10 Best SSL Certificate Providers (Certification authority)

Article Last Updated: June 12, 2018 / Written by Jason Chow

Last updated on June 12th, 2018

 

 


 

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate is an important tool every website owner should have if you want to build a website.

Why? Because it tells people and potential customers that your website is trustworthy and reputable and that your business is legitimate.

And more importantly, it means your website is safe to protect a customer’s’ sensitive data.

If you don’t have an SSL certificate, then you need to get one as soon as possible. More and more businesses are making sure that their website is SSL certified as search engines such as Google will flag those without one as being “Not secure”.

Google announced that starting in July 2018, Chrome browser will label all websites not using HTTPS encryption as “not secure”.

Convinced that you need an SSL certificate? Great! Before you go off and purchase one, there are few things that you need to consider, such as where to buy them and figuring out which SSL certificate is right for your website.

In this article, we’ll talk about the process of purchasing an SSL certificate and give you the list of the 10 best SSL certificate provider on the market.


Before you purchase SSL certificate

Before you go off and buy an SSL certificate for your website, there are a few things that you need to figure out. Namely, figuring out which type of SSL certificate is right for your business.

The major types of SSL certificates that you can get are:

  • Organizationally Validated (OV) SSL Certificate,
  • Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate 
  • Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate

 

Both Organizationally Validated (OV) SSL Certificate and Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate requires the SSL certificate issuer to check and verify information about the applicant’s business.

The main difference between OV and EV SSL certificates is that an EV requires an extensive validation of the applicant’s business to ensure that the applicant is not a spoofer, phisher, or any other type of illegal online business.

Generally, getting an EV certificate would be better for corporations, sole proprietors, government agencies, and basically any site that conducts financial transactions. OV SSL certificates, on the hand, is best suited for medium-sized businesses.

For Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate, it only verifies that the applicant who is buying the SSL certificate is the registrant of the website domain name that the SSL certificate will be attached to. If you’re a small website or a blog, a DV SSL certificate might suffice for the time being.

Depending on your business requirements, there are other SSL certificates options you can go for such as Single Domain certificate for protecting a single domain name, Wildcard SSL for sub-domain protection, SAN for multiple domains, and more.

Whichever type you choose, having an SSL certificate ensures that all of your customer’s data will be encrypted when they are transmitted between your website and the customer’s browser.


Best place to buy SSL certificate

10 Best SSL certificate options with benefits and costs

Once you’ve identified the type of SSL certificate for your business, it’s time to buy the certificate itself. There are plenty of Certificate Authorities (CA) that you can go to in order to get yourself an SSL certificate.

The 10 that we’ve listed below (in no particular order of preference) are the places that we’d recommend that you check out to get an SSL certificate to secure your website.

1. GoDaddy

While GoDaddy is more known for being a domain registrar with aggressive discounts for its first-time customers, they also offer SSL certification services. Their SSL certificates are often issued online within minutes and come with a 256-bit encryption.

Benefits:

  • Protects unlimited servers
  • Free verification seal
  • Free malware scanner
  • IDN support
  • SAN (UCC) support
  • Strong SHA2 & 2048-bit encryption
  • Up to $1 million liability protection

Pricing:

  • Protect one website – $74.99 /yr $59.99 /yr
  • Protect multiple websites – $135.99 /yr $135.99 /yr
  • Protect all subdomains – $279.99 /yr $279.99 /yr

GoDaddy SSL

Visit GoDaddy SSL


2. Namecheap

Similar to GoDaddy, Namecheap is more famously known as a domain registrar that offers domain names at affordable prices. And just like GoDaddy, they also offer services beyond that, which includes SSL certificates.

Benefits:

  • Complete range of SSL certificate types
  • Advance SHA algorithm
  • Robust security with 256-bit encryption
  • Free, unlimited reissues
  • 99.9% browser compatibility
  • Warranty up to $1.75 million
  • Specialized customer support for SSL products

Pricing

  • Essential SSL (DV) – $29.00 /yr $18.88 /yr
  • InstantSSL (OV) – $39.00 /yr $20.88 /yr
  • EssentialSSL Wildcard – $99.90 /yr $74.88 /yr
  • EV SSL (EV) – $145.00 /yr $78.88 /yr

NameCheap SSL

Visit NameCheap SSL


3. GlobalSign

Founded in 1996 and based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, GlobalSign is one of the more popular SSL Certificate Authority in the market.

