Diving into the debate of free and paid wildcard SSL certificate providers with ‘Let’s Encrypt SSL vs Wildcard SSL’
The best things in life are free. This might be true for many things, but what if that free thing came with a bunch of hassles and ineffective elements? Would it still be the best? If you really need this “thing,” then the paid version just might be better.
This reminds us of another saying, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the saying, it simply is expressing the idea that it is impossible for a person to get something for nothing. You’re always giving up something. And this surely holds true with free SSL certificates.
What are you giving up by choosing a free SSL certificate provider? Let’s take a look at the whole Let’s Encrypt SSL vs Wildcard SSL certificate provider debate to find out.
Let’s Encrypt SSL vs Wildcard SSL: Who Are the Players?
When you’re talking about free SSL certificate providers, the most commonly known certificate authority (CA) is Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt describes themselves as “a free, automated, and open certificate authority, run for the public’s benefit.” Their mission is to create a more secure and privacy-respecting web for all.
A respectable mission, indeed, but one that does not necessarily promote safety or quality service for all as well.
It’s true that Let’s Encrypt offers a wildcard SSL certificate among other free options. There are plenty of paid wildcard SSL certificates that are reasonably priced to very affordable on the market as well. Many of these paid options are offered by trusted and longstanding brands. Some of the most notable include RapidSSL, GeoTrust and Comodo CA. These brands have been giving websites the ability to offer safe and secure connections for years.
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We have an array of options from some of the most trusted brands in the world. One of our many options include the Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard Certificate, which allows you to encrypt your main domain and an unlimited number of subdomains for the low price of $52.95 per year!
Let’s Encrypt SSL vs Wildcard SSL: The Disadvantages of Free
There is no doubt that free is appealing but as we touched on in the opener, you’re always giving up something. Let’s jump into what that is.
- No Support — Let’s Encrypt and other free SSL options do not offer any customer service or support. Therefore, if you have any issues with installation, management or renewing you have no one to turn to for assistance or guidance in a fairly dense industry.
- No Liability Protection — Another issue with free SSL options is that they don’t offer liability protection. If you have liability protection and you or your customer’s data gets intercepted due to a CA failure, you’ll be financially protected from the damages based on the value of your warranty. Without this, there’s no way to hold Let’s Encrypt liable for any cybersecurity issues.
- Cybercrime — Another issue with free SSL certificates is that cybercriminals are known to use them to trick users into trusting their website to obtain their personal details (known as phishing). Cybercriminals do this because of how easy it is to obtain a free SSL certificate and due to the fact that there is zero financial investment in obtaining one.
- Free Certificates Only Offer Basic Authentication — Piggybacking off the issue of trust, Let’s Encrypt only offers DV SSL certs. DV stands for domain validation. The validation process for obtaining a DV SSL certificate is the least stringent among all the SSL certificate types — the others of which include organization validation (OV) and extended validation (EV). DV SSL certs don’t guarantee that your customers know who is on the other side of your website, which could result in a lost sale.
Let’s Encrypt SSL vs Wildcard SSL: Why Paid is Better
Purchasing an SSL certificate offers a host of benefits with many being the opposite of the concerns one would have with Let’s Encrypt. At CheapSSLsecurity.com, we offer various types of SSL certificates at very affordable prices with plenty of features and benefits. Some of them include:
- Trusted, well-known brands (such as Comodo CA, Sectigo, Symantec, Thawte, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL)
- Certificates with a higher label of trust (OV and EV)
- 24/7 support via email, phone, and web chat
- 15-day, worry-free money back guarantee
- Liability protection through certificate warranties ranging from $10,000 to $2 million
- Mechanisms to prevent issuance to phishing websites
When you take all of this into account, there’s no doubt that paid is better when it comes to the debate of Let’s Encrypt SSL vs Wildcard SSL certificates.