Tutorials

How to setup DNN or Access Anywhere with a free SSL certificate in IIS 8.0

How to setup DNN or Access Anywhere with a free SSL certificate in IIS 8.0

This article is replaced with Get a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for Access Anywhere and automatically renew it. The CA mentioned in this tutorial no longer exist and therefore you should use Lets Encrypt.

Creating and installing a certificate in IIS for your DNN website or for Access Anywhere in Windows Server 2012 R2 with the Essentials Experience installed is really not so difficult. You can choose to buy a certificate but you can also make the certificate for free with the help of https://www.startssl.com/.

The free certificate is just fine for authentication purposes and data encryption on websites like DNN or Access Anywhere as long as you do not process credit cards or other financial transactions.

This article assumes that you already have DNN installed in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with IIS 8.0. DNN runs in its own site. The first step is to get this free SSL certificate from Startcom.

  1. Register an account at StartCom if you have not done already.
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  2. Once you have registered login.
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  3. Login in to the site of Startcom does need a certificate that you got by registering.
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  4. You need to validate that you own the domain you want a certificate for. Click Continue
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  5. Fill in the domain without anything added in front like ‘www’.
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  6. Startcom will send you an email. If you do not have access to one of the email addresses listed you cannot continue. Choose an email address to send the verification mail to.
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  7. Fill in the verification code.
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  8. Click Order SSL Certificate
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  9. Fill in the domain name and choose ‘Generated by System’, make a Private Key Password and set keysize to 2048. Click Submit.
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  10. Download the private key to a folder on your computer where the other stuff for the SSL certificate will remain. Once you have downloaded the Private Key click submit.
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  11. Click to download your certificate
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  12. It is much easier to install a PFX certificate in IIS or in Azure. Click Create PKCS#12 (PFX) file.
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  13. We need to copy the Private and domain key. Before we can do this we need to unzip IISServer.zip from the zip file you just downloaded.
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  14. Open ssl.key (private key) with Notepad++
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  15. Copy the Private Key
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  16. Do the same for the domain key
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  17. Paste private and domain key in the boxes and give a password. You will need this password later when installing the certificate in IIS
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  18. Download the PFX certificate
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  19. Open IIS Manager and click Import
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  20. The Import certificate window, is asks for a PFX certificate.
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  21. Browse to the PFX certificate and choose *.* otherwise you will not see the certificate because the extension is different.
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  22. Choose webhosting from the dropdown and you may choose to check ‘Allow this certificate to be exported’.
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  23. The certificate is now listed
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  24. Go to the site you want to make secure and right click and choose Edit Bindings.
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  25. Choose to add a binding for SSL (HTTPS) and make sure ‘Require Server Name Indication’ is checked. Choose ‘Select’.
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  26. The certificate is already listed because the host name we filled in earlier matches the certificate name. Click OK
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  27. We are ready to add this binding, click OK
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  28. The site is now secure.
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www.server-essentials.com is founded by Mariette Knap, a Dutch Microsoft MVP. www.server-essentials.com is a community for IT Consultants and Business Owners who, themselves, take care of the IT infrastructure and Employees who do that little extra in the company to keep things running. Our forum is for discussing all things ‘IT’ and more.  Our documentation is top notch and written by and for the community.

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