What Is SSL
The SSL protocol is the web standard for encrypting communications between users and SSL e-commerce sites. Data sent via a SSL connection is protected by encryption, a mechanism that prevents eavesdropping and tampering with any transmitted data. SSL provides businesses and consumers with the confidence that private data sent to a web site, such as credit card numbers, are kept confidential. SSL Certificates are required to initialise an SSL session.
Customers know when they have an SSL session when their browser displays the little gold padlock and the address bar begins with a https rather than http. SSL Certificates can be used on web servers for internet security and mail servers such as IMAP, POP3 and SMTP for mail collection / sending security.
128/256 Bit SSL Certificates are usually used to protect information whilst it is being entered into an online form, securing e-mail, servers and ftp.
What Is A Wildcard Certificate
Our wildcard certificates are can be used to secure multiple sub domains on a single domain name. Wildcard allows web sites to conduct secure e-commerce with an encrypted SSL connection, at a fraction of the cost of other wildcard providers.
What Is A Single Root
When connecting to a web server over SSL, the visitor's browser decides whether or not to trust the web site's SSL certificate based on which Certification Authority has issued the actual SSL certificate. To determine this, the browser looks at its list of trusted issuing authorities - represented by a collection of Trusted Root CA certificates added into the browser by the browser vendor (such as Microsoft and Netscape).
Most SSL Certificates are issued by CA's who own and use their own Trusted Root CA certificates, such as those issued by GeoTrust. As GeoTrust is known to browser vendors as a trusted issuing authority, its Trusted Root CA certificate has already been added to all popular browsers, and hence is already trusted.
Some Certification Authorities do not have a Trusted Root CA certificate present in browsers, therefore they need a chained root in order for their certificates to be trusted - essentially a CA with a Trusted Root CA certificate issues a chained certificate which inherits the browser recognition of the Trusted Root CA. These SSL certificates are known as chained root SSL certificates.
Installation of Chained Root certificates are more complex and some web servers are not compatible with Chained Root certificates.
For a Certification Authority to have its own Trusted Root CA certificate already present in browsers is a clear sign that they are long-time, stable and credible establishment who have long term relationships with the browser vendors (such as Microsoft and Netscape) for the inclusion of their Trusted Root CA certificates. For this reason, such CA's are seen as being considerably more credible and stable than Chained Root certificate providers who do not have a direct relationship with the browser vendors.
You can view the Certification Authorities who have their own root certificates by viewing the list in your browser.
What Is The Warranty
We believe it is important to protect the end user. If GeoTrust were to mis-issue a certificate to a fraudulent site, and that fraudulent site has an SSL link with an end user and as a result of this the end user loses money - the warranty to the end user. The end user had what they thought was a "trusted session". GeoTrust should never have provided the fraudster with the ability to engineer this situation.
It is worth noting that some other providers use warranty as a means of adding perceived value to their offerings, as such will offer the same certificate with higher warranties and then charge more for the certificate! It also appears to be common practice that some certificate providers offer a higher warranty in order to lure people into buying chained root certificates.