What is the ideal cost of an SSL certificate? One of the most confusing aspects of buying an SSL (apart from choosing the best type and validation level) is the disparity in price across all the different stores online. While some are cheap as chips, others really would break the bank if your security budget is limited. So, what’s the deal with SSL certificates? Can you afford to scrimp on them, or should you look at them as an investment? Do you get what you pay for?
This article will answer all that and more! Let’s answer the question by starting with the most important point about SSL certificates.
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All SSL certificates are the same
This is what you need to know before fretting about SSL costs. Because no matter where you buy your SSL and how much you pay for it, it’s going to have the same encryption strength as all other modern SSL certificates on the market right now — 256 bits. Without getting too technical, this is the length of the encryption key, and cryptographically speaking, it’s basically impossible to crack by humans and computers alike. Excellent! So no matter what price you’re paying and how much the SSL store talks about their encryption being the strongest, know that it’ll basically be the same as any other SSL out there.
However, that doesn’t mean you should go buying from just any SSL provider.
Choice of CA matters
A CA (or Certificate Authority) is in charge of issuing, revoking, and generally managing SSL certificates. There are a plethora of CAs out there, and not all are created equal. So before you get an SSL, check the issuing CA, and research its reputation. If major search engines and browsers do not trust it, it could end up being a waste of money. If your SSL isn’t trusted, it won’t work in most web browsers, rendering it useless.
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Not all SSL stores are the same
Much like choosing the CA, your choice of SSL store matters too. You want to make sure you choose one that offers a good level of support. SSL installation can be a little confusing, so you want a website that provides you with clear instructional material as well as a support team that will help you out if needs be. Read everything the store offers and also visit review websites to see what customers are saying.
While cost does not impact the quality of an SSL, that doesn’t mean you should buy an SSL from just anywhere. Before you take the plunge, check that the issuing CA is trustworthy and that customers have had good experiences with a particular SSL store.