Whether you’re buying an SSL for the first time or you’re in the market for a new SSL provider, it can be tough knowing where to start. There are many online stores out there offering a variety of SSL certificates with varying price points. Is it okay to go for a cheap SSL, or does more expensive equal better quality?
In this article, we’ll be arguing that cheap SSLs are just as good as their more expensive counterparts. Read more to learn why!
Encryption levels are the same
No matter what the price you pay, encryption levels are the same across all SSLs. Don’t let marketing tell you otherwise! Whatever the brand, cost, or SSL type, the underlying technology does not change.
All SSL certificates encrypt the connections between the server (where your website is hosted) and a client (usually a user’s browser) using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. SSL certificates negotiate this connection through a process known as the TLS handshake. The exact process of the handshake can vary, but it’s dictated by your server settings and configurations rather than the SSL certificate itself.
So, no matter what price you pay for your SSL, the encryption level should not change.
Measure quality through Certificate Authority, not price
Before you buy an SSL, do some research on the issuing Certificate Authority (CA). A CA is an entity that issues and revokes SSL certificates. Before they issue an SSL, they will verify the identity of the person or entity looking for an SSL, and the issued certificate will contain information about that person. The CA will also put its own digital signature in the issued SSL, so that browsers and users can verify if it was issued by a trusted CA.
It’s essential to find out if a CA is trustworthy because if it’s not, your SSL may be flagged as “not trusted” by major web browsers. So do your research before you hand over your cash and purchase an SSL that might not even work. Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft each have lists of CAs that they consider trustworthy.
Some may argue that the pricy SSL stores offer better customer service, but that isn’t necessarily true either. More affordable SSL vendors often have very good customer service. Again, it’s all about doing your research. Check reviews and people’s experiences with that particular SSL store before you buy, and don’t go by price alone.
The saying “you get what you pay for”, is sometimes accurate, but not always, particularly in the world of SSLs. A cheap SSL is typically just as good, if not better, than their more expensive counterparts. The best way to ensure you’re getting a quality SSL is to do your research before you commit to anything.