As a site owner user’s security is the priority. Providing better Security helps you in building the trust of your visitors. Your visitors should feel safe while using and interacting with your site. It also improves your SEO & helps you to rank better in search results.
Security is even more essential for transactional-based websites, you should ensure that the sensitive data(like credit cards, etc.) are always transmitted in an encrypted form between the client and the server. In that case, you should improve your website security with SSL/TLS Certificate. This would provide you an extra layer of protection to your site, thereby improving the security of your website.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a standard security protocol for establishing an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser during online communication. Using SSL ensures that all data transmitted between the server and the client are in encrypted form. To use SSL connection in your site you need an SSL Certificate signed by a CA(Certificate Authority).
SSL certificates have a pair of keys: a public and a private key. These keys work together to establish an encrypted connection between the server and the client. The certificate also contains the identity of the certificate/website owner.
What is SSL/TLS Certificate?
SSL or TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificates are files that bind a cryptographic key with the identity of an organization(i.e certificate holder). When an SSL/TLS certificate is installed on a Server, it sets up a secure connection between the Server and the clients(i.e. browser, etc.) that connects to it.
If a website has installed SSL certificate, then the website’s URL will be prefixed with “https” instead of “http” and a Padlock is shown to the left of the address bar. If the website uses an Extended Validation (EV) certificate, then the browser may also show a green address bar.
There are many Certificate Authority(CA) who issue SSL certificates but they are gonna charge you for that. But there are few CA’s who will offer you a free SSL certificate. If you don’t want to spend money on an SSL certificate then, read on to find some ways to get yourself a free SSL certificate.
1. Let’s Encrypt
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open Certificate Authority. It is a collaborative project with the Linux Foundation. It is a certificate authority brought to you by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). It is sponsored by Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook, Internet Society, Chrome etc. which offers SSL Certificate for free.
Let’s Encrypt is automated. All processes like creating CSR and sending it to the CA authority to get it signed all are done automatically. This is accomplished by running a certificate management agent on the web server.
CloudFlare is CDN(Content Delivery Network) & Security Company. Cloudflare makes your website to load faster and make it secure. CloudFlare protects your website form DDos attacks and similar kinds of attacks. They power many popular sites including Discord, Mozilla, Udacity, StackOverflow, etc. They also provide free SSL certificates to their users even under their Free Plan.
Their key features:
- Cloudflare dramatically improves website performance through their global CDN and web optimization features.
- Cloudflare’s WAF, DDoS protection, and SSL defend website owners and their visitors from all types of online threats.
- Cloudflare runs the largest, fastest, and most reliable managed DNS service in the world.
- Cloudflare’s network helps identify visitor and bot behavior that isn’t accessible to conventional analytics technologies.
Moreover, it is very easy to set up.
3. SSL For Free
SSL For Free is supported by Let’s Encrypt CA. They generate certificates using Lets’s Encrypt’s ACME server by using domain validation. It’s 100% free, and the certificates are issued in a few minutes. Their free SSL certificates are trusted by 99.9% of all major browsers. Their website has well-written guides to help you get a free SSL Certificate. They are quick and easy. So, get your free SSL Certificate there.
ZeroSSL project was initially created out of the need for new certificates, the interest to Let’s Encrypt project, and the challenge presented by the lack of Perl client for obtaining Let’s Encrypt certificates. It was founded by Alexander Yezhov. The certificates are really free – forever and they are provided by Let’s Encrypt CA (Certificate Authority). They have pretty good guides explaining how to get their SSL certificate, on their website. Check out their website to find out more about them or to get a free SSL Certificate.
Here’s some more CA’s providing free SSL Certificates but they are only valid for a limited time:
- InstantSSL(Signed by COMODO) – Valid for 90 Days.
- SSL.com – valid for 90 Days.
- GeoTrust – valid for 30 days.
- Global Sign – Free SSL Certificates for Open Source Projects.
- Positive SSL – 30 days trial
Note: Hosting providers also provide free SSL certificates with their various hosting plans. So make sure to check it while buying a hosting plan.
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