I am confused about AWS Certificate Manager and the SSL certificates it provides: If I use it, will my website that's hosted on an EC2 instance have the green lock with https connection?

I am confused because so far I've used Let's Encrypt, and my website had the green lock with https, but to do it I had to install it from inside the EC2 instance. I mean, it's something that's found inside the server, then how does the AWS certificate manager work?

So my question is basically 2 questions: 1) Is the certificate provided by AWS certificate manager in charge for making the green lock in my website?

2) If the answer for 1) is yes, then how it's done if it's not installed inside the server?


This is covered quite well by the ACM FAQ.

In short, ACM creates certificate you can use. It doesn't do HTTPS termination. If you use a load balancer AWS can do https termination for you. You can also export the certificate and use it on an EC2 instance, but you need to do more work to get new certificates regularly.

  • I am really confused even after reading. Right now one of my websites has the green HTTPS with Let'sEncrypt. You mean that even if I create SSL certificate using ACM, my website won't have the green lock? – sStacker Dec 31 '18 at 13:25
  • If you want an easy way to do https, with little to no understanding required, use CloudFlare as your DNS provider. They'll do https for you to give you the green lock. To actually have a secure website you need to understand https. You can continue to use Let's Encrypt, the only reason to change to AWS ACM is if you're going to use an AWS load balancer. – Tim Dec 31 '18 at 23:02

A quick read of the AWS Certificate Manager FAQ gives:

AWS Certificate Manager is a service that lets you easily provision, manage, and deploy public and private Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) certificates for use with AWS services and your internal connected resources.

And the specific AWS services are:

  • Elastic Load Balancing – Refer to the Elastic Load Balancing documentation
  • Amazon CloudFront – Refer to the CloudFront documentation
  • Amazon API Gateway – Refer to the API Gateway documentation
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk – Refer to the AWS Elastic Beanstalk documentation
  • AWS CloudFormation – Support is currently limited to public certificates that use email validation. Refer to the AWS CloudFormation documentation

You can also use the AWS Certificate Manager Private CA (currently $400 per month), with which:

You can use private certificates issued with ACM Private CA with EC2 instances, containers, and on your own servers.

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