The Top 5 Best Free SSL Certificates
- Hostrs— Best Free and Paid SSL Certificates
- Wix— Best Website Builder with a Free SSL Certificate
- Let’s Encrypt— Most Popular Free SSL
- SSL For Free— Best For Free 90-Day Certificates
- GoGetSSL— Best Free SSL For Fast Verification
There are dozens of ways to get an SSL certificate online—some free and some paid. After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed down the top six free SSL certificates available on the web today.
Hostrs – Best Free and Paid SSL Certificates
In the fast-evolving digital landscape, online security is of paramount importance. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates play a vital role in securing data transmission between a user’s browser and the server. They not only encrypt the data but also establish trust and credibility for your website. Hostrs, a prominent web hosting company, understands the significance of SSL certificates and offers a range of both free and paid SSL certificate options. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of SSL certificates, explore their importance, and highlight the top SSL certificate solutions provided by Hostrs.
Understanding SSL Certificates
SSL certificates are cryptographic protocols that provide a secure connection between a user’s web browser and a server. When a website has an SSL certificate installed, the data exchanged between the user and the website is encrypted and secure. This encryption helps protect sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card details, and other personal data from potential cyber threats.
Importance of SSL Certificates
1. Data Encryption:
SSL certificates encrypt the data exchanged between a user and a website, making it extremely difficult for malicious entities to intercept and decipher the information.
2. Trust and Credibility:
Websites with SSL certificates display a padlock icon in the address bar, indicating a secure connection. This builds trust among visitors, assuring them that their data is safe on your website.
3. Improved SEO Rankings:
Search engines like Google prioritize websites with SSL certificates, considering them more secure. Having an SSL certificate can positively impact your website’s search engine rankings.
4. Compliance with Regulations:
Many regulatory requirements and industry standards mandate the use of SSL certificates to ensure the security and privacy of users’ data.
Hostrs SSL Certificates: A Range of Options
Hostrs offers a variety of SSL certificate options to cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a free SSL certificate or a premium one with advanced features, Hostrs has you covered.
1. Let’s Encrypt SSL (Free):
Let’s Encrypt is a widely recognized and trusted certificate authority that offers free SSL certificates. Hostrs integrates seamlessly with Let’s Encrypt, allowing you to secure your website at no cost. This option is ideal for individuals and small businesses looking for a budget-friendly SSL solution.
2. Domain Validation (DV) SSL:
Hostrs provides affordable DV SSL certificates, which offer basic encryption and are verified based on domain ownership. These certificates are suitable for personal websites, blogs, or small online stores.
3. Organization Validation (OV) SSL:
For businesses seeking a higher level of trust and credibility, Hostrs offers OV SSL certificates. These certificates validate not only domain ownership but also certain organizational details, providing a higher level of assurance to website visitors.
4. Extended Validation (EV) SSL:
Hostrs offers EV SSL certificates, the most premium option. EV SSL certificates involve a thorough validation process, verifying the legal, physical, and operational existence of the organization. Websites with EV SSL certificates display the organization’s name in the address bar, instilling maximum trust in visitors.
5. Wildcard SSL Certificates:
If you have multiple subdomains under a single domain, Hostrs provides wildcard SSL certificates. These certificates secure the main domain and all its subdomains, offering convenience and cost-effectiveness.
How to Choose the Right SSL Certificate
Selecting the right SSL certificate for your website depends on your specific requirements. Consider the following factors:
1. Website Type:
Determine if you need a basic DV SSL certificate for a personal blog, an OV SSL certificate for a business website, or an EV SSL certificate for e-commerce or critical applications.
Evaluate your budget and choose an SSL certificate that aligns with your financial constraints. Hostrs offers a range of options to suit various budgets.
3. Level of Assurance:
Depending on the level of trust and credibility you want to establish with your audience, choose between DV, OV, and EV SSL certificates.
