Brief: There are multiple Certificate Authorities that you can purchase an SSL certificate from. In this guide, we focus on 10 of the best free and low-cost SSL certificate authorities.
Implementing an SSL certificate on your website is no longer considered a luxury. It not only boosts your website security by encrypting communication exchanged between site visitors and your website, but also improves your site’s SEO ranking. In addition, it helps you in PCI/DSS compliance if you are hosting a platform that accepts payment card data.
1. Let’s Encrypt SSL
Currently sponsored by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), Let’s Encrypt is a hugely popular non-profit Certificate Authority that provides TLS certificates at no cost.
Since it’s free to use, Let’s Encrypt TLS certificates are widely used and are used by over 300 million websites. However, they are only valid for a period of 90 days after which they should be renewed.
Let’s Encrypt provides a decent level of encryption for your website and comes highly recommended for startups and business owners who are working on a tight budget.
Pricing: Totally free with expiry after three months, upon which you must renew. Once again, the renewal is free.
2. SSL For Free
SSL For Free, just like Let’s Encrypt SSL, is yet another non-profit Certificate Authority that provides free and wildcard SSL certificates within a few minutes. It is powered by ZeroSSL and offers free 90-day SSL certificates.
Upon expiry, the certificates can be renewed at absolutely no cost with a validity of up to three months or 90 days. The SSL certificates are widely trusted and work on 99.9% of web browsers. The certificates are free to use for all usages including both personal and commercial purposes.
Pricing: Always free, with a validity of three months upon which they can be renewed at no cost.
3. Basic SSL
Basic SSL is yet another Certificate Authority that offers a free SSL certificate valid for 90 days. The validation process and issuance of the SSL are both quick and seamless.
Basic SSL is 99.9% compatible with many browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
Pricing: Free for 90 days.
Comodo is an industry-leading and longest-standing Certificate Authority that offers Standard DV SSL Certificates.
It offers a 90-day free trial offer for SSL certificates limited to only a single domain. The free SSL certificates provide 128/256-bit encryption and are trusted by 99.9% of websites.
Pricing: Comodo SSL pricing starts at $5.99 per year for a period of 5 years for the cheapest SSL certificate. The pricing goes up with higher and premium assurance certificates.
Founded in 1997, GoDaddy is the world’s largest trusted domain registrar. It offers a comprehensive set of online tools to help users get started with building their websites along with web hosting, and email marketing packages.
GoDaddy EV SSL certificates come with a free Standard SSL to use pending the rigorous vetting process needed for verification purposes.
Pricing: Pricing for SSL certificates starts at £64.99 per year for Domain Validation (DV) certificate, £99.99/per year for Managed DV SSL certificate, and £109.99 for both Organizational Validation (OV) SSL and Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates.
Founded in 2010, Cloudflare is one of the world’s leading CDN (Content Delivery Network) and DDoS mitigation companies. It’s a global network tailored to secure your websites, APIs, and internet applications. It safeguards personal and corporate networks, websites, and devices on the network edge.
Cloudflare provides many products including SSL certificates which are easy to set up. The SSL certificate not only protects your site visitors but also boosts your site’s loading speed leading to a higher SEO ranking.
Pricing: Cloudflare provides a free SSL certificate for personal and non-critical hobby projects with the following breakdown of other SSL plans.
- Pro – for professional websites that aren’t business-critical – $20 per month.
- Business – for small businesses operating online – $200 per month.
- Enterprise – for mission-critical apps – annual billing.
Powered by DigiCert, GeoTrust offers a wide range of SSL certificates including EV, DV, and OV SSL certificates along with an automated domain name validation with each one of them.
The issuance of the certificates is quick and the installation is seamless. The SSL certificates provided are 99.9% compatible with the leading web browser, both mobile and desktop.
Pricing: GeoTrust pricing starts at $149 per year with multi-year subscription durations.
8. Instant SSL
Instant SSL is yet another formidable Certificate Authority that is trusted by over 700,000 businesses. It allows you to secure a Single Domain certificate, wildcard certificate, and multi-domain certificates.
It offers a wide range of certificates including DV (Domain Validation), OV (Organization Validation ), EV (Extended Validation), and UCC OV SSL certificates. SSL certificates are supported across popular web browsers and you get 24/7 support upon purchase among many other options.
Pricing: InstantSSL starts at $78 per year for instantSSL DV certificate and prices go up with organizational and extended validation certificates.
9. GoGet SSL
GoGetSSL is a popular brand that boasts of having over 101,500 customers in more than 180 countries. It offers a myriad of SSL certificates that secure both domains and subdomains.
GoGetSSL provides a 90-day free trial SSL certificate to test its functionality before the actual purchase. It has an automated system that validates domain registration within 5 minutes without any paperwork.
In addition, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee with each SSL certificate purchase.
Pricing: Pricing varies according to the type of SSL certificate ordered, here is a simple breakdown:
- Domain – $14.21 per year (issued within 5 minutes).
- Business – $30.36 per year (issued within 2-4 days).
- Extended – $74.97 per year (issued within 2-7 days).
- Wildcard SSL – $72.00 per year (issued within 5 minutes).
10. BuyPass GO SSL
BuyPass Go SSL from BuyPass CA, which is a Norwegian provider of secure and user-friendly ID and payment solutions, and Norway’s only issuer of internationally approved SSL certificates.
BuyPass provides Go SSL certificates that are based on ACME (Automated Certificate Management Environment) protocol – a protocol that automates the issuance and renewal of SSL certificates.
BuyPass Go SSL certificates are Domain Validated (DV) Certificates that are absolutely free. The certificates are valid for 180 days (approximately 6 months) and automatically renew without any user interaction. The SSL certificate is trusted by all major browsers.
HubSpot is a complete CRM Platform that provides you with all the tools you need to build a powerful site and grow your audience, accelerate sales, and even streamline customer service.
If your website is hosted on HubSpot’s CRM, you can rest assured of getting a Free Standard SSL certificate which automatically renews 30 days before expiry.
That was a rundown of the 11 best free and low-cost SSL certificate authorities. Have we missed out on any you think should be on the list? Do let us know.