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What Is The Difference Between SSL And TLS Certificates?

Last updated on April 24th, 2024 at 01:37 am

In this blog post,  we’ll cover the difference between SSL and TLS certificates.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, is a cryptographic protocol that ensures data integrity in transit by encrypting it from start to finish. 

It can also be used for the authentication of websites through public-key cryptography.

When you connect with an SSL certificate your browser shows a lock icon (usually green).

This alerts you that communication with this site will be encrypted using strong encryption algorithms rather than unencrypted communications where someone could eavesdrop on your traffic without knowing what they’re listening to. 

This type of security protection rests on both confidentiality as well as authenticity – ensuring not only that nobody else gets access to any information exchanged but also making sure that the person sending the data really has been authorized by whoever owns the site.

TLS certificate

When you connect with a TLS certificate your browser shows an “S” in the green bar at the bottom of your screen which alerts you that communication with this site will be encrypted using strong encryption algorithms rather than unencrypted communications where someone could eavesdrop on your traffic without knowing what they’re listening to. 

A certificate can be issued for either site or server; an SSL Certificate secures web pages, but not email or other types of data transmission such as FTP (file transfer protocol). 

This means if someone were intercepting emails sent from one person to another they would see the sender and recipient details, but not what was written inside the message like with an encrypted email service provider like ProtonMail. 

The term “SSL” refers specifically to Secure Socket Layer technology – this encrypts all information before it leaves your computer and then decrypts it on its arrival at its destination.

So there are no worries about emails being intercepted in transit. 

Server certificates are generally cheaper than SSL Certificates for web pages.

And they cost less because there is no need to encrypt an email or other data transmission traveling through the server.

This means that you only have to pay for one certificate rather than two (one for your servers and another for your site).

Difference between SSL and TLS certificates

The differences between TLS Servers and SSL Servers are:

  • TLS servers offer encryption options which include “None”, “Auto”, “RSA” & “EFS”. These security levels vary based on how secure each level may be.
  • SSL servers offer encryption options, which include “None”, “Auto”, and ‘RSA’. The different security levels are the same as TLS servers.

The difference between an SSL Certificate and a TLS certificate is that the former can be used with any device or software, while the latter is only for certain devices or software versions. 

The primary reason to use one over the other is if you need to comply with regulations such as PCI DSS which mandate the use of TLS certificates when processing payments. 

The most important distinction is that while an SSL certificate creates a secure connection, it does not encrypt data transferred over this link. 

This means someone can eavesdrop on your communications if you have only an SSL certificate activated. 

On the other hand, with just a TLS certificate (the successor of SSL), all data will be encrypted during transmission.

As such, no one will be able to read or intercept messages unless they break into the actual servers themselves. 

Some people use both types in order to achieve maximum security but others might prefer using either type depending on their needs.

For example;

Some organizations may need more flexibility than is possible with a full-time TLS certificate.

If not then either will work just fine!

Both of these server certificates will encrypt your data to keep it secure from anyone who may try to steal private information. 

How to check if you have an SSL

There is an easy way to tell if a site has SSL or not – simply look at the website address bar.

When you see “HTTPS” (which means Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) in green letters on a page that means they have secured their web communication with either SSL Certificates or TLS Servers. 

If there is no green text in the URL then the communication between this site and its visitor’s browser isn’t encrypted and could be intercepted by a malicious third party.

How do SSL Certificates protect my data? 

When using an SSL Certificate on your website all sensitive information – like credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.- are encrypted before being sent off of your site in order to help protect it from eavesdroppers on public networks. 

This means that even if someone intercepted the information on-route, they wouldn’t be able to do anything with it!

How does TLS or SSL encryption work? 

When you visit a website using an unencrypted connection – like when you’re browsing from your phone’s browser without enabling any additional security features – then anyone can eavesdrop and intercept all of your data.

This is why we use encrypted connections (SSL/TLS) for transmitting sensitive information. 

When someone sends a request over an encrypted connection, they will get back what looks like random characters instead of text in order to keep their messages secure. 

A “handshake” takes place between the two computers that establish trust before sending any important info.

This gives each side some certainty about who they’re talking to and what they’re talking to them about.

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