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Is there any reason to buy an SSL certificate directly from the host (for $49, for example), instead of through a well-known reseller, for only $10.95?

Specifically in my case, I just need to encrypt user data as they fill out forms. Nothing too critical, only usernames and passwords. I don't think my users actually care about the brand name or "trust" level behind the certificate, I'm just looking out for them.

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If the reseller offers the same SSL certificate as the certificate authority, there's no difference to users - it will display the CA in the certificate information. –  dan Mar 3 at 21:17
    
Are you suggesting that the $49 and $10.95 certificates are the same? –  w3d Mar 3 at 21:58
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@dan Thanks, that's the main thing I was looking for. –  andrewtweber Mar 3 at 22:01
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@w3d if you're talking to me, that is at least what the reseller is claiming. I went ahead and bought it and the verification procedure seemed to go exactly the same as when I had bought the certificate directly in the past. –  andrewtweber Mar 3 at 22:01

2 Answers 2

The certificates game has changed and admittedly I have not kept up. I do know that there are companies providing certificates that are less than trustworthy. Certificates are evaluated and part of that is the reputation of the issuer. It is possible that a certificate is rejected because the issuer is not trusted. If you feel confident about the certificate provider, then I would go with that. If you are not sure, then I would shop around for an issuer with a good reputation. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable issuer to avoid issues down the road. The cost of a certificate should be minimal as far as I know.

I cannot see why a hosting company would not be competitive on it's price. I know some less than honest hosts provide hosting for free or cheap and jack up the prices for additional services. Having been in that business before, I know there were a lot of games played to lock a customer into continuing with the service and paying the higher price in order not to feel the pain of switching. Quality hosts do not do these things. Certificates are just a small part of the process and should not be so expensive. If your host fits into the category I described above, it may be better to just switch hosts. I know some offer incentives which have included HTTPS support and free certificates. I used to be a certificate authority along with my web hosting and I never charged for a certificate for any of my customer sites. It cost me nothing to provide the service and only took a click of a button to provide the certificate. In fact, it was a beneficial feature to be a recognized authority with a good reputation. It was a win win. Shop around. You may find a good deal.

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Who you buy your SSL certificates from is up to you to a point.

Make sure you check with your hosting company about installation or add-on costs. The price may differ for third party certificates or not include such things as dedicated IP address (only for shared hosting sites). Also check the details (like bit level, etc.) on what you really get and who you are really buying from.

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