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What’s The Difference? Wildcard SSL vs SAN SSL Certificate

The SSL certificates are becoming extensively prevalent preference thanks to the escalating number of cyber-attacks. Without a shadow of a doubt, opting for SSL encryption for a website is an excellent choice but one can have a tough time pinning down the right SSL certificate. After all, there are so many categories of SSL certificates, each having its own distinct features and advantages. On our site, you can have a look at an in-depth analysis and comparison of the various types of SSL certificates like Wildcard SSL vs SAN SSL certificate here.

Recently, we have been receiving a lot of questions regarding SAN SSL, Wildcard SSL, and their differences. Therefore, we have come up with detailed and easy to understand the comparison between the Wildcard SSL and SAN (Multi-Domain) SSLs.

First, let’s have a closer look at the Wildcard SSL certificates.

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificate is an excellent choice for someone having numerous subdomains as it grants a user to secure multiple subdomains along with the main domain by using a single certificate. For example, having wildcard certificate enabled can protect multiple sub-domains such as,,, etc. by implementing a wildcard SSL certificate. The Wildcard SSL certificate comes with domain validated (DV) and organization validated (OV) SSL certificates.

Why Choose Wildcard SSL Certificate?

The Wildcard SSL certificates represent an ideal choice for someone who owns multiple subdomains and wants them to be secured by means of a single SSL certificate.

Wildcard certificates are no less than a boon as you don’t have to buy and install an individual certificate for each of your sub-domain. This saves an ample amount of time as you don’t have to install SSL for each subdomain. One certificate is all it takes. Wildcard SSL not only saves your precious time, but it also helps you save some money.

Features of Wildcard SSL Certificate


Having implemented a wildcard SSL certificate, one can add as many numbers of subdomains as he/she wants, whenever he/she wants. One can add new subdomains during the validity period of the certificate without having to reissue it. This is a great option to have the bearing in mind the fact that the users might want to add new subdomains that did not exist earlier.

Encryption Level

The wildcard SSL assists the website owners with 256-bit encryption which delivers the highest level of protection.

Browser Compatibility

The wildcard SSL certificates are recognized by 99.9+% of desktop and mobile phone browsers.

Find out The Best Wildcard SSL Certificates & It’s Providers

Certificate Name Issuance Time Reviews Read More
Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard Immediate  star-rating Read More
RapidSSL Wildcard Immediate  star-rating Read More
GeoTrust True BusinessID Wildcard 1-3 Days  star-rating Read More
Symantec Secure Site Wildcard 1-3 Days star-rating Read More
GoDaddy Wildcard SSL 1-3 Days  star-rating Read More

SAN SSL Certificates

Multi-Domain SSL, aka SAN (Subject Alternate Name) also known as UCC (Unified Communication Certificate), permits the users to protect multiple domains as well as subdomains using a single certificate. Here the SAN SSL certificates hold an upper hand over the wildcard certificates as the wildcard only embraces multiple subdomains.

One thing to keep in mind is that unlike the wildcard SSL, the SAN requires the user to define them at the time of issuance. If one wants to add domain during the certificate’s validity period, one must reissue it.

Features of SAN SSL Certificate

Greater Flexibility

Although wildcard certificate is a great option to have, it fails to secure multiple primary domains. This disadvantage bears no existence as far as the SAN SSL certificate is concerned. You can secure multiple primary domains and subdomains with a single SAN certificate.

Encryption Level

There is no distinction between the two SSL certificates as they both offer the highest level of encryption that is 256-bit.

Browser CompatibilitY

Once again, there is nothing to separate the two. SAN SSL is also compatible with 99.99+% of the web browsers.

Find out The Best SAN SSL Certificates & It’s Providers

Certificate Name Issuance Time Reviews Read More
Comodo Positive Multi-Domain SSL Minutes  star-rating Read More
GeoTrust True BusinessID Multi-Domain 1-3 Days  star-rating Read More
Thawte SSL Web Server 1-3 Days  star-rating Read More
Symantec Secure Site 1-3 Days  star-rating Read More
GoDaddy Wildcard SSL 1-3 Days  star-rating Read More

Which one to choose?

There are a few factors to be taken into consideration before making an affirmative choice between the two. The first is the type of SSL certificate you prefer. As stated above, the wildcard SSL only comes with domain validation (DV) and organization validation(OV). So, if you want to have DV or OV level of authentication, wildcard certificates should be taken into consideration. There is no option but to go with SAN if one wants to have the extended validation (EV).

Another factor that definitely plays a crucial role here is the type of domains that need to be authenticated by an SSL certificate. If you have or wish to have multiple prime domains and want to establish a secure connection with all of them, the SAN SSL certificate is the sure way to go. However, there is no need to spend extra bucks if you intend to shield the subdomains only.

The choice is yours!!!

Let’s find the difference between Wildcard SSL vs SAN SSL Certificate

For your better understanding, here’s a table encompassing the difference between a Wildcard SSL certificate and SAN SSL Certificate.
Wildcard SSL CertificateMutli-Domain (SAN) SSL Certificate
Secures Unlimited Sub-DomainsSecures Multiple Domains / Sub-Domains
Best for unlimited sub-domains and serversSecures up to 250 multiple domains (depends on the certificate authority)
It Comes with DV & OV SSL Type, EV option is not availableMulti-Domain (SAN) SSL comes with DV, OV or EV SSL type
You need to add an asterisk sign before a common name (*
For Example –

You need to set your primary domain and add other domains / sub-domains as SAN Names.
For Example –

Main Features Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard Comodo Positive Multi Domain SSL
Certificate Authority Comodo
1 + all one level sub-domains 1 + 2 SAN
$72.31/yr $19.49/yr,,,,,,
Personal Websites/Blogs Personal Websites/Blogs
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Up
Domain Domain
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down
Within Minutes Within Minutes
up to 256-bit up to 256-bit
2048 bits 2048 bits
Medium Medium
Domain name displayed on certificate details Domain name displayed on certificate details
Unlimited Unlimited
Comodo-Site-Seal Comodo-Site-Seal
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up
$10,000 $10,000
30 days 30 days
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Down
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Up
99% 99%
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up

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