Owing to the rapid rise of hacking attempts and fraudulent activities on each passing day, all the businesses and website owners are concerned in protecting their websites against cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Inorder, to make the web a safer place by ensuring security, privacy and data integrity, search engines like Google, encourages website owners to use HTTPS protocols in the URL, which implies that the URLs are secured by an SSL certificate. In this article let’s take a look on, What is SSL? Why SSL is important for a website? Different forms of SSL and how they differ? Which one to choose among them?
What Is An SSL Certificate?
In simple words, SSL acts as a powerful weapon for web security which assures a protection for website owners to protect themselves and their users. For instance, when you are carrying out a bank transaction, the information you send online, pass through different systems to reach the destination server. Hence, the confidential information such as user name, password etc will be visible to the systems that are in between yours and the server. To prevent such action, SSL certificate is used. It encrypts the confidential information that are sent online and make the information available in a readable format only to the intended recipient to whom you are sending information. Google indicates the websites that have adopted SSL certificate by displaying “https” letters in the URL in green color. This visually reassures the visitors that their connection to the particular website is trusted and their confidential information will be kept secured.
Are SSL Certificates Mandatory For A Website?
With no doubt, the answer to this question should be “yes”. It is an irresistible out and out necessity in the present scenario to safeguard your website from the emerging creativity of cybercriminals. You can reap the following benefits by adopting a SSL certificate to your website.
- Assured data protection as every bit of information is encrypted
- Promises your identity with proper authentication
- Increased authority of the website and boosts search engine ranking
- Improved customer trust
- Websites comply to PCI/DSS standards
Now, have you decided to adopt an SSL certificate for your website? You can contact your web hosting providers to check if they offer SSL certificates. And now, you have to choose between the two forms of SSL certificate for your website. Read further to know about the different forms of SSL certificates.
Forms Of SSL Certificates
SSL certificates are of two forms Free SSL Certificates and Paid SSL Certificates.
As the name implies, Free SSL certificates are available free of costs and they do not come with any support or warranty. Free SSL certificates are of two types. First one is, self-signed certificates which are not signed by any certificate authority. The other one is signed by a certificate authority.
Paid SSL certificates is available on payment and signed by a trustworthy certificate authority (CA). They can be purchased directly from the Certificate Authority’s website or from any retailers.
Free SSL Vs Paid SSL
Even though free SSL and paid SSL possess diverse features, the level of encryption provided by both the certificates are equal. Let’s take a look on the differences between free SSL and paid SSL.
Free SSL offers Domain Validation (DV) option in which only one domain can be secured. This provides only a basic level of authentication by authenticating only the domain’s ownership and no effort is made to verify who the domain owner is.
Paid SSL mandatorily verifies the identity of the website owner before issuing the certificate. It additionally includes Extended Validation (EV) and Organization Validation (OV) certificates, which are issued by the certificate authority after a thorough verification of the business.
Validation of Free SSL certificate is limited to a shorter period of 30-90 days, paving a way for frequent renewal. Whereas Paid SSL certificate is offered for a period of 1 or 2 years which enables your online business to stay secured for a long time and website proprietor need not worry about the frequent renewals.
Free SSL lacks customer trust as it is not issued by a reputable certificate authority. Search engines indicate the websites that have adopted OV and EV certificates by displaying “https” letters in the URL in green color. This visually reassures the visitors that their connection to the particular website is trusted and their confidential information will be kept secured.
Guaranteed Customer Support
Paid SSLs issued by Certified Authorities (CA) and retailers guarantee round the clock prompt customer support via email or call or chat. Free SSLs cannot afford to offer such a prompt support and the website owners have to surf the web to find an optimal solution for an issue.
If anything goes wrong in your website such as data breach or hacks, when equipped with Free SSL, there is no option to avail damage coverage. This is not in the case of Paid SSLs where you get an insurance coverage for the incurred loss. The coverage amount depends on the price of your SSL. High Paid SSLs are likely to get an ample warranty.
