Last Updated on December 3, 2023
What is Free SSL Certificate?
Its time to gear up our knowledge about the free SSL certificates. Free SSL certificates are known to have a validity of 90 days. They are also said to be limited to one issuance per domain. There are many who look to secure their web server absolutely free of cost.
The Free SSL certificates are for them promising them a commitment of no cost and that too very fast! You really need to get a free SSL in order to avoid alert messages. Visitors often encounter alert messages when they try to open any particular website. A gold padlock appears on the screen and that’s meant for assuring security. So the free SSL certificates which more often come for 90 days give you a trusted https connection for your website.
Then you are free to access a secure connection and a golden padlock icon appears on the screen. Its a worry-free assurance for visitors that they are communicating on a secure domain. So free SSL certificates are in one way really advantageous because they provide trustworthy commitments and that too free of cost!
The real advantages come because SSL is the ‘lady with the lamp’ for a secure Internet connection. These Free SSL certificates, free of cost, shield your sensitive information. That’s very much required because it travels across many computer networks. You need to protect your website.
It does not matter whether it carries credit card numbers or not. The privacy is genuinely required for that’s a part of data integration and cybersecurity. You need to protect every detail of yours!
Why do Free SSL certificates matter?
The basic reason for such critical security is allowing only the intended recipient to access the information. The information needs to be encrypted because it passes from one computer to another to get to its destination of the final server! If such high-security encryption is not provided your credit card numbers or usernames or passwords may be trespassed by any computer in between.
Thanks to the free SSL certificates because they enhance their encryption feature for literally every website owner. The free SSL certificate makes it impossible for everyone to read the personal information except the recipient server we intend to send the message to. Hackers and identity thieves have no chances of attacking our personal data.
The free SSL certificates not only provide encryption but also authentication. This makes us sure we are sending our information to the right server. No hacker in between is able to contact our delicate information. Hackers are a threat because it’s the internet’s nature to send delicate information via so many computers.
Hackers are like these intermediate computers and any one of them might trick us that they are the right server. Users get to be fooled and send their private sensitive information to them. So the problem can only be solved only when you issue a free SSL certificate from a trusted Free SSL certificate provider.
This is the reason why Free SSL providers have become so important. These trusted Free SSL providers issue the SSL certificate to a verified company. The verified company should also have undergone multiple identity checks.
However, to issue a free SSL certificate you just need to know whether the free SSL provider is trusted. Simply use the SSL Wizard. It compares all the SSL providers that are there in the web browsers.
Also, you need to check whether the free SSL providers are under the WebTrust.
It’s the Web Browsers that will give you various visual cues. The visual cues are like icons or green bars. Visitors, whenever you see a site having this icon, remember that they have been authenticated with the free SSL certificates. You can trust that website and prefer buying things from there. The free SSL providers also provide a trust seal and that’s for enhancing the trust of the visitors even more.
The Free SSL certified websites have the HTTPS protocol embedded in them. It protects against all kinds of phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks are carried out by a cybercriminal and it’s sent to you in the form of an email to impersonate your information on your site. The email kinda contains a link to their own site. There might even be a man in the middle attack and he intends to use your domain name.
They are at a disadvantage then because Free SSL providers don’t grant them a free SSL certificate easily. So after reading all this, you will be able to save yourself from a phishing attack because you would locate the green address bar and will never get it!
What are the forms of free SSL website certificates?
Free SSL certificates usually come in the form of self-signed SSL certificates. In fact, most organizations use this kind of self-signed SSL certificate. These certificates are however not issued and verified by a CA. Thats because they are free.CA issued certificates require some amount of charges. But self designed certificates can be dangerous indeed.
They do encrypt customer’s login and personal information. Now, as the certificates were not by a CA, most web servers are prompted to view warning messages. Alerts in this way cause a loss because visitors are warned against browsing the page.
Thus the security warnings which come because of the issuance of Self Signed Certificates drive a sense of fear in the clients. They fear that the website will not keep their credit card numbers in security. Thus huge damage to reputation is caused to the brand.
