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Symantec is one of the largest players in the SSL certificate and website security industry. They offer SSL certificates, Norton Antivirus, and other web security products. We reviewed their SSL certificate brands. Symantec was founded in 1982, with a focus on artificial intelligence and technology. Over the years, Symantec has rebranded, acquired new companies, and developed a focus towards web security and technology. The company is a Fortune 500 organization and is a member of the S&P 500, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has undergone several mergers and acquisitions over the years. In 2014, Symantec split into two different companies, a division that will be completed by the end of 2015. One company, still carrying the name “Symantec,” will continue selling SSL certificates and other online security products. Vertias Software, another company resulting from the split, will focus on information protection and management. 

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The Good

  • Liability warranty
  • Top security features
  • Website seals
  • Value
Symantec has set the standards for the SSL certificate industry with their many fine products. These include standard SSL certificates, Extended Validation SSL certificates, and wildcard options. While the prices are a little bit steep, we believe that they offer some of the best certificate products within the industry.
Liability Warranty
In the SSL certificate industry, we found that the amount of liability coverage provided varied greatly. Some companies only offered around $100,000, while others went as high as $1,750,000 for their EV certificate liability. We found the best "range" of coverage with Symantec. The amount of coverage for each type of SSL certificate is provided below:
  • Secure Site: $1,500,000
  • SSL Wildcard: $1,500,000
  • Secure Site Pro: $1,500,000
  • Secure Site with EV: $1,750,000
  • Secure Site with EV Pro: $1,750,000
While the SSL wildcard products with Symantec are a bit on the expensive side, we feel that they offer the best coverage for SSL certificates within the industry.
Top Security Features
With Symantec, we got the best explanation of security product features within the industry. Not only did they list the feature, but also they explained the benefit of the feature for a verified website. Here are some of the features that we liked the best for security:
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Regular scans of all your public-facing web pages that report possibility security flaws.
  • Full Organization Authentication: With other providers, we found that their standard certificate only verified your domain, not your organization. Full organization authentication is a standard feature of all Symantec certificates.
  • Daily Malware Scanning: The SSL certificates offered by Symantec routinely scan your front-facing web pages to detect malware and code embedded that could undermine your website security.
Website Seals
Security website seals go a long ways. Not only do they increase your website conversions, but they also reduce the number of visitors who are bounced from your website. Symantec goes the next step with their website seals. They were one of the only companies we reviewed that provides a seal-in-search. When your business site shows up on Google, your Symantec seal also shows up as part of your website search listing. We are convinced that your business will rank higher with this seal-in-search feature, which is one of the best seal standards in the industry.
While Symantec charges some of the highest prices in the industry, you do get what you pay for. We found that the liability coverage for each SSL certificate package was outstanding. Also, the full list of features on the website support the price that you are paying with Symantec.

The Bad

  • Trust and security ratings
  • No real entry-level product
We did have a few concerns about pricing with Symantec. Overall, in the industry, pricing for wildcard SSL certificates is a little bit outrageous. Symantec charges $5,095 for a wildcard SSL 3-year certificate. This was one of the highest prices that we saw in the industry. However, we found that Symantec also had among the best liability for wildcard SSL certificates.
Trust and Security Ratings
One of the things that vexed us about Symantec was the "Trust and Security" rating. Each security and trust rating is based off of the various features with each SSL certificate. Why does the SSL wildcard certificate from Symantec only have a ranking of two locks for security? For the high-priced wildcard certificate, we would expect this ranking to be higher. In fact, wildcard certificates are important for companies that sell different products on each of their subdomains. This could be a potential security flaw for e-commerce businesses.
No Real Entry-Level Product
We did have some issues with the types of SSL certificates available. All of their security certificates are targeted towards "big business" web pages. We would like to see a quick or simple SSL solution for small business websites. We saw these available with other SSL companies.

The Bottom Line

At this time, we recommend Symantec as a provider of SSL certificates. Frankly, their warranty liability blows the competitors straight out of the water. Moreover, they also offer some great site seal features, such as an in-search indicator. The only concerns we have with Symantec, at this time, focus on their high prices, especially for the SSL wildcard certificate.
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