Free SSL vs Paid SSL Certificate

Free SSL vs Paid SSL Certificate 1

There are two types of SSL Certificate in the market, which are Free SSL and Paid SSL. As the name implies, companies can get Free SSL Certificate without paying any money, whereas they must pay for a Paid SSL Certificate. However, the level of encryption of both Free SSL and Paid SSL are the same. So then, why should you pay for an SSL Certificate if the level of encryption is the same with a free SSL Certificate? There are a few differences between these two types of SSL certificates.

Firstly, Free SSL Certificates are only limited to Domain Validation (DV). DV certificates are usually suitable for smaller platforms such as small businesses, personal blogs and so on. They provide the most basic level of authentication only. However, Paid SSL Certificates offer provision of Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) certificates other than DV certificates which gave plenty of choices that most suit to the businesses. Free SSL Certificates provide limited or no customer support, whereas Paid SSL Certificates will provide customer support whenever the customer facing issues with the Certificates. Therefore, in order to have lesser burden for the SSL Certificates installed in business websites, choosing Paid SSL Certificate is always a smarter choice.

Other than that, another difference between Free SSL Certificates and Paid SSL Certificates is the level of validation. The verification of the website owner’s business details for Free SSL Certificate is easy. Certificate Authority (CA) will only validate the identity of the website owner. On the other hand, the level of validation for Paid SSL Certificate is according to the type of SSL Certificate. By choosing OV certificates or EV certificates, CA will not only validate the identity of the website owner but they also carry out an in-depth verification of the business owned by the website owner other than his/her personal identity. These validation process is sophisticated and provided an extra protection to the business.

Next, CA usually issues Free SSL Certificates with a validity period of 30 to 90 days only. Therefore, website owners must always renew their certificate before it expires. The period of Paid SSL Certificates issued is longer than Free SSL Certificate. CA usually issues Paid SSL Certificates with a validity period of 1 to 2 years. There is no warranty provided by Free SSL Certificates if anything goes wrong on Certificate Authentication while Paid SSL Certificates is covered with a warranty limit up to $2.00 million.

A table of summary between Free SSL and Paid SSL as below:

Features Free SSL Certificates Paid SSL Certificates
SSL Suitable for Small Size Web Sites Medium to Large Business Web Sites
Customer Support Nil Yes
Extended Validation Nil Yes
Underwritten Warranty Nil Up to 2 million dollars
Validity 30 to 90 days only 1 to 2 years


In conclusion, SSL Certificates are necessary for any online business website. As mentioned above, Free SSL Certificate is very easy to obtain without any payment needed but it comes with many constraints. Paid SSL Certificates can secure and protect your business website on a greater level. Operating as an authorized partner for the SSL Certificate providers such as DigiCert, GlobalSign and Sectigo, WebNIC is now providing resellers one-stop solution for domain name and SSL Certificates. Do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] if you need further assistance.