SSL certificates are small data files that bind the cryptographic keys to an organization. Its main function is to encrypt data on transit. This prevents hackers and other phishing companies from gaining access to unauthorized data. These certificates can either be free or premium. The premium SSL certificate can be classified into various categories like the domain validation; organization validated and extended validation certificate.
The standard SSL certificate provides encryption just like the other advanced SSL certificates, but the main difference is on the degree of cross-checking done. For example, to get a standard SSL certificate, you are only required to respond to an email or answer a phone call. The email and phone calls are made from, the information on the whois database.
On the other hand, to get an extended or organization validated SSL certificate, you are required to have a registered company, valid address, and any other legal document as it may be demanded to validate the data provided. These types of SSL are more expensive than the standard ones due to the validation process.
A majority of the certificate authorities offers all these types of certificates in their portfolio, and finance, as well as legal requirements determines the choice on which one to pick. There are international rules that require a company that handles sensitive financial data, passwords, or credit card details to have either extended or organization validated certificates.
How do SSL certificates work?
Every time a client queries the web, there is a connection established between the servers and the browsers. A web server requires an SSL certificate to create an SSL connection. If you want to activate an SSL certificate on your site, then the servers will collect all the required data from you and then generate two keys based on that information.
The two keys are a public and private key. The public key is not secret and is put on a certificate signing request. This form should be submitted to the certificate authority companies so that they use the information to issue a certificate. Your web server cross-check the SSL details with the ones you had provided, and if they are found to tally, then the SSL is validated.
Every time there is a request to fetch data, the server has to check each browser request against the SSL details. If the certificates are valid, then a connection is established or terminated if the certificate is not valid.
Major standard SSL certificate providers:
There are many players in the market, and we shall discuss a few and give an opinion at the end on which one is the best based on the criteria we shall use.
- Digicert: This is a certificate provider that offers all classes of SSL certificate. Their standard certificate costs approximately $188 per year. The certificate is compatible with all the major browsers as well as mobile devices. They have an automated installation and renewal for the certificates. The company is almost 15 years old in the business.
- Nexcess: It is an IT company that offers hosting and business consultancy services all over the world. The company offers four categories of certificates, the standard one, premium, EV, and wildcard. Their standard version costs approximately $40 per year. The company has been in operation for almost 20 years
- Geotrust: It’s the second largest digital service provider in the world. Their standard SSL certificate costs approximately $100 per year. The company has its presence in more than 150 countries. It provides encryption of up to 56-bits.
- Comodo: This is one of the most trusted certificate providers in the world. They have different classes of certificates, but our main focus will be on the standard one that starts at approximately $64 per year. They offer unlimited licenses with unlimited support through phone calls and through the internet. They offer encryption of up to 256 bits and a $250,000warranty. Almost all the major browsers trust their certificates.
- Godaddy: Majority of the people knows Godaddy as a domain registration company, but they also have very nice packages of standard SSL certificates that cost approximately $69. The company has about 22 years since its inception. This company also provides web hosting services.
- Cloudflare: This is a company that offers a different version of internet security, DDoS, mitigation, and distributed domain server services. Their services sit between the visitor and the servers. They have the basic option which can be set for free although it’s involving. You can check the installation services on Sitemax.com who will handle it all until your site displays the green padlock.
Which is the best standard SSL among those mentioned above?
Selecting one of the above and labeling it as the best should not be the basis of dismissing the others. Each subject has its own sets pros and cons. whatever you consider while making a decision is different from what another person might consider. However, irrespective of all this we have to select one to be the best standard SSL certificate.
In our case we shall select Comodo due to the following reasons:
- The validation process is simple, you are only required to generate the CSR and then copy and paste it onto the application, and within minutes you will have a running SSL certificate
- The SSL certificate has a 2048 bit signature and 256-bit encryption. There is also a trust logo site seal for each page
- There is a 30 days money back guarantee
- They also have a 90 days free trial period after which you can decide to cancel or buy a certificate
- Their support system is excellent. They have a knowledge base section with a lot of informative articles, a user forum and also a one on one session of customer support through phone calls, live chat, email, and support tickets.
Why choose the best standard SSL certificate:
If you are a website owner, you must make sure that any information you collect on your site is protected. This can only be done effectively by having an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate also adds trust on your site as well as boosts the functionalities of the site. Some search engines like Google have also claimed to consider the SSL certificate in ranking sites on the internet.