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If I sign someone else's server certificate will it allow them to avoid the whole "untrusted certificate" thing that browsers give when you use a self signed cert?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

No.

The only way you can avoid that is by purchasing a certificate from a CA (Certificate Authority) whos "Root Certificate" has been installed in the browser/OS/device they are using, OR, to install the Self-Signed certificate onto the browser/OS/device.

There are dozens of trusted CAs to choose from, and some of them can be quite cheap. I recommend www.cheapssls.com, 10 bucks and away you go.

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StartSSL has a free certificate product. You can view their offerings below. I've used them in the past with little issue. startssl.com/?app=39 ipsCA is another certificate authority with relatively cheap certificates. If you are an .edu domain you can get a free cert valid for 2 years. The problem I have with ipsCA is that their root certificate is not distributed widely enough or in a timely manner (they just renewed their intermediate certificate which currently only works with Internet Explorer). If you need to be sure it is recognized in as many browsers as possible then –  J.Zimmerman Jan 4 '10 at 9:14
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