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SSL Certificates FAQs

What is an SSL Certificate?
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate creates an encrypted link between a website and a visitor's Web browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the website and the browser remains private and secure. The SSL Certificate triggers the "s" in "https" in the website address and the closed padlock on the browser - items most consumers look for when transacting business online.

The certificate also demonstrates to your visitors that your website is owned by a legitimate business. This is done through a validation process performed by a Certification Authority (CA) prior to issuing you an SSL Certificate. Network Solutions® is a trusted CA, offering SSL Certificates in the nsProtect™ Secure suite of products.
What is an SSL Certification Authority?
Certification Authorities (CA) are third-party verifiers that authorize and endorse the legitimacy of websites. Browsers inherently trust an SSL Certificate if it is current and is issued by a reputable CA since trusted CAs will only issue certificates to websites after validating the legitimacy of that site.
Do I need an SSL certificate?
The encryption provided by SSL Certificates helps to prevent hackers from stealing private and confidential information sent via the Internet. A website secured with an SSL Certificate provides a safe place for customers to enter sensitive data such as credit card information, bank account numbers, etc. If you transact business or collect sensitive information on your website, you need an SSL Certificate!
What is "Identity Assurance"
In addition to encryption, an SSL Certificate provides identity assurance which proves that the business running the website is who it claims to be. Identity assurance is accomplished through a validation process. Network Solutions offers two different validation processes:
  • Organizationally Validated SSL Certificates are only issued after verifying the legitimacy of the applicant's business. This is done by manually checking credentials such as Dunn & Bradstreet number, articles of incorporation, WHOIS, passport, driver's license, etc.
  • Extended Validation SSL Certificates provide the highest level of certificate validation and are available to all business and government entities, but are not available to individuals. The Extended Validation application process is more rigorous and detailed than for any other certificate. Validation for EV certificates will require additional steps, which may include obtaining signatures from several people within the company applying for the certificate, legal verification, etc.
Why should I trust Network Solutions with my online security needs?
Network Solutions was named the fastest growing Certification Authority in 2007, growing by 159%*. As one of the largest providers of SSL Certificates, Network Solutions is an established and trusted name in the industry. Our nsProtect™ Secure SSL Certificates offer:
  • State of the art encryption - With the ability to encrypt data at up to 256-bits, nsProtect Secure certificates convert your data into virtually impenetrable code that is safe from hackers and identity thieves.
  • Highest-dollar-value guarantee available - nsProtect Secure offers up to $1 million in relying party guarantees to provide even more assurance to your customers that their transactions are protected.
  • Free, 24/7 Real Person Support - Get help when you need it.
  • You get the highest level of data encryption and customer support for less than half the price of the leading competitor**.
How do I choose the right nsProtect™ Secure certificate for my business?
All Network Solutions nsProtect Secure SSL Certificates offer the same level of encryption and are an excellent choice for businesses conducting online transactions or collecting sensitive information. When choosing which SSL Certificate to use, there are two important things to consider: 1) What validation method suits your business? and 2) What specific features, like issuance times and guarantees, do you require?
  • nsProtect™ Secure Basic, Advanced & Wildcard - All three of these Certificates are "organizationally validated". The Wildcard Certificate, however, is different in that it is only for websites needing to encrypt multiple sub-domains (i.e. security.networksolutions.com is a sub-domain of networksolutions.com). If you need to secure 3 or more sub-domains, the Wildcard Certificate is your best value.
  • nsProtect™ Secure Extended Validation (EV) Certificates - Obtaining an EV Certificate requires a far more detailed application and validation process, including a verifiable physical existence and business presence. This is beneficial if you own a large ecommerce website and want an additional visual indicator that your site is secured. In addition to displaying a closed padlock image and "https" Web address prefix, websites secured by an EV Certificate will turn the address bar green.
Compare All nsProtect Secure Certificates
What should I consider when choosing an SSL provider?
Things to consider when evaluating SSL Certificate providers include the data encryption level, Web browser compatibility, price, reputation, and customer support. Network Solutions nsProtect™ Secure SSL Certificates offer:
  • State-of-the-art encryption levels-up to 256 bit
  • Compatibility with over 99% of Web browsers worldwide
  • Competitive pricing. Compare us to the competition
  • A widely recognized and respected brand name
  • Free 24/7 Real Person Support ™
What is the difference between nsProtect™ Secure SSL certificates and nsProtect™ Assured site seals?
An nsProtect™ Secure SSL Certificate creates an encrypted link between your website and your visitor's browser, and comes with a free "seal" to display on your homepage. This clickable seal shows detailed information about your company along with the guarantee behind the SSL Certificate.

If you don't need to encrypt your website for secure online transactions, you can purchase and display just the nsProtect Assured seal to show your website has been validated as a legitimate business. Visitors can click on this seal to view your company's credentials.
How do I receive my SSL Certificate?
When you buy an nsProtect™ Secure SSL Certificate you are asked to provide specific information which Network Solutions will verify, or validate, to prove you are a legitimate business. For example, you may be asked for articles of incorporation, licensing, utility or telephone bills, etc. You move through the various stages of validation using Network Solutions Account Manager. Email communications will also be sent to you to assist you in the process.

Once all validation is complete, your SSL Certificate is issued electronically and is ready for installation on your website. If your website is hosted with Network Solutions, much of this installation process is automated for you.
* According to a Dec. 2007 NetCraft Secure Server Survey, NetCraft, LTD.
** Savings claim based on 3 year purchase of Network Solutions® nsProtect™ Secure - Basic for $99/year, compared to Verisign® Secure Site Pro for $827/year.