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What Is An SSL Certificate? How Much Is An SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate creates secure communication between the person, computer, and server. SSL certs help data transmit securely from a computer or device to a web server encrypted.

What Is An SSL Certificate?

SSL is the Secure Sockets Layer protocol that is responsible for creating secure communication between client and server. This is done by both server and client authentication and the negotiation of an encryption algorithm and cryptographic keys.


Internet users associate SSL with the padlock that appears in your browser's address bar when you enter the secure area of a website. They know to look for this before entering any personal or financial information online. If information is entered on an unsecured website, the data is transmitted from your computer to the web server un-encrypted and viewable in plain text. Anyone 'sniffing' packets on the network or on the internet can capture your information and use it fraudulently.

How Does an SSL Certifate Work?

When a website has an SSL certificate, it activates a protocol called HTTPS, ensuring that all data transmitted is encrypted. This encryption process scrambles the data into a format that can only be decrypted by the recipient website, using unique keys.

Here’s how it works in steps:

  1. When you connect to a secure website, your browser asks the website to identify itself.

  2. The website sends a copy of its SSL certificate to your browser. Your browser checks this certificate against a list of trusted authorities to ensure it's valid and hasn’t been tampered with.

  3. Once verified, your browser and the website agree on an encryption method and unique encryption keys for your session. This ensures that any information you exchange is scrambled and can only be read by you and the websit.

This process ensures that sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and personal data are securely transmitted, making it extremely difficult for eavesdroppers to intercept or decipher the information.

Types of SSL Certificates

There are several types of SSL Certificates to choose from, mainly:

  • Domain Validated (DV) Certificates: Verifies the ownership of the domain. Fast issuance but with minimal vetting.

  • Organization Validated (OV) Certificates: Validates the business behind the domain, providing more trust than DV.

  • Extended Validation (EV) Certificates: Offers the highest level of validation, including thorough vetting of the business. They display the business name in the browser address bar.

  • Wildcard SSL Certificates: Secures a domain and an unlimited number of its subdomains.

  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MDCs): Secures multiple domains and subdomains with a single certificate.

How Much Does an SSL Certificate Cost?

All Bluehost customers have a free shared SSL Certificate available through Let's Encrypt for all assigned and parked domains and subdomains. These should install and activate themselves. Please see How to activate a free SSL Certificate for more information on manually enabling your free certificates.

To utilize the SSL protocol with your domain, the Bluehost server needs:

  • To have a Private (non-shared) SSL Certificate installed specifically for your domain.
  • This can only be done if your account has a Dedicated IP address.

For information about purchasing a Dedicated IP address, view our Bluehost article How To Purchase A Dedicated IP.

Please note: For Standard and Pro accounts, you can only have one Dedicated IP and one SSL Certificate. This is because you will have only one cPanel. For VPS, dedicated, and reseller accounts, you can have multiple Dedicated IP and SSL Certificates because you can create multiple cPanels within your account.

Purchased An SSL Certificate for your Bluehost Account?

Once you have purchased a Dedicated IP for your Bluehost account, you may continue with one of the following knowledgebase articles:

Note: SSL Certificates are domain-specific. When renaming the main domain, please be aware that the SSL Certificate for the old main domain will not work after the rename process. The new main domain name will require a new SSL Certificate.

Summary

An SSL Certificate ensures secure communication between a user and a server by encrypting data sent over the internet, preventing unauthorized access. It's essential for safeguarding sensitive information and is recognized by a padlock icon in the browser's address bar.

Bluehost offers a free SSL Certificate for customers who availed our hosting plans. Whether you're using Dedicated Hosting, Web Hosting, WordPress Hosting or VPS Hosting, you can stay assured your website is protected.

 

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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