SSL certificates serve a critical role in maintaining the secrecy, integrity, and validity of data sent over the internet. However, not all SSL certificates are the same. You may choose Wildcard, Subject Alternative Name (SAN), or even Extended Validation (EV) certificates based on your individual requirements. In this post, we will look at the differences between Wildcard and SAN SSL certificates, as well as the increased assurance afforded by EV certificates.
Wildcard SSL Certificates Explained
A Wildcard SSL certificate allows you to secure a primary domain as well as an unlimited number of subdomains. For example, if you get a Wildcard certificate for “example.com,” it will also protect “blog.example.com,” “shop.example.com,” and any other subdomains you may have. Wildcard SSL certificates, as a result of this functionality, are a cost-effective and administratively simple solution for enterprises with several subdomains under a single domain.
The risk factor, on the other hand, is a disadvantage. If a Wildcard certificate’s private key is compromised, all of the subdomains it protects become vulnerable.
An In-Depth Look into SAN SSL Certificates
Alternative Name for the Subject (SAN) SSL certificates, also known as Unified Communications Certificates (UCC), provide the protection of many domain names with a single certificate. A SAN certificate is suitable for firms who have several domain names but want to manage their security with a single SSL certificate.
You may safeguard “example.com,” “example.net,” “examplestore.com,” and other domains with SAN certificates. This is especially useful for enterprises with a large web presence across numerous domain names.
While SAN certificates provide ease and flexibility, if the certificate’s private key is hacked, all domains protected by the certificate may be imperiled.
The Function of Extended Validation Certificates
Whether you go with a Wildcard or SAN certificate, an Extended Validation certificate can add a degree of credibility to your website. Because the Certificate Authority must rigorously validate the requesting entity’s identification, EV certificates provide the highest level of confidence.
Having an EV certificate for a business means that the browser bar will display the company’s verified name, reassuring users that the site is real and safe. Seeing the EV certificate shows to users that the website owner has gone through a thorough identity verification process.
EV certificates, while more expensive and time-consuming to obtain than normal SSL certificates, can boost a brand’s legitimacy, help avoid phishing assaults, and build client trust in the site.
Selecting the Best SSL Certificate
When picking between Wildcard, SAN, and EV certificates, keep your company goals and the amount of confidence you want to deliver to your users in mind.
A Wildcard SSL certificate may be a useful and cost-effective option if your company operates several subdomains under a single domain. If, on the other hand, you have several domain names, a SAN SSL certificate allows you to manage them all under a single certificate.
While both Wildcard and SAN certificates provide strong security, adding an Extended Validation certificate layer can considerably boost user trust. An EV certificate delivers clear visual indicators of security to your users by showing your company’s verified name in the browser bar, promoting a safer environment.
Understanding the differences between Wildcard, SAN, and Extended Validation SSL certificates is critical for making an informed decision about your online security requirements. Keep in mind that the fundamental purpose is to protect the privacy, authenticity, and integrity of data flows between your website and its users. Whether you go with a Wildcard, SAN, or the extra assurance of an EV certificate, you are taking a step toward a more secure and trustworthy internet experience.