[Post updated 19 Dec 2016 to reflect roll out of SSLs to all accounts during Jan/Feb 2017]
TerraNetwork is now offering free SSL Certificates from Let’s Encrypt! The SSLs are currently available to our clients on our PCI compliant servers, and will be rolled out to all clients during the server upgrades in Jan / Feb 2017.
SSLs used to be a niche product, confined mainly to eCommerce sites with checkouts taking card details. But over the past years, SSL/HTTPS has become desirable for websites of all types due to changes in SEO rankings and web browsers.
In 2014, Google announced that using SSL/HTTPS will give you your website a ranking boost in its Google SEO ranking. The weighting of SSL/HTTPS is assumed to be fairly light weight for now, but likely to increase in significance.
And in 2016 Google Chrome announced that it will start marking HTTP sites as insecure in future browser updates. This will mean that anyone using the Chrome browser visiting sites running over HTTP will see a red X over the padlock symbol, indicating that the site is not secure.
With search engines and browsers now pushing for SSL/HTTPS on all websites, it’s time for website owners to start migrating existing sites and to ensure new sites are built with SSL/HTTPS in place.
A major stumbling block so far has been the cost of buying SSLs and the limitations of installing SSLs on shared IPs. This is now changing with free SSL Certificates being issued by the “Let’s Encrypt” project which can be installed with one click for websites on shared IPs.
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, open Certificate Authority (CA) founded by EFF, Mozilla, and the University of Michigan, with Cisco and Akamai as founding sponsors. CAs issue and maintain digital certificates that ensure no can eavesdrop on the connection between a visitor and the website, thereby preventing man-in-the-middle attacks where a hacker intercepts traffic. For more details on the organisation see https://letsencrypt.org/about/.
Let’s Encrypt is set to change the use of SSL/HTTPS on the internet by providing:
Using free Let’s Encrypt SSLs could not be easier:
We are expecting that during 2017 the majority of business sites will switch to running over SSL/HTTPS to stay up to date on SEO & browser changes.
Let’s Encrypt on shared IP (SNI) is not compatible with Windows XP. If you need Windows XP support then a traditional SSL with Dedicated IP is recommended.
For more details on browser compatibility see https://letsencrypt.org/docs/certificate-compatibility/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Name_Indication#Support.