How To Setup Https On Nginx
Why do you need TLS or SSL on Nginx?
Using TLS or SSL on your Nginx webserver is important because it adds an extra layer of security and encryption to your web traffic. TSL and SSL also provide you with authenticity certificates, meaning your visitors will be protected against man-in-the-middle attacks and be reassured that they are on the real site they wanted to visit. TLS and SSL also help to improve your website ranking in search engines.
How to Generate the Certificates?
To get your website secured with TLS or SSL, you need to generate a set of certificates. Certificates are the key components of TLS or SSL. They are digital documents that are used to confirm the identity of your web server. You will need to generate at least two certificates to have TLS or SSL working correctly on your web server. The first one is the public certificate, which will be served by your web server. The second one is the private key, which should be kept in a secure place and not disclosed to the public.
Configuring Nginx to use TLS or SSL
Once you have generated the certificates, the next step is to configure Nginx to use the certificates. To do this, you need to edit the Nginx configuration file. The configuration file is usually located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. In the configuration file, you will need to add the following lines in order to enable TLS or SSL.
ssl_certificate /[path to certificate]/your_public_certificate.crt;
ssl_certificate_key /[path to certificate]/your_private_key.key;
ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
This will enable TLS or SSL on your web server. Note that you should avoid using older versions of TLS or SSL protocols. You should also avoid using weak ciphers such as RC4. For the best security, you should use the most up-to-date and strongest ciphers available to you.
Testing the Nginx TLS or SSL Configuration
Once you have configured Nginx to use TLS or SSL, you need to test the configuration to make sure everything is working correctly. You can use the openssl utility to test the configuration. To test the configuration, run the following command:
openssl s_client -connect your_website.com:443
This command will test the configuration and tell you whether or not it is working correctly. If the test is successful, you will see a message like “Verify return code: 0 (ok)”. If there is a problem, you will see an error message letting you know what needs to be fixed.
Enabling HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
HSTS is a security policy that forces browsers to communicate with your web server over an encrypted channel. To enable HSTS on your web server, you need to add the following line to the Nginx configuration file:
add_header Strict-Transport-Security “max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains” always;
This will configure the browser to only use HTTPS when connecting to your web server. This will ensure that all of the communications between the browser and the web server are done over an encrypted channel.
Enabling Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS
Once you have set up TLS or SSL and enabled HSTS, the next step is to ensure that all requests are being sent over HTTPS, and not just over HTTP. This can be done by redirecting all of the requests from HTTP to HTTPS. To do this, you need to add the following lines to the Nginx configuration file:
return 301 https://your_website.com$request_uri;
This will cause the web server to redirect all requests from HTTP to HTTPS, ensuring that all of the requests are sent over an encrypted connection.
Monitoring and Managing TLS or SSL
Once you have set up and configured TLS or SSL on your web server, you need to monitor and manage it. This includes monitoring the certificates for expiration or revocation, and ensuring that any vulnerable or outdated versions of TLS or SSL have been replaced. You can use tools like Qualys SSL Server Test to periodically test your TLS or SSL configuration.
Setting up TLS or SSL on your Nginx web server is a necessary step for improving the security and privacy of your web traffic. The steps outlined in this article will help guide you through the process of generating certificates, configuring Nginx, and managing and monitoring TLS or SSL.
Q: What is TLS?
A: TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a cryptographic protocol used to secure communications between two endpoints. It provides encryption, authenticity, and integrity of data in transit.
Q: What is SSL?
A: SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an older version of TLS. It is being replaced by TLS but it is still used in some cases.
Q: How do I know if TLS or SSL is working correctly on my web server?
A: You can use the openssl utility to test the configuration. If the test is successful, you will see a message like “Verify return code: 0 (ok)”. If there is a problem, you will see an error message.
Thank you for reading this article. Please read other articles to learn more about setting up a secure server with TLS or SSL.