SSL Certificate Providers are companies that sell or provide SSL certificates to online businesses that need security for their website. They have a variety of choices for various needs, usually depending on encryption level needed, additional features for authentication, and price.
The role of SSL Certificate Providers for customers and businesses are so important, that even a single process of error could compromise millions of people worldwide. This has been manifested with the recent incident wherein Comodo, a noted and reputable Certificate Authority company, had unintentionally produced and sold nine fraudulent SSL certificates. The validation process was never completed, thus making the certificates complete, but very questionable. Even though it was cancelled quickly by having, these certificates added to the Certificate Revocation List (CRL), even before it could create more damage, it still can be used to phishing, and identity attacks.
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Choosing an SSL Certificate Provider –
SSL Certificate Provider Reputation
Despite that money is the major concern that most online business owners are thinking, purchasing an SSL certificate that assures security and safety goes beyond the issue of finances. A SSL certificate that has been purchased from a reliable and reputable business would indicate to customers that the business buying the said security tool, despite of the carried expense, is conscious and aware of the protection of its clients upon purchase. This impacts their decision to make or break the transaction whenever they are almost complete in bringing out their shopping carts for buyout. If it comes from a company that had tainted history, it may still be able to sell certificates, but it will decrease customer loyalty and confidence. Reputation is an important element in buying an SSL certificate. So just like a budget web hosts, you want quality from your SSL provider in addition to a cheap price.
These are some of the noted and most trusted names in SSL certificate selling:
GeoTrust and RapidSSL may be on the list of the most trusted, however, there has been one occasion that an Opera browser was not able to recognize its existence, which affects reputation for customers, since most SSL certificates should be usable and recognizable at all times no matter what browser it is. If you will be getting GeoTrust you will see the list that Opera, including Microsoft IE 5.01+, Mozilla Firefox 1.0+, AOL 5+, Apple Safari 1.0+ and other microbrowsers for smartphones, palm devices, are also included.
Comodo also uses another name to have its SSL certificates to be sold, in the name of InstantSSL. The most reputable ones to date are VeriSign and Thawte. However, there is something that limits customers to vouch for them and their products, full time.
SSL Certificate Provider Types
Despite of the reputation being noted, another thing that customers need to look at is the price that comes with the good name established. Purchasing reputation alone may not be applicable on all cases, especially that SSL certificates are varying based on encryption level and security type. Most of the certificates being used by domain owners are coming from webhosting services where they provide free SSL certificates, shared SSL certificates, and dedicated SSL certificates. Free SSL certificates come with no charge but security level and length of use may be an issue.
Shared SSL certificates may price cheaper than dedicated SSL certificates, but it does not provide that flexibility of use, particularly when bringing the said certificate to another webhosting service. These shared certificates may be used for one domain only, while there are also wildcard certificates, which can cover all subdomains included.
Dedicated SSL certificates are always included with dedicated hosting and are connected with the domain name of a business. It will not include any identity markers that are coming from the webhosting service owner, as seen in shared SSL certificates.
SSL Certificate Provider Validation
Validation is another thing to consider in getting an SSL certificate since not all Certificate Authorities have the same validation level with the same cost. Three types of validation are:
- Domain Validation that uses the information being generated from the WHOIS database and matches it to that of the applicant
- Organizational Validation that checks the physical address and web address of the business that applies for the SSL certificate, which is confirmed for accuracy by a Certificate Authority
- Extended Validation that requires documentation and legal information, which demands more details as it entails a level of security that interacts with high grade browsers that display business information through a green URL bar
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