Though there are a large number of entities selling secure certificates, there are primarily 6 major SSL certificate providers. Whoever you purchase your SSL certificate from will most likely be either one of these 6 or a reseller for one of them. All 6 have 128 bit key encryption.
The primary SSL certificate providers are:
The detail below is an overview of each of these providers.
Verisign is the oldest of the listed secure SSL certificate providers and currently has the most certificates issued. Their certificates are recognized by virtually all browsers without giving a warning pop up message. Verisign also has the strictest background checking and requirements which may assure a higher degree of confidence from the buying public. With their strict approval guidelines, Verisign offers the best included transaction insurance. On the other hand, many web site owners feel that the function of the certificate is verified encryption and not the stature of their businesses. This and the non-competitive pricing of Verisign certificates is probably why their market share is rapidly dropping (though they still have a commanding lead).
Thawte was Verisign's first major competitor. Thawte started selling secure certificates in 1996 and was purchased by Verisign in 1999. Verisign kept Thawte's less strict acceptance and lower pricing in order to maintain future market share from less strict competition. On the other hand, Thawte does not offer insurance with their certificates. Thawte certificates are also recognized by virtually all browsers.
Entrust has been working with some of the most highly recognized public key encryption programs since 1994. Their pricing is more competitive than Thawte though Entrust's offers a higher level of included transaction warrantee. Entrust's certificates are also recognized by virtually all browsers (except older versions of IE and Netscape)
Baltimore has been working in the secure transaction industry for a few years and is involved with security for many large transaction producers such as major credit card companies. Their pricing is between Thawte's and Entrust's and their included transaction warranty is better. Like Entrust, Baltimore's certificates are accepted by all but the older versions of IE and Netscape.
GeoTrust is more competitively priced than the SSL certificate providers listed so far (above) but its certificate authority is not recognized by Opera browsers. Though Opera has a very minor browser market share, we feel it is significant enough to warrant mentioning. GeoTrust has a low transaction warrantee and they are the only provider we list that charges extra for their site seal. Though the other certificate authorities listed here all provide at least some sort of company verification, GeoTrust certificates only validate domain ownership.
InstantSSL, by Comodo Corporation, of all of the SSL certificate providers list is much more competitively priced, and it is also our current provider of choice. Their certificates are recognized by all but the old Netscape and IE browsers, the certificates can be purchased quickly, and their transaction warrantee levels are good. Most OurShop.com™ contributors are currently getting their customer's SSL certificates through InstantSSL. We've found InstantSSL to be quick in processing, competitively priced, and providing good online support.
Tags: SSL certificates Security Computers