Paying for SSL certificates can somewhat prove to be expensive for some people. The price range is between $50 to $200 per year for a single certificate. Good news is that, there are a couple of ways you can get a free SSL certificate without much hassle. If you want to reduce the cost of running your website, by acquiring a 100% free SSL certificate, they you can use any of the sites/issuing authorities highlighted in this article.
What is SSL?
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This secure link ensures that all data transferred remains private. It’s also called TLS (Transport Layer Security). SSL certificates issued by a recognized certificate issuing authority, then verified and highlighted in the user’s browser address bar with a padlock sign ‘HTTPS’.
How does SSL work?
When a user accesses a website with an SSL certificate, the web server sends a certificate with a public key. The browser checks the validity of the certificate, then encrypts data using the public key. The encrypted data is sent to the server (website), where it’s decrypted using the public key and a secret private key.
Why use SSL?
SSL comes with the following benefits.
- Performance – Modern SSL can actually improve page load times
- Search ranking boost – Search engines favour HTTPS websites. Google for instance, considers SSL an important factor in search rankings
- Security – Encrypting traffic with SSL ensures nobody can snoop on your users’ data. SSL is used to secure the data of a website visitor, including payment details, credit card information or login credentials
- Trust – By displaying a green lock in the browser’s address bar, SSL increases visitor’s trust
- Regulatory compliance – SSL is a key component in PCI compliance
1. Let’s Encrypt
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) in collaboration with the Linux Foundation. It gives people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way. They certificate renews automatically, so you don’t have to manually renew, install and verify again and again.
Cloudflare is the first Internet performance and security company to offer SSL protection free of charge. It offers universal free SSL/TLS certification. Cloudflare SSL operates in different modes depending on the level of security required and the amount of configuration you’re willing to do. Traffic to the end user will always be encrypted, which means your website will always enjoy the benefits of HTTPS.
3. SSL For Free
SSL For Free runs on Let’s Encrypt’s ACME server, and it uses automated domain validation to give you your certification. It takes less than two minutes to issued with your SSL certificate. You can create an account to be notified when your certificate is about to expire for you to renew it.
Comodo will offer you a fully functional SSL for 90 days on trial basis. After the lapse of the 90 days, you will be required to pay in order to continue using the certificate. Comodo is reputable for issuing certificates with highest strength and bit encryption.
SSL.com is an SSL/TLS certification company that will offer you a 90-day free SSL for your website. The certificate domain-validated and automated within minutes, comes with unlimited server licenses, business-class validation and encryption, and more. Once the 90 days trial period lapses, you can either switch to a free company or purchase one through this site.
WoSign uses automatic authentication to give you an SSL certificate that will last either 1, 2 or 3 years depending with your choice. It’s widely accepted by many reputable browsers as well, and you can request your certification through email.
Thank you, Victor, for sharing this in-depth article with us. SSL certificates encrypt the connection between your users and your website Ensuring security for their data and files. Today SSL certificates have become a must-have for every domain name. Every browser including Chrome and Mozilla are flagging websites without SSL certificates as unsecure, this will reduce customers trust of your website. Google has also gone on the record stating that websites without SSL certificates are viewed as unsecure and will lead to a lower search engine ranking, further reducing trust and traffic to your website. However SSL certificates can be expensive especially to startups.