The difference between free and paid SSL certificates

Recently, free Let’s Encryption certificates, cPanel security certificates and other free certificates have been released and but many people do not know the difference between these certificates, which are free of charge and the paid/premium SSL certificates.

Most hosting companies will often offer you a free SSL security certificate when you purchase a web hosting plan, but do you know if this certificate is actually free or it is paid and presented to you free of charge as a gift? What’s the difference between free and premium SSL certificates? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

What are the free SSL security certificates?

Free SSL certificates are certificates issued free of charge through multiple ventures and organizations or through the website owner himself “Self-Signed Certificates”, the purpose of it is to make the Internet safer for users by deploying the use of the https protocol between websites. These certificates are often provided with the same degree of encryption as the premium security certificates.

Premium SSL Certificate

To obtain an SSL certificate for your website, you must pay the cost of this certificate first. The certificate is issued and signed by a trusted international company such as Global Sign, COMODO, etc. You can obtain the certificate through the website providing it directly or through a distributor or intermediate company at a lower cost.

Regarding the level of encryption, free SSL certificates provide the same level of encryption as premium certificates. Now you are about to ask, “Why do I have to pay to buy a certificate while I can get another for free and with the same encryption?” Well, there are some differences between them.

Key differences between free and paid SSL certificates:

1. Type of SSL certificate

Free SSL security certificates are available only for DV (domain authentication only). This type of certificates is used to provide a basic layer of protection and authentication, typically used by blogs and small websites. While other premium SSL certificates have other types such as OV SSL and EV SSL.

2. Compatibility with browsers

Free SSL certificates are not compatible with all browsers. There are many versions of older browsers that do not trust free certificates and therefore do not support their operation, such as browsers on: Windows XP, old Android devices, old BlackBerry devices, and many more.

In fact, you’ll find that most of your visitors use modern desktops or smartphones too, but if you have a small group of visitors using any older devices to access your website, they will have trouble opening it because the browser does not support that free certificate.

Buying  SSL security certificate will help you avoid these problems because it is supported by all popular browsers, whether those browsers are current or outdated.

3. Authentication level

When you use a free SSL certificate, the certificate vendor only validates owner information before it is issued, but if you buy a premium certificate, the certificate vendor verifies more accurate information about the owner and identity of the website, and the OV SSL and EV SSL certificates Check the details of the owner of the website more deeply, his identity, website activity, and sometimes require some special legal papers to verify the website or institution credibility to which the certificate was purchased.

4. Expiry date

The free SSL certificates provided by most popular organizations and initiatives such as Let’s Encrypt are issued for only 30: 90 days, and the website owner must renew them every time when they expire. In the case of premium certificates, they can be issued for longer time, about one to three years.

5. Continuous support

Companies that offer premium SSL certificates are always committed to providing the necessary and fast support for any problem with their certificates, while the only way to get support for free certificates if you have a problem is to look for solutions among millions of pages on the Internet as organizations that offer free security certificates don’t offer any type of technical support.

6. Level of trust

As mentioned above, the provider of free SSL certificates only verifies owner information, unlike Premium ones that verify owner information, identity and may require other activation procedures. Therefore, if users noticed that your website has free SSL certificate, you will lose their trust.


With free SSL certificates, if there is an error that caused a leak for information, you can’t get any compensation by the company from which the security certificate was issued. Unlike the premium SSL certificates, it offers a guarantee and compensation starting from $ 10,000 to $ 1.75 million if there is any attack on the SSL certificate or decryption.


Today SSL certificates are necessary thing not an optional one. Yes, Free certificates are a good choice for some, but as we explained earlier they come with several restrictions and missing features. However, you can rely on it if it’s suitable for your needs as described above. But if you have a business website or have the financial ability to purchase a  premium SSL certificate. You know what you need to do right now, don’t you?

If free SSL certificates are ideal choice for all, you’ll find all the global e-commerce websites use them, but they do not.
Contact us if you want to get a trusted SSL Certificate for the lowest cost and don’t worry about installation as it is free of charge.  🙂