What are the differences between regular and Let’s Encrypt SSLs?
Let’s Encrypt offers you a free and automated way of obtaining SSL certificates for your sites, so you may ask yourself: “Why would I ever go with a regular SSL certificate?”.
Just like regular SSL certificates, Let’s Encrypt certificates offer basic SSL encryption, i.e. they give site visitors assurance that they are exchanging information with the domain that is visible in the address bar and that their personal data (login details, credit card information, etc.) cannot be eavesdropped.
Also, Let’s Encrypt certificates are trusted by all major browsers.
If a site is using a Let’s Encrypt SSL, you will see “https://” at the beginning of the URL in your browser’s address bar, along with a green padlock.
So, what Let’s Encrypt certificates offer is secure communication most site visitors will feel comfortable with.
However, as a business entity you may also need a certain security guarantee against online abuses and this is where commercial SSLs kick in.
Read further below to learn more about the differences between a Let’s Encrypt certificate and a regular SSL:
- Warranty: Let’s Encrypt certificates do not include a warranty against misuse or mis-issuance, whereas regular SSLs do. While this may not be a problem for smaller websites, for larger organizations most probably will.
- Wildcard Certificates: Let’s Encrypt does not offer wildcard or multi-domain certificates, whereas traditional CAs usually do.
- Validity Period: Let’s Encrypt certificates are only valid for 90 days and must be renewed before they expire. Most regular SSL certificates are valid for at least one year. HTTPS site owners can also choose a longer validity period (3, 5, etc. years). On our platform, Let’s Encrypt certificates are renewed automatically, so you won’t have to worry about that.
- Support: Let’s Encrypt does not offer assistance with creating or installing SSL certificates. Only community help is available.This can be an issue for organizations that need to quickly equip their business sites with an SSL. However, this could be easily curbed with a quick re-generation and re-installation of the problematic Let’s Encrypt SSL.