4. Subdomain Needs:
If you have multiple subdomains, consider a wildcard SSL certificate for comprehensive coverage.
Wix – Best Website Builder with a Free SSL Certificate
If you’re creating a new website from scratch, Wix is arguably the best website builder available on the market today. The platform makes it easy for anyone to build a site without any coding or design knowledge.
Just choose a template and use the drag-and-drop builder to customize your site, all from an intuitive web-based interface.
Every Wix plan comes with a free SSL certificate. So, you can rest easy knowing your site is secure without having to go through any extra steps.
Additionally, Wix has other security protocols built-in to its plans, including:
- Level 1 PCI compliance
- ISO 27001, 27701, 27017 & 27018 certificates
- SOC 2 Type 2
- 24/7 site security monitoring
- DDoS protection
- TLS 1.3
- 2-step verification
- GDPR, CCPA, and LGPD compliance
For an all-in-one solution to building your website and getting a free SSL certificate, look no further than Wix.
Let’s Encrypt – Most Popular Free SSL
Let’s Encrypt has become a name that’s synonymous with SSL certificates. As a nonprofit certificate authority (CA), Let’s Encrypt has provided SSL certificates to more than 225 million sites and counting.
One unique standout of Let’s Encrypt compared to other SSL providers is the fact that it’s a nonprofit organization. The service is run for the public’s benefit and is backed by sponsors like Cisco, Mozilla, Google Chrome, AWS, Shopify, Fastly, Facebook, and other industry leaders.
Anyone with a domain name can get a Let’s Encrypt SSL for free.
Let’s Encrypt was founded on the concept of creating an internet experience that’s private and secure. They want people to install free SSLs in a way that’s as user-friendly as possible.
Another reason why we recommend Let’s Encrypt is because of its versatility. You can install a Let’s Encrypt SSL using SSH access from your web host or through control panels like cPanel, Plesk, and WordPress.
Let’s Encrypt recommends installing your SSL with built-in support from your web hosting provider. If your hosting provider does not offer Let’s Encrypt support, there are clear instructions that you can follow online to install it manually.
Transparency is another key component of Let’s Encrypt. Every certificate issued or revoked by Let’s Encrypt becomes a public record, and it’s available online for anyone to view. Let’s Encrypt uses advanced security best practices on the certificate authority side and ensures that website operators can secure their servers properly.
If you’re searching for a free SSL certificate, Let’s Encrypt should be one of the first places to start.
SSL For Free – Best For Free 90-Day Certificates
As the name implies, SSL For Free is another way to get SSL for your website at zero cost.
Getting started is really simple and straightforward. SSL For Free issues certificates in less than one minute. The platform supports single domains, multiple domains, wildcard SSLs, and more.
Over three million SSL certificates have been created for free from this provider. There are dozens of free tutorials on the SSL For Free website with instructions about SSL verification and installation, depending on your server’s setup.
Unlike some of the other SSL providers on the web, SSL For Free truly lives up to its name and offers free SSLs with no strings attached.
Anyone can quickly create an SSL using any modern web browser. SSL For Free uses the Web Cryptography API and generates a private key to create the certificate.
You can use SSL For Free to generate 90-day certificates. But you’ll have to keep renewing the certificate manually. That’s the only catch and one of the reasons why the service is free. Fortunately, the process is so easy that the extra couple of minutes every three months isn’t bad. The hardest part is just reminding yourself to take care of it.
GoGetSSL – Best Free SSL For Fast Verification
GoGetSSL is another highly trusted name in the world of SSL certificates. It’s trusted by over 81,500 customers in more than 220 countries worldwide.
If you want to get a free SSL quickly, GoGetSSL should be a top consideration. You can use this provider for a domain validation (DV) SSL certificate without filing any paperwork or waiting on a callback from someone to verify the details. GoGetSSL’s automated system issues SSLs in less than five minutes.
