Introduction to Different Types of SSL Certificates

If you are thinking of giving strong security to your website and database, then SSL certificate can be a good option. SSL stands for Secured Sockets Layer. It is a secure protocol where the data passed between server and user is encrypted to protect from external spy. It is the bridge between browser and server. SSL behaves as a digital passport where connection through HTTP is granted only when both the sender and receiver are verified. In this article we will be discussing about different types of SSL certificates.

ssl-certificate Introduction to Different Types of SSL Certificates

Introduction to Different Types of SSL Certificates

SSL certificates can be of various types. Different types of SSL certificates based on validation level

  1. Domain Validation (DV)
  2. Organization Validation (OV)
  3. Extended Validation(EV)

1. Domain Validation

For this type of SSL certificate, you need to validate ownership of your domain name. The Certificate Authority checks the rights of an applicant to use a specific domain. It is cheapest kind of SSL certificate and can be obtained within few hours. It is ideal for those websites where security is not a big factor.

2. Organization validation

The validation is done by Certificate Authority (CA). It is the first real online security and requires number of criteria to be fulfilled. The CA checks the domain ownership, actual existence of business and authority to apply for a certificate. It takes two to three business days to validate and issue. Organization Validation is much better than Domain Validation.

3. Extended Validation (EV)

This is currently the highest SSL certificate offered in the industry. This provides complete security of information. Any website that deals with important transactions should have Extended Validation certificate. Obtaining Extended Validation (EV) is not as easy as acquiring Domain Validation (DV) and Organization Validation (OV) certification. The authentication process of Extended Validation is very strict. Most financial organizations, banks, and e-commerce use Extended Validation certificate.

When you open a website with Extended Validation SSL certificate, the browser’s address bar will turn green. You can also see a field displaying the name of the website owner, certificate holder and provider of certificate.


 Types of SSL certificates based on number of secured domains/subdomains

  1. Single name SSL Certificate
  2. Wild Card SSL Certificate
  3. Multi-domain SSL certificate
  4. Unified Communication Certificate (UCC)

You have to pick up certificate according to the type of domains and sub domains you have

1. Single Domain SSL Certificates

 This type of certificate secures only a single domain. If you buy a certificate for any domain like it will not secure for sub-domains like

2. SAN/Multi-domain SSL Certificate

A multi-domain SSL Certificate secures any website along with multiple other domain names under single SSL certificate. If you want to secure website with multiple domains, this certificate should be your pick. A single multi domain SSL certificate can secure up to 100 domains.  Multi domain SSL certificate is available with all the validation that is Domain validation, Organization Validation and Extended Validation

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3. Wild Card SSL Certificate

It secure for all the sub domains of a certain domain. If you use this certificate on any particular domain then all of its sub-domains will also be secured. It secures the base domain and unlimited number of first level sub-domains. You can apply Wild card along with Domain Validation and organization Validation.

4. Unified Communications Certificate (UCC)

Unified Communication Certificates is produced to secure Microsoft Exchange server and Microsoft Office Communication server. It works similar to Multi-domain SSL certificate. With one UCC certificate you can secure 25 to 100 domains depending on Certificate Authority.

Process to get SSL certificate

There are number of reliable vendors from where you can purchase SSL certificates. Few websites to buy an SSL certificate are as follows:

Each certificate has an expiration date. To obtain any SSL certificate you will first need to generate Certificate Signing request (CSR). You can generate a CSR or Certificate Signing request yourself on your own server. You can also take help from your web host to generate CSR. Once you have this encrypted CSR you can contact certificate provider like Verisign or Thawte for purchasing the certificate. You can again take help of your web host to install the purchased certificate.

I hope the article gave you some insight about the different types of SSL certificate.

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Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya is a freelance web developer. He is a computer geek who has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. He has earned lots of satisfied customers while working for numerous successful projects. He is also a WordPress theme creator and web article writer. On free time he likes reading philosophy books, traveling and playing chess.

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