Everything you need to know about Free SSL vs Paid SSL

free ssl vs paid ssl
Expert Contributor Anuj Sharma

Reputed web hosting companies are bundling a free SSL certificate in the package for the new customers. You can name any major company such as NameCheap, YouStable, BlueHost, InterServer, and others are offering a free SSL certificate in the shared web hosting.

Pay attention to other packages as well, and you can find a paid SSL certificate as well, then why would a company avail a free version in a package?

I am going to bust the myths and explain the differences between Free SSL vs Paid SSL certificate. By the end of the article, the readers will be able to make a final decision to add a Free SSL vs Paid SSL certificate available in the package.

What is an SSL Certificate?

free ssl vs paid ssl

I can name a lot of beginners reading this article right now, and interestingly, they have ZERO knowledge in SSL certificate and its importance.

The communication between the website server and browser renders a website on your screen. Let us assume that you are shopping online, and the site does not have an SSL certificate. Assuming that the customer is using Credit Card details to make a purchase, and then he/she has to input Full name, Credit Card number, Expiry date, and CVV.

The browser transfers the Credit Card details to the website server. In the meantime, there is third-party eavesdropping in the conversation, and the privacy invader will steal the Credit Card number. Even a small-time hacker can steal information using basic hacking tools.

In such cases, we need an SSL Certificate, which is a simple solution, but it is an effective security layer.

SSL Security full form is the Secure Sockets Layer, which is advanced encryption. The website server & browser conversation will be encrypted by the SSL certificate, which is not possible to decrypt.

The industry standard security layer creates advanced encryption that keeps customers/visitors/data away from Hackers, Privacy invaders, and Trackers as well.

Difference between free SSL vs Paid SSL

1. Free SSL Certificate

Explaining the differences between a free version and a paid version can be achieved through the PROS & CONS. Let’s Encrypt is the worlds biggest free SSL certificate provider. Talking about the advantages & disadvantages might not conclude the solution. I am going, beginning with, the PROS, and then we will move to the CONS.

PROS:

  1. Free SSL Certificate is an ideal choice for small websites, blogs, and portals. Let us assume that you are running a website, where you collect email and name, and then free SSL protection is enough.
  2. Google search engine is considering SSL Certificate as a ranking factor. Unprotected websites might get discouraged from first-page, which is a major hit for business and blogs. An administrator cannot allow the website to take such a blow from search engines. The free SSL certificate solution does assist the consumers/readers/clients to protect their data.
  3. The customers don’t have to pay an additional price for the service. NameCheap free SSL comes in the shared web hosting package, but after one-year, the customers have to pay an additional $12 or more for renewal. However, InterServer, YouStable, BlueHost, and others don’t charge a single penny.
  4. There is no expiry date in free packages, and they continue to support the customers until or unless the account itself moved or canceled.

The above four reasons are enough to conclude that the Free SSL Certificate is worth something. Do not conclude because you have to read the CONS as well. I am going to reveal something that no web hosting company tells the customers.

CONS:

  1. In general, the protection is not enough for website niches such as e-commerce. If customers are inputting Credit card details, Debit card details, and important personal information on the website, then basic protection is not enough.
  2. Free SSL Certificate is basic protection, so the level of encryption is not advanced as a paid version. The premium protection level is advanced, while the free version does not stand a chance against PRO Hackers.
  3. In general, the validity of a free SSL certificate does not exceed more than three months.
  4. There is no warranty covered in free SSL certificate.

Overall speaking, there is no quality control or customer support exists for the free version. No company can invest a lot of capital in customer support service for a free SSL certificate.

2. Paid SSL Certificate

New customers can exceed expectations from the premium product. I want to clarify that a premium SSL certificate comes in different pricing because the cost increases the number of domains protection. There are valuable packages for multi-domain, sub-domains, and others, so make sure to double-check before making the purchase.

Keep in mind that one SSL certificate does not protect multiple domains installed in one web hosting, and it does not support sub-domain as well. Kindly, take a quick look at other Paid SSL certificate packages, which comes a little bit expensive.

PROS:

  1. The maximum validity of a premium SSL certificate is two-years in total. The administrator of the site has to renew the certificate, and it applies to everyone.
  2. Multiple options are available in premium services such as domain validated (DV) and extended validation (EV).
  3. The premium package offers advanced encryption for e-commerce sites and websites with payment options in it. The premium SSL Certificate can protect the data of a customer and website server from getting stolen by Hackers & Privacy invaders.
  4. You must have come across GREEN COLOR recognition, and it is possible in premium SSL certificate only.
  5. Premium SSL Certificates are compatible with any web hosting company + package. You can install a premium version on dedicated hosting, managed hosting, VPS hosting, and any given company.
  6. The Certificate Authority is liable for paying $5,000 to $1,500,000. In short, premium SSL certificate issues a warranty as well, which ensures damages protection.

CONS:

  1. There is only ONE CON with a paid SSL certificate, and it is called PRICING.

The single domain owner may not have to suffer from buying a premium certificate, but the multi-domain packages will rip customers off. The packages are on the expensive side, and it isn’t an easier option for a common person to afford it.

Conclusion

Professional hackers & privacy invaders do not attack a basic website, business website, and small blogs because visitors do not input Credit Card & Debit Card information. Premium SSL Certificate is a necessity for an e-commerce site and websites with payment option.

Know this GoogieHost Writer 😂

Anuj Sharma

Social Media expert and Content manager at the Free cPanel Hosting Provider GoogieHost team to help strategize and execute promotional materials, product launches, and social media contests, often through Promoted Posts and Tweets.

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