Articles on: SSL Certificates
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What are the differences between free certificates and paid certificates?

There are two different types of SSL certificates.

Free SSL Certificate
Paid SSL certificate

1. What is a free SSL certificate?

The goal of making an SSL certificate available for free was to make access to HTTPS available to all websites. Free SSL certificates fall into two categories.

-Self-signed certificates are those for which no certification authority needs to sign them. They are signed by their issuer.

-The second type of free SSL certificate available on the market is signed by a Certification Authority (CA).

Regarding the level of encryption, a free SSL certificate offers the same level of encryption as paid certificates.

2. What is a paid SSL certificate?

To equip a website with these certificates, you have to pay for them.

A chargeable certificate is issued and signed by a Certification Authority (CA).

You can get it directly from the CA website or you can buy it from third party entities called "resellers".

Main differences between free SSL and paid SSL?

SSL Certificate Type:

Free SSL certificates are only provided with a Domain Validation (DV) option.

DV certificates are only used to provide a basic level of authentication.

They are generally used for platforms such as small websites and blogs.

Free SSL certificates do not include Organization Validation (OV) certificates or Extended Validation (EV) certificates.

In contrast, paid SSL certificates come with OV and EV options, which are absolutely necessary to protect business websites.

Validation Level:

When it comes to verifying a website owner's business information before issuing a free certificate, the CA does not validate anything other than the identity of the website owner.

While in the case of paid SSL certificates, verification of the identity of the owner of the website is essential before issuing the certificate to the owner of the site and in the case of OV & EV certificates, a thorough verification of the activity. is performed by the certification authority (CA).\
Validity period

Free SSL certificates provided by popular CAs are issued for 30 to 90 days.

Therefore, the website owner must renew the certificate every 30-90 days.

In the case of paid certificates, they can be issued for a period of 1 to 2 years.


Certification Authorities (CAs) and paid certificate resellers are committed to providing 24-hour support to their customers.

They can choose the type of support they want, whether it's a chat, email, or call.

In contrast, free CAs do not provide their clients with such outstanding support because they cannot afford it.

If you need help with a free SSL issue, you'll have to sift through a bunch of old forum posts to find it.

Trust level

As mentioned earlier, free certificates are only for validation at the domain level.

If a person wants to get OV and EV certificates, he / she has no choice but to go for paid SSL certificates.

OV and EV certificates come with visual cues like company name in URL and certificate information, as well as better site seals.

Free SSL certificates do not offer such privileges.


With a free SSL certificate, if something goes wrong on the CA side - like a catastrophic failure of their PKI for example - you are just out of luck.

Paid SSL certificates do not have this problem, as they are covered by guarantees between 10,000 and 1.75 million.\
Is a Wildcard SSL certificate supported?

Yes, an SSL wildcard certificate is supported.

Updated on: 14/02/2023

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