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Information about Rapid SSL Certificates sold by 3essentials

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3Essentials is an authorized reseller of RapidSSL certificates. When you purchase an SSL certificate from 3Essentials, you are purchasing a RapidSSL certificate. The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the RapidSSL certificate.

What is a RapidSSL Certificate?
RapidSSL Certificates are certificates that uniquely enable businesses to obtain low cost 1 year fully functional trusted SSL certificates and are ideal for websites conducting lite levels of ecommerce or just wishing to secure/encrypt credentials transmission to/from their site (for example DNN or Wordpress login activity).  As such, they over a low cost alternative to significantly higher priced alternatives designed for high traffice, high volume e-commerce based websites.

RapidSSL lowers the barrier of entry for companies that want SSL security by providing immediately issued certificates at the lowest cost available.

How does it work?
When connecting to a webserver over SSL, the visitor's browser decides whether or not to trust the website'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 CAs who own and use their own Trusted Root CA certificates, such as those issued by GeoTrust and As GeoTrust and, a subsidary of 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.  

For a Certification Authority to have and use its own Trusted Root CA certificate already present in browsers is a clear sign that they are long-time, stable and credible organizations 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 CAs 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, or do not use their own root certificates to issue SSL certificates.

So your site identifies to your browser who it is, by way of it's certificate, and the certificate identifies who is the certificate issuer (the CA).  That certificate issuer is then either trusted or not trusted by the browser, based on the browser's own installed list of "trusted" certificate issuers.   This is how the SSL identify verification process works.  This is how your browser says "ok, I have verified that the site you're visiting is who they say they are", because of these trust relationships.  


Why is stability important for SSL certificates?
All SSL certificates issued by are issued from a trusted CA root certificate that is owned by This means that all our certificates are stable.

Owning and using our own root certificate means that is always in control of its pricing. This gives us the ability to change pricing depending on market dynamics ensuring that we will always offer our resellers the lowest cost SSL certificate available in the market!

What do you consider low volume, low transaction?
If you have a low volume website and you decide that your customer's confidence is not affected at all by the brand behind the SSL certificate or the volume of customers that would have an issue are insignificant in number then RapidSSL is the perfect answer.

It is all about customer confidence. Whilst RapidSSL technology is production grade, only you can really determine whether your customers confidence will improve significantly if you purchase an established brand like GeoTrust.

As a guide, typical customer transaction value is sub 50 USD, and volumes of transactions are less than 50 per week.

Note: The 50 per week example figure is simply a commercial guide and not a technical restriction. Technically the RapidSSL certificate will not be restricted from conducting more transactions than 50 - they are still industry standard 128 / 256 bit SSL certificates. However it is our opinion that sites conducting more than 50 transactions will require a Professional Level SSL certificate due to the increased likelihood that the website's customers will expect SSL from a highly credible and established SSL provider and well known internationally accepted SSL brand.

What browser versions are compatible with RapidSSL? certificates are compatible with IE 5.01+, Netscape 4.7+, Mozilla 1+, AOL 5+, Firefox, Safari and many newer Windows and Mac based browsers and are single root install certificates (they do not use chaining technology), meaning that they are compatible with SSLv2 and SSLv3. Single root certificates are also more widely accepted by web servers with some web servers not accepting chained root technology.

How long are the your SSL certificates valid for?
RapidSSL certificates are valid for 1 to 5 years.
Professional Level Certificates from GeoTrust are available for up to 6 years.

When your SSL certificate expires and you wish to renew with us, we will give you instructions on how to renew with us.

How long does it take to issue my Certificate?
RapidSSL are issued generally immediately; occasionally a certificate request will require additional security review which may delay issuance usually be a few hours to 1 day.  

Is there a limit to the number of certificates I can order?
We do not limit the amount of RapidSSL certificates that can be ordered.

What is browser ubiquity or browser recognition?
Browser ubiquity is the term used in the industry to describe the estimated percentage of Internet users that will inherently trust an SSL certificate. The lower the browser ubiquity, the less people will trust your certificate - clearly, if you are operating a commercial site you require as many people as possible to trust your SSL certificate. As a general rule, any SSL certificate with over 95% browser ubiquity is acceptable for a commercial site.

Ubiquity is however not the only consideration in deciding whether one SSL certificate is better than another. Many companies running high transaction volume web sites need to maximize customer confidence and therefore buy certificates from well known, long time security vendors and mostly use the major players e.g. GeoTrust and Verisign who are all WebTrust compliant.

If you have a low volume web site and you decide that your customers confidence is not effected at all by the brand behind the SSL certificate, or the volume of customers that would have an issue are insignificant in number, then RapidSSL certificates are ideal.

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