2 Way SSL Certificate |What is an SSL Certificate and HTTPS, Benefits, Types

SSL Certificate Meaning – Types, Benefits, One Way SSL and 2 Way SSL

In this article we will learn What is SSL certificates, Types of SSL, Benefits of using SSL, One way SSL certificate, and 2 way SSL certificate.

Alongside this also get to know, What is HTTPS, the difference between HTTPS and SSL, Self-signed SSL certificates, the difference between free and paid SSL certificates, and so on.

Also Read:- Advantages of WordPress Websites

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for secure sockets layer. It is basically a certificate for your website that converts HTTP to HTTPS and establishes a secure connection between the visitor and your site.

This certificate helps to secure your visitor’s sensitive information like user name, credit card details, passwords from cyber attacks and hackers.

It encrypts the data while transferring it from your web browser to a web server so that if someone tries to steal your information in between, he won’t be able to get it in plain text.

It is really important to have SSL installed since it shows a sense of trust to your visitors and makes your site safe for their use.

You have often noticed while surfing the internet that some websites began with http://yoursite.com and some with https://yoursite.com.

The site that began with Https shows means it is a secured site and it has an SSL certificate installed on it.

However, a website that began with HTTP is not secure and shows the same next to the address bar in web browsers.

Google also favors and ranks well to SSL-enabled websites. It is one of the ranking signals in Google SERP for websites.

Let’s explore “what is HTTPS” and find out why you need to have an SSL certificate installed on your website?

Also Read: –

How to Install Free SSL Certificate on GoDaddy managed WordPress Site?

How to Add Free Cloudflare SSL Certificate?

HTTPS Explained – What is Https?

HTTPS means HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. It is an encryption method that secures the data while transferring it from web browsers to the server.

Each site on the web is provided with a unique SSL certificate for their identification.

You can see a green padlock symbol in the address bar of the web browser which indicates that the website is secure and data transfer is encrypted.

Also read: – Http vs Https

Difference between HTTPs and SSL

Https – It is a combination of HyperText Transfer Protocol that is served with either SSL or TLS (Transport Layer Security).

In other terms, HTTPS is ideally HTTP that is delivering secure data through using either SSL or TLS.

SSL – SSL is a layer of security that enables encrypted data transfer online.   

TLS – TLS stands for transport layer security. It is considered a more secure successor of SSL. However, using any one of them is considered as same.

What is the difference between one-way SSL and 2 way SSL?

One Way SSL

In one way SSL-only client validates the server. In this process, the server shares its public certificate with the client and then the client validates it before establishing a connection and transfer of data.

How One Way SSL Works?   

Let’s understand this concept with an example. Assume you are the client and Google is the server.

  • You as a client will initiate a request to the Google server for some data on the HTTPS protocol. This is known as the SSL handshake process.
  • In return, the Google server will share its public certificate with you as a hello message.  
  • Then you as a client will verify or validate that received certificate from the server-side. This certificate is verified through CA (Certification Authority).
  • Post certificate verification both you as a client and Google as the server will exchange secret keys that will be used for data encryption at both ends.
  • Lastly, post-agreement of the secret key at ends, client and server will start communicating and data transfer will take place.

In one way SSL the key point to be taken in whole process is that only server has shared its certificate with the client.

2 Way SSL Certificate

It is also known as mutual authentication. In 2 way SSL both client and server share their public certificate and authenticate each other before establishing communication with each other.

How two-way SSL Works?

  • You as a client will initiate a request to the Google server for some data on the HTTPS protocol. This is known as the SSL handshake process.
  • In return, the Google server will share its public certificate with you as a hello message.  
  • Then you as a client will verify or validate that received certificate from the server-side. This certificate is verified through CA (Certification Authority).
  • Now, you as a client will provide your public certificate to Google for verification and validation.
  • The server will certify and validate the client’s public certificate through CA (Certification Authority).
  • Post certificate verification at both ends client and server will exchange secret keys that will be used for data encryption at both ends.
  • Finally, post-agreement of the secret key at ends, client and server will start communicating and data transfer will take place.

Benefits of Using SSL certificate

  • SSL certificate installed website to build trust with their visitors and helps to secure their sensitive information from hackers.
  • It is one of the ranking signals in the Google algorithm to rank a website.
  • You will have to defiantly install an SSL certificate if you are an e-commerce site since you will be taking the credit card details of the visitors.
  • If you are having just a simple blog or website still you need to install an SSL certificate since a visitor will be sending you their details via the contact form of your website. It is visitor’s personal data that you need to protect.

