March 15, 2016
At MaxCDN we offer four SSL options for encrypting connections between our edge servers and your end users. There are free and paid options, giving all MaxCDN customers with different budgets the opportunity to securely deliver content from MaxCDN.
Quick SSL Comparison
|Shared SSL||SNI SSL||Dedicated SSL||Wildcard SSL|
|Own Certificate Required?||No||Yes**||Yes*||Yes*|
* You can get your own certificate from MaxCDN free of charge.
** You can purchase your own certificate from a service like GlobalSign.
Free and Paid SSL Options
- Shared SSL (Free) Instead of using your own certificate, you use the certificate on our server. The upside of Shared SSL is being able to deliver content securely; the downside is not being able to control your certificate type. You must also share an IP address.
- SNI SSL (Free) This option requires you to purchase your own certificate, giving you control over what type of certificate is used. A minor downside of SNI SSL is that it’s not supported by some older browsers like IE6. You must also share an IP address.
- Dedicated SSL (Paid) This option gives you your own IP address. It covers one hostname (cdn.yourwebsite.com) and is the SSL option that most businesses use. If you want to secure content being delivered from other subdomains (subdomain.yourwebsite.com), you’ll need Wildcard SSL. You can purchase your own certificate, or we can provide one to you free of charge.
- Wildcard SSL (Paid) This option lets you use your own certificate to secure content coming from multiple subdomains with a dedicated IP address. In addition to securing your primary hostname, you can also secure content on subdomains (images.yourwebsite.com, videos.yourwebsite.com, etc.). As with Dedicated SSL, you can purchase your own certificate or get one from us free of charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do Dedicated and Wildcard SSL cost more?
Your SSL certificate is installed on all of our edge servers delivering your content. Since HTTPS requires requests to be encrypted and decrypted, more CPU processes must occur, resulting in increased server capacity. This increases power consumption and requires the CDN to deploy more servers and POPs that drive costs higher.
What are the benefits of having a dedicated IP address?
If a shared IP address gets infected and flagged as malicious or untrusted, your CDN zone won’t be affected. Also, a full list of browsers support SSL options with dedicated IP addresses. Shared IP addresses are used for the Shared SSL and SNI SSL options offered by MaxCDN.
How much do SSL certificates cost?
There are many different types of SSL certificates offered by many different providers. For this reason, there are many different costs. How much you end up paying is determined by the type of certificate you need and the provider you purchase it through.
To give you an idea of the price range: The SSL certificate provider GlobalSign sells certificates ranging from $249/year to $849/year. On the other hand, there are free SSL certificate initiatives like Let’s Encrypt that allow you to get a certificate for free (the caveat being that it’s in beta).
You can also get your certificate directly through us for free if you’re using Dedicated or Wildcard SSL. Just go to Pull Zones > Manage SSL in your MaxCDN Control Panel.