Best SSL Certificate Providers: Entrust vs Digicert vs Comodo vs GlobalSign vs GoDaddy

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Comodo Certification Authority logo
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Entrust logo
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DigiCert logo

Getting an SSL certificate for your website is a no-brainer these days. If you don’t have an HTTPS site, your business will suffer in several ways: less security, lower Google search rankings and a loss of your visitors’ trust.

Article Overview

What Is An SSL Certificate?

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate establishes an encrypted connection between a browser and a website and authenticates the identity of that website. They guarantee that data being transferred, including credit card transactions, passwords and other sensitive information, is secure.

Google Requirements

For the last several years, Google has pushed the use of SSL certificates, so much so, that your website’s search rankings will drop drastically if you don’t have SSL (an HTTPS site). Also, Google now displays a “non-secure” browser warning for HTTP sites (websites that don’t have the added security layer of SSL) on their popular Chrome browser.

Chrome holds roughly 50% of the browser market share, so Google’s warning will impact a massive number of people as they browse the web. What’s more, recent HubSpot research found that up to 85% of people will not continue browsing if a site is not secure. The implications are disastrous if you don’t have an HTTPS site.

Choosing An SSL Certificate

Whether you’re new to SSL or are unhappy with your current certificate provider, you’ll want to consider the different types of SSL certificates available.

Types Of SSL Certificates

The three basic types differ by validation levels. These levels involve the vetting process that Certificate Authorities (CAs) use to authenticate a company’s domain. The higher the validation level, the more trust your visitors will have in your site.

Domain-Validated (DV)

DV certificates are the most basic and least expensive type of SSL. To get this type of SSL, site owners only have to provide proof that they have administrative control over the domain.

Although they provide session encryption, DVs don’t include any company identity information in the certificate.  This means that site visitors won’t be able to verify that your company is actually the owner of the site. DV certificates are not recommended for commercial sites. 

Organization-Validated (OV)

With OV certificates, the CA validates the domain’s ownership, as well as organization information like the name, city and country. OVs are a step up from DVs and include company information in the certificate details, so your visitors can trust the identity of your site.

Extended Validation (EV)

EV certificates include the most company data, and companies must meet more stringent requirements to obtain an EV certificate. They give your site the highest level of credibility by displaying your business’s verified secure identity in a green address bar. EVs are the most expensive type of SSL, and they can take several weeks to receive.

Need To Secure Multiple Websites?

In addition to the three basic types of SSL certificates, many CAs also offer Multi-Domain SSL and Wildcard SSL options to cover multiple websites or sub-domains under the same certificate.

Multi-Domain SSL

A Multi-Domain SSL Certificate, also called SAN, allows you to secure multiple Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN) on one certificate. Each CA determines how many domains you can cover under one certificate, and they can range anywhere from 25-100 or more.

Wildcard SSL

A Wildcard SSL Certificate allows you to secure an unlimited number of sub-domains (at one specific level) for one domain with one certificate. If you need sub-domain coverage at different levels (i.e., *.example.com and *.sub1.example.com), you’ll need an additional Wildcard certificate for each level.

Best SSL Certificate Providers

We’ve based our rankings on several factors including company reputation, the variety of SSL certificates offered, warranty, pricing and other features.

Comodo Review

#1

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Comodo wins our top spot as the best SSL provider for its affordable pricing and an impressive number of certificate offerings that are highly customizable. Comodo Cybersecurity is a top-rated and well-respected provider of SSLs, firewalls, antivirus software and other internet security products.

As a trusted brand, Comodo gives you the security clout you need for your site’s visitors. A Comodo SSL purchase includes SHA2, 256-bit encryption, 2048-bit public key encryption, a trust seal, unlimited server licenses and PCI and website vulnerability scanning. Comodo is tough to beat if you want the best SSL provider.

Pros

Cons

  • Huge variety of SSL certificate options with lots of customization available
  • 24/7 dedicated customer support
  • Competitively priced
  • Excellent multiple domain management system
  • Includes regular site vulnerability and PCI scanning
  • Trust seal
  • Up to $1.75 million warranty
  • Free 90-day DV certificate trial
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Many consumer complaints about poor customer support
  • Wait times for EV certificates can be longer than average

Pricing

The following table only includes some of Comodo’s certificates. They also offer premium-level certificates, Wildcard Multi-Domain certificates and more. See all options.

 DV SSLOV SSLEV SSLEV Multi-Doman SSLMulti-Domain SSLWildcard SSL
1-Year Price$99.95$99.95$249$289.99$149$199
2-Year Price Per Year$88.95$88.95$199.50$253.74$130.38$174
Number of Domains Included111351
Additional DomainsN/AN/AN/A$79 each/year$29 each/yearN/A

Entrust Datacard Review

#2

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Entrust Datacard has been in the security business since 1994 and has an exceptional reputation for SSL issuance. Customers give them two-thumbs up for quick turnaround time and superb customer service. They also offer a great selection of SSL certificates and combinations, with varying licensing terms.

With each SSL certificate, you get malware scanning, unlimited server licensing, SHA2, 256-bit encryption, 2048-bit public key encryption and a trust seal. Entrust also provides one of the best multi-certificate management tools on the market.

