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A Secure Socket Layer test (SSL test) is the testing of an SSL server, certificate or site. SSL tests help to indicate the approval of an SSL certificate, or whether an SSL system is set up correctly.
Secure Socket Layer is part of a layered security protocol that follows the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model for multilayer systems. It was developed by Netscape, and used in various Web browser products to facilitate security for data transactions. One way to explain SSL is that it "sits on top of" the TCP protocol in common IP/TCP traffic and uses a combination of public and private encryption keys to establish legitimacy for Web requests.
It is also important to note that SSL has led to a newer security protocol called transport layer security (TLS). Although the two security protocols are not interoperable, there is some compatibility.
An SSL test can determine aspects of an SLL server’s configuration and performance. A different and perhaps more common type of SSL test can help to identify problems with digital certificates, or help a web manager to see whether an SSL certificate approves his or her site as safe and secure.