Let’s Encrypt is a New Certificate Authority that Aims to Encrypt the Entire Web, Free of Charge.
An automated, open source and best of all; Free SSL Certificate provider brought to you by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) founded by Josh Aas of Mozilla who serves as the group’s executive director and board chair. The ISRG is a joint EFF-Mozilla-Linux Foundation project that has enabled anyone to obtain a Free SSL certificate in minutes and install and configure it so that visitors on their Websites will be shielded from surveillance and snooping activities by Hackers. Learn to use better Web administration techniques to secure your website from Hackers.
On 12th of April the group announced that The Let’s Encrypt Initiative has officially left Beta with support from new sponsors such as Cisco, Akamai and many other gold status members. As of current status, Let’s Encrypt has been accepted by all major browsers including Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer and is universally supported and backed by industry leaders from all aspects of the web.
What Makes Let’s Encrypt Special?
The Let’s Encrypt Certificate Authority provides a host of features such as:
- Automatic – Lets encrypt is easy to install and does not require any further installations, configuration and renewals after the beta
- Free & Open – The HTTPS certifications and renewal procedures are open source and can be installed free of cost by all website owners and net denizens
- Transparent – Let’s Encrypt publicizes the records of all certificates online and ensures complete transparency of the initiative
- Secure – An obvious feature of SSL and TLS is heightened Security, besides that, Lets Encrypt ensures complete reliability and a bounty for any detected vulnerability*
- Insured – Let’s Encrypt is backed by a multi-stakeholder not-for-profit organization that actually believes in Net Neutrality and the Open-Web
Related: Learn how to implement Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in your Website.
How to Install a ‘Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Certificate’
Imagine that you have a domain called domain.xyz and you want to get a certificate for it. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have access to the domain.xyz web server.
The process of generating and installing a Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Certificate starts after you download and install the Let’s Encrypt Client Application.
Using SSH with root access, login to your domain.xyz web server
Install the Git version control system using the ‘apt-get install git’ command
Download and install the Let’s Encrypt Client application and type command
git clone https://github.com/letsencrypt/letsencrypt
Accept the Agreement and enter the server name and an email address where you can receive messages from Let’s Encrypt
Finally, Review the Terms of Service and press Enter to generate and install an SSL certificate.
How to Configure Nginx/Apache for Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate
By default configurations, Nginx or Apache web servers cannot use Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates.
In Nginx, to use an installed SSL certificate, the default Nginx configuration files need to be edited. To access the Nginx configuration file:
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/www.domain.xyz
In the Nginx configuration file, add the following lines:
listen 443 ssl;
Save the configuration file, and simply restart your Nginx web server, using the command:
sudo nginx -s reload
That about sums it all up! Installing a SSL certificate is designed to be quite easy and hassle free as an integral part of the Open Web initiative by the Let’s Encrypt Project. For more details and troubleshooting information; Visit the Complete Documentation to Install SSL.
Related: Check-out the complete Starter Guide to Google Analytics.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed a SSL certificate for your domain.xyz domain.
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How to Renew Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Certificate:
It is important to note that the beta version of Let’s Encrypt issues certificates that expire after 90 days. So, to renew your SSL certificate, you need to run the letsencrypt-auto script again after expiration.
“There’s a reward going for anyone who can find a security hole in the service,” the Lets Encrypt team wrote in a recent article on the The Let’s Encrypt Blog. “We have more work to do before we’re comfortable dropping the beta label entirely, particularly on the client experience.”
“Automation is a cornerstone of our strategy, and we need to make sure that the client works smoothly and reliably on a wide range of platforms. We’ll be monitoring feedback from users closely, and making improvements as quickly as possible.”
Let’s Encrypt had signed its first free HTTPS certification in September, and its commercial software installer just recently emerged in November last year. Since then the team has been finding flaws in their systems before going public.
FREE HTTPS Certificates for Everyone!
Hooray!! You just got something for free that otherwise costs a significant amount, legally!
Let’s Encrypt gives away free HTTP SSL/TLS Certificates to ensure a safer and more reliable internet. Support the makers and the team behind Lets Encrypt achieve their objective; tell a friend or a co-worker now, become a part of the initiative.