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Difference Between SAN SSL vs. Wildcard SSL Certificate

Website security is a vital topic to be considered for Web Developers as they use to make mistake in picking up right SSL at the time to protect more than single domains with SSL certificate. Let us understand basic difference between domain name and sub-domains.

SAN SSL vs Wwildcard SSL

If you wish to secure multiple domains as well sub domains, then you should think of SAN certificate or Wildcard SSL certificate. Many of us think that both SAN and Wildcard certificate is the same certificate but it is a myth. Each certificate is designed to serve different purposes. In this article, we will talk about these well-known SSL certificates. So let us understand them individually.

Wildcard Certificate:

If you are concerned about your sub domain protection then Wildcard SSL can be a cheapest and strongest option that can secure unlimited sub-domains with a single certificate. A single asterisk (*) can secure unlimited sub domains for example, * will cover, or

SAN Certificate:

When it is a question of saving money along with multi domain security, SAN/UCC certificate is perfect option. You do not need to think about individual certificate for additional domain protection. For example, you can secure,, In that case, there are chances of securing second level sub domain in SAN (Subject Alternate Name) certificate.

What Wildcard and SAN offer?

Both certificates are unique and offer great advantages to business. Few eminent features make both certificates valuable.

What Wildcard offers?

Wildcard certificate offers easy certificate management as a single certificate is enough to secure current and potential sub-domains. As a result, the organization will have less management cost and a single point certificate management for certificate expiry, renewal, purchase, installation.

Wildcard generally comes with domain or business validation where domain validation refers quick issuance and requires no lengthy legal process while business validation includes verification of business identity and it can be issued within two-three days.

When you talk about sub domain security then wildcard is a great option because you can add sub domains during lifespan of certificate without buying any new certificate. Website owners do not need to specify sub domains while purchasing a wildcard certificate.

Issuance of Wildcard:

When you request for wildcard certificate, you need to add an asterisk (*) in the sub-domain field. For example, * as a primary domain can protect,, So, you do not need to verify each sub domain as your main domain has verified Wildcard SSL certificate.

Why Wildcard SSL is not available with EV?

Extended Validation SSL comes with high level of assurance and ensures that every web address is strictly verified as per guideline prescribed by the CA/B Forum. In this case, wildcard only verifies * and the rest sub domains get automatically protection under this primary domain. Thus, wildcard certificate comes with domain and business validation but does not support Extended Validation (EV).

Available option for Cheap Wildcard certificate:

Cheap SSL Shop offers most affordable domain validated Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard at just $59.50/yr. This certificate can secure main domain and all of its sub-domains with strong 256-bit encryption.

You can also get RapidSSL wildcard certificate to protect unlimited sub-domains with utmost protection that is available at $75.00/yr. from Cheap SSL Shop.

Brand Product Name Type Sale Price Retail Price Details
Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard DV $59.50/yr. $229.00/yr. Read More
Comodo Essential SSL Wildcard DV $68.00/yr. $189.50/yr. Read More
RapidSSL Wildcard SSL DV $75.00/yr. $224.50/yr. Read more
Thawte SSL Web Server Wildcard OV $260.00/yr. $524.50/yr. Read more
GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard OV $332.00/yr. $524.50/yr. Read more
GlobalSign Domain SSL Wildcard DV $567.50/yr. $764.00/yr. Read more

What SAN offers?

SAN certificate can secure multiple domains and you can add domains or sub domains during certificate life cycle. Thus, SAN certificate saves cost by providing a single web protection.

Many SSL providers offer protection up to 100 domain names with SAN certificate, which seems good option for application service provider who host app for different client base. Every single client can use his own name using SAN certificate.

SAN certificate comes with Domain Validation and Organization Validation so an organization has variety of choice in case of providing authenticity to the website. Unlike Wildcard SSL certificate, SAN certificate comes with EV SSL certificate option, where legal identity of each individual SAN will be locomoted thorough strict validation.

Issuance of SAN/UCC certificate: SAN is best for Microsoft exchange server and protects FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) while multiple domain names can be added in the “Alternative Name Field”. For example, you can add, and in SAN field.

Available Options for SAN certificate:

Comodo Multi Domain SSL allows you to protect up to 100 multiple domains as well offers robust encryption and an easy certificate management. You can get the certificate at $27.00/yr. cheap price from Cheap SSL Shop.

GeoTrust Multi Domain SSL can secure up to 100 domain names during life-cycle of a certificate and is ideal for QA testing environment and small businesses. Cheap SSL Shop brings enormous discount on GeoTrust Multi Domain certificate by announcing $149.00/yr. for their current and potential customers.

There are many other SAN/UCC SSL certificates that you can find here.

Brand Product Name Type Sale Price Retail Price Details
Comodo Positive SSL Multi Domain DV $27.00/yr. $165.00/yr. Read More
Comodo Exchange Server SSL (UCC) DV $67.50/yr. $262.50/yr. Read More
Comodo Positive SSL Multi-Domain Wildcard DV $140.00/yr. $349.13/yr. Read more
GeoTrust Multi Domain SSL OV $149.00/yr. $313.50/yr. Read more
GeoTrust Multi Domain EV EV $309.50/yr. $436.50/yr. Read more

Another Option: Wildcard SSL + SAN

If you want to secure wildcard domains for multiple websites or multi level sub-domains with single certificate, then Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate is the best one. You can go with Comodo Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate which is cost effective certificate available at just $140.00 per year. This certificate includes two domain licenses as default pack, you need to pay extra cost for additional SAN names. This certificate reduces administrative stress and saves money. You will not require to manage individual certificates, installation and its expiry as you can manage everything with this certificate.

Which One is best for you?

If an organization has a single public domain and wants protection for sub domains, then wildcard is an ideal option. When an organization needs security for multiple domains, then SAN/UCC certificate is a beneficial option. Both certificate saves management cost therefore; it depends upon the requirement of an organization whether the company wish to secure sub domains or multiple domains.

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