Also Read:- Crazy facts about Computer Viruses

Different Types of SSL Certificate

  • Single domain SSL certificate
  • Wildcard SSL certificate
  • Multi-domain SSL certificate
  • Domain Validation SSL certificate
  • Organisation Validation SSL certificate
  • Extended Validation SSL certificate

Single domain SSL certificate

A single-domain SSL certificate can be used to authenticate one domain only.

It will secure all pages under this single domain. However, we cannot use this to validate our sub-domains of the domain.

For example, Classmate4u.com is the main domain of this site.

Consequently, a sub-domain of classmate4u.com will be like help.classmate4u.com or you can say blog.classmate4u.com, etc.

Wildcard SSL certificate

A wildcard SSL certificate is the one that can be used to authenticate a single domain and all its sub-domain. 

Multi-domain SSL certificate

Multi-domain SSL certificates as the name indicates can be used to authenticate multiple different websites with one certificate only. You can’t use it for sub-domain of the sites.

Domain Validation SSL certificate

The domain validation SSL certificates are the cheapest and a good option for the sites that don’t sell products or services that requires collecting users’ sensitive information.

It fits an individual looking to create a simple blog and website. A site can activate SSL by simply altering its DNS record of the domain.

Organisation Validation SSL certificate

Organization Validation SSL certificate consists of the details of the organization like name, address, etc.

Extended Validation SSL certificate

An extended Validation SSL certificate is obtained by e-commerce sites, financial institutions like banks, and large enterprises. 

It is a quite expensive SSL certificate and has a long process. To get this certificate an organization goes under a certain level of checks like physical address, the legal status of registration, and much more.

Self Signed SSL Certificate

Self-signed SSL certificates is a certificate that is easy to make and cost no money.

Also, it is not signed by CA (Certification Authority). A Certification Authority is an entity that provides digital certificates to be used on HTTPS protocol for secure communication

A website using a self-signed SSL certificate will issue a warning to its visitor prior to connecting to the webserver.

If a visitor bypasses that warning it may expose them to risk of data theft by the hackers also known as Man-in-the-Middle.

Self-signed SSL certificates don’t provide much security in comparison to CA signed SSLs.

You should not use a self-signed SSL certificate for professional use

Free SSL Certificate Generator

You can generate a free SSL certificate online through non-profit certificate authorities.

For example, Let’s Encrypt is one of the famous non-profit certificate authorities established on 12 April 2016 by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

The certificate issued by Let’s Encrypt is valid for 90 days. You can renew them at any point in time in between.

Let’s Encrypt has provided certificates to over 260 million websites to date.

List of Free SSL Certificate Generator

  • Let’s Encrypt
  • Cloudfare
  • SSL for Free
  • GoDaddy
  • SSL for Free

How much does it cost for a SSL Certificate?

SSL certificate cost depends on your choice and the type of website for which it is being used.

For example, a simple blog can buy a cheap SSL certificate to fulfill its basic need, however, a financial institution will have to go for the best SSL certificate that is really expensive.

There are a lot of options to buy cheap SSL certificates like Namecheap, Godaddy, and Bluehost, etc.

Free SSL Certificate vs. Paid SSL Certificate

Free SSL Certificate – as the name indicates these are free and you need not pay anything to get one.

There are two categories of Free SSL Certificate which are as follows:-

  • Self Signed Certificate
  • CA Authenticated Free SSL Certificate

Self Signed Certificates are free of cost and these are not certified by CA. These are signed by the issuer itself.

However, CA authenticated Free SSL Certificate is signed by the CA. They provide the same level of encryption on the internet as provided by the paid ones.

Key Differences between Free SSL and Paid SSL Certificate

Free SSL CertificatePaid SSL Certificate
It comes with Domain Validation Option only and provides only a basic level of validation.A paid SSL certificate provides a lot of options like Organisation Validation, Extended Validation.
They are provided with 90 days validation period and required to be renewed within this time period.These are issued for a period of 1-2 years of time.
It is difficult to get any kind of technical support in the case of free SSL.However, one gets full technical support from the reseller on paid SSLs.
The visitor of the free SSL installed sites is at their own risk of sharing data on that. It is not safe to explore.A paid SSL certificate gives access and process data transfer only after validation of the server. Hence, it provides safe browsing to the visitor comparatively.