Should You Buy A New Cheaper Signing Service

I want to start this post by defining what I mean by new cheaper signing service. What I mean is a service that is below $10. In the last few weeks I have seen a few services popping up for $2 or donations to get signed. I have looked into these services and they are using developer accounts to sign apps. Now the difference between a free store and a paid store is how they get their funding. A paid store gets its funding from its members in the shape of a membership. A free store gets its funding by injecting ads into the application. This is done so that when you open the application they get advertisement revenue. This is both of the ways stores use to get funding to afford the certificate, server, and financial costs of hosting the store.

So if you think about what happens when Apple revokes a certificate. You have to repurchase the certificate that users were using so that costs additional funding. So a store only charging $2 or even $5 will find it hard to replace certificates after a revoke. Also these sites are stating they are revoke free. This is a complete lie, as of now yes they are revoke free because Apple hasn’t done developer certificate revokes in about 5 months. Just know that Apple will revoke these certificates it’s a way of life. Close to 4 years ago we didn’t have to worry about developer certificates getting revoked. Apple has since cracked down on certificate abuse. The prime example is what’s happening with enterprise certificates “free stores”. The certificates they are using have been purchased off the black market and are stolen. This is why you see random names show up in the verify application section in the settings.

So back to the question of should you buy a cheaper newer signing service I would say no. This is due to the fact that they aren’t ready to carry the weight of certificates revokes under their current pricing. With that pricing you will see certificates getting revoked and they won’t be able to purchase new ones to get you back your applications. You could see server downtime after a month or so due to not being able to foot the hosting bill. So if you care about your hard earned money you need to remember you get what you pay for.