Let's Encrypt

Posted on January 24, 2016 by Marko Dimjašević

System Lock by Yuri Samoilov

Last year the Electronic Frontier Foundation started an amazing project called Let’s Encrypt. Basically, it’s about providing everyone with a free SSL certificate. Why is that important? Well, so far if you wanted an SSL certificate that is recognized by web browsers, operating systems and other platforms, you would have to buy one, which is pricy for an individual. Yet, individuals host their web sites, email servers, social networks, etc., all of which could use an SSL certificate. Most of these folks, including me, would so far simply create a self-signed certificate for free, which was better than no certificate, but users of your services in such a case would get all kinds of security warnings, hence annoyance.

Let’s Encrypt is a certificate authority in a hierarchy of recognized certificate authorities and it provides SSL certificates for free to everyone. It is even automated to a great extent: one downloads their free software tool (the whole project is still in beta), runs a command or two, and that’s it!

Just recently I applied for a certificate for my domains with Let’s Encrypt, got it, and now this website, my email server, and my own cloud are all served through encrypted connections via the valid certificate! Additionally, I configured my web server to redirect all http traffic to https. I really like this and am very happy with it. If you have a server and a domain, but you don’t have an SSL certificate yet, I strongly recommend checking out Let’s Encrypt.