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I'm using Network Solutions, who want me to give them $50 or $100 per year to have SSL protection with my hosting. I keep hearing about free SSL certificates though. Can I really use one of those with N.S.? I would think they'd try to block any such attempt. If they don't block it, how do I install it? Is it just a matter of ftp'ing the file in and updating .htaccess? Thanks.

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Sadly, you can't just FTP a certificate into place and adjust the .htaccess file, if you're on shared hosting.

If you have root access to the hosting solution or full control over the entire webserver, you can just configure the webserver globally for SSL support and upload the certificate, including a free one.

The free certificates are good for providing encryption (i.e., for a login page), but aren't very good for authentication (proving you are who you say you are). If you're running a business and people need to know that they're talking to you and not someone pretending to be you, then you should look at the $50-$100 options, as those typically come with higher assurances.

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