CAcert is an open and free certificate authority that operates across the world as a community. It is open because anyone can join, and it is free of cost for all of its certificates. It works because we are community devoted to securing the Internet access of our users.

CAcert community

The headline task of the CAcert community is to assure people according to their identity documents. Once this identity is established, certificates can be created which claim the identity of the user.

As users gain more points from more assurance, they themselves are encouraged to become Assurers, thus creating a self-perpetuating force of Assurers. The combination of free certificates, an ability to gain points, and help assure others has resulted in a strongly growing community, one that uniquely addresses a cross-section of computing world, wherever people feel they need certificates.

CAcert and the Commercial Market for Certificates

CAcert reaches a particular segment of the market for certificates: those individuals, communities, non-profits, small and large companies, that find that the price of certificates puts them out of the market. Certificates are generally available from commercial CAs from $20 and upwards, but even this low value is impractical for users in poor countries or small and non-commercial organisations that require many certificates.

CAcert provides this service of free certificates by enrolling the users themselves to do the work. In that sense, it is not totally free, as users are encouraged to become Assurers and to contribute time and effort rather than money. Many of CAcert's users are very happy with this offering and are keen to contribute.

CAcert does not compete with commercial suppliers, rather it expands the market for certificates into areas they do not look at. For example, CAcert does not offer support services with guaranteed reaction times. Instead we offer free community-based support without such guarantees.

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Contact: - Public Relations Officer