What’s The Difference? Wildcard SSL vs SAN SSL Certificate
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.
See Also: Standard SSL vs Wildcard SSL Certificate
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 aboutssl.org, mail.aboutssl.org, ftp.aboutssl.org, login.aboutssl.org 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 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, it also helps you save some money.
Features of Wildcard SSL Certificate
Having implemented 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 which did not exist earlier.
The wildcard SSL assists the website owners with 256-bit encryption which delivers the highest level of protection.
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
SAN SSL Certificates
Multi-Domain SSL, aka SAN (Subject Alternate Name) also known as UCC (Unified Communication
Features of SAN SSL Certificate
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.
There is no distinction between the two SSL certificates as they both offer the highest level of encryption that is 256-bit.
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
Which one to choose?
There are 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, SAN SSL certificate is the surely way to go. However, there is no need to spend extra bucks if you intend to shield the subdomains only.
The choice is yours!!!
Side-by-Side Comparison 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 Certificate||Mutli-Domain (SAN) SSL Certificate|
|Secures Unlimited Sub-Domains||Secures Multiple Domains / Sub-Domains|
|Best for unlimited sub-domains and servers||Secures up to 250 multiple domains (depends on the certificate authority)|
|It Comes with DV & OV SSL Type, EV option is not available||Multi-Domain (SAN) SSL comes with DV, OV or EV SSL type|
|You need to add an asterisk sign before a common name (*.domain.com)|
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|
|1 + all one level sub-domains||1 + 2 SAN|
|Personal Websites/Blogs||Personal Websites/Blogs|
|Within Minutes||Within Minutes|
|up to 256-bit||up to 256-bit|
|2048 bits||2048 bits|
|Domain name displayed on certificate details||Domain name displayed on certificate details|
|30 days||30 days|