Free EV SSL Certificate – Is It Possible?

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Why extended validation is not something that comes cheap for site security

It’s no secret that people love free things. A complimentary breakfast at a hotel. A free estimate for a service job. A free sample of food at the grocery store. This “I want it free” mindset even spills over into the IT security world with the idea of a free EV SSL. It’s such a popular topic that we already wrote an article on the topic of free SSL certificates vs paid SSL certificates.

This is relevant because there are free SSL certificates on the market today through organizations like Let’s Encrypt and CloudFlare. So, how can you similarly hop aboard the “Free Train” before it pulls out of the station by getting a free EV SSL certificate for your website?

Before we can really speak about getting an EV SSL certificate for free, we first need to quickly cover what it is and how it is used to provide you with some perspective on the topic.

What is an EV SSL Certificate?

An extended validation SSL certificate – or what is frequently referred to as EV SSL certificate — is the crème de la crème of SSL certificates concerning validation. It’s the motherlode. The whole kit and kaboodle. Everything you’re looking for in one cost-effective certificate.

The Advantages of Extended Validation SSL Certificates

What are the benefits of extended validation? Here are just some of the advantages of using an EV SSL certificate:

  • The validation process requires an extensive verification of your site and organization, which can help reduce website-based phishing attacks;
  • It facilitates 256-bit encryption and 2048-bit signatures for identification and authentication;
  • It provides a higher level of assurance to your site visitors and customers;
  • It demonstrates your commitment to security, differentiating your site and business from competitors;
  • Your site can capitalize on the padlock security indicator in your browser’s address bar;
  • Your organization’s name will be verified next to the padlock and next to the URL in the same address bar;
  • Issuance from a trusted certificate authority of your choice; and
  • Your organization and customers will be protected with warranties of up to $2 million (depending on the individual certificate and issuing certificate authority).

Sounds great, right? You probably want to just jump in and get started…

But where does all of this leave your original question about how the availability of free EV SSL certificates?

Free EV SSL: It Doesn’t Exist

Unfortunately, the initial news isn’t what you want to hear. Alas, it’s simply wishful thinking — and for good reason. There’s a phrase that comes to mind in this scenario: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Free EV SSL just isn’t a thing.

Why Free EV SSL Isn’t Meant to Be

Typically, when people think about free SSL certificates, they are domain validation (DV) SSL certificates. This means that the CA only verifies that the domain belongs to the certificate requester. That’s it. Not much work going on in terms of validation there.

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Which leads us back to the free EV SSL thing. Although you may have an inkling as to why free EV SSL certificates don’t exist based on what you’ve read, we’ll go ahead and spell it out anyway: EV SSL certificates cost too much money in terms of validation to be free. The certificate authorities that are responsible for issuing EV SSL certificates have to spend the time, money, and man hours verifying and validating every business. A standard EV SSL certificate can take up to 5 days for an industry-trusted CA to issue.

As you can imagine, this type of attention to detail doesn’t come cheap.

However, we can tell you what is… buying your commercial EV SSL certificates from!

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Why Choose a Paid EV SSL Certificate

Simply put, a paid EV SSL certificates come with all of the advantages and benefits that we mentioned toward the top of the article. Things like a higher level of assurance for customers, greater security, issuance by a trusted certificate authority, and substantial warranties.

So put free EV SSL certificates out of your mind and take advantage of the cost-effective solutions we have to offer.