I'm looking into buying an SSL certificate for my domain. I'm considering buying: https://www.ssl.nu/en/products/regular+ssl/ssl+basic/ which is just a domain validation certificate I think. Will there be a 'green lock' in the addressbar when using the certificate?

https lock

When looking at Google or Mozilla Developer Network I see they don't use an EV certificate. Are those certificates also only domain validated domains?

P.S. I've asked a related question some time ago, but that was more a question of invalid certificate warnings on the client side and doesn't answer this question.


To be clear the screenshot of the green lock is displayed in Chrome browser.

  • 1
    could you be more specific about this 'green lock'. I think that's only in google chrome: firefox and other browsers have no 'green lock'.
    – user6901
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 22:21
  • @Christofian sure I could be more specific. IE (only tested in 9) also has some sort of the same feature (a lock in the addressbar). Not sure about what FF does, but I suspect it does something like that too.
    – PeeHaa
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 22:48

3 Answers 3


ignore above answer

You can get a Green Lock by normal SSL (in Chrome, as your picture)

you probobly won't get a Greeb Bar from a normal SSL

  • 1
    Definitively not a green bar. That's only for EV certificates.
    – PeeHaa
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 15:38
  • because OP only say simple cheap ssl, who knows the EV might become cheaper one day or even free from some issuer, lets hope so
    – Eric Yin
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 15:42
  • 1
    who knows the EV might become cheaper one day Wishful thinking :P It's way too easy to make money this way for them :-)
    – PeeHaa
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:22
  • In which color the lock is displayed, and if it is displayed at all, depends entirely on the browser. The interesting part for the user is, if there is a visible difference between the certificates, and this often is displayed with the colors green or blue (the bar, yes). Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 20:25

Normally the cheaper SSL certificates don't get you a green lock/bar, instead the browser will show a blue one (Firefox will highlight the domain in this color).

They are technically the same (the connection is encrypted), but they are cheaper, because they only have to check the domain. The "green" certificates also require information about the owner and the seller sould check, if this information is correct.

In most cases the cheaper certificate is fine, the user will have no disadvantages and the "green" certificates are really (too) expensive.

Here you can find an example with the "blue" certificate from google: https://accounts.google.com/

  • When I go to the example URL with the "blue" certificate it still shows up green just like the screenshot in my question (Chrome 18).
    – PeeHaa
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 20:17
  • 1
    @PeeHaa - I cannot test it with Chrome at the moment, it's possible that you get a green bar. Every browser (and every version of browser) can decide for itself, how to display the different certificates. Firefox and IE will show the URL above as blue, but Firefox for example has no lock anymore (there was one in earlier versions though). Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 20:33

From the Wikipedia article "Extended Validation Certificate":

An Extended Validation Certificate (EV) is an X.509 public key certificate issued according to a specific set of identity verification criteria. These criteria require extensive verification of the requesting entity's identity by the certificate authority (CA) before a certificate is issued. Certificates issued by a CA under the EV guidelines are not structurally different from other certificates (and hence provide no stronger cryptography than other, cheaper certificates)...

...all CAs globally must follow the same detailed issuance requirements which aim to:

  • Establish the legal identity as well as the operational and physical presence of website owner;
  • Establish that the applicant is the domain name owner or has exclusive control over the domain name; and
  • Confirm the identity and authority of the individuals acting for the website owner, and that documents pertaining to legal obligations are signed by an authorised officer.

The Extended Validation guidelines require participating Certificate Authorities to assign a specific EV identifier... [if] the certificate is verified as current, the SSL certificate receives the enhanced EV display in the browser's user interface. In most implementations, the enhanced display includes:

  • The name of the company or entity that owns the certificate.
  • The name of the SSL Certificate Authority (CA) that issued the EV certificate.
  • A distinctive color, usually green, shown in the address bar to indicate that a valid EV certificate was received.

In 2006, researchers at Stanford University and Microsoft Research conducted a usability study of the EV display in Internet Explorer 7. Their paper concluded that "participants who received no training in browser security features did not notice the extended validation indicator and did not outperform the control group", whereas "participants who were asked to read the Internet Explorer help file were more likely to classify both real and fake sites as legitimate".

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