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SSL certificate provider

Hello,

I'm trying to set up Https for my e-commerce site on webfaction hosting.

Was trying to buy SSL certificate from godaddy.com which has my new domain, however, I see different plans and pricing and not sure which one to buy. I see it offering from Standard to Premium ( $50 - $100 ) and verisign offering from $399 - $1499(EV). They say more expensive one is more secure, so I'm little confused about the price difference. Does which SSL certificate I get really matter? if so, then what is a suitable SSL certificate for small to medium sized e-commerce site?

Can I purchase SSL from any place? (verisign, godaddy, any hosting company that offers it?) and just implement it on my server?

Thank you. Dave

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 26 '11 at 0:24

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by John Conde Jan 26 '11 at 0:40

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2 Answers

The different 'levels' of SSL cert offer different things.

A basic SSL cert (the cheapest from GoDaddy) simply gives you a key that enables you to encrypt the data between your server and your users. These can be issued immediately because they aren't offering any guarantee of identity, just the ability to encrypt traffic.

The most expensive (EVL) certs carry a guarantee about identity, that you are a bona fide company that has been checked out by Verisign etc. Applying for these requires the issuer to verify that you exist which can take a couple of weeks.

There are other levels in between these, and prices for similar products from different vendors vary.

The 'padlock' shown in web browsers also varies for each product, eg. in Firefox a basic cert is blue and the site 'unverified', but for a EVL certificate, it is Green and states the company name and country of operation.

EVL certificates seem to be used less widely by major online services than you might expect, suggesting that a basic encrypted link is sufficient for most users.

You can buy your cert from any vendor. When you install it, you may also need to install a chain of other certificates that link your chain to the vendor and all the intermediaries who have also signed the certs. Sometimes these are preinstalled but it depends how you sourced your server.

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If all you really want is encryption, with basic domain based identity checks, there's always the FREE StartSSL certificates. There's absolutely nothing wrong with these, I have used them before.

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