GeoTrust is the world's second largest SSL certificate provider. According to their website, more than 100,000 customers throughout the world (150 countries overall), use GeoTrust for some type of SSL encryption security. Their SSL certificates come with a fast delivery time and enable up to 256-bit SSL encryption. Another great feature of the GeoTrust SSL certificate is their site seal. The site seal offers a customized display of how much security is provided with an individual SSL certificate.
The company also offers some great features, including a powerful management portal, world-class continuous support, and bulk pricing for GeoTrust Partner companies, as well as enterprise-level users.
However, we found this not to be true. What we realized was that this company has been traded off over the years, possibly creating some confusion about who actually owns GeoTrust.
Currently, Symantec owns GeoTrust. They were acquired, along with Verisign, in 2010, as a $1.28 billion dollar deal with Symantec.
DigiCert, Inc is a privately held US company. They provide SSL certificates as a trusted third party. They verify the authenticity of secure websites on behalf of a web browser to stop online phishing scams. DigiCert is a founding member of the CA Forum and helped set the SSL industry standards. DigiCert also was one of the main companies that helped establish the Extended Validation SSL Certificate.
One of the neat facts about DigiCert is that they are the largest public Certificate Authorities that does not sell “domain validated” or instant SSL certificates. It primarily sells Organization Validation and Enhanced Validation (EV) SSL certificates. DigiCert also worked with Microsoft to develop subject alternate names in SSL certificates for use on the Microsoft Exchange Server.
DigiCert is also based out of Lehi, UT. Ken Bretschneider founded this company in 2003. He’s been a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012. He left to head up People Water. Nicholas Hales is the CEO of DigiCert, which is majority owned by TA Associates, a private equity firm.
SSL.com is a company that was founded back in 2002. They have been one of the leading providers of SSL certificates around the world since that time. They offer wildcard SSL certificates, standard certificates, and EV SSL certificates.
They emphasize their services on the customer, building trust. They use the latest encryption technologies to make sure that their customers have the SSL certificates that meet their needs. They employ detailed background checks for their certificates, ensuring that their customers can attract and retain the trust of their website visitors.
SSL.com has made getting a certificate easy. On their website, they have a full downloadable agreement that fully explains the process of applying for and receiving a certificate. There is also a downloadable certification practice statement, which describes SSL.com’s approach to issuing SSL certificates while staying compliant within the industry.
Comodo is an online company that strives to create customer trust on the Internet. Their mission is utilized in the “Creating Trust” marketplace. Comodo has a team of over 600 people that has a passion for meeting challenges online with trust--for example, their software is designed to prevent malware, Trojans, worms, and more. The SSL certificates that they offer include asymmetrical and symmetrical encryption.
Comodo was founded as a Certificate Authority selling Comodo SSL and digital certificates. Its primary source of revenue comes from related products to business and enterprises. Related E-Commerce products include PCI Compliance Scanning and Web Site Vulnerability Scanning. The company was founded in 1998 in the UK, but also has several locations within the United States.
GlobalSign is an SSL provider with full certificate authority. In addition to providing SSL products for websites, they also provide identity services. The company was founded in 1996 and is currently owned by GMO Cloud K.K., which is based out of Japan. GMO Cloud offers a wide array of identity service solutions and web security products for small- to enterprise-level businesses.
GlobalSign claims that their services are based within a powerful infrastructure, backed by global data centers. The company has placed itself as a major player within a $14.4 trillion market, making secure networked connections among organizations, people, data, and other things that will be required to have a trusted and fully managed identity.
We also found that GlobalSign is a company that sets first-time industry standards. We found that GlobalSign was the first certificate authority to improve page load time for secured HTTP pages. Also, IPv6 is going to be one of the big things to worry about in coming years as the nature of IPs change over time. GlobalSign is the first company to build certificates for customers that offer IPv6-compliant revocation (page loading) services.
RapidSSL is a company that is owned by GeoTrust. They offer a fast-track approach to securing your domain and website with two simple products, a standard single certificate for your website or a wildcard SSL certificate for your website.
Overall, the company sets a standard in the industry by providing fast, affordable SSL certificates for small- to medium-sized businesses. They implement a simple, accurate, and fast authentication process. Overall, we felt like these certificates would be a great fit for a company that needs a certificate right away.
It is important to realize that if you are purchasing a RapidSSL certificate, this company is in the business of only selling RapidSSL single website certificates and SSL wildcard certificates. You will not find specialized certificates with RapidSSL, such as an extended validation certificate.
Alpha SSL is a provider of open source SSL certificates. They are on top of things in the open SSL industry and have prepared for the Heartbleed bug. The company is based out of the UK, but also has offices in New York and Japan. The company prides itself on selling "cheap" SSL certificates-we weren't quite sure how we felt about a company calling its own SSL certificates cheap. "Affordable" might be a better label.
Alpha SSL also has a marketplace for reselling SSL certificates. Though they do not directly resell SSL certificates, customers can sign up for a reseller account and offer older SSL certificates for as low as $10 in a marketplace format. It is also possible to have a bunch of certificates reissued to a new holder for a flat fee.
Alpha SSL does claim to have pretty good customer support, claiming that no certificate ticket goes 24 hours without an answer. However, this assertion was not validated by the experience we had reviewing their website.
StartCom is a company from Eliat, Israel that designs open source operating systems, web hosting, and SSL certificates. The StartCom certificate is included in all the standard operating systems including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and IE. The company offers several different SSL certificates and includes a free version and a wildcard version. StartCom offers a StartComFree certificate, which works for web servers and email encryption. It also offers higher-level certificates with costs, where a validation is necessary. It is important to note that their standard certificate is for non-commercial use only. The free certificate did not include this restriction, but there are different types of commercial certificates available.