What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. What SSL does is encrypt data when it it travels from your computer to your hosting server. Without SSL all the computers that the information goes through would be able to view confidential information like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or any other information entered into a web site. SSL activates the secure lock in the web browser so you and your clients can feel safe.
With shared SSL you get the benefits of SSL with out the costs that are usually associated with setting up a SSL server. with Shared SSL you use your web hosting company’s SSL certificate. With shared SSL you usually get a secure url like https://secure.yourhost.tld/~username
With private SSL you must purchase your own SSL certificate and have a dedicated I.P. address to run the SSL server on. With private SSL you get a secure URL lke https://secure.yourname.com/ and your web hosting companies name is not included in the url with private ssl. Private SSL is more costly because private SSL requires you to purchase an SSL certificate and have a dedicated I.P. address.
What is an SSL Certificate
An ssl certificate is a digital certificate verifying your identity. Without an SSL certificate your visitors will get a warning message in their web browser. With shared SSL you use your hosting companies SSL certificate, however with private SSL you must purchase your own SSL Certificate.