In addition to domain validated SSLs, GoGetSSL offers business validation (BV) SSL certificates, extended validation (EV) SSL certificates, and wildcard SSL certificates. The BV SSLs are typically validated and issued within two to four days. EV SSLs are issued within two to seven days.
Technically speaking, GoGetSSL is not 100% free. But you can try it free for 90 days, which is long for a free trial. Beyond that, GoGetSSL offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unsatisfied for any reason, you can get a full refund for your SSL purchase.
GoGetSSL also offers a price-match guarantee. So if you can find a cheaper SSL from another provider, just contact their team to get the best possible price.
For those of you who are new to SSLs and how they work, the security experts at GoGetSSL have an awesome resource and detailed comparison tool to help you compare the different SSL certificates available. The resource is 100% free, which is super helpful as you’re shopping around and comparing your options.
How to Find the Best Free SSL Certificate For You
With so many different SSL certificates available on the web, finding the right one for you and your website can feel like a tall task. Here’s the methodology that I used to pick the winners listed and reviewed above. These factors will help you narrow down the best free SSL certificate for your unique situation.
Type of SSL Certificate
Generally speaking, SSL certificates fall into one of three categories:
- Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
- Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
- Extended Validation (EV) Certificates
DV certificates are the quickest type of SSL validation available. You don’t need many documents to apply for one. This is the lowest level of encryption, and it’s generally reserved for internal projects, as opposed to the open web. But some sites that don’t need strict encryption can get away with a DV SSL.
OV certificates fall into the medium-range for encryption. The certificates are issued after multiple steps are taken by the certificate authority to verify who owns the domain and ensures the organization operates legally. OVs can take an extra day or two to get issued, but they offer a higher encryption level than DVs.
An EV SSL certificate is best for sites that need a high standard for security. This is for you if you’re collecting sensitive visitor data or credit card information for online transactions.
Beyond these certificate types, every SSL certificate will fall into another category—single-domain or wildcard. Single-domain SSLs are cheaper because they are used to protect a single website. Wildcards are a bit more expensive because they help protect multiple subdomains.
Ease of Implementation
Once purchased, the SSL certificate isn’t automatically installed on your website. Some additional steps need to be taken.
Look for detailed instructions for getting started. You should have an in-depth explanation of the procedure for getting the SSL validated by the certificate authority and getting it installed. The steps required and length of time to implement the SSL will vary from provider to provider.
If you’re not too tech-savvy, it’s probably in your best interest to go with an option that involves the least amount of manual work on your end.
Encryption Strength and Warranties
Standard SSL certificates typically offer 128/256-bit encryption. But the actual encryption strength will actually depend on other factors, such as the end-users and the processing power of your servers. For example, a 256-bit encryption strength only refers to the certificate’s capability, not necessarily the encryption’s actual strength.
It’s common for SSL certificates to come with warranties if there’s an issue due to a mistake by the certificate authority. Low-end warranties might cover up to $10,000 in damages. High-end SSLs could cover up to $1.5+ million in damages.
The warranty is actually in place to protect site visitors, not the website itself. If a CA issues a certificate to a fraudulent site, users could potentially take legal action against the certificate issuer and website. That’s where the warranty comes into play.
With any free product or service, you should always be asking yourself, “What’s the catch?”
Not every free SSL certificate comes without strings attached. In some cases, you can only get a free SSL certificate at the most basic encryption level, which won’t be enough for certain websites. Furthermore, many free SSLs are only issued as 90-day certificates. So you’ll have to keep renewing them every few months.
Some service providers offer free SSLs when you purchase another related product or service. For example, you can get a free SSL from a website builder or web hosting company. Technically, you’ll still be paying something, but the SSL itself is free.
The Top Free SSL Certificates Summary
To get a hostrs.com ssl for free, you’ll need to sign up for another qualifying service and choose the right package. Wix is a DIY website builder that offers a free SSL certificate with every plan. If you want to get a free SSL directly from your hosting provider, go with Bluehost.
We recommeded you to go with hostrs