Understanding SSL Certificate Authorities


SSL certificates are probably the easiest way to secure your Web site and earn your customers’ trust.  If you think that all SSL certificate providers are the same, then you simply must read on.  As it will be difficult to review all companies that provide SSL certificates, we would go with two of the best-known.

What is GeoTrust and its role as an SSL certificate authority?

 geotrust logo

Technically owned by Symantec, which bought it for $1.28 billion along with VeriSign’s other security assets in 2010, GeoTrust remains to be a powerhouse in the SSL certificates industry.

GeoTrust is a digital certificate company that also offers trust and signing products such as electronic postmarks and code signing solutions.

GeoTrust currently offers seven different SSL certificates that cover a range of price points from $17 to $499 a year.  It also offers different kinds of SSL certificates based on your needs, such as the number of domains you need to secure, as well as the encryption strength, the warranty amount and the level of support you want.  GeoTrust has an SSL certificate solution for every possible business set-up: from small businesses to enterprises, to everything in between.

GeoTrust is currently the second biggest digital certificate provider with more than 100,000 customers all over the world.  It allows you to get the best security for your site at prices you can afford.

Not only that, it also offers what it calls trust products, which helps assure your customers that your site is safe.

In short, GeoTrust is very competitive in the SSL certificate industry, having a great and well trusted product line that is competitive and comparable with the competition, while also helping in keeping costs down.

In 2011, Alexa reported that GeoTrust certificates protected more than 34,000 domains listed in Alexa’s top sites list, making it the preferred vendor for the world’s most popular websites.

What is Symantec and its role as an SSL certificate authority?

 Symantec logo

Symantec is a global company that focuses on security software.  The American firm is closely competing with Avira, McAfee and TrendMicro in the antivirus space, but it also offers SSL certificates.

Symantec bought out VeriSign’s identity and authentication operations, including its Secure Sockets Layer and code signing certificates.  It has rebranded VeriSign’s technology into its own.

When it comes to SSL certificates, Symantec offers a wide range of choices that would be perfect for every business situation and need.

Symantec’s SSL products are a bit pricier than those of other providers, with its basic Secure Site package starting at $399 per year (though with substantial discounts if you get multi-year validity, i.e. you can get Secure Site with a three-year validity of only $995, instead of the regular price of close to $1,200).

In fact, it would set you back $1,499 a year to get a Secure Site Pro with EV SSL certificate.

However, Symantec does have a very robust feature set for its SSL certificates.  From extended validation to full organization authentication to installation checks, free replacement and revocation, vulnerability testing, and daily malware scanning.

What’s more, Symantec and VeriSign are very recognizable names in SSL security.  This makes it easier for you to assure visitors of your site that you have a very secure space that they can trust.  And as far as SSL security goes, trust is all that matters.  Because what is the use of having an SSL certificate on your website when nobody recognizes the third-party provider behind it?  Your site will be secure but your customers will never be sure about its security!


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