Free vs. Paid SSL Certificates: Which one is best for you?

Free vs. Paid SSL Certificates: Which one is best for you?
Free vs. Paid SSL Certificates: Which one is best for you?

SSL is a protective layer that shields websites against any cyber-attack and data breaches. It protects customer personal information and communication between the hosting server and the client’s browser and encrypts transactions.

SSL Certificate enables the website to gain customer trust and credibility, improve customer retention & render client satisfaction. Apart from this, it can also help websites to make seamless transactions without any errors or troubles. As a result, it generates better profits in the process.

Most people who wish to purchase SSL for their websites are confused about switching to a free one or simply opting for a paid SSL certificate. But have you ever wondered why an SSL certificate might be paid when it is already available for free? Are there any differences in the benefits and features of both free and paid SSL certificates? Here’s all about this for you to know.

An Insight into SSL And Its Power to Render Website Protection

An SSL enables a padlock icon to ensure that it encrypts website data; leverage protection to interact with customers seamlessly. Purchasing an SSL certificate will not only help provide comprehensive security to your website against a multitude of cybercrimes; It will also enable websites to rank high on the search engines, abstain from any browser warnings, and improve conversion rates and sales.

Understanding Free SSL Certificates

Users can find platforms that offer free SSL claiming to protect your website against many malicious attacks, but they may not be strong enough. They need not require any payment from your end, but the level of protection that paid SSLs can offer is always higher. However, these can be useful for businesses that have recently started.

Free SSL certificates are convenient for those websites, like startup bloggers, that do not have sufficient money to invest in a paid SSL. These are quick means to provide website protection, though. As a user, you may install as many free SSL certificates as you want if you have many domains to manage.

The free SSL certificates are available as

  • Self-signature certificate
  • SSL certificates signed by CA

Inclusions In Free SSL Certificate

1. Limited Use

If you have a standard blogging website, a free SSL certificate can be helpful too; but if you have a medium or large-scale business website, we do not recommend the Frees as they may fail to provide the encryption you expect.

2. Short Validity

The SSL certificates you derive from Certificate Authority have a short validity period; they may only last for about a month or a maximum of three months. Once it expires, you must reissue it repeatedly at a particular time interval.

3. Not Very Trustworthy

Although free SSL certificates can help provide encryption and authentication of websites, they are often not considered very trustworthy compared to paid SSL certificates. This is because the certificate authorities (CAs) that issue free SSL certificates do not undergo a rigorous vetting process like their commercial certificates.

4. No Warranty

Unlike the paid SSL certificates, the free ones do not come with any warranty; So, if you experience a data breach, your organization may instantly become susceptible to bankruptcy. And you can not claim anything from the Certificate Authority.

5. Domain Validation Only

A free SSL certificate is only bound to offer Domain validation, so you can only use it for basic-level encryption for your website. If you want to validate your organization, opting for a paid SSL certificate is best.

Understanding Paid SSL Certificate

A paid SSL certificate offers a more extensive scope than a free SSL; it can be bought from the legitimate Certificate Authority when needed. It also provides a range of SSL from Domain Validation, Organization Validation, or Extended Validation. You can purchase any of them depending on your business size, goals, and the level of protection you need.

1. Domain Validation SSL

A DV SSL Certificate (Domain Validation) is the most basic type of SSL Certificate and can be issued in just a few minutes; here, the issuer only needs to verify the domain ownership. It comes with strong 256-bit encryption strength to secure browser-server communication. DV SSLs are best for Bloggers and small-level websites.

2. Organization Validation SSL

OV SSL Certificate (Organization Validation) is one step ahead of DV SSL. To issue an OV SS: the issue needs to validate the domain name and organization by providing contact details, legal name, and address. This additional validation helps ensure that customers don’t fall victim to phishing scams and other malicious activities. OV SSL certificates are best for small/medium-level websites and social media platforms.

3. Extended Validation SSL

Extended Validation (EV) SSL is a widely trusted website digital security certificate. It establishes the legitimacy of a website and its owner while displaying the organization or company’s name verified in the certificate information and site seal along with HTTPS + Padlock. EV SSL provides peace of mind to users accessing and transacting with a verified, legitimate website.

What comes with Paid SSL Certificate?

  • Multiple Validation Levels to choose from as per your requirement and budget.
  • Comes with a Validation period of 1 Year to 3 Years.
  • You will get expert support from Certificate Authority for any assistant
  • Comes with a whooping warranty.
  • Help your website rank on Google & other search engines without any hassle.

Winding Up!

The choice of purchasing a paid SSL certificate or opting for a free one is all yours to make; however, the details we have mentioned above will give you a clear idea about why free SSL certificates are a disaster and why Paid SSL certificates are best for your business.