Domain validated HTTPS will soon be free from the large CAs

January 25, 2020

Upcoming plans revealed from two of the largest commercial CAs

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By Mike on 20th Nov 2015

You might have guessed it would happen, but we'll tell you now: Domain validated SSL is soon going to be free from the large CAs. Domain validated (DV) certificates are produced for next to nothing - they don't require any identity checks - and their price has been heading downwards for years. StartCom have given out free DV SSL for years - officially only for non-profits, but in practice for anyone who asked. More recently Mozilla started Let's Encrypt, which provides domain validated SSL for free.

We've confirmed at least two of the major commercial CAs are about to reduce prices for domain validated SSL to nothing.

We haven't confirmed the others, but considering the market share of the two we've confirmed, it's fairly safe to say they'll follow suit.

Domain validated SSL will now be positioned by CAs as a minor loss leader for other security products, including EV certs, PKI management and analysis tools. This is going to be hard: the large CAs have a terrible reputation amongst web developers. We've also been told there's a chance they'll create a new brand to focus on the free products as a way of countering that.