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SSL Certificates

How to choose one?

     
6:48 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm helping a friend out with his website while his webmaster is on maternity leave. While she's gone, the SSL certificate will run out and we're getting tons of offers for cheaper ones. We're paying $150 now through Geotrust, but it would be really heplful if we could find something cheaper without compromising customer security.

I've never dealt with SSL certificates before. How do I know what makes a company good or bad? What would I look for? Do you have any recommendations for anything cheaper than what we've got now, or should we just stick with Geotrust?

7:09 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I like and have used the GeoTrust QuickSSL certificates. You can get them for $49 (best price I have found) at ev1servers.net.

When you purchase from them and it's time to renew you will receive a code and you use it at Geotrust it will renew at the discounted price.

8:37 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Do you have to have your site on their servers? How can they sell them so cheap while Geotrust is charging 3x more?
9:47 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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No - you do not have to have your site on their servers. All you need is the ability to create the CSR from the server.

One reason they sell them cheaper - is because they are a reseller. A lot of companies offer their products at a higher price and then have resellers sell them at a lower price. or they also buy in bulk.

-Corey

10:21 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The biggest concern in using a non-mainstream SSL certificate is how widely distributed the "root" certificate is - if your customer's browser doesn't know about the root certificate from Bubba's Fishing Bait and SSL Certificate Emporium, the browser will bark every time you try to switch to HTTPS.

But with that said, most SSL certificates are rooted in one of the bigger names - GeoTrust, etc. - so it's not much to worry about, but definitely worth asking.

I did have a problem with (of all things) the very *first* customer on our web site when we went live - she was using WebTV and it didn't know about the root certificate and wouldn't let her go to the check out secure page. It put me into quite a panic, being the first real customer and all, after I had spent so much time testing and verifying that everything was working. Eventually I learned that the issue was known about by the WebTV folks and they had been promising a fix for quite a while but never delivered. I haven't had another customer who used WebTV so don't know if it ever got fixed or not.

10:22 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Corey is correct. I had purchased directly from GeoTrust in the past (you actually do anyways as that's who you will correspond with and get your certificate through)and was tipped off to RackShack/EV1 a couple years ago and have purchased through them since.

Never had a problem with GeoTrust Certificates reguardless of the browser.

11:37 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Any experience with GoDady
runs for about $50 for 2 years
seems quite cheap

I think I will get a new one from Comodo, but it costs about $150

regards

Henry

12:28 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>> The biggest concern in using a non-mainstream SSL certificate is how widely distributed the "root" certificate is

I believe that this issue will be come increasingly important in the future as shoppers become more web savvy. A recognizable brand name SSL will be a sign of sophistication and security while the 'Bubba' variety will be looked upon as 2nd rate and will lead to loss of sales because it's not well known.

12:42 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Might become a factor
but we are not there yet

I do not know if even a small population fraction knows what Verisign is?

what really matters is the padlock, the lock brings mind peace!
I believe that if a certif has been around for a while most major stream browsers won't have any sort of problem.

Regards

Henry