Whether you’re running an ecommerce store, setting up a corporate web service, or just want to increase trust and credibility on your website, getting an SSL certificate from a CA is a must. The only problem is that SSL services vary widely in features and price, making it hard to pin down a service that will provide you with exactly what you need without extra features you’ll never use. But there are so many different SSL providers that it’s tough to know whether you’re getting a good deal.
Comodo is a well-trusted name within the industry, and they have provided a range of security products (such as their free Comodo firewall) for years. But is their SSL service up to scratch? Today we’re going to take a closer look at this SSL service to see if they hold up to the competition.
Comodo SSL Pricing Options
I was reasonably impressed with the range of SSL certificate options and their pricing model. Some providers cost upwards of $400 or $500 a year, though they do come with a lot of extra security features. However, I feel Comodo did a good job with providing granular options that will accommodate most people’s needs.
Each package has a different purpose, and as such, has different features. First off, there is the Comodo SSL certificate, which costs $76.95 per year and helps secure a single website. For $299.95, you can upgrade to the next level of certificate that will secure an entire domain and an unlimited number of sub domains, which is good if you operate a massive website.
They do offer an EV SSL certificate for $99. It lasts for 2 years and has some extra security features, as we’ll discuss shortly. Lastly, they offer a UCC/SAN package for $235.00 per year. But how do these prices stack up against the competition?
I think most website administrators who operate small to medium sized sites can get away with purchasing the $76.95 annual plan, which only costs $6.41 per month. But this isn’t the cheapest pricing I have ever seen with SSL certifcates. SSL providers are constantly running promotions, and the cheapest I have ever seen was only $4.99 per month, which isn’t really significantly cheaper.
So, though they may not be the cheapest provider I’ve ever seen, they certainly are at the lower end of the spectrum. In addition, they do provide a 30-day money back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with their service. However, with few exceptions, and SSL certificate is an SSL certificate. So the only real reason I think anyone would want their money back is if they decided to shut down their website.
Important Features to Consider
There are many reasons to use an SSL certificate, and one of the top reasons is to improve your website’s organic SEO rankings. Security, trust, and authority are big factors that influence a website’s search rankings. In fact, HTTPS is used as a ranking signal, so it only makes sense that securing a connection with SSL would help as well.
Furthermore, it increases trust with visitors to your website. Whenever you connect to a website with an SSL certificate, you can rest assured that you are connecting with a trustworthy and legitimate site. SSL can help decrease your bounce rate (which harms SEO rankings) by allowing users to trust your web pages. And though it may seem like a small matter, Comodo SSL will give you a seal to place on your website for free. This seal will further bolster the trustworthiness and credibility of your site.
They also include a warranty of up to $1,750,000, and any CA can issue a certificate that is trusted by all the major web browsers and mobile devices. One feature I found particularly interesting was their PCI (Payment Card Industry) scanning service, which is included for free and lasts for a full year.
There’s no such thing as too much security, and if your website accepts electronic payments (Visa, MasterCard, etc.), having a PCI anti-fraud mechanism could be a real life saver. In addition to PCI security, they also have a website vulnerability scanner. The scanner will help identify security flaws so you won’t be the next victim of a DoS, SQLi, or other type of online atttack.
And as you would expect, they do offer 24/7 customer support. Not only will support be able to help you with account related information, but they can even help you install and configure your SSL certificate if you’re a non-technical user. Last but not least, their SSL product uses industry standard digital signatures that are 2048-bits long, and has 99.9% browser recognition.
When to Use Wildcard SSL Certificates
The aforementioned features are generally provided among all of Comodo’s SSL certificates. But I did want to take a moment and point out a few differences between a standard SSL certificate package and a wildcard SSL certificate.
The standard SSL certificates offered by Comodo can only be used to secure one website. However, the wildcard SSL certificate is more appropriate for a website with a lot of sub-domains. The Comodo Wildcard SSL Certificate can be used to secure as many sub-domains hosted on as many servers as you wish.
For instance, if you had the following website structure and sub-domains, you wouldn’t need to purchase an SSL certificate for each individual URL:
Quick SSL Premium
I also wanted to point out a few caveats and differences regarding their Quick SSL Premium. It may have caught your eye since it only costs $49.99 for a 1-year subscription. But it doesn’t have a lot of the extra features as some of Comodo’s other packages. First of all, it only has the privilege to secure one domain.
It does include domain validation as well as support for secure mobile device connections. However, the refund period only lasts for 15 days. Furthermore, the warranty is much smaller, and is only good for $500,000. Last but not least, it doesn’t include the green bar in a browser that indicates a secured connection.
But in all honesty, if you run a small website or blog and want to boost your credibility, this is one of the most cost effective options. It only costs $4.16 per month, and they discount their rates with longer term (2 year or 3 year) subscriptions. Though it may not have a lot of features, for small and simple websites, it’s hard to find a more cost effective alternative.
Final Thoughts on Comodo
I feel that Comodo is trustworthy for two reasons.
- First of all, they are a validated Certificate Authority (CA), and that alone should be more than enough reason to trust them with an SSL certificate.
- In addition, they have a history of producing high quality and low cost security software, such as their firewall solution. In addition, their prices are hard to beat, and I think that they offer decent value and plenty of different service levels.
You may still be able to find a cheaper solution, but there’s not many other providers at this low of a price point (check this page for the best prices). For instance, sometimes you can find cheaper rates with GoDaddy, but they don’t offer as many features. All in all, I think Comodo SSL is a high quality and cost effective SSL solution.