Before getting into the nitty-gritty of our question, we are going to define some terms here so that we can look at things from one dimension. To start with, we are going to explain what we mean by a free SSL certificate. By free we mean that there is nothing that you pay to the certificate provider in the period your site shall be using their services.
However, please note that there are some charges you can incur while handling free goods and services. For example, take a case of someone who gives you a bag of flour, you will have to bear the transport charges. In the same way, although the majority of the certificates are free, some third parties charge for installation due to the complexities involved.
The second term we are going to explain is trust; by this, we mean that there is someone who can vouch for you. In this case, we expect and are confident that certificate authorities can vouch for your site to the major browsers. For example, a majority of the browsers won’t recognize a self-signed SSL certificate.
The third and the last term we shall look at is the SSL certificate. The initials SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s the basis on which the websites get a green padlock and HTTPS initials. Majority of the SSL certificates in the market are premium which means you have to pay some cash to the provider if you want a certificate from them.
This raises a question on whether there are free trusted SSL certificates. The simple answer is yes but the validity period of the free certificate varies from one provider to the other. We shall look at some of the free SSL providers you can get in the market in case you don’t have the fiancés to pay for a premium one. In any case, the end goal of a business is to reduce operational cost. As such, even if you can afford the premium ones, it’s worth checking on the free ones because the functionalities might be the same anyway.
The primary provider of free SSL certificates:
We shall dwell a lot on Cloudflare because in addition to its free plan; it’s also non-expiring. But as we shall be seeing later, it also has some few limitations although they have no major side effects on the effectiveness of the SSL certificate.
This is a security and CDN company, and it offers universal free SSL certificates all over the world. In addition to the free SSL certificates, it also has full or strict implementation. By full we mean that the encryption is from the end user to you servers definitely though Cloudflare.
With the free plan, traffic or information is encrypted from the end user to the Cloudflare servers but there is no encryption from Cloudflare to your server. This is no much of a big deal because majorities of the internet user are concerned about the green padlock which you get in both plans. However, if you collect sensitive information on your sites like password and credit card details, we can advise you to go for the full SSL plan.
That said; we help interested parties to set up an SSL certificate on their site for free from Cloudflare. The process of setting up the SSL is not that straight forward as you have to configure the server settings from your end. Basically what we shall be doing is signing for you a Cloudflare account, configure the website domains and DNS records as well as update the name servers from those of your host’s to the ones issued by Cloudflare.
For this, we charge a flat rate of $10.25 which is payable through PayPal. Your money is always safe since you can lodge any complaint with PayPal, but we shall always be available for support or any other inquiry. We specialize in SSL installations and thus you can be sure to get the best services.
Other free SSL certificate providers:
2.) Let’s encrypt:
This certificate provider gives free SSL certificates in collaboration with the Linux Foundation and the internet security research group. These certificates expire every year. The best part of the certificate is that it integrates with a majority of the web hosting companies like Godaddy and SSL for free.
3.) CAcert free:
These free certificates have different validity period ranging from 6 months, one year or even two years. The main limitation of these free SSL certificates is that you have to meet a CAcert volunteer face to face to get approved for the free cert. As you all know this might not be as easy as it sounds.
If you have been a savvy internet user, then you must have come across Comodo. This is one of the leading CAs in the market, but they specialize in premium SSL certificates. However, just like the majority of the traders in the market, they offer a trial period for 90 days within which you can decide to renew after expiration or cancel the plan. The free certificate comes with a 2048 bit signature and 256-bit encryption.
For the sake of diversification, there are many SSL certificate providers in the market. Among them is SSL.com who are recognized by 99.9% of the internet browsers. What this means is that their certificates are reliable and trusted. They also offer a 90 days trial period within which you can cancel or renew the plan.
As you have seen from above, there are genuine, free, and trusted SSL certificate providers. You can get a free SSL certificate from premium CA providers who give a trial period. There are also hosting companies who have incorporated a free SSL certificate in their hosting plan as well as a non-expiring free SSL from Cloudflare. You can get countless benefits from having an SSL certificate on your site. Some of these include a higher ranking priority from search engines as well as an increase in traffic due to higher trust level from the green padlock.