Is it possible to get a trusted signed ssl certificate for free?

I could create a self signed one using iis7 for example but these normally require the user to accept them as compared to one from a trusted source.

Therefore, is there a very inexpensive way to get one (free?) as cost is definitely an issue.

  • Not that it should really matter but its for windows server 2008 r2 – asn187 Jan 11 '10 at 21:51
  • Popular browser recognition is key. – asn187 Jan 11 '10 at 22:01
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    You could ask nicely for an diginotar certificate from an "Iranian" hacker :P (lets be honest here, SSL security is a huge joke...) – Silverfire Sep 16 '11 at 6:28
  • @Silverfire A joke in what way? It's possible to have SSL provide perfect forward security to every browser since IE6. – Alice Sep 24 '14 at 5:03
  • GeoCerts has a free 30-day trial that doesn't require phone verification like RapidSSL. – Dan Dascalescu Jul 3 '15 at 11:08

Have a look at Startcom. Free and the root is in most major browser/os's but there are some caveats such as having to re-register/renew every few months.

Tbh whilst I take the point about cost being an issue, for $10 just get a rapidssl from namecheap.com - job done.

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    Exactly, startssl.com worked great for me. Class 1 is free and easy to get. The lifetime of the cert is 1 or 2 years so that's not an issue. Your validation lasts only 30 days though, which means you'll have to prove your identity or ownership of your domain quite often when interacting with them. Doesn't mean the cert will expire after 30 days though! I second the namecheap.com recommendation though. Cheap enough. – Martijn Heemels Jan 25 '12 at 23:15
  • I've been using StartCom for 3 years now and they rock. Can't go wrong with them and their certs being free for an year. Also, the owner of the company still runs most of it and detected recent attacks himself! – Nasko Jan 26 '12 at 0:48
  • StartSSL doesn't support subdomains. – Dan Dascalescu Nov 26 '12 at 22:09

Namecheap.com was our initial low cost SSL supplier (US$ 10/year). Now bought a PositiveSSL cert from https://comodosslstore.com/ at US$ 6.50/year when buying for 5 years. The 5 years is beneficial to us. Now we only need to execute the renew process once every five years. Note: the optional free upgrade to EV is a separate cert with a validness of only 1 year (not 5).

  • I signed up with comodosslstore.com and got a certificate valid for 3 years for $7.50 per year (22.50 total). Previously, I had a cert from StartSSL, but they wouldn't renew it, alleging I wanted to defraud a similar-looking domain that was registered 10 years after mine. $8 per year is not worth the hassle with StartSSL! – Christian Aichinger Apr 9 '15 at 12:19

You should look at : http://www.cacert.org/ It's Free and well recognized by Unix OS. I think it's what you are looking for.

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    From windows, using all browsers, the certificate used on their own website cacert.org/index.php?id=1 is untrusted. Google Chrome big red scary page. That doesn't look so good. – asn187 Jan 11 '10 at 21:55
  • They are free and trustworthy, but their root certificate is not included in the 'trusted roots' lists of most browsers yet. This is sadly mostly a question of money. CAcert.org is working on passing an audit, the most important step to becoming included in browsers. Many Linux distributions already include the root certificate by default, but the huge Windows market is still out of reach. In any case, they're not 'trusted' yet in the way @asn187 asked. – Martijn Heemels Jan 25 '12 at 23:10
  • Still not trusted as of today. – mxmissile Aug 17 '15 at 16:13
  • And still not trusted as of today. – Tanmay Jan 8 '17 at 22:56

Arstechnica had a nice little article on How to obtain and install an SSL/TLS certificate, for free http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/12/how-to-get-set-with-a-secure-sertificate-for-free.ars

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    As far as I can tell this is not free or even inexpensive. The cost is around $150 for the need I describe. – asn187 Jan 12 '10 at 11:26
  • You can get a class 1 certificate for free. Anything above a class 1 will cost money. I have used this ona couple domains for the plesk control panel. – aduljr Jan 19 '10 at 18:11

there are free trial [ 30 days ] certs - it's very handy for testing.

but for production use - i suggest use buy something. cheapest i've bought were from namecheap - 10usd/year.

  • Yeah, namecheap are the cheapest single root certs I've found. – TRS-80 Jan 12 '10 at 2:11

I've bought mine from www.cheapssls.com - $US10/year


GoDaddy has cheap SSL certificates.



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