Types of SSL Certificate Formats

One common problem any IT manager or website professional will experience at some point in time is having to work with servers and devices that are unfamiliar. This creates a problem for most professionals as their knowledge and expertise is not always directly applicable to resolving issues and completing the task at hand as easily as is possible with the technology they have used in the past.

This is certainly true when working with various servers and devices, all which require different SSL certificate format options. To be able to install the Comodo SSL, Wildcard SSL or EV SSL and then to complete the configuration the encoding and formatting has to be correct for the device or server. It also is beneficial to understand what is ssl and why it is essential.

The good news is that we offer a simple tool to provide SSL certificate format conversion from one to another. However, before you use the tool you have to know the specific format that your server requires. Just reviewing the documentation and files on hand will provide this information.

If you are working with some types of servers, it is possible to use more than one option. This allows you to use files with different extensions to complete the installation and configuration. Even with this option, it is critical to know what is acceptable and what simply will not work.

Getting the Files

At Comodo, we make obtaining the SSL files very easy. You will complete a very streamlined online application to provide the information needed. With most of the SSL certificates, you will have the necessary files for installation in just minutes, which makes the process very efficient and effective in getting your website secured and trusted.

The one thing you will need to do is to generate a CSR or Certificate Signing Request from your server. We provide step-by-step instructions in our knowledgebase to assist with each type of server. Simply use the term "CSR generation" and the name of the server to access the applicable help guide.

Additionally, under the areas in the form where you will paste the CSR encrypted text block you will choose a specific server type. This will allow us to send the files in the right format based on the server it will be installed on and used.

The Extensions

Once you receive the certificate files after the application, you will see the different file extensions. Each of these extensions is the specific option required for a particular server.

Again, our Comodo knowledgebase provides complete instructions for the installation process on the various servers out there. This includes the common Apache, Windows, NGINX and other servers as well as the less frequently used servers.

With our years of experience in the role as a leading Trust Provider, we also have support staff that is available to help you with troubleshooting installation and configuration issues. This is always important when working with either a familiar piece of technology or something that is relatively new.

The most common extensions that designate an SSL certificate format include .pem, .der, .crt, .cer, .der, .p7b and .p7s files. These are X.509 digital files that include ASCII Base64 encoding. We will send you these files in a zip file in your account. These files will contain the private key in a separate file.

There are also .pfx files. These will include the keys and the SSL certificate file for the end-user as well as the intermediate certification authority bundle. This is optional with some Certificate Authorities and typically includes the extension of .ca-bundle.

These types of files that contain multiple components will be password protected. This preserves the level of security with the private key that has to be in place for the trustworthiness and security of the website. Without the password protection, the private key could be visible to others, destroying the security aspect of the SSL certificate.

As mentioned, it may be necessary to convert the SSL certificate format at some point in time. These tools required that you know the current format, which can be determined by the extension, as well as the format required. You may also have to use OpenSSL commands to convert or change the private key.

If you have any questions about which server to choose when you buy a Comodo SSL certificate of any type, get in touch with us at +1 888 266 6361 or through our online chat for assistance. Once you have the information you need, make your purchase at https://ssl.comodo.com/.

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