GlobalSign established themselves as a well-reputed identity service company by providing cloud-based PKI solutions to business who wants their website to have secure connections, conduct safe e-commerce transactions, and perfect content delivery to its users and customers.

Benefits:

  • Using SHA-256 and 2048 bit RSA keys encryption
  • ECC support worldwide
  • WebTrust accredited CA since 2001
  • Over 2.5M certificates issued worldwide
  • Free SSL installation and management tools
  • Up to $1.25m underwritten warranty

Pricing:

  • DomainSSL – $249 /yr
  • OrganizationSSL – $349 /yr
  • ExtendedSSL – $599 /yr
  • Wildcard SSL – $849 /yr
  • SAN – $249 /yr

GlobalSign SSL

Visit GlobalSign


4. Comodo

Comodo offers both free and paid SSL certificates for small and medium-sized businesses. Some of the SSL certificates that they issue includes Comodo SSL, EV SSL, Wildcard Certificates and UC Certificates.

Using Comodo WildCard SSL, you can basically cover all of your subdomains. if you’re not satisfied with their services there is a 30-day money back guarantee

Benefits:

  • A single certificates for both domain.com and www.domain.com
  • Using SHA-256 and 2048 bit RSA keys encryption
  • All certificates available with ECC support
  • Unlimited server licensing
  • Secure Microsoft exchange server
  • Immediate validation and issuance
  • Warranty up to $2 million

Pricing:

  • Domain Validation – $49 /yr
  • Organization Validation – $89 /yr
  • Extended Validation – $149 /yr
  • Code Signing – $166.95 /yr

5. DigiCert

The company motto for DigiCert is “Your success is built on trust”. This should give you a good idea of how seriously they take security. With a primary focus on SSL innovation, DigiCert aims to be the trusted security partner for all avenues of industry and commerce.

The SSL certificates that they provide are OV Certificates, EV Certificates, and even DV Certificates for smaller businesses or websites.

Benefits:

  • Unlimited server licensing
  • Displays the green address bar
  • EV and Wildcard option available
  • Standard X.509 certificates
  • Symmetric 256-bit encryption
  • ECC public-key cryptography

Pricing:

  • Standard SSL -$175 /yr
  • EV SSL – $295 /yr
  • Multi-Domain SSL – $299 /yr
  • Wildcard SSL – $595 /yr

digicert

Visit Digicert


6. Thawte

Thawte has been known for providing affordable SSL certificates as well as 17 years of reliability. They offer a comprehensive list of SSL products which includes EV, OV, DV, SGC, Wildcard, and even SAN SSL certificates.

As a low-cost SSL certificate provider, Thawte SSL plans are priced reasonably with their cheapest going for $149 per year which includes a number of features such as 256-bit encryption. There is an option available to add Wildcard to the plan with additional charges

Benefits:

  • 21-day Thawte free trial SSL certificate
  • Company’s site seal logo
  • 99% browser compatibility
  • Unlimited server licensing
  • Up to 256-bit encryption
  • Free SAN with Thawte base domain
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Warranty up to $1.5 million

Pricing:

  • SSL Web Server – $199 /yr
  • SSL Web Server with EV – $299 /yr
  • SSL 123 – $149 /yr

7. GeoTrust

At GeoTrust, you can opt for a number of SSL certificates which include True BusinessID with EV, True BusinessID, True BusinessID Wildcard, and QuickSSL premium. Among them all, True BusinessID Wildcard is the most expensive at $499 per year.

Startups and small business would find GeoTrust pricings attractive, plus they offer a number of features such as 256-bit encryptions, extended validation, warranty ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, 99% browsers compatibility, and unlimited customer support.

Benefits:

  • Short issuance time
  • SSL certificate management console
  • Up to 256-bit encryption
  • Green browser address bar available
  • Warranty up to $1.25M
  • 99% browser compatibility
  • Free SSL expert support

Pricing

  • True BusinessID with EV – $229 /yr
  • True BusinessID – $199 /yr
  • True BusinessID Wildcard – $599 /yr
  • QuickSSL Premium – $149 /yr
  • QuickSSL Premium Wildcard – $745 /yr

GeoTrust SSL

Visit GeoTrust


8. SSL.com

SSL.com is a 5-star rated certificate authority that was founded back in 2002. They offer a wide range of digital certificates such as SSL/TSL server certificates, document signing code signing, and S/MIME email certificates.

