20 Cheap SSL Certificates and Recommendations

These are cheaper SSL certificates. See which is best for you.

SSL
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I evaluated over 80 different SSL certificate services from 15 different certificate authorities (CA). These are the cheapest certificates you can get. I'll evaluate each to find out whether they are worth the price or not.

All prices are based on their prices for one year of service, paid annually. Many CAs will offer discounts (sometimes very significant ones) for multi-year purchases. I evaluated all the certificates on the following criteria:

  • Speed to issue
  • Seal provided
  • Wildcard SLL support
  • Warranty
  • Refund policy

All but one of the CAs list encryption at 128/256 bit, and all claim 99% browser ubiquity.

A note on resellers: You will see Namecheap on this list several times. Namecheap is a reseller of SSL certificates offering cheaper price than the originator of the certificates. Some people don't like purchasing through a reseller, however.

This article was last updated May 7, 2014. With this update there are no longer any CAs that offer extended validation on the list. So I have posted a new list of the 10 Cheapest EV SSL Certificates.

SSL
gmutlu / Getty Images
  • Price: Free
  • Issuance: Immediately
  • Seal: None
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: None
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: Not applicable

My Recommendation: Use for testing only.

The only thing going for CACert is the price. They don't indicate what the encryption rate is for their certificates, and in fact their secure site was not accepted by my browser as using a valid CA.

If you are going to do testing and don't want to use a self-signed certificate, they are okay, but otherwise, avoid. More »

02
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  • Price: Free
  • Issuance: Less than 10 minutes
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: $10,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: Not applicable

My Recommendation: Limited use.

This is a fine certificate for the price, but I can't recommend it for anything but testing or some privacy protection. StarCom doesn't do any verification beyond email address and the domain name, so they aren't good for ecommerce.

If you plan to sell something on your site, you should use a paid service. More »

  • Price: $9.00 per year
  • Issuance: Less than 15 minutes
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: $10,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: A cheap way to get Comodo.

If your company doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

  •  Price: $10.95 per year
  • Issuance: Less than 15 minutes
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: $10,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: A cheap way to get rapidSSL.

If your company doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

  • Price: $29.88 per year

  • Issuance: less than 15 minutes
  • Seal: yes
  • Validation: domain
  • Warranty: unknown
  • Wildcard: no
  • Refund: 7 days

My Recommendation: Good for multiple domains on one certificate.

If your company doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

  • Price: $39.00 per year
  • Issuance: 2 business days or less
  • Seal: yes
  • Validation: domain and company
  • Warranty: $50,000
  • Wildcard: no
  • Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: Get your company validated along with the domain.

If your company doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

  •  Price: $39.00 per year
  • Issuance: 2 business days or less
  • Seal: yes
  • Validation: domain
  • Warranty: $500,000
  • Wildcard: no
  • Refund: 7 days

My Recommendation: Decent warranty for the price.

If your company doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

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  • Price: $49.00 per year
  • Issuance: Within minutes
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: $10,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 7 days

My Recommendation: Fine for low volume sales.

RapidSSL offers a single server certificate for a reasonable price. Be aware that RapidSSL also resell GeoTrust certificates for higher volume sales, but for low volume sales this certificate is fine. More »

09
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  • Price: $49.99 per year
  • Issuance: within minutes
  • Seal: no
  • Validation: domain
  • Warranty: $10,000
  • Wildcard: no
  • Refund: none

My Recommendation: Low volume sales with the Network Solutions brand.

Network Solutions added a new product to their lineup that is good for low-volume sales. They will verify your domain with the Network Solutions brand standing behind it. More »

  • Price: $56.88
  • Issuance: Less than 15 minutes
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: $500,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 7 days

My Recommendation: A cheap way to get GeoTrust with a high warranty

If your company needs a higher warranty, wants the GeoTrust name, and doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option.  More »

  • Price: $59.00 per year
  • Issuance: 2 business days
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain and company
  • Warranty: $100,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: A cheap way to get Comodo company validation.

If your company wants the Comodo brand, needs company validation, and doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

  • Price: $59.90 per year
  • Issuance: Unknown
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain and company
  • Warranty: $10,000
  • Wildcard: Yes
  • Refund: None

My Recommendation - May Be All You Need, But Low Warranty

This certificate provides medium-level assurance because they do more than validate the domain and email; they also validate the identity of the organization or site owner.

This certificate is perfect for a small-scale ecommerce site or a company that needs to sell just one thing (such as memberships), but there are a few others that offer a higher warranty for a similar price. More »

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  • Price: $64.95 per year
  • Issuance: Within minutes
  • Seal: None
  • Validation: Domain and company
  • Warranty: $250,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 30 days

My Recommendation: Get the Comodo brand without using a reseller.

Comodo now offers a cheaper option with a decent warranty. Plus they offer both domain and company verification.

This certificate is great for a small ecommerce business or a site that sells just one or two services. The warranty is not the highest in the industry but it's great for the price. More »

  • Price: $69.99 per year
  • Issuance: 10 minutes
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain
  • Warranty: $1,000
  • Wildcard: Yes
  • Refund: None

My Recommendation: Good add-on.

If you already have a GoDaddy hosting or DNS account, then adding SSL with them is easy. They only offer domain validation, so they are not as high an assurance provider as others on this list, but if you want to keep all your things in one place, GoDaddy offers many services. They also reduced their warranty at a time when other CAs are increasing warranties. More »

  • Price: $79.00 per year
  • Issuance: 2 business days
  • Seal: Yes
  • Validation: Domain and company
  • Warranty: $250,000
  • Wildcard: No
  • Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: A cheap way to get Comodo PremiumSSL

If your company doesn't do a lot of business through the SSL server, this might be a good option. More »

Price: $88.88 per year
Issuance: unknown
Seal: yes
Validation: domain and company
Warranty: $1,250,000
Wildcard: no
Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: Really good warranty.

If your company needs a high warranty, this is the best warranty for the price.  More »

Price: $89.88 per year
Issuance: 2 business days
Seal: yes
Validation: domain
Warranty: unknown
Wildcard: yes
Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: Good for multi-sites.

If your company has a lot of domains, this could be a good choice.  More »

Price: $94 per year
Issuance: less than 15 minutes
Seal: yes
Validation: domain
Warranty: $10,000
Wildcard: yes
Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: Cheapest Wildcard.

If your company needs wildcard SSL, this is the cheapest I could find. More »

Price: $98.00 per year
Issuance: 2 business days
Seal: yes
Validation: domain and company
Warranty: $1,250,000
Wildcard: no
Refund: 15 days

My Recommendation: Get GeoTrust True BusinessID for less.

If your business wants the GeoTrust name and needs business verification as well as domain this is a good choice. More »

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Price: $99.75 per year
Issuance: 2-4 business days
Seal: yes
Validation: domain
Warranty: $50,000
Wildcard: no
Refund: none

My Recommendation: Get the Network Solutions name.

This certificate is the most expensive on this list, but it gives you a name that many people trust with their domains. Network Solutions is a Web.com company which is also a trusted name in domains.

The warranty is okay for a small ecommerce site.  More »

Do You Need Extended Validation?

If you need an extended validation (EV) certificate to get that green bar and your company name in the URL, then look no further than my list of the 10 Cheapest EV SSL Certificates.