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The users of a forum that I administer have requested that we switch to a https connection. I have never shopped for a SSL certificate before. I did a quick Google search and found a lot of different options, with huge differences in pricing.

Is there a crash course on this topic for someone's who's never done this before? Why is there such a big range on pricing?

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you should consider many factors

  1. Price: Cost of SSL certificate
  2. Application Range : Domain,subdomain or whole site
    1. Warranty: If they provide insurance against data forgery
    2. Acceptance : How many browser accept their certificate
    3. Encryption Strength : 128 Bit or 256 Bit , RSA 1 or RSA 2

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