Self-Signed SSL Certificates

When installing an SSL certificate using the SSL/TLS Certificate Install Wizard, the option of creating a self-signed certificate is available. Unlike certificates purchased from a certificate authority, self-signed certificates can be created quickly and for no cost, making them useful for quick tests or internal servers.

However, although self-signed certificates provide strong encryption, they cannot be used to verify which server is being connected to. For this reason, most web browsers will warn a user if they attempt to connect to a server that's using a self-signed certificate. e.g.:

Web Browser Sample Warning More Information
Microsoft Internet Explorer There is a problem with this website's security certificate. About certificate errors
Mozilla Firefox This Connection is Untrusted This connection is untrusted
Google Chrome The site's security certificate is not trusted! Webpage display issues
Opera Certificate signer not found Certificate warning

To reduce confusion and avoid issues of mistrust, NCH Software recommends that a certificate be purchased from a certificate authority for any server application that will be accessed by the general public.