Sectigo and Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates?

The answer is in the level of validation provided. Let’s encrypt provides Domain Validation SSL certificates which is simple and basic level validation process.

The longer answer is that Organization Validation and Extended Validation level SSL certificates require proper verification process. It is like that OV (Organization Validation) and EV (Extended Validation) SSL certificates requires stricter validation process and that is why it is considered more secure than DV (Domain Validation) SSL.

Now Let’s encrypt gives you DV SSL which works for most of the websites on the internet.

But if you are planning to sell things on your websites and collect critical personal data like credit cards etc then don’t you think that your visitors need better security !! Yes, right.

Well, that’s why you need Organization Validation or Extended Validation SSL certificates and that’s what you don’t get for free.

You can easily get these OV or EV SSL certificates as per your need from various SSL certificate Authorities like GoDaddy, NameCheap, Sectigo, Norton and Comodo.

Use of DV, OV and EV SSL certificates :

However OV and EV level SSL certificates have their own specific commercial use. But it is seen that many people use Let’s encrypt on their E commerce stores also and it works good for them.

Organization Validation SSL or Extended Validation SSL are rather more secure than Domain Validation SSL. It is more difficult to copy or mimic OV or EV SSL due to their stricter validation process.

It is seen that fraudsters might misuse the free Domain Validation SSL to make fraudulent websites. So for better security of your visitors you might need OV or EV SSL certificates.

If you are just having information on your website and visitors don’t have to do anything specific on your website then Domain Validation SSL certificate should be enough for you.

The other way to define types of SSL certificates :

Types of SSL on the basis of number of domains getting secured:

  • Single Domain SSL certificate :

    Single Domain SSL is provided to protect only a single domain. It cannot protect subdomains.
  • Wildcard SSL certificates :

    These SSL certificates are used when your website have many sub domains to cover. These wildcard SSL certificate can protect domain and the sub domains both.
  • Multi Domain SSL certificates :

    This kind of SSL certificate is used for protecting more than one domains. It is useful for big organizations which have many websites.

To be precise you need Single Domain SSL certificate for one single small sized website.

If you have sub domains also on your website then you might need Wildcard SSL certificates.

If you have more than one Websites to cover then you might need Multi Domain SSL certificates.

Conclusion :

Concluding this article there is a huge importance of SSL certificates in making internet a better place.

Due to Let’s encrypt SSL certificates many small entrepreneurs and individuals are empowered to host a secure website over the internet. Moreover internet has become a more secure place then it used to be due to SSL certificates and Let’s encrypt has played a big role in achieving that.

So this is it for this post. I hope that the information provided on SSL certificates is sufficient. I tried to provide longer information in a simple manner.

So I hope that it will be useful.

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