Clook SSL Certificate or Cloudflare SSL Certificate?

Security/ 02nd Mar 2017/Jamie Hoyles

Cloudflare SSL
This week, as a personal customer of Cloudflare I received an interesting marketing email from them with information on the launch of their new SSL Certificates. I expect this is something that will be also be on its way to many of our clients utilising Cloudflare’s Content Delivery Network service.

At first glance it looked great – free SSL Certificates for all customers. Now Cloudflare have offered this for a number of years but seem to be pushing them more now Google are penalising sites that aren’t secure. If you are unaware – the Google Chrome browser will now highlight pages that ask for passwords, etc. with a “Not Secure” label. Going forward Google have plans to roll out this “Not Secure” message across all web pages – not just those that ask for passwords or card details.

Having looked at Cloudflare’s free SSLs it seems they do a job but they may quickly fall down should you have a visitor inspect the certificate via their browser. The free SSL does not display your domain, instead it will refer back to Cloudflare’s domain. Now this may not be a problem for you if you just wish to secure your site without any cost but for shops and other online businesses this may be a problem…

What solutions are available?

Cloudflare’s announcement this week details a tiered SSL Service with 3 options…

    1. Universal SSL – Free of Charge
    2. Dedicated SSL Certificate – $5 per month
    3. Dedicated SSL with Sub Domains – $10 per month

It is the dedicated SSL Certificate that will show your domain and is the one that I would recommend if purchasing with Cloudflare. The Dedicated SSL with Sub Domains is in effect, a wildcard SSL.

How do these compare with Clook SSL Certificates?

We do not provide free SSLs but our Alpha SSLs are similar to those provided by Cloudflare…

Our budget Alpha SSL Certifactes will display your domain name in the certificate contents and are issued solely to you. From ordering to installing can take less than an hour providing the user is able to reply to verification emails quickly. The Alpha SSL also comes with a warranty of $1,000 offered to the end user should something go wrong.

The cost of an Alpha SSL is just £20 for the year, significantly cheaper than Cloudflare’s Dedicated SSL Certificate.

Our equivalent product to Cloudflare’s Dedicated SSL with Sub Domains would be an Alpha SSL Wildcard. This provides the same warranty as the normal Alpha SSL but covers all subdomains on your main domain too – ie mail.mydomain.com, shop.mydomain.com, etc. The cost of this certificate is £60 per year – again cheaper than Cloudflare’s offering.

To summarise, I think Cloudflare’s certificate range is great if you are either looking to quickly secure a site or want a short term option but if you intend to keep your website SSL protected for 12 months or longer a Clook Certificate is the better option.

If you have an accounts query it is likely Jamie will be the one to help you resolve it...! Away from the office he is a condemned supporter of Blackburn Rovers, enjoys watching and playing cricket and appreciates a good meal out.
We have a very strong team here at Clook and we build on everyone's strengths and weaknesses, you have to be able to make a good brew too!

Chris James

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