Why do SSL certificates cost so much?

Updated on 1 min

WHERE - Blog Sector

I was reading a post by Tony Bourke 'license to SSL' about the licencing restrictions of Verisign et al. when it comes to web sites running on clusters.

He noted a common misconception that if you host the SSL cert on the load balancer then you negate the need to pay for one licence per server...

WRONG... you still need to pay for each server in the cluster... wow and I thought it was bad enough to get charged for physically copying the cert...

So I thought, hey is anyone finally doing cheap certs that are fully browser compatible (the reason Verisign got rich is that it was pretty much the only company on the planet that Internet Explorer recognised). And secondly if you read the terms and conditions can you buy a single certificate for a server farm?

The good news is that several new certificate authorities have cross browser compatibility at reasonable costs;

Go Daddy Verisign® Thawte GeoTrust® Network Solutions Commodo Trustico
£46.04 £204.16 £127.41 £204.16 £66.00 £89.95 £27

These prices (May 2008) are for a 1yr business class cert. (am I the only person who thinks EV is a con?)

I still need to do a bit more research on the exact licencing terms for clusters, an online chat with GoDaddy implied that you had to pay per server even though the spec implied different.

Any comments or investigations from others is welcome!