3 Ways For Free HTTPS

How to Get Free HTTPS?

HTTPS is the future of the Internet, a modern website has no other chance than being encrypted. On the other hand even with the most affordable prices of a TLS certificate, if you have several websites the total amount at the end could be very costly.

In case you are looking for the alternative solutions, there are 3 ways to secure your website for free.

1. Let's Encrypt

Let's Encrypt is a non-profit organisation which is sponsored by leading companies or organizations such as Facebook, Akamai, Mozilla, Chrome, OVH, Cisco etc. providing free and automated TLS certificates. Most of the browsers trust their root certificates. People usually say one of the downsides of Let's  Encrypt is the requirement for renewal due to its 90 days valid certificate. According to me it is not really a downside although listed here in the Cons, since you can easily automatize the renewal. However there is something which is more important than the renewal; Let's Encrypt can provide only Domain Validation Certificate but not Extended Validation Certificate.  

Pros

  • Free (Accepts donations)
  • Sponsored by leading companies 

Cons

  • TLS Configuration
  • Don't provide wildcard certificates
  • Provide only domain-validated certificates meaning  ownership is validated not the entity requesting certificate. No future plans to provide Organization Validation or Extended Validation Certificates.
  • Renewals

2. Caddy Server

Caddy is a web server like Apache, Nginx, or Lighttpd which serves websites over HTTPS and HTTP/2 by default. It is the first webserver with Let's Encrypt registration and renewal built-in. Some companies, organizations are already using it e.g Netflix Vector https://github.com/Netflix/vector/ , ChannelMeter  https://channelmeter.com/ 

Pros

  • Free  (Asks for donations)
  • Automatic Renewals
  • No TLS configuration

Cons

  • Don't provide wildcard certificates
  • Don't provide Organization Validation or Extended Validation Certificates.
  • It is the new kid in town.

3. AWS Certificate Manager

Amazon is offering TLS certificates for free. It takes care of renewals as well as TLS configuration. It is not surprising to learn that the TLS can’t be moved outside of AWS.

Pros

  • Free
  • Automatic Renewals
  • No TLS configuration
  • Provide wildcard certificates

Cons

  • Limited to AWS (Elastic Load Balancer or CloudFront), future plans to add support for other AWS services.
  • Is available in the US East (Northern Virginia) region, with additional regions in the works.
  • Don't provide Organization Validation or Extended Validation Certificates, future plans to add support.

Thanks for taking time to read this post. I offer consulting, architecture and hands-on development services in web/digital to clients in Europe & North America. If you'd like to discuss how my offerings can help your business please contact me via LinkedIn

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