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Advantages and Disadvantages of Single-Domain, Multi-Domain, and Wildcard Certificates

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single-Domain, Multi-Domain, and Wildcard Certificates

SSL certificates are those digital certificates which secure your online business infrastructure using private and public key cryptography. SSL is the abbreviation of Secure Socket Layer.

It establishes a secure connection between browser and server and encrypts browser – server communication, thus making it difficult for cyber-thieves to penetrate or misuse your network and data.

Their visual trust indicators like HTTPS in the URL and padlock in the address bar symbolise trust, genuineness and authenticity of the website.

There are multiple global brands of SSL certificates, which are available in different validations and packages.

SSL certificates are available in three validations, i.e. Domain Validation (DV), Organisation Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV).

The 3 basic types of SSL certificates are:

In this article, we will discuss on the above-mentioned types of SSL certificates, their advantages and disadvantages.

Single Domain SSL Certificate:

Single Domain SSL certificates or Standard SSL certificates secure only the main domain of your website. It can be used to secure only one website (both www and non-www versions) and hence it is widely used by individuals having single sites or blogs or by small businesses.

Example: If your site name is www.domain.com, this entry level SSL certificate will not secure blog.domain.com.

Only the domain name listed in Certificate Signing Request (CSR) will be entered in the common name field.

Examples of Single Domain SSL: Comodo Positive SSL, RapidSSL Standard SSL Certificate, GeoTrust Quick SSL Premium etc.

Advantages:

  • Secures single domain (both www and non-www versions)
  • Strong 256-Bit encryption
  • Quick issuance within minutes
  • Secured site seal
  • 99% compatibility with all popular browsers
  • Secures both www.domain.com and domain.com
  • Unlimited reissuance of SSL certificate
  • Unlimited Server Licenses
  • 30-Day Money back guarantee
  • warranty
  • Available in DV, OV and EV
  • Displays trust indicators i.e. padlock and https

Disadvantages:

  • Cannot secure multiple subdomains
  • Cannot secure multiple domains

Multi Domain SSL Certificate:

Multi domain SSL certificates can secure up to 250 multiple domains and unlimited subdomains (depend upon provider). It secures subdomains of all levels and hence this SSL certificate is widely popular amongst medium and large enterprises which have multiple sites.

You can add SANs (Subject Alternative Names) to this SSL certificate to secure the domains and subdomains. Hence multi domain SSL is also termed as SAN/UCC (Unified Communications Certificate) SSL certificate, and has many SAN fields in the SSL certificate.

Since your entire digital business is secured with one certificate, it saves time and money both.

Example: If your site domain name is www.mysite.com, multi domain SSL certificate will cover the following:

Examples of Multi-Domain SSL Certificate: Comodo Positive SSL Multi-Domain, GeoTrust Multi-Domain SSL, DigiCert Multi-Domain SSL etc.

Advantages:

  • Secure all domains and subdomains with one certificate
  • Secures up to 250 Domains
  • Saves time, money & installation hassles as only one certificate is used for securing sites
  • Up to 256 Bit Encryption and 2048-bit digital signatures
  • Available in all validations i.e. DV, OV and EV
  • Globally trusted by 99% of the browsers
  • Unlimited issuance of SSL certificate
  • Free server licenses
  • Comes with a site seal with date and time stamp
  • High Warranty
  • Best way to manage this SSL is through Certificate Management Portal
  • Validity up to 2 years
  • Issuance time 1-2 days depending on validation type
  • Multiple options available, i.e. SAN/Multi Domain/UCC/Wildcard
  • 30-Day money back offer
  • Boosts SEO ranks
  • Indication of Authenticity of Organisation

Disadvantages:

  • Updating of this SSL for addition or removal of websites is a tedious task, because each change needs reissuance and replacement of SSL certificate.

Wildcard SSL Certificate:

Wildcard SSL certificate secures the main domain and unlimited sub-domains on the same level with one certificate. It is the most flexible certificate amongst all other SSL certificates. An addition of “*” before the domain name, helps secures unlimited sub-domains.

Example: If your site name is visitsite.com, then *.visitsite.com is used to secure sub-domains.

  • visitsite.com
  • example.visitsite.com
  • tips.visitsite.com
  • payment.visitsite.com

Examples of Wildcard SSL Certificate: Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard, Thawte SSL Webserver Wildcard, GlobalSign Domain SSL Wildcard etc.

Advantages:

  • Secures main domain and unlimited sub-domains
  • Easy SSL installation
  • SHA-2 algorithm enabled
  • Quick Issuance
  • Secures up to 256-bit encryption and 2048-bit RSA signatures
  • 99% mobile – browser compatibility
  • 30-Day refund policy
  • High warranty
  • Saves money and time
  • Comes with trusted site seal which increases customer trust
  • Boosts SEO ranks
  • Authenticates your business

Disadvantages:

  • It only secures the first level sub-domain
  • For different level sub-domains, you need different multi domain wildcard for multi-level sub-domains
  • Here private key is shared amongst vendors, which increases risk of malicious attacks in case of theft of key.
  • Some mobile devices and operating systems do not acknowledge wildcard character “*”.
  • Not available in EV Validation

If you want to secure additional levels of subdomains, i.e. apart from 1st level sub-domains, if there are other levels of sub-domains which need encryption security, than Multi Domain Wildcard SSL certificate needs to be installed.

Multi Domain Wildcard SSL certificate:

This certificate secures the multiple domains and multiple level sub-domains with one certificate.

Example: If your site name is yoursite.com as shown above, Multi domain Wildcard SSL certificate secures:

  • Blog.yoursite.com
  • Store.yoursite.com
  • yoursecondsite.com
  • blog.anothersite.yoursite.com
  • Adv.store.yoursite.com

Examples of Multi Domain Wildcard SSL: Comodo Multi domain Wildcard SSL, Sectigo Multi domain Wildcard SSL, Sectigo PositiveSSL Multi domain Wildcard SSL etc.

Wrapping Up:

SSL certificates are a necessity in today’s world. The above article indicates some basic types of SSL certificates with their pros and cons.

Though Wildcard SSL and Multi Domain SSL certificates are more popular, any changes in domains or sub-domains need reissuance of the entire certificate. Any theft or compromise of private key can increase the risk of evil attacks.

But if we weigh the benefits, the cons of these SSL certificates are quite less as compared to the pros.

Choose your SSL certificate wisely, keeping into consideration all parameters and your business requirements.

Last but not the least; your one stop destination for SSL requirement at nominal rates is Cheap SSL Shop.

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