Self-signed certificates are at risk of using even in the internal sites such as employee portals. Still, browser earnings are displayed.
The organizations only think of their benefit because they advise the visitors to ignore the warnings assuring them the site is safe. However, it might sometimes prove to be an encouragement of dangerous public browsing.
It’s better not to follow such a system with Employees because they aren’t the habit of ignoring every warning be it internal or public sites. They risk your organization and make it vulnerable to malicious and spam induced mails.
It’s always better to avoid the risk by using free SSL certificates from a trusted CA. If you do this, you are saved from the scary browser security warnings. Both your brand and customer trust enjoy a good reputation. You also encourage safe employee browsing behavior.
What are the Pros and Cons of using SSL certificates for free?
The Pros of Free SSL certificates are
They are free of cost.
They are also extremely easy to install. This is the reason why HTTPS encryption is available to almost every website. Infact most web hosting providers have featured special built-in support. That is by a mere one click the free SSL certificate will be installed in the control panel.
They provide the same kind of security between the web server and the visitors as the non paid ones.
Well, the list of Cons is greater than the list of Pros.
Free SSL certificates can be issued via Domain Validation. The time consumed is less ranging within a few minutes. However, that’s apt for only small websites. For big websites, it’s not safe because they collect personal information about users. So furthermore operations are needed for the validation of their actual organization.
Free SSL certificates have a very short life span. Popular CAs also issues them for about 30 to 90 days only. However, if you get a paid one you will have a span of 1 to 2 years. So it’s a hazard of reissuing the Free SSL certificate so frequently.
The domain validation system of the free SSL certificates downgrades them as they don’t have visual indicators of a well-placed site seal or even the green address bar. Hence Customer’s’ trust cannot be brought easily and it’s indirectly a loss because they aren’t motivated to buy from you. So it’s better to go for paid SSL certificates.
Free SSL certificates are lazy and give less customer service. They are much lesser in worth than paid ones because paid SSL certificates offer customers 24/7/365 technical support
A free SSL certificate does not give you any warranty. There might be instances when damages are faced by CA. If you go for a paid one you get the advantage of being backed to about million dollars. That’s a compensation for your loss if it’s caused due to some fault in the certificate.
Also Read – Free vs Paid SSL Certificate
Which sites act as free SSL service providers?
However, if you are a money conscious site owner and still want a free SSL certificate, Let’s Encrypt is a good option of a free SSL provider. CloudFare also gives free SSL certificates. FreeBSD is another free SSL provider. You can surely issue from these hosting companies if you plan for a startup of totally a nonprofit organization. However to run your nonprofit entity you need to issue the HTTPS protocol.
Still, there are ways of benefiting from the free of cost SSL certificate. Suppose you are an absolutely new website owner it will be advantageous for you to test that website. The Free SSL certificates will prompt you in the process absolutely free of risk. Use this period of time aptly before launching the website.
When to use a free SSL certificate for website?
Also if you are running a non- business small site, the free SSL certificate is for you then. That’s the most affordable way to get your website rid of harmful third parties and hackers.
When should you prefer a paid SSL certificate?
But there are certain organizations which should not go for the non paid ones. They are
– Non-tech savvy site owners
– E-commerce websites
– Government websites
– Enterprise Companies
That’s because a free SSL certificate only provides authentication for the domain that it’s issued for. Paid SSL certificates don’t lack this facility.
They provide higher levels of data validation. Your users are provided with the best-verified details about the domain, company, and organization they are trusting. This kind of business authentication is available only from commercial CAs.
They are time-consuming because they are dependent on various resources, unlike the free SSL certificates which are simply not. Free CAs do lack support apparatus. In the case of a paid SSL certificate, you are backed up with 24/7 support. If anything crucial happens to the free SSL, we would be landed up in a position of crowdsourcing. There will be no option left for us other than posting hell questions in the forum.
The paid SSL certificates are highly server compatible. You can install it on a shared, VPS or dedicated server. There is no end of setting up the process regardless of whether it’s planned or non-planned. Also due to its long validity of one to two years, the business can run smoothly without having to waste time renewing the free SSL certificates so frequently.