More SSL Fun

A few days ago I wrote about my first experience with Secure Sockets Layer certificates. After a brief search on the net I chose Instant SSL. As I explained the other day, since we don't have our PO box set up yet and since we are still operating from home it was going to be difficult to provide 2 pieces of information to verify our address. Even though I asked about all of this via phone and via email, Comodo still didnt answer me until after they had issued my certificate which had my home address for the world to see. I thought that was bad until I tried to get a refund using their 30 day no hassle refund policy. Unfortunately their no hassle refund policy is a lot of hassle. I've called 3 times and I've emailed 3 times in the last 2 days and they have yet to reply to me. On the phone I was told that phone support cannot access any info about refunds but that still doesnt explain why no one is replying to me to let me know what is happening. All in all I've found Comodo to be an absolute joke.

Since I don't want this to hold me up I went searching for a new ssl company. Dan Grossman left some advice for me in the comment area and advised me to get a GeoCert certificate (thanks Dan!). In my search for a good GeoCert reseller I found out a lot of things about SSL

  • Although there are thousands of companies selling SSL certificates, nearly all of them are reselling them for about 3 or 4 main SSL companies. Wikipedia states that

    A 2007 market share report from Security Space as of September of that year determined that VeriSign and its acquisitions (which include Thawte and more recently Geotrust) have a 57.6% share of the certificate authority market, followed by Comodo (8.3%), and GoDaddy (6.4%).

  • There is a huge difference in price in the certificates that are on offer however the browser compatibility (mostly 99.3%) and the encryption is the same across the board ie. the more expensive certificate options are just as safe for passing information across the net.
  • The main differences between the lower priced cerificates and the higher priced certificates is the amount the customer is covered for and the level of checking they do. The cheapest certificates like RapidSSL only require you to authorise that you own the domain. More expensive certificates involve authorising the certificate using bank statements for proof of address etc. However, beyond that the only major difference between SSL providers is the brand name and that is what your paying for.
  • The level of support varies widely between providers though this is the same with any internet service eg domains/hosting etc/

I checked out lots of SSL providers but the main ones I considered were The Planet (formerly ev1servers and before that they were RackShack.net) and ResellOne. I was keen on those because not only were the prices about the cheapest you could find, they also both had support forums. I love services with busy support forums because it means that if support is slow you can post a thread and get help from a fellow customer.

In the end I decided to get my SSL from enom. All my domains are hosted there so it was easy to order it there since I had money in my account. They offer RapidSSL, GeoCert and Secure Business Services certificates.

As with a lot of things on the web, you usually have to learn the hard way about it to become more clued up on it and that seems to be the case here. Thanks again to Dan for pointing me in the right direction :)