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Free SSL Vs Paid SSL Certificate: Which is Best for You?

You must obtain or renew an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) connection for your site. Should you pay for it or save some bucks by getting a free SSL certificate?

SSL certificate classified into two types. One is a Self-signed certificate, which is not signed by any Certificate Authority (CA) and another is SSL certificate issued & signed by trusted Certificate Authorities (CA).

If you have been looking for Paid SSL Certificates; then you can find varieties of trusted SSL brands like Comodo, GeoTrust, RapidSSL, GlobalSign, Thawte & Digicert. Both Free and Paid SSL certificate provides an equivalent level of cryptography such as 256-bit certificate encryption and 2048-bit key encryption for the protection of online data transmission between a web server and user’s web client.

Difference Between Free SSL Certificate and Paid SSL:

Difference Free and Paid SSL

Free SSL certificate is perfect for those; who are looking to validate domain name and deploy HTTPS connection on their single domain and multiple subdomains. Once a free SSL installed on a website; a user can see HTTPS and the green padlock icon in the browser address bar.

If you want to establish an instant HTTPS connection in your website for free, then free SSL certificate is the best option. However, you might miss out some features comes with Paid SSL such as Longer certificate validity periods, Warranty in case certificate mis-issuance and visitor assurance about security and privacy. The reason is, there is no Organization Validation (OV) or Extended Validation (EV) carried out in free SSL issuance. Free SSL certificate available in domain validation method only.

Certificate Validity Period

When we talk about Certificate Validation Period, Free SSL Certificate comes with short validation period compare to paid SSL. Generally, Free SSL certificate valid for only 30 to 60 days, while Paid SSL Certificate comes with 1 to 2 years validity period option.

Warranty for Liability Protection

Warranty in SSL refers to the end user’s liability protection during data transmission over HTTPS connection. You will not get any warranty cover with free SSL in case anything goes wrong from CA’s end. Paid SSL Certificate Authority provides a warranty against financial loses, during transmission of information or certificate mi-issuance. CA warranty varies ranges in between $10,000 to as high as $175,000.

Website Security Seals to Increase Customer Trust

Free SSL doesn’t come with secure site seal. Whereas, Dynamic & static secure site seals available with paid SSL certificate issued by trusted certificate authorities such as Comodo, RapidSSL, GeoTrust, GlobalSign, Thawte and more to indicate website security and trustworthiness. A visitor can click on Dynamic or static secure site seal placed on a site to verify site’s information. Hence, website security seals play a significant role in increasing visitors’ trust and website’s credibility, which drives more conversion for online business.

CA Secure Site Seals

Trust Visual Indicators

Free SSL generally provides limited trust visual signs like HTTPS next to the site URL & Green Padlock icon in the address bar of web browser only. While Paid SSL Certificate indicates HTTPS, Green Padlock icon, and site seal. Let’s see an example of DV SSL trust indicators in the browser:

Example of DV SSL

Some Paid SSL like Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate displays a company name in the browser address bar and dynamic site seal. Because, Certificate Authority validates company’s ownership, its location and legal existence through a strict validation process to issue an extended validation certificate within seven working days. Let’s see an example of EV SSL trust indicators in the browser:

EV SSL Example

Which SSL is Best for E-commerce Site?

The ecommerce industry relies on customer trust as a pillar for growth. Trust created when the security measures provided by the enterprise is easily recognized and understood by the end users. Free SSL doesn’t come with visible site security seals as well as the company name is not displayed in browser address bar because of in-depth verification of organization is not carried out by any Certificate Authority. Certificate Authority (CA) issues paid SSL certificates through Organization Validation (OV) or Extended Validation (EV) method option as well. So, Visitor or customer feel safe & secure for submitting payment information in the e-commerce store.

How Paid SSL certificates Prove to be Worthy of Every Penny?

Premium SSL certificates are suited for every size of online business with round the clock technical support team. We at Cheap SSL Shop, are the authorized reseller of leading Certificate Authorities like Comodo, RapidSSL, GeoTrust, Thawte, GlobalSign, and Digicert. Cheap SSL Shop is a well-known brand in SSL industry for providing most trusted and wide range of SSL Certificates with up to 85% discount price.

Brand Product Name Type Sale Price Retail Price Details
Comodo Positive SSL DV $5.00/yr. $39.00/yr. Read More
Thawte SSL Web Server OV $60.00/yr. $159.20/yr. Read More
Comodo EV SSL EV $49.00/yr. $199.00/yr. Read More
Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard DV $45.00/yr. $199.00/yr. Read More
Comodo Positive SSL Multi Domain DV $21.60/yr. $119.00/yr. Read More
Comodo Positive SSL Multi-Domain Wildcard DV $120.00/yr. $318.20/yr. Read more
GeoTrust Multi Domain EV EV $279.20/yr. $399.20/yr. Read More

Further, if you are buying the certificate for 5 years together, then you’ll get SSL certificate with discount price.


In today’s hacker-infested digital world, everybody needs a protective layer that will protect them from the Man-in-Middle attacks of the Internet. An SSL certificate is just for that. You can obtain a free SSL certificate with minimal features or go for a full-fledged SSL certificate that comes with all possible benefits. If you want HTTPS connection on a blog or any other site which doesn’t collect information from users or customers, then free SSL certificate is the best option. But, if you are running an online business site that receives any payment information, login credentials, etc. from users, then an Organization Validation or Extended Validation SSL certificate would be recommended.

Paid SSL certificates can bring a broad range of benefits including better conversions for eCommerce stores, higher ranking on search engines and also increase customer trust.

We are the highest rated and preferred SSL Certificate reseller based on our customer feedback. You can select and own your SSL certificate in just a few simple steps.

We hope this post helped you to understand the difference between Free and Paid SSL, which may help you to decide to get an SSL that suits your website.

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