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SSL Web Server Certificate FAQs

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SSL Certificates

SSL Web Server Certificate FAQs


How do I get 128 bit 'strong crypto' sessions?


When you hear people speak of a 128 bit, 56 bit or 40 bit connection they are referring to the session key. This is a symmetric key created by the browser when it connects to the server. It is used to encrypt and decrypt data (transmitted to and from the server) after the initial browser/server 'handshake'. (This key is not your Server Certificate key, which is either 1024 bits, or 512 bits). Session keys are generated by the browser for each SSL connection with your server.


If your server supports full strength sessions and the browser connecting to your site supports 128 bit, then a 128 bit session key will be created and there will be a 128 bit connection. If either supports only 40 bit encryption, the session will be 40 bits.


Browsers released prior to Netscape 4.7 and Internet Explorer 5.5 came in two flavours. International or non-US browsers which are limited to 40 and 56 bit encryption and browsers downloaded inside the US and Canada which support 128 bit encryption.


It is possible to request a certificate which forces all browsers connecting to your server, to use 128 bit encryption. If you are interested in using the strongest encryption possible on your web server, find out about thawte SuperCerts


What browsers will my server certificate work with?


Almost all browsers support SSL security and thawte certificates. We maintain a Browser Compatibility page to keep you updated. Please read the browser compatibility list at the following Article: AR1111


Is a certificate tied to an IP address, domain name or a specific machine?


A certificate is tied to the exact host(www) and domain name(domain.com) that it was requested for and not an IP address. Although the certificate is not tied to the IP address a unique IP address must be assigned to the domain as SSL is IP based and does not resolve to name based virtual hosts.


Which servers are compatible with the SSL Web Server Certificate?


Please read the thawte SSL Web Server Certificate server compatibility list in the following Knowledge Base solution: SO786


How do I install an SSL Web Server Certificate?


To install an SSL Web Server Certificate on your server software platform please read the instructions in the following Knowledge Base solution: SO1498


SSL technology


SSL is a protocol for securing communication between a web browser, and web server. Whenever you access a web server using https, the page you are sent is encrypted, and any information you send to that server is also encrypted.


Getting a web server certificate


You submit to us, a certificate request file (CSR). thawte then verifies your identity, contained in the certificate, and when satisfied, signs that request file, using the trusted thawte CA root key, and issues it to you as your certificate.


thawte web server certificate support


thawte is a trusted certificate provider. We do not make or support any software. We are more than happy to help wherever certificates are used, however, in the case of software specific issues, we may not always be able to help. The best people to contact will always be your software vendor.


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