Fix Err SSL Version or Cipher Mismatch

Posted on 11th March 2021 by Samantha in Optimisation
6 minutes read
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Making your customers feel safe while on your website is a top priority. An SSL certificate is one of the easiest means of protecting both your site and your customers. For some time now, Google has adopted a strict approach towards website security. Now they include this criterion in ranking search engine results pages (SERP). SSL certificates let customers know that information they share on a site will be encrypted. As such, SSLs provides some peace of mind to people who visit SSL protected sites. But all SSL certificates do not provide the same level of security. In fact, sometimes they can return error messages. One such error message is err ssl version or cipher mismatch.

SSL Certificates

From a user standpoint, you can know if a website has an SSL certificate, also called TLS, by looking for ‘HTTPS’ in the URL bar, though website address prefixes are not always displayed. As previously stated, this shows you that your personal information will be encrypted and that the website that you intend to do business with is in fact the website you are on.

For the website owner, SSL certificates mean much more, so selecting the right one should be carefully approached. Hosting UK has removed the guesswork, giving you all the information about the ins and outs of choosing the right SSL certificate for your website needs.

How SSL Certificates Work?

Have you ever telephoned somewhere, and when you asked for the person you wish to speak with, you were asked to hold before the person comes on the phone? Though quicker, and more discreetly, something similar happens when you visit an HTTPS website. Your browser sends a message to the server of the particular website you wish to visit. In the background, the browser then checks the website’s SSL certificate for authenticity, and only when this is done can the requested website be displayed.

However, there are times when this process does not go smoothly. When this happens, an error message will be displayed based on the problem encountered. err_ssl_version_or_cipher_mismatch is the one we will be focusing on today. To get an idea of other errors and what you can do to solve them, click here.

Err ssl version or cipher mismatch Error Message

Since SSL certificates are in place to encrypt information and protect you, if a browser detects that one is missing, outdated or has any issue that could compromise your security when using said website, it will return err ssl version or cipher mismatch and prevent you from accessing it.

This error does not always manifest itself in this exact format. You may also see it preceded by error 113, or as a more wordy explanation informing you that there was a failure to establish a connection with the website’s host’s server. For consistency, the error will only be referred to by err_ssl_version_or_cipher_mismatch.

Fixing err ssl version or cipher mismatch Error

When this error is being returned by your website, there are several options available to you. If you are unaware of the cause of the err ssl version or cipher mismatch, one of the following should help you resolve the issue.

1. Check SSL Certificate

Try the simplest fix first, which is to check your SSL certificate. A popular free online SSL certificate checker is by Qualys SSL Labs. There are several features available for you to use to check the status of your SSL certificate.

2. Mismatches in SSL Certificate Names

If the domain name that is entered in the address bar is not the same as that registered by the website owner, then err ssl version or cipher mismatch will result. What this means is that domain name owners need to include all owned variations of their website URL. For example: if ‘www.mywebsite.com’ is registered, but ‘www.alsomywebsite.com’ can equally take you to ‘www.mywebsite.com’, then the latter website would produce an error message if both were not registered.

Other instances can result in this mismatch between certificate names, such as when a website no longer exists, or when there was a failure in changing the IP address to which the domain points to (such as when a website migrates).

3. TLS Version Compatibility

There are a few key things to note. First, TLS is like the upgraded version of SSL certificates; and second, they can be enabled and disabled. You should enable your TLS since it plays a role in your online security. Third, and most important, is the version of TLS that you are using. Version 1.3 is what you want to have, though 1.2 is still acceptable. If you used Qualys SSL Labs tool to check your certificate, then one of the added bits of information you can find is the TLS version that you are using.

4. Clearing SLL State

So far, you can see that these are pretty simple steps that you can take to clear this relatively complex looking error message. Look at it: err_ssl_version_or_cipher_mismatch. Doesn’t it look overwhelming? Nevertheless, we have at least one more simple suggestion for you: clearing your SSL State.

Over time, our browsers create a library of all websites that we have visited, and instead of engaging directly with the Internet to call up websites, use the stored information on your computers. This can sometimes cause us to receive error messages as changes made to websites would not reflect from these cached results. Clearing the SSL State forces your computer to go directly to the source when calling up websites, so the latest website is presented. Don’t forget to regularly clear browser history and cache to effect similar changes.

5. Disabling QUIC

In Google’s incessant drive to improve our Internet experience, which includes helping websites load faster in an increasingly time-restricted world, they developed a protocol to collectively conduct several background operations involved in website loading. SSL protocol involves three steps, whereas QUIC, Google’s protocol, has two.

This, therefore, means that there may be times when both protocols clash, resulting in an err_ssl_version_or_cipher_mismatch error. Disabling QUIC should help with this.

There are other fixes you can attempt, such as disabling your antivirus and/or firewall. However, this step should only be a last resort – when all other options fail. This way, you limit the vulnerabilities you would expose your computer and website to.

Also, there are some fixes you can try that are not directly related to SSL certificates. An important but overlooked fix is simply to run your site on the latest version of your operating system. Software updates are important. As you are aware, each upgrade comes with fixes and increased protection capabilities, but also limits the interactions with some outdated software.

Conclusion

Getting an SSL certificate is a must tough website encryption online. Today we helped to shed some light on how you can fix one of the more common errors associated with them: err_ssl_version_or_cipher_mismatch. We are confident one will work for you.