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What Are SSL Certificates?
An SSL certificate is a website security certificate. The abbreviation SSL stands for secure sockets layer, which is complex technical jargon that essentially means “your data is protected.” In order for any data submitted through a webpage to reach its destination, it has to be sent over the internet. Without secure SSL certificates, it’s possible for even an inexperienced hacker to intercept that data.
In the early days of the internet, it was easy to set up an e-commerce site. People didn’t realize the potential hazards of sending data on an unsecured connection; customers didn’t know that SSL existed, and they certainly didn’t demand it. But now, an SSL certificate is mandatory for any e-commerce site, or for anyone else that asks customers to submit any kind of personal information. It’s even a smart option for companies that don’t ask for personal information from visitors. Major internet players like Google are starting to require an SSL cert in order to pass along certain information about what searchers are looking for – they’re requiring a higher level of security in order to pass along that important data. This trend seems likely to continue, making SSL certs vital to virtually any website
One of the major problems with buying an SSL certificate cheap is that you risk getting one that isn’t recognized by browsers. If the user’s browser doesn’t recognize the company that issued your security certificate, SSL 128 bit encryption isn’t going to matter. It might exist, but if a browser doesn’t trust it, your user won’t either.
Comparing The Four Major Types
There are four common TYPES of SSL server certificate products. Three of them offer varying levels of verification for your website, while the fourth type changes how many domains of your site can be secured.
- Extended Validation
This is the absolute highest level of security available to any website. Although the actual encryption doesn’t really change, what is noticeable is how carefully your site is vetted and checked before these highly trusted SSL certificates can be issued. The issuing companies won’t just provide the data security your visitors demand;
they’ll also carefully examine the documents that back up your company’s existence. The end result is that they go beyond simple data security and actually provide thorough verification. This might not seem like much, but keep in mind the mindset of a typical online customer. If they’re buying online, they might have never heard of you before. They have no way to go out and validate your company themselves. If you have an extended validation cert, SSL 3.0, they know that the checking and validation has already been done.That’s why these are the best SSL certificates for companies that need to go the extra mile with consumer trust – there is actually a clickable banner that will display full information about what was checked to visitors. This is an incredible confidence booster for customers who aren’t certain about a site, and it can easily drive people to feel comfortable purchasing. Of course, all of this validation does require legwork on the part of the company issuing the certificate, making these the most expensive kind of digital certificates. SSL certification of this kind is available at a very affordable price on us, but it will still be more expensive than a lower form of validation.
- Organizational Validation
This is the second highest level of validation available. It provides the advantage of thorough comparison and vetting but doesn’t take quite as much time to process or dig quite as deeply into your company as extended validation. It will still provide a clickable link that gives information about your business, but it won’t contain as much information as you’d get with extended validation. If you want some company-level validation for your site, this type is a good buy. Certificate prices are lower than EV, but still very affordable through us.
- Domain Validation
For a long time, this was the standard baseline in digital certificates. SSL evolved originally to protect data, and that’s why you’d purchase; SSL certificate design gradually grew to include validation of the business as well as security for the data. Today, even domain validation includes some evaluation. Digital SSL certificate providers will check that you have the right to secure the domain in question, hence the name domain validation. Because this kind of validation takes the least work, domain validation is the cheapest SSL certificates you’ll find. But remember before you buy: digital certificate validation is important to customers as well as their actual data protection. You aren’t spending as much for domain validation and it will provide you with the same level of protection you get when you buy SSL certificates, but you’re missing out on an added level of visitor confidence.
- Wildcard SSL
Unlike the types of validation above, wildcard SSL doesn’t have a single level of user trust attached to it. Domain, organizational, and extended validation all have wildcard options available. The difference here is that a single wildcard SSL certificate purchase can cover multiple subdomains. Usually, you need to buy SSL certificate coverage for all subdomains individually. Considering the low-cost of SSL certificates, if you have just one subdomain, that might not be too much of a hassle. But if you’ve got multiple subdomains, or plan to add more in the future, you’re going to want to cover all of them with one SSL certificate. Buy a wildcard, and you’re set. These SSL client certificates cover an unlimited number of subdomains, and may even cover multiple sites on the same server. With this kind of certificate, you buy SSL once and you won’t need to worry about further coverage. Although it isn’t hard to get SSL certificate coverage individually, buying wildcard simplifies the process. It’s usually less expensive and it’s exactly the same kind of coverage you’d get from buying SSL certificate protection individually.
The Systron Advantage
At Systron, you’ll find all of the trusted SSL secure certificate authorities and all four types of SSL certificate. Purchase from us with confidence, knowing that every company whose certificates we offer is trusted by the vast majority of browsers. We are proud to offer cheap SSL certificates, but we never sacrifice quality in order to make that happen. In fact, our low price SSL certificates are actually more feature-rich than when they come direct from the issuer because you get our extensive support staff. We don’t just sell you cheap SSL certs and then leave you to figure out the details on your own; we’re here to help you make sure that everything is just right and keep everything working.
Of course, you’ll need to have your webmaster up to speed as well. Check with the server administrator before deciding which cheap SSL certificate is right for you, as some older servers may not be compatible with certain types of SSL. In particular, a wildcard certificate may cause problems with older servers.
Performance And Cost
There are two factors that impact the actual data security provided by https SSL certificates. Prices on our cheap SSL cert products don’t tend to vary based on these factors because they’re almost completely standardized across the various types we offer. What causes the price of a SSL certificate to vary is how much validation is involved.
Although there may be some degree of variation in performance, that isn’t due to any aspect of what you’re buying. Instead, it’s controlled by the capabilities of your server and your visitor’s computer. That’s why our certificates often list a range of different encryptions: the lowest is the minimum value you’ll get assuming the worst possible software. Most of our certs offer minimum 128 bit SSL; certificate cost doesn’t really vary because most are the same or substantially similar in encryption protection, but we make sure to list them anyway so you know exactly what you’re purchasing.
Need help deciding what kind of certificate is right for you ? We can help! We offer an online certificate comparison and we’re also happy to have one of our customer service representatives assist you. Just contact us if you’re not sure and we can steer you in the right direction. With our extensive selection of different options, we’ve got an affordable SSL certificate for you !