What is Let’s encrypt
Let’s encrypt is a certificate authority offering free solution to TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption for websites.
It provides SSL certificates with 90-days lifetime
The initiative was founded on the objective to provide all website owners with SSL certificates that are free and also easy to install and update
Pros of using Let’s encrypt
The biggest advantage of Let’s encrypt is that it’s FREE
The installation process is also fairly simple than traditional SSL certificates. For Linux Web Servers with shell access, there are only two commands to be excecuted to acquire and install Let’s encrypt certificate.
Let’s encrypt SAN(Subject Alternative Name) allows for multiple domain names to be protected with a single certificate . The ability to add multiple SAN values to a single Let’s encrypt certificate is a time-saver for organizations with multiple subdomains but not entirely different domains
There is no downtime when issuing the certificate due to the ACME protocol which performs the server validation
Cons of Let’s encrypt
Although Let’s encrypt offers the modern standard of website encryption, it does not affer Extended Domain Validation. I.e the green bar besides the URL displaying the company name next to the green padlock
As it is just domain validation, there are no additional checks on the owner of the domain or the website.
Lack of strong cutomer support – As you would expect from a non-profit organization
HTTPS made too easy – Let’s encrypt has made the use of HTTPS too easy thereby providing a false sense of security to users. Any malicious website can install the free SSL certificate without much scrutiny or financial investment and therefore exploit the appearance of ‘looking more trustworthy’ to push malware to unsuspecting users.
Rate limits – This restricts the number of requests you can execute
The limits are most severe with the number of certiticates you can issue per registered domain