Did you know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? 

HTTP is an application layer protocol that receives information from the web and displays it to the web searcher. Without a secure connection, any network between the source and the destination can change the information the destination host gets. 

Therefore, an additional layer of security, i.e. HTTPS, comes into play that transports the data securely, known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). 

On August 6, 2014, Google announced that they would prefer HTTPS sites in search engine results. And this decision made all business owners to buy SSL certificates for their websites. The easiest way of obtaining the SSL certificate is from your provider of Web Hosting Plan.

You can also buy it from Comodo SSL certificate authority.

However, among the array of SSL certificate providers, Let’s Encrypt has emerged as a transformative force, as it is a free and automated certificate authority that provides SSL and TLS (Transport Layer Security) website certificates. 

In this article, we will explore the benefits and limitations of Let’s Encrypt SSL to know whether it is worth considering or not.

The Benefits of Let’s Encrypt SSL

  1. Cost-Efficiency and Accessibility

Let’s Encrypt offers the SSL certificate free of cost. It disrupts the market of SSL providers. Even the Comodo SSL certificate comes with a price. This democratization eliminates financial barriers, enabling even small businesses and personal websites to secure online presence.

  1. Automated Renewals

Traditional and Comodo SSL certificates require manual renewal, leaving room for oversight and expiration-related vulnerabilities. But the Let’s Encrypt Encrypt certificates with a validity period of 90 days, along with the automated renewal process 

  1. Strong Encryption

If you want to buy an SSL certificate that has robust encryption, Let’s Encrypt can be a good option. It secures data transmission and mitigates the risk of eavesdropping and data interception.

  1. Community-Driven

Let’s Encrypt is operated by the nonprofit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and is backed by a collaborative community of security experts, developers, security experts and more committed to enhancing online security.

The Limitations of Let’s Encrypt SSL

  1. Limited Certificate Types

Let’s Encrypt primarily offers Domain Validation (DV) certificates. However, organizations needing Extended Validation (EV) certificates might find Let’s Encrypt inadequate..

  1. Short Validity Period 

Let’s Encrypt offer SSL certificates relatively for a short period, i.e. for 90 days. Therefore, organizations have to keep an eye on renewal processes that are flawlessly set up to avoid disruptions.

  1. Lack of Wildcard Support

Until recently, Let’s Encrypt did not offer wildcard certificates to secure multiple subdomains with a single certificate. While this has changed, some limitations and restrictions still apply.

  1. Compatibility with Older Browsers

While Let’s Encrypt certificates are widely supported, compatibility issues might arise with older browsers and systems that do not recognize the newer certificate authority.

  1. Rate Limits

Let’s Encrypt imposes rate limits to prevent abuse and to manage server resources. These limits can affect organizations requiring many certificates in a short span.

Conclusion

Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates have ushered in a new era of accessibility and automation in website security. Along with its multiple benefits, such as strong encryption, cost efficiency and more, it has some limitations, like short validity period, limited certificate types and more. 

Therefore, one should carefully consider the organization’s specific needs, pros and cons before buying an SSL certificate.

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