Securing online communication is essential in the digital age to safeguard sensitive information and foster user trust. For the purpose of encrypting data sent between a website and its visitors, SSL certificates are essential. To assist you in making an informed choice, we will explore the various types of SSL certificates, analyse their advantages and use cases, and compare their advantages and disadvantages in this article.
What is SSL Certificate?
Digital certificates known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates enable private, encrypted communication between a website and its users. They make guarantee that information communicated between a user’s browser and the website’s server is secure and confidential.
The padlock icon and “https://” prefix in the website’s URL serve as indicators of SSL certificates, which confirm the identity of the website and create a secure connection. This encryption technology is essential for preventing the interception or tampering of sensitive data during transmission, such as passwords, credit card information, and personal information.
Types of SSL Certificates
Here is the list of different SSL Certificates:
1. Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
The most fundamental kind of SSL certificate is a domain-validated certificate. Website encryption is offered, and domain ownership is confirmed. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of DV certificates:
- It is affordable and simple to purchase.
- Rapid issuance procedure.
- Appropriate for small enterprises, blogs, or personal websites without stringent security requirements.
- Limited user assurance
- Information about the organisation is not displayed on the certificate.
2. Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
Organization Compared to DV certificates, validated certificates provide a higher level of security. They entail a validation procedure to confirm the legitimacy of the organisation and domain ownership. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of OV certificates:
- builds user trust by including the organization’s information in the certificate.
- suitable for firms handling sensitive consumer data or e-commerce websites.
- shorter issuing time than DV certifications.
- more expensive in comparison to DV certificates.
Also Read: DoS and DDoS Attacks
3. Extended Validation (EV) Certificates
Extended Validation (EV) Certificates offer the highest level of security and confidence. They go through a rigorous vetting procedure that makes the name of the company stand out in the browser address bar. Let’s weigh the benefits and drawbacks of EV certificates:
- highest level of user confidence and trust.
- Ideal for businesses and e-commerce websites that put security and brand reputation first.
- SSL certificate type with the highest cost.
- Compared to DV and OV certificates, the validation process is lengthy.
4. Wildcard Certificates
With a single certificate, wildcard certificates can safeguard a domain and all of its subdomains. Investigating the advantages and restrictions of wildcard certificates
- cost-efficient for protecting numerous subdomains.
- simplifies the management of certificates.
- The entire domain and its subdomains may be impacted if compromised.
5. Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificates
Multiple domains can be secured with a single certificate thanks to multi-domain (SAN) certificates, sometimes referred to as subject alternative name (SAN) certificates. Let’s look at SAN certificates’ benefits and adaptability:
- economical in terms of protecting several domains.
- flexibility to change domains as necessary.
- The security of additional domains contained in the same certificate may be impacted if one domain is compromised.
- The maximum number of domains that can be included in a single SAN certificate may be restricted by some Certificate Authorities.
Also Read: How to Browse the Web Safely?
6. Unified Communications (UC) Certificates
UC certificates are made specifically for communication platforms like Microsoft Exchange and Office Communications servers. Let’s look at the advantages and constraints of UC certificates:
- Email, IM, and collaborative platforms provide secure communication routes.
- manages certificates for various communication services more easily.
- Since UC certificates are specialised, their utility outside of communication platforms may be restricted.
- Not appropriate for domains that don’t need communication services or for general website security needs.
Differentiation Table on Types of SSL Certificates
|Certificate Type||Validation Process||User Assurance||Use Cases|
|Domain Validated (DV)||Domain ownership||Limited||Personal websites, blogs|
|Organization Validated (OV)||Identity and domain ownership||Moderate||E-commerce, businesses|
|Extended Validation (EV)||Rigorous validation||High||E-commerce, high-security|
|Wildcard Certificates||Domain and subdomains||Moderate||Websites with subdomains|
|Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificates||Multiple domains||Moderate||Websites with multiple domains|
|Unified Communications (UC) Certificates||Communication platforms||Moderate||Communication services|
For the protection of sensitive information and for building confidence with website visitors, choosing the appropriate SSL certificate is essential. In order to make an informed choice, it is imperative to understand the different types SSL certificate types. Each certificate type has a particular function, whether you choose the minimal encryption of Domain Validated (DV) certificates, the increased assurance of Organisation Validated (OV) certificates, or the maximum level of trust offered by Extended Validation (EV) certificates. While Unified Communications (UC) certificates are tailored exclusively for communication platforms, Wildcard and Multi-Domain (SAN) certificates provide flexibility for securing multiple domains and subdomains. To provide your users with a secure online experience, take into account your security requirements and select the proper SSL certificate.