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Free SSL VS Paid SSL: Differences to Know

Free SSL VS Paid SSL

Do you have a website? Then, security is a crucial thing you cannot ignore at any cost.

The Internet is a big world where you never know when your website gets hacked or becomes a cyberattack victim. Yet, the situation is quite alarming!

No matter; if you are a newbie, a blogger, or an e-store owner, you should shield your website with an SSL certificate. The whole and sole purpose of having an SSL is to create safe encryption between website visitors and web browsers.

I am pretty sure you might have heard about getting a free SSL with a web hosting plan.

However, do you know about paid SSL certificates that exceed the features you get with a free SSL?

Confused about which one to opt for?  Here’s a blog that clears the differences between a free and Paid SSL.

Before we move to the main point, let us briefly understand the SSL certificate.

What is SSL, and Why Do You Need One?

SSL is an encryption technology that protects sensitive information as it moves to and from the website. With an SSL certificate on your website, you can safely share sensitive information, including passwords, banking details, usernames and more.

You can recognize an SSL-secured website easily, as its URL begins with HTTPS rather than HTTP.

https url

Securing a website with an SSL has now become a must-have!

More benefits to having an SSL:

  • Builds trust among visitors
  • Boosts your SEO rankings
  • Improves your brand reputation
  • The green padlock shows your website is super-safe

Knowing the Differences Between Free SSL and Paid SSL

The Validity Factor

Generally, free SSL certificates, like Let’s Encrypt are valid for 30 or 90 days. If you go with the free SSL certificates, you need to renew them immediately after 90 days.

Related: SSL Certificate Can Act Like A Superman To Protect Your Website

It becomes a hectic task. On the other hand, when it comes to Paid SSLs, they are valid for 1 or 2 years.

Thus, you don’t have to go into the hectic renewal process now and then! The best part is whenever your SSL is about to expire, you will receive reminder emails regarding the renewals.


What if you get into a security issue?  You need someone to deal with the issue, right? With a free SSL certificate, you do not get any support from the providers.

In this scenario, you have to go through the old forums. Whereas with paid SSL, you get complete support from the Certificate Authority.  

Customer Trust

The most vital factor that keeps a business going is the customers’ trust! They might not trust you because you don’t offer an SSL certificate issued by a reputable Certificate Authority. It ultimately affects your brand’s reputation and your business.

Alternatively, SSL certificates come with a trust seal which you can place on your website to boost your visitors’ confidence. Free SSL does not come with such types of site seals.

Types of SSL Certificates

There are different types of SSL certificates, which vary based on the validation they offer.

Free SSL certificate comes with Domain Validation (DV) option. They offer nothing but a basic level of authentication for websites.

This platform is ideal for blogs and small websites. Instead, Paid SSL certificates come in three options, Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV). Each of these offers the highest level of security and is apt for big businesses and e-commerce sites.

Warranty Matters

Last but most important, warranty matters a lot! With the free SSL certificate, you are not covered by any warranty if anything goes wrong.

Speaking about the Paid SSL certificate, there is a warranty assured! You have nothing to worry about if any issue occurs with the certificate or fraudulent transactions.

Compatibility with Servers

Paid SSL certificates work best with the most popular servers like Apache, cPanel, dedicated, VPS, or any you require.

Compared with free SSLs, they are less compatible and limited to a few servers.

Free Vs Paid SSL: Which One to Go With?

ParameterFree SSLPaid SSL
Compatibility with all servers
Validation levels
Green lock in the web address bar
Trust seal✖  

From the above table, you might have got things more clear. So, does it mean investing in a paid SSL when free ones are available? 

A free SSL might not be the right fit for every website. You cannot have the features and functionalities of paid SSL in a free one.

In the end, the answer depends on the type of website you have and to what extent you care about security.

Related: Let’s Encrypt Free SSL/TLS Certificates Available At MilesWeb

Start Securing Your Site Now

At MilesWeb, security is always at the top of our priority list. We offer high-assurance SSL certificates from renowned providers. Head over to our paid SSL plans.

ssl certificates

No more concerns regarding security issues. Start growing your business with confidence!

The Author

Nehal is an ardent content writer. She's passionate about crafting content that's simple but adds value. Her insatiable interest in writing has allowed her to explore her skills. She is adept and can write for different types of content formats.

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