SSL Certificates, also called digital certificates, are small files of data that digitally bind a cryptographic key to the details of an organization. Upon installation on a web server, a secure encrypted connection between a web server and a browser will be established.
SSL Certificates protect sensitive data, including credit card transactions, data transfer and logins. In the past few years, SSL is becoming the new standard in securing browsing of social networking channels.
Recently, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the number of organizations using SSL certificates. This came along with the expansion of the applications for which SSL is being used. For instance, some organizations only need SSL for confidentiality purposes, such as encryption, while there are those that use SSL in order to enhance trust in their security and identity.
In order to accommodate these widening applications of SSL, different types of SSL certificates have emerged.
Shared SSL Certificates
Shared SSL Certificates are usually given free of charge, and provides the least protection. These types of certificates can be shared by website owners that are using the same hosting service. If you’re just after of the protection of your own personal needs, this certificate might be enough for you. However, if you are are aiming for the protection of the personal details of your website visitors, you need to check out the other types of SSL Certificates.
Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates
The issuance of a Domain Validated SSL Certificate comes after proving that the owner’s right to use their domain is already established. This procedure is accomplished by the CA, who will then send an email to the domain owner. The certificate is issued after the owner already responded. Several CAs conduct extra fraud checks to make sure that there are no certificates issued to abusive domains.
DV certificates only contain the domain name. Compared with the other types of SSL certificates, DV certificates perform minimal checks, which is why it is also quickly issued. Also, no company identity information is screen and no information is shown other than the encryption information within the Secure Site Seal.
DV Certificates are probably the most affordable types of certificates. They provide almost similar features as OV certificates.
Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates
For OV Certificates, CAs examine the right of the applicant to use a certain domain name, and do some screening of the organization, which includes validation of the company name, domain name, and other data through the use of public databases. CAs may also employ other methods in ensuring that the information in the certificate is correct.
An OV Certificate is the minimum certificate that is recommended for e-commerce transactions because it provides the consumer with extra information about the business.
Although not the cheapest option, OV Certificates provides almost all the features of a competitive SSL Certificate, except the addition of a “green address bar” in EV Certificates.
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates
The issuance of EV Certificates only happens when an entity passes a meticulous authentication procedure. The goals of this process are, first, to identify the legal entity that controls a website, and second, to enable encrypted communications with a website.
The secondary purposes of this type of certificate are to facilitate the establishment of the legitimacy of a business claiming to operate a website or spread executable code, and to provide a platform which can be used in addressing security issues such as phishing, malware, and other types of online identity fraud.
EV Certificates are the most expensive types of SSL Certificates. They cater to both single and multiple domains. They also provide almost all of the features of a high-quality certificate, including the strongest available encryption, boost in search engine rankings, secure padlock icon, green address bar, security seal, and warranty.
Wildcard SSL Certificates
These types of SSL Certificates are designed for an unlimited number of subdomains. For instance, with this type of certificate, you can provide SSL encryption not only on your homepage but also on all other subdomains.
Here are some of the most reliable SSL certificate sellers in the market:
1) GlobalSign SSL Certificate
GlobalSign’s SSL certificates offers universal compatibility with internet browsers and mobile devices. They also come with some additional features, such as unlimited SSL server licensing, unlimited reissues and replacements, and site checker installation verification.
In terms of pricing, GlobalSign’s certificates are relatively more expensive than its competitors. However, if you are after of the quality of the product and its up-to-date security, as well as the trustworthiness of the company, GlobalSign is indeed a high-end choice.
2) DigiCert SSL Certificate
DigiCert’s SSL certificates are compatible with virtually every browser in the internet today, along with many mobile devices. Its straightforward plan selection offers one certificate for each type, making the choices flexible and yet straightforward.
The prices of DigiCert’s OV and EV certificates are relatively higher compared to its competitors. However, their overall value is very impressive. With DigiCert, you will receive not only the assurance of a high-quality product, but also an excellent customer service and support. As a matter of fact, DigiCert exceeds its counterparts who offer similar prices but low quality products.
DigiCert is indeed an outstanding SSL certificate provider. The company focuses on constantly improving its SSL service, rather than developing other products. Although the prices that they offer are a little steep, we can’t discount the fact that they offer one of the best SSL certificates online.
3) Entrust SSL Certificate
Entrust’s Standard SSL Certificate is quite affordable, although the slightly more expensive Advantage SSL seems to be a better option with its additional features, which includes unlimited re-issue within the certificate lifetime.
Entrust has already established its name in providing quality products and services. However, its products could still be made cheaper, so much so that it would reflect the present trends in the industry. Entrust is a very trustworthy SSL certificate provider, and expect that the company won’t settle for the least.
Other brands that you should definitely check out are Network Solutions, Symantec, and GeoTrust. These are all competitive providers who also have their own impressive offers.
You should carefully choose the right SSL certificate so that you can provide your website visitors with the right kind of protection and security. You need to properly identify your needs before you can proceed to knowing the right type of certificate for you. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up paying for protection that you don’t need, but you also want to secure yourself as well as your visitors. Remember, security is a very important aspect of digital businesses. A minor mistake can destroy your reputation.
Find SSL certificates that provide website security seals so that your validation will be clearly indicated. Also, make sure that the service provides a good customer support service so that if anything goes wrong, you can get the right assistance that you need.