Pros

Cons

  • Wide variety of SSL certificate options
  • High user ratings for their customer service
  • Customers report reliable issuance turnaround time
  • Powerful management tools
  • Includes regular malware scanning
  • Trust seal
  • $1 million warranty
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • No Saturday or late night support hours
  • On the pricey side

Pricing

View all options.

 Standard SSL (OV)Advantage SSL (OV)EV Multi-Doman SSLMulti-Domain SSLWildcard SSL
1-Year Price$199$239$429$319$699
2-Year Price Per Year$174$208$373.23$278$608.13
Number of Domains Included12241
Additional DomainsN/AN/A$139 each/year (up to 250)$54/unit/year$54/unit/year

DigiCert Review

#3

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In the fall of 2017, DigiCert acquired Symantec’s website security solutions as well as popular Symantec subsidiary CAs GeoTrust, Thawte and Rapid SSL. Already a leading SSL provider, DigiCert now is a massive player in the industry.

DigiCert’s certificates are compatible with all major browsers and mobile devices and include unlimited server licensing, SHA2, 256-bit encryption, 2048-bit public key encryption and a trust seal. Their pricing is higher than many competitors, but they offer reliable and trusted security for your site.

Pros

Cons

  • Award-winning 24/7 customer support
  • Faster than average issuance time
  • Reasonably-priced EV option available for multi-domain SSL
  • Easy to use dashboard when managing multiple certificates
  • Trust seal
  • $1 million warranty
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Fewer SSL certificate options
  • Starting prices are higher than average
  • No malware, vulnerability or other scanning included

Pricing

View all options.

 Standard SSL (OV)EV SSLEV Multi-Doman SSLMulti-Domain SSLWildcard SSL
1-Year Price$175$295$489.50$299$595
2-Year Price Per Year$157$234$389.50$269$535
Number of Domains Included11341
Additional DomainsN/AN/A$99 each/year$49 each/yearN/A

Other Top SSL Certificate Provider Reviews

The following SSL providers didn’t make our top three list, but we encourage you to read our reviews to see if they’re a good fit for your business.

GlobalSign | GoDaddy 

GlobalSign Review

GlobalSign logo

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GlobalSign is a trusted CA with a 20+ year history of providing reliable security solutions. GlobalSign specializes in highly-scalable and fully-managed PKI solutions for enterprise-level businesses, but they’re a reliable SSL certificate issuer for businesses of all sizes.

The main reasons GlobalSign didn’t make our top three are their lackluster customer support and high pricing. They’re expensive, and in most cases, you can get the same security and features for a lower price with other providers. We found many dissatisfied customer reviews about their unhelpful support staff.

Pros

Cons

  • Highly flexible solutions for enterprise-level businesses
  • Decent issuance time
  • Trust seal
  • Up to $1.5 million warranty
  • No weekend customer support hours and poor customer support ratings by users
  • Expensive
  • No malware, vulnerability or other scanning included
  • Money back guarantee is only 7 days

Pricing

View all options.

 DV SSLOV SSLEV SSLDV WildcardOV Wildcard
1-Year Price$249$349$599$849$949
2-Year Price Per Year$224$314$469.50$764$854
Additional Domain NamesN/A$199 each/year$199 each/yearN/AN/A
Additional Subdomains$99 each/year$99 each/year$99 each/yearUnlimitedUnlimited
Additional Public IP AddressesN/A$199 each/yearN/AN/AN/A

GoDaddy Review

GoDaddy logo

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GoDaddy is a giant in the web hosting and domain registration industry, and they also are a popular SSL provider. The upside is that it’s convenient to cover all your website needs in one place. The downside is that GoDaddy doesn’t specialize solely in SSL certificates and site security like our other best SSL provider winners.

What do you get with GoDaddy’s SSL certificates? GoDaddy gives you the strongest available SHA2 and 2048-bit encryption, unlimited server coverage and a trust seal provided by McAfee Secure.

Pros

Cons

  • Unlimited 24/7 customer support
  • The least expensive of our reviews
  • Multi-domain SSL includes protection for up to 5 sites in affordable base fee (up to 100 for added fees)
  • Up to $1 million liability protection
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Some users report site problems after installation
  • Many customers unsatisfied with their tech support
  • Renewal pricing is much higher than your initial year
  • No malware, vulnerability or other scanning included

Pricing

View all options.

 DV SSLOV SSLEV SSLMulti-DomainWildcard
Starting 1-Year Price$59.99$103.99$99.99$135.99$279.99
Renewal Price/Year$74.99$129.99$199.99$169.99$349.99

How Does SSL Work?

Wondering how an SSL certificate works and why you need one? Check out this video for a brief rundown.

What About SSL Certificates Included With Hosting?

You may have noticed through your research that many web hosting services offer an included SSL certificate. These “free” SSL certificates vary widely in what they cover, so you need to do your homework to make sure you’re getting the SSL security level you want. Checkout our hosting reviews to find the best hosts!

We almost always recommend going with a different SSL provider than your web hosting service, primarily because it’s wise to devote every part of your site security and other needs to services that specialize in specific areas.

Unless you’ve thoroughly researched the SSL options your hosting service provides, you’re better off going with a provider that specializes in SSL certificates.

What do you think about Google’s SSL requirements?

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

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