Jul 7, 2017

Coming Soon: FREE Wildcard SSL Certificates!

I was just made aware of some really awesome news for those of you that value your online privacy! I wrote in the past about free named SSL certificates from StartCom. That was pretty cool, and I have used plenty of their free SSL certificates, but another group is about to "one up" them!

Let's Encrypt announced that they will begin offering FREE wildcard SSL certificates starting in January of 2018!

From their press release:
Let’s Encrypt will begin issuing wildcard certificates in January of 2018. Wildcard certificates are a commonly requested feature and we understand that there are some use cases where they make HTTPS deployment easier. Our hope is that offering wildcards will help to accelerate the Web’s progress towards 100% HTTPS. 
Let’s Encrypt is currently securing 47 million domains via our fully automated DV certificate issuance and management API. This has contributed heavily to the Web going from 40% to 58% encrypted page loads since Let’s Encrypt’s service became available in December 2015. If you’re excited about wildcard availability and our mission to get to a 100% encrypted Web, we ask that you contribute to our summer fundraising campaign
A wildcard certificate can secure any number of subdomains of a base domain (e.g. *.example.com). This allows administrators to use a single certificate and key pair for a domain and all of its subdomains, which can make HTTPS deployment significantly easier.

This is kind of a big deal. If you want to secure more than one website or service with TLS/SSL then getting a bunch of named certificates can be a pain to manage. Plus, many certificate authorities charge a pretty penny for wildcard certificates, so it prices many small businesses and groups out of the encryption market!

Having a non-profit group, like Let's Encrypt, issuing free wildcard SSL certificates encourages more people to use encryption, and makes it easy!

What do you think about this? Are you going to give Let's Encrypt a shot? Let us know in the comments!

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