Let’s Encrypt Issues 100 Million Certificates To Help Secure The Web

Let’s Encrypt, a Certificate Authority (CA) managed by a non-profit organization whose members include Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others, reached a milestone of 100 million issued certificates.

Encrypting the Web

The Let’s Encrypt members started out with the goal to encrypt as much of the web as possible. The performance overhead of HTTPS encryption has been dramatically reduced over the past few years, especially after the release of the faster HTTP/2 standard. Therefore, not using it because it slowed down website connections wasn’t a good excuse anymore. However, not too many developers, especially those just starting out, were in a hurry to encrypt their websites, because it still cost a non-trivial amount of money every year.

Let’s Encrypt aimed to change this by not only offering completely free digital certificates, but also by automatically renewing them every 90 days, to increase security in case some certificates are stolen by malicious hackers or nation states. This automated process also made the  installing a new certificate hassle-free for website administrators.

One Hundred Million Certificates Milestone

When Let’s Encrypt’s service was first made available, less than 40% of the web was using HTTPS encryption, a milestone that took 20 years to reach, according to the nonprofit. Let’s Encrypt has been available for less than two years, and due largely to its free service, 58% of the web now uses HTTPS encryption.

The nonprofit hopes to make 100% of the web encrypted as soon as possible and to issue the next 100 million certificates even faster. To achieve these goals, the organization is encouraging people to contribute code or make donations. Companies can also become corporate sponsors by paying between $10,000 and $350,000 a year.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • schwatzz
    I suppose Tom's Hardware will implement site wide HTTPS soon? At least you have HTTPS for the sign in page...
  • problematiq
    I appreciate what they are doing, but from a security standpoint, I hate them. Because of malicious site using "Lets encrypt!" certs, we now do TLS/SSL inspection at our place.
  • minooch
    I'd rather the remove the shitty in page video Ads first