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Creating a secure website is critical to the success of your business. That’s because without the right safety measures in place, your site is at greater risk of getting hacked. This can lead to a data breach, which might do irreparable harm to your reputation.
Fortunately, you can easily boost your site’s security by getting a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate from a certified authority. This feature enables encrypted communication between your web server and the user’s browser, preventing potential data theft. It also shows users that they can trust your site.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at SSL certificate authorities and why they’re important. Then we’ll look at some of the best SSL certificate providers on the market. Let’s get started!
An introduction to SSL certificate authorities (and why they’re important)
An SSL certificate adds a layer of security between a web server and a web browser. It enables encrypted connections to protect the exchange of data between the server and the user.
Websites with SSL certificates have URLs that start with “https://” (rather than just “http://”). Additionally, you’ll see a padlock symbol next to the URL in your browser:
A padlock in the web address that shows that a site is secure
SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CA). These are organizations that validate ownership details of web servers and bind them to cryptographic keys. They issue a unique digital certificate for each user.
Ultimately, SSL certificate authorities make the internet a safer place. That’s because they facilitate the secure transfer of sensitive data, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
4 best SSL certificate authorities
Now that you know what SSL certificates are, you’re ready to look for a reputable CA that provides them. Some offer free certificates, while others provide a premium service with additional security features. Let’s take a look at some of the best SSL certificate authorities available today.
1. Let’s Encrypt
Let's Encrypt homepage
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority run by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). This organization is funded by some of the biggest names on the web, including Automattic, Chrome, and Mozilla.
It’s important to note that since Let’s Encrypt values transparency, all SSL certificates it issues or revokes are publicly recorded. Additionally, many common hosting providers offer Let’s Encrypt support.
Key features:

  • As many SSL certificates as you want (all for free)
  • Compatible with most major browsers
  • Free and automated renewals

Just because this service is free doesn’t make it less secure than paid alternatives. However, for some, its services may not be comprehensive enough. For instance, there is no warranty available, and Let’s Encrypt doesn’t offer extra features.
2. GoDaddy
GoDaddy's SSL certificate page
You might already be familiar with GoDaddy’s hosting services. However, you may not know that the company also offers SSL Certificates to help protect and secure your website.
With GoDaddy, you can choose from three types of SSL certificates. These include Domain Validation (DV) for personal websites, Organizational Validation (OV) for non e-commerce organizations, and Extended Validation (EV) for e-commerce websites.
Key features:

  • Strong Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) encryption
  • 2048-bit encryption
  • A trust indicator in the address bar
  • Auto-validation and immediate issuance

Additionally, GoDaddy offers a Wildcard SSL certificate to help you protect every page on your website. Furthermore, if you manage multiple domains, you might want to consider getting a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificate.
GoDaddy is one of the most affordable options, with certificates starting at $63.99 per year. This includes 24/7 expert support and additional features.
3. Comodo SSL (formerly Comodo CA)
Comodo SSL homepage
Comodo SSL is one of the leading SSL certificate authorities around. It is trusted by over 700,000 businesses, and offers DV, OV, and EV certification for single and multiple domains. Multi-domain and Wildcard certificates are also available.
Key features:

  • Unlimited server licensing
  • Compatibility with all the leading web and mobile browsers
  • Fast issuance (for DV certificates)
  • SHA-2 and Elliptic-Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption

Comodo is a little pricier than GoDaddy, with DV certificates starting from $78 per year. However, it offers a highly secure service with extra features, such as a trust logo and a certificate warranty.
4. DigiCert
Digicert homepage
If you’re looking for a more advanced solution, DigiCert might be the right choice for you. This company offers three main plans: Basic SSL with flexible encryption, Secure Site SSL with extra safety features, and Secure Site Pro SSL for professional-grade protection.
Key features:

  • Secured domains and subdomains in one certificate
  • Compatible with all major browsers
  • Unlimited server licenses and free reissues
  • Extra features such as blocklist check and a DigiCert Smart Seal (on more advanced plans)

As you might expect, DigiCert is the priciest option on the list. The basic plan starts at $268 per year. However, you get 24/7 customer support 365 days of the year, as well as a comprehensive warranty.
Conclusion
Cyber crime and data breaches are becoming increasingly common. That’s why SSL certificates are a must. They provide a secure connection between web servers and browsers. Fortunately, there are several reputable companies that offer high-quality SSL certificates.
To recap, here are some of the best SSL certificate authorities available:

  1. Let’s Encrypt: It’s a free service with automated renewals and compatibility across all major browsers.
  2. GoDaddy: This first-rate company offers advanced SSL certificates for personal websites and businesses.
  3. Comodo: It’s a certificate authority that provides a selection of SSL certification with top-notch security and a warranty.
  4. DigiCert: This is a powerful solution that comes with additional security features and professional-grade protection.

Do you have any questions about the SSL certificate authorities we reviewed in this post? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.