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128-bit SSL Digital Certificates

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides the answers to the most commonly asked questions about our web certificates.

What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer, SSL, is the standard security technology for creating an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers. In order to be able to generate an SSL link, a web server requires an SSL Certificate. InstantSSL is such a Certificate, and when installed, can be used to create secure links to protect transactions, passwords, personal details, etc.

What is an SSL Certificate?
A Web Server Certificate permits securer communication between a client and a server (say a customer's browser and a web retailer's server) or two servers (any servers who want to "talk" securely amongst themselves). Simply stated, a web-certificate is a digital document that has unique codes to identify the holder of the certificate to the person accessing the site.

A Personal Certificate is issued to individuals to certify their identity. One can use them to digitally sign email, documents, jar files etc. to prove that they were the author, and that the files have not been tampered with.

Century Web Design will be offering web certificates. Personal Certificates may be offered at a later time along with other security products.

How can someone tell whether a website is using a web certificate or not?
The pages of a web-site which are secured by a web-certificate are characterised by the following traits:

  • The URL of the secure web-pages change from http://... to https://
  • A lock symbol appears in the lower left-hand (right hand) status bar in Netscape Navigator (Internet Explorer).

If one wants to view and verify the encryption information of the secure pages, now should simply undertake the following:

  • In Netscape - click on the lock symbol above and select "View Certificate" button
  • In Internet Explorer - double-click on the lock in the lower right-hand status bar.

Will InstantSSL Certificates work correctly with my customer's browsers?
In order for your customer's browser to seamlessly use an InstantSSL Certificate, they must trust our 'Root Certificate'. Our Root (provided by Baltimore Technologies) is trusted by over 99% of all current browsers (see browser compatibility details), comprising all Internet Explorer 5.00 and above, Netscape 4x and above and AOL 5 and above and comes pre-installed with all Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. This browser compatibility makes InstantSSL as trusted as Verisign and Thawte.

How can I test InstantSSL?
Click here to view a test page secured by InstantSSL, or if you would like to test InstantSSL on your system please feel free to try one of our fully functional Trial SSL Certificates.

How strong are InstantSSL server certificates?
InstantSSL server certificates are 1024 bit capable and support 128 bit browsers.

The strength of the public key in the certificate is defined by you when you generate the key pair for your server. If you generate a 1024-bit key pair and submit the associated CSR (Certificate Signing Request), then the certificate you receive contains the 1024-bit public key. If you generate a 512-bit key pair then the certificate contains the 512-bit public key.

Is my web certificate tied to my IP address?
No, server certificates do not contain any information about IP addresses. However, the domain name listed in the server certificate must match the domain name of the server on which the Web server certificate is installed. The domain name can be mapped to any IP address.

I am using several servers in a load-balancing configuration. How many web certificates do I need?
You will need one web certificate for each of your secure servers (including any virtual servers). With InstantSSL you can save money by getting one of our PremiumSSL Wildcard's. The wildcard Certificate is a cost effective and efficient means of securing all subdomains without the need to manage multiple certificates. You can have up to 10 domains per wildcard certificate. Click Here for more information on our PremiumSSL Wildcard Certificates

Why does an InstantSSL Certificate cost considerably less than other Certification Authorities?
InstantSSL has direct access to the IdAuthority, the largest commercial directory on the web. InstantSSL can therefore expediate the validation of an application. This efficient and highly effective validation method ensures we can issue a Certificate at a greatly reduced cost as reflected through our guaranteed lowest price in the industry as well as maintain a level of validation far superior to the methods employed by other SSL providers. In particular, the validation process employed to issue an InstantSSL, InstantSSL Pro or PremiumSSL Certificate is considerably more than just a domain name ownership check - we firmly believe this method alone to be insufficient to maintain the level of integrity in SSL that consumers have come to expect. For more information, please read the CA Comparison Chart.

What is the difference between an InstantSSL, InstantSSL Pro and PremiumSSL Certificate available through certs.centurywebdesign.co.uk?
InstantSSL Certificates are designed to secure intranet's and low cost transactions. Our InstantSSL Pro and PremiumSSL Certificates are designed to secure all web servers. Whilst technically the three flavours of certificate are identical, due to the nature of how we intend the £45 InstantSSL Certificates to be used, they carry a reduced warranty ($50 maximum warranty). This reduced warranty enable us to further reduce the cost of the certificate to you. However, InstantSSL Pro Certificates carry a warranty of $2500 and PremiumSSL Certificates carry a greatly increased warranty of $10,000 for your total peace of mind.

What does the Warranty actually mean?
We believe it is important to protect the end user. If we 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 end user had what they thought was a "trusted session". Comodo should never have provided the fraudster with the ability to engineer this situation. Hence, we have taken out insurance to pay out money to the end user. How can we do this?

1. We value the end customer.
2. We believe the insurance provided greater peace of mind hence allows the merchant to sell more products.
3. Most importantly, we value our validation techniques (delivered through http://www.idauthority.com/).

We pre-validate customers and provide validation that is far higher than the majority of other SSL providers. Some CA's(Cirtificate Authority) have very weak validation hence they decide NOT to offer insurance! Finally, it is worth pointing out, that we offer high validation, but not at the compromise of speed. You can still obtain SSL instantly.

I want an increased Warranty on my InstantSSL Certificate - how can I get this?
If you require an increased warranty on your SSL Certificate, choose from the InstantSSL Pro or PremiumSSL Certificates option. This provides a greatly increased warranty of $2500 and $10,000 respectively.

How long does it take to process my application?
Provided we have sufficient validation information available through the IdAuthority, your InstantSSL, InstantSSL Pro or PremiumSSL can be issued in only minutes. If additional verification processes must be used to validate your application, the issuance process may take slightly longer. In such cases we guarantee that the Certificate is issued within 2 working days. Please contact us directly to expedite your Order should it be urgent.

Why am I asked about VAT?
Century Web Design is a UK Company. We must therefore determine if we are to charge VAT (Value Added Tax) on the advertised price of the sale.

Which versions of the SSL protocol is InstantSSL compatible with?
InstantSSL is compatible with any browsers and web servers using SSL version 3 - the de facto SSL implementation. SSL version 1 and version 2 have been superseded by version 3 for a number of years, mainly due to the inherent security flaws found in these old versions. All web browsers developed after Internet Explorer 3 and Netscape 3 use SSL version 3 (however still support older SSL protocol versions). If your web server is only capable of supporting versions 1 and 2 of the SSL protocol we strongly recommend you contact your web server software vendor for an update - these protocols are flawed. For more details on why SSL version 2 is no longer used can be found here:

For more details please fill in the enquiries form in our contact us section or call us on +44 (0) 870 2242499 or e-mail us at enquiries@centurywebdesign.co.uk

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Tel: +44 (0) 870 2242499, Email: enquiries@centurywebdesign.co.uk