I was on the phone with a client the other day and was fielding some questions regarding SSL certificates. This particular client was looking to secure two web applications. Both were non public sites (email and a reporting tool). They were asking how to generate self siging certificates from Windows. I have to admit my personal experiences with self signing certs has not been that great. Don’t get me wrong, it works well but it is combersum and hard for anyone outside the domain to use. In this particular case they were hoping to have home users connect to email and also to this other app over SSL. The main constraint here was money, they did not want to go out and pay 300 – 600 for an ssl cert.
For this particular case I recommended CACert . CA Cert is a “CAcert.org is a community driven, Certificate Authority that issues certificates to the public at large for free.” Once you create an account you can create an SSL cert that is publically available. It works with almost 98% of the browsers. I have found this to be a great way to secure an application that will be used by your current users. Especially apps that you want to use personally just to secure data.
Not to mention you cannot beat the price (FREE).