Different types of SSL certificates

There are several types of SSL certificates. They can be grouped based on:

• Validation level
The validation level determines the method adopted by the Certificate Authority to confirm the identity of the certificate applicant.
• Number of secured domains/subdomains
An SSL certificate is associated to one or more secured host names that restrict the scope of a certificate.

Different types of SSL certificates

Domain Validation

For this type of SSL certificate, domain validation is done using email or adding a DNS record. In simple words, you need to validate your ownership of the domain name. This kind of certificate can be obtained in a few minutes (or occasionally a few hours). This is ideal for those who don’t have an organization & no extra security is needed.

It’s the cheapest kind of SSL certificate and is recommended where security is not the most vital factor (i.e. blogs).

  • Cheap
  • Obtained in a maximum of a few hours
  • Best for blogs and other non-sensitive websites

Organization Validation

This is the minimum certificate suggested for e-commerce portals. The Certificate Authority (CA) validates domain ownership & other information through the use of public databases. The major difference between DV & OV is the company validation is done by the Certificate Authority.

It’s not as extensive as EV (detailed below), but potentially better than DV.

  • Requires 2-3 business days to activate
  • No clear advantage over DV certificates
  • Minimum for e-commerce portals

Extended Validation

This type of certificate is highly recommended for any website where a transaction is happening. Obtaining the DV & OC certificates are easy, whereas EV certificates require a strict authentication process. This type of certificate displays the organization the certificate was issued to in the browser.

Most banking, finance, and e-commerce site use EV certificates as it offers the most popular green HTTPS address bar.

  • Takes about 7-10 days to activate
  • Recommended for organizations looking to have the popular green HTTPS address bar

Certificate type based on domains & subdomains

These below certificates are available in every type of above validation certificate.

Single Name SSL Certificate

Only a single hostname is secured with this SSL type. For example, if you buy a certificate for techdiary.in, it will not secure info.techdiary.in or app.techdiary.in.

Wildcard SSL Certificate

This one secures unlimited sub-domains for a single domain. For example: Purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate for seclore.com will also allow me to secure, info.techdiary.in, app.techdiary.in & blog.techdiary.in

Multi-domain SSL Certificate

A multi-domain SSL certificate supports all different domains & subdomains. For example: abc.com & xyz.com. This is highly recommended for those who have multiple domains & subdomains.

Self-signed certificate

In cryptography and computer security, a self-signed certificate is an identity certificate that is signed by the same entity whose identity it certifies. This term has nothing to do with the identity of the person or organization that actually performed the signing procedure. In technical terms a self-signed certificate is one signed with its own private key.


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