Being a leading authority in the industry, SSL.com offers a number of features for its users, such as 256-bit SHA2 https AES encryption, free site seal, 24/7 support, and free unlimited certificate reissues during the lifetime of the certificate.

Benefits:

  • Automated validation for Basic SSL
  • 99% browser compatibility
  • Unlimited servers licenses
  • Includes WWW
  • Up to $2 million relying party warranty
  • 2048+ Bit SHA2 SSL/TLS Public Key Encryption
  • 30 Day unconditional refund

Pricing:

  • Basic – $36.75 /yr
  • Premium – $74.25 /yr
  • High Assurance – $48.40 /yr
  • Wildcard certificate – $224.25 /yr

9. Entrust

Entrust considers themselves as a forward thinking company that by providing security in a wide breadth of diverse industries. They provide security solutions for those in need of transactional security, secure mobile authentication, and of course, SSL certificates. They offer EV and OV certificates with prices starting at $174 per year.

Benefits:

  • SHA-2 signing algorithms
  • RSA 2048 bit / 3072 bit / 4096 bit key
  • Malware scanning monitoring
  • Scans for website vulnerabilities
  • Site seal with the real-time check
  • Certificate management platform
  • Unlimited server license

Pricing:

  • Standard OV – $174 /yr
  • Advantage OV – $208 /yr
  • EV multi-domain – $373 /yr
  • UC multi-domain – $278 /yr

10. Network Solutions

Established in 1979 and headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, USA, Network Solutions have constantly evolved their SSL services throughout the years and continues to provide lowest priced SSL certificates for users.

Especially when it comes to multi-year term SSL certificates, Network Solutions offers some of the more affordable pricing in the market. For example, their nsProtect Secure Express will only set you back $59.99 for a 2-year term. In comparison, GoDaddy offers similar services that cost $74.49 per year.

Benefits:

  • 256-bit encryption
  • Guarantee up to $1 million
  • Site seal available
  • 99% browser recognition
  • Green address browser bar available
  • 24/7 live support
  • Standard issuance time

Pricing:

  • Xpress – $59.99 /yr
  • Basic – $124.50 /yr
  • Advanced – $199.50 /yr
  • Wildcard – $579.00 /yr
  • Extended – $399.50 /yr

Network Solutions

Visit Network Solutions


How to purchase an SSL certificate

When you’re ready to purchase or order an SSL certificate for your website, there are a few steps that you need to be aware.

In a nutshell, the process of ordering a certificate goes something like this:

  • Prepare your website by setting up your server and making sure your WHOIS record is correct (it should show the correct company name and address).
  • Next, you need to generate the certificate signing request (CSR) which is a block of encoded text that’s given to a Certificate Authority when applying for an SSL certificate.
  • Submit the CSR and any other other related details to the Certificate Authority.
  • Get your domain and company validated
  • Once you’ve received your issued certificate, you can go ahead and install it.


Things to get ready before buying an SSL certificate

To make sure that the process of buying an SSL certificate for your website goes smoothly, we recommend that you get the following things ready.

  • A unique IP address
  • A certificate signing request (CSR)
  • Updated and correct WHOIS record
  • Validation documents for your business/organization

 

Some of it should be done naturally when you create a website but just double check so that you don’t have anything missing.


Should I go for cheap SSL certificate?

If you’re a small business or just starting out, getting a “brand name” or quality SSL certificate for your website can be expensive, especially when you try to renew as some companies tend to hike up the price once your SSL certificate expires.

The alternative is to go for cheap SSL certificates like GoDaddy or NameCheap.

Now, if you’re worried that using a cheaper SSL certificate means having less security than branded ones such as SSL.com or Network Solutions, then worry not. Unless you’re intending to conduct transactions on a device that doesn’t use a popular 3rd party browser, then a cheap SSL offers the same security as the more expensive ones.

If you’re going to conduct all your transaction on a web browser such as Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox, etc., then you don’t really need to pay for an expensive certificate.

The only time that you should really consider purchasing an expensive SSL certificate is if you’re a big eCommerce company that’s looking to perform transactions on a device that uses its own proprietary software.

In such cases, it’s better to go for a branded SSL certificate like Network Solutions because they will work across more devices. You should also check to make sure that whatever browser or app you’re targeting will recognize your SSL certificate vendor.