How To Choose The Right SSL For Your Business?
Having known the features of both the SSLs, it is important to choose the right form of SSL considering your website and business requirements. If you own a small websites or blogs you can opt for Free SSLs as they come with lot of constraints. If you own a business website or e-commerce website which involves confidential information like account number, account passwords, undoubtedly you have to opt Paid SSLs to gain the customer trust and accelerate the conversion rates. Though with Paid SSLs you have to spend a bit upfront, you will surely reap the benefits on time.
As the demand for online content increases, the demand for a critical technology which can deliver video, huge files, and other web content to users quickly and reliably increases. The delay that occurs between the loading of a web page and when the page actually appears is termed to be latency. The latency of a page may be high due to the geographical distance between your computer and the hosting server of the web page and no user can’t wait so long for a content to load and they simply close or navigate to another web application.
CDN’s are evolved to solve such a fundamental problem by accelerating the delivery of content. The cached content on multiple servers are widely distributed across the geographical locations to deliver a range of content to numerous endpoints swiftly in a cost-effective manner.
In this article, let’s have a look on how CDN’s work and the types of CDN deliveries based on the user requirements.
How CDN’s Work?
Generally, CDN’s are a large network of servers. They reduce the physical stretch between a web server and a user by having the copies of content pulled from the origin server to spread across geographies in storage banks called caches or PoPs. So when a user from the US tries to access French content it can simply be fetched from a local US PoP, instead of routing the content from France. In the nutshell, CDN’s are great in offering a superlative coverage to the users, thereby improving the user experience.
Types Of CDN’s
Based on the purposes, CDN deliveries fall into three categories: General Purpose CDN’s, On-demand Video CDN’s, Live Video CDN’s. Let’s explore in detail each of the categories in detail.
General Purpose CDN
General purpose CDN’s took its form before the emergence of video and you might have come across a general purpose CDN while surfing a popular website or when downloading a software update or when streaming a song on YouTube. They drive the web traffic by retrieving cached content from diverse regions. However, web acceleration has become bit complex and highly fragmented as they rely on a large number of servers worldwide falling along the language lines and country boundaries. The language clusters in a single country can prompt numerous CDNs having the capacity to make advances into different parts of the market.
On-Demand Video CDN
Barely, to curb the number of bits being delivered to the user, CDNs would not really like to spend the additional cost of hardware and streaming software. Hence the formats direct download, progressive download, and HTTP streaming are evolved.
Direct download requires a video to be downloaded before viewing. However, this turns out to be a time-consuming burdensome process for large applications and movies, while shorter clips can be downloaded quickly.
YouTube is a perfect example of progressive download which demands a bit-by-bit download. Here, the viewer can watch a part of the video while the rest being downloaded facilitating concurrent download and utilization of the video. Progressive downloads turn out to be more effective and practical as the speed of the download that is required to deliver the standard-definition content exceeds the bit rate as the internet speed increases.
HTTP streaming technology chokes the on-demand content by dividing it into tiny bits and stream each bit separately. In order to customize a particular stream to a user’s video player, streaming is performed at varying bit rates.
Live Video CDN
Besides other forms of CDN delivery, live video delivery is crucial as the majority of video content delivered by CDNs is on-demand video and live video can’t be cached. Hence the basic CDN infrastructure took a new form as a live streaming CDNs.
These live streaming CDN’s can be fabricated in two ways
Low bandwidth pipes utilizing reflectors for accelerating the content transmission
Ultra-high bandwidth pipes for instant transmission of content to users
Live streaming CDN’s are becoming popular despite being costly during peak user views and the cost cannot be adequately recovered as we cannot expect continuous usage. However, live streaming CDN is expected to rule the sphere by marking itself as mainstream communication.
A CDN can fill in as an enchantment fix in smoothening content transmission to your clients. They offer specific benefits to different types of business sectors such as IT corporates, media, government, finance, e-commerce etc. Get ready to experience a remarkable business experience by integrating CDN to your streaming platform.