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Code Signing Certificates and SSL Certificates – What are the Differences

Code Signing Certificates are quite similar to SSL certificates but they are not the same. Let’s see how both certificates differ from each other…though they do have certain similarities.
Though there are some similarities between code signing certificates and SSL certificates, there are many differences between the two.

Both these certificates use Public Key Encryption to secure data but there are more practical differences than similarities between the two. Code signing certificates are for executables and websites but SSL certificates, on the other hand, are for websites. This article details the differences and similarities between code signing certificates and SSL certificates so that you understand which type of certificate you need to use for which purpose.


Similarities Between Code Signing and SSL Certificates

The following are the similarities between SSL and code signing certificates.
SSL certificates and code signing certificates both:
  • are issued by Certificate Authorities
  • are digital certificates
  • are used for cybersecurity
  • use Public Key Encryption and private keys
  • require users to go through a validation process before the certificates are issued
  • require users to create a Certificate Signing Request
Now let’s see what code signing and SSL certificates are.

Code Signing Certificates

Code signing certificates are generally used to secure software and apps. These certificates guarantee that the software has not been modified after it was initially signed. Code signing certificates sign software with a digital signature verifying the identity of the one by whom it was developed. If the software is not signed, browsers will warn users that they are about to download software or an app from an unknown source. But this will not happen when a code signing certificate is used to sign the software.

This way you can make sure that your software is trustworthy and safe for users to download and use.

Product Name Coupon Code Price Per Year Refund Policy  
Comodo Code Signing AboutSSL10 $190.32/Yr 30 Days Learn More
Sectigo Code Signing AboutSSL10 $190.32/Yr 30 Days Learn More
DigiCert Code Signing AboutSSL10 $337.20/Yr 30 Days Learn More

SSL/TLS Certificates are for Websites

SSL/TLS certificates encrypt communications happening between a website and the one who visits it. An SSL certificate will offer a secure connection by encrypting it. When an SSL is installed on a website, you can migrate the site from HTTP to HTTPs indicating that it is secured using an SSL certificate. Securing a website with an SSL and encrypting the communication will prevent any third-party from eavesdropping.

SSLs help in transmitting personal data including credit card details, login information, and other sensitive information. SSL certificates make a website safe to transmit sensitive information by making it hard for hackers to snoop into your personal data and steal information. You can easily find out whether a website is secured with an SSL as you can see a small padlock icon in the address bar if the site is secured with an SSL certificate.

Product Name Coupon Code Price Per Year Refund Policy
Comodo Positive SSL 14OFF5 $6.03/Yr 30 Days Learn More
RapidSSL Certificate ASRSRSSL2 $13.45/Yr 30 Days Learn More
Comodo PositiveSSL Multi Domain 14OFF5 $16.17/Yr 30 Days Learn More

SSL/TLS and Code Signing Cannot Be Interchanged

Now, you might have understood that though there are certain similarities between code signing certificates and SSL certificates, they cannot be interchanged. The certificates are not the same and they are used for different purposes.

The absence of an SSL certificate on a website or code signing in the software will result in users seeing a warning. The issuing Certificate Authority will issue an SSL or a code signing certificate only after it validates the credentials of the applicants. Likewise, both the certificates safeguard the end-users from threats online.

But you cannot use an SSL certificate to sign your software and similarly a code signing certificate cannot be used to encrypt your website.

While both certificates are necessary, they cannot be interchanged as they serve distinct purposes.

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