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SSL Certificate Providers Recommendations

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Editorial regarding SSL Certificate Providers:
In an OurShop.com™ informal poll (by no means a scientific sample) we found that virtually everyone was checking the secure status of their browser when making online purchases, but they were not checking to see who the issuer of the secure certificate was (as long as there was nothing else that would cause a pop up warning message).

This puts into question the value of Verisign's stricter guidelines and their higher pricing. It also makes a much more compelling argument for price shopping as long as the ssl certificate providers are WebTrust Compliant Certification Authorities (such as those listed on this page).

What is
"WebTrust Compliant"?

The following is taken directly from a WebTrust seal.

The WebTrust Program is an international e-commerce trust program developed and managed jointly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

You should question any SSL certificate providers that do not display the WebTrust seal.

Root Certificates
Most of the primary certificate providers own their own root certificate. Baltimore and InstantSSL (comodo) both user the GTE CyberTrust root certificate. This may put some doubt into their certificate stability since they are not in direct control of the root certificate. Businesses handling many secure transactions may want to take this into account when purchasing a secure certificate.


Use our interactive checklist to determine what you need. OurShop Now will step you through the complete process. Use our recommendations or enter your own service providers.

 
Where should I get my SSL Certificate?

The information regarding specific SSL providers that is listed on this page is provided for you to analyze and determine which is right for your business. Because each businesses has its own priorities OurShop.com™ does not make a specific recommendations.
 
We do, however, include which SSL certificate is currently our preference for the majority of our e-commerce customer web site SSL needs.
Though there are a large number of entities selling secure certificates, there are primarily 6 major SSL certificate providers. Whoever you purchase your SSL certificate from will most likely be either one of these 6 or a reseller for one of them. All 6 have 256 bit key encryption.

The primary SSL certificate providers are:

  • Verisign
  • Thawte
  • InstantSSL
  • Entrust
  • Cybertrust
  • Geotrust
  • Go Daddy

The detail below is an overview of each of these providers.

GeoTrust is one of the more competitively priced than the SSL certificate providers listed below and its certificate authority is recognized by most browsers. GeoTrust has a low transaction warranty and they provide their "True Site Seal" with every certificate. We use GeoTrust certificates for all of our secured sites. GeoTrust was purchased by Verisign in 2006.
Geotrust SSL Certificates

Verisign is the oldest of the listed secure SSL certificate providers and currently has the most certificates issued. Their certificates are recognized by virtually all browsers without giving a warning pop up message. Verisign also has the strictest background checking and requirements which may assure a higher degree of confidence from the buying public. With their strict approval guidelines, Verisign offers the best included transaction insurance. On the other hand, many web site owners feel that the function of the certificate is verified encryption and not the stature of their businesses. This and the pricing of Verisign certificates is probably why their market share is rapidly dropping (though they still have a commanding lead and own other provders). The text in the following link is supplied by Verisign.
VeriSign® SSL Certificate offer the strongest SSL. That's a fact.

Thawte was Verisign's first major competitor. Thawte started selling secure certificates in 1996 and was purchased by Verisign in 1999. Verisign kept Thawte's less strict acceptance and lower pricing in order to maintain future market share from less strict competition. On the other hand, Thawte does not offer insurance with their certificates. Thawte certificates are also recognized by virtually all browsers.
Thawte SSL Certificates

Entrust has been working with some of the most highly recognized public key encryption programs since 1994. Their pricing is more competitive than Thawte though Entrust's offers a higher level of included transaction warranty. Entrust's certificates are also recognized by virtually all browsers (except older versions of IE and Netscape)
Entrust SSL

Cybertrust/Baltimore has been working in the secure transaction industry for years and is involved with security for many large transaction producers such as major credit card companies. Their pricing is between Thawte's and Entrust's and their included transaction warranty is better. Like Entrust, Cybertrust's certificates are accepted by all but the older versions of IE and Netscape. Cybertrust was purchased by Verizon in 2007.
Verizon SSL

InstantSSL, by Comodo Corporation, of all of the SSL certificate providers list is much more competitively priced, and it is one of our current provideris of choice. Their certificates are recognized by all but the old Netscape and IE browsers, the certificates can be purchased quickly, and their transaction warranty levels are good. We've found InstantSSL to be quick in processing, competitively priced, and providing good online support.
Instant SSL

Go Daddy SSL Certificates is a newcomer to our ssl recommendation list and will most likely move up as we gain experience. They are the lowest price SSL certificate provider and provide site seals as well as a number of options including multiple domain plans and wild card certificates for securing sub domains. In the case of their Standard SSL, the purchase and issuance of the certificate can be done in minutes. They also offer competitive warranties. Many well known companies are securing their sites with Go Daddy certificates.
20% off Premium SSL Certificates from GoDaddy.com!

 

Most OurShop.com™ contributors are currently getting their customer's SSL certificates through GeoTrust.

NOTE: Since we do not monitor SSL certificate providers on a daily basis, we do not provide pricing and the information provided here may not be current (check the "updated" date at the top of this page). Confirm pricing and features at the SSL Certificate Provider.

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