What is the Difference between Free SSL and Paid SSL?

 What is the Difference between Free SSL and Paid SSL?

With the growth in the number of websites, the number of hacking attempts and cyber-attacks have grown too. Hence, it is no surprise that most site owners are worried about the security of their website. While there are many ways to ensure site security, today, our topic of discussion is an SSL Certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate?

A Secure Sockets Layer is a global standard security technology that allows a web browser to communicate with the webserver in an encrypted manner. An SSL Certificate offers a host of benefits for your website, primary being the encryption of the data transfer between the web server and device. Millions of websites across the world use SSL certificates to secure sensitive information. Once an SSL certificate is installed on the server, it validates the identity of the website and encrypts the data transmitted.

Types of SSL Certificates

You can classify SSL certificates into two types – Free and Paid. As the name suggests, a free SSL certificate has no cost associated with it and allows site owners to make HTTPS available for free. On the other hand, a paid SSL certificate can be purchased from a Certificate Authority or resellers and offers many advantages. Here are some differences between the two:

Difference between Free and Paid SSL Certificates

Feature Free Paid
What are the types of certificates available? With free SSL certificates, you get basic authentication or the Domain Validation (DV) option. With paid SSL certificates, you get three options – DV, Extended Validation (EV), and Organizational Validation (OV) certificates.
Level of Validation A free certificate only verifies the site owner’s identity. A paid certificate verifies the site owner’s identity and the business.
Validity of the Certificate Free certificates are valid for 30-90 days. Paid certificates are usually valid for 1-2 years.
User trust Since these certificates offer basic authentication, there are no visible signs on the website that can assure users. Hence, users cannot trust the site as easily as in the case of a paid SSL. Since you can get OV and EV certificates, your website will have a visual indicator to help users trust your brand. Such indicators include the name of the business in the address bar, information about the certificate on the website, etc.
Warranties Since the certificates are free, there are no warranties. Hence, if there are any errors, you will have to handle them yourself. Paid certificates have warranties to back them.
Support The Certificate Authority does not offer any support The Certificate Authority provides round the clock support via phone, email, and chat.

 

Summing Up

As a site owner, it is essential to remember that if people don’t trust your site, they will not be comfortable sharing their personal or financial information on your website. Hence, it is crucial to choose a certificate that fulfils your site’s needs. Usually, a paid SSL certificate is a preferred option. Choose wisely. Good Luck!

Daniel Donny

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