Different Types of SSL Certificates Explained

Different Types of SSL Certificates Explained

Tall, Grande, or Venti?

Just like Starbucks coffee, SSL Certificates come in different shapes and sizes. However, unlike your favorite cup of Joe, a slip up in your order can set you back more than a few fluid ounces.

Knowing what type of SSL Certificate you need ahead of time will make securing your website less difficult, save time, and prevent unnecessary administrative costs and third-party expenses.

In this post, we’ll explore the different types of SSL Certificates based on two groupings:

  1. Validation level
  2. Secured domains

SSL Certificates by Validation Level

When you purchase an SSL Certificate, you need to show the Certificate Authority that you are who you say you are. There are a couple of different types of SSL Certificates based on the method that you choose the confirm your identity.

Domain Validated SSL Certificates

The Domain Validated SSL Certificate (DV certificate) validates that the domain associated with the SSL Certificate is registered. To validate this type of SSL Certificate, you simply need to have someone with admin rights approve the certificate request.

Validation is typically performed over email or DNS. The email recipient is asked to prove their administrative privileges over the domain by acknowledging receipt and sending confirmation to the provider. Additionally, they may be required to configure certain DNS records for the associated domain.

On average, it usually a few minutes to a few hours to order and validate a DV certificate.

Organization Validated SSL Certificates

The Organization Validated SSL Certificate (OV certificate) validates the domain ownership, plus organization information included in the certificate such as name, city, state and country.

The validation process is similar to the domain validated certificate, but it requires additional documentation to certify the company identity. The order can take from a few hours to a few days, due to the company validation process.

The Organization Validated SSL Certificates display the company information in the certificate details, not the address bar.

Extended Validation SSL Certificates

Extended Validation SSL Certificates (EV certificates) require more validation than DV and OV Certificates.

Domain ownership, organization information, and legal proof and documentation are all required. The order can take from a few days to a few weeks, due to the extended validation process.

A green address bar in the browser containing the company name is the distinguishing attribute of Extended Validation Certificates.

SSL Certificates by Secured Domains

An SSL certificate is also further defined by the amount of domains that it secures.

Single-name SSL Certificates

Single-name SSL certificates protects one subdomain (hostname).

For example, if you purchase a certificate for www.example.com it will not secure blog.example.com.

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates protect an unlimited number of subdomains for a single domain.

For example, if you purchase a certificate for *.example.com it will secure blog.example.com, mail.example.com, etc. However, it will not secure example2.com.

Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

Multi-domain SSL certificates protect different domains with a single certificate, using the SAN (Subject Alternative Name) extension.

You can generally secure a combination of different host names, from the same or different domains. For example, example.com, blog.example.com, example2.com, and different-example.com,  would all be covered.

Get Help Choosing the Right SSL Certificate: Migrate to HTTPS

Selecting the right SSL certificate and migrating to HTTPS doesn’t need to be a hassle.

GOGET SECURE by Orpical Group provides professional web security specialists to assist in the HTTP conversion process. This allows business owners to obtain the proper SSL Certificate for their website, and ensure that installation and conversion to HTTPS is done properly and thoroughly.

Contact us for a free quote!