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Shared SSL vs Dedicated SSL – Difference Between the Two

A Dedicated SSL Is Expensive Compared to Shared SSL, but It Offers More Protection

It’s been a while since the SSL/TLS certificate has become a compulsion if you want your site to load safely without warning or error message on popular browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. It has been praised too that Google had made a good decision for favoring the safety of users. It’s not a bad decision at all, as it helps protect your data while assuring users that the website is genuine and belongs to a legit entity.

shared ssl vs dedicated ssl
Ultimately enabling website owners to establish trust in customer’s minds. It’s compulsory, and it’s even good that you get an SSL/TLS certificate according to your requirement. However, as a website owner, if you’ve tried looking for SSL, you might have come to know that many types of SSL certificates are available, and among them, there’s one more term such as Shared SSL and Dedicated SSL.

So, if you’re someone who’s looking for difference among the two or else find it tricky, which one to go for, especially between Shared and Dedicated SSL, then you’re at the right place. Here, we will discuss the difference between the two: Shared SSL vs Dedicated SSL and which one you should go for. Before we jump into the difference, let’s understand what shared SSL and dedicated SSL is.

What Is a Shared SSL Certificate?

A shared SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate installed on a web server for facilitating a shared hosting environment. As the name implies, it’s installed (shared) among multiple sites hosted on the same IP address. One single SSL certificate is shared among multiple websites, which means websites fail to get one specific SSL certificate only for them. Due to this issue, the SSL certificate cannot include your URL while displaying the URL of your hosting provider from whom you’ve purchased the certificate. In other words, these shared SSL certificates are signed, installed, and managed by the hosting provider or Content Delivery Network (CDN) providers. So, website owners don’t have any control over it.

Drawbacks of Shared SSL Certificate

No doubt, a shared SSL certificate is a cheap SSL certificate, and it’s affordable. But, it’s shared among many users that’s also a fact. However, if you go for this Shared SSL certificate, you’re also trading your security for that. Let’s have some insight into it and try to know the drawbacks it has due to which it shouldn’t be considered an ideal choice when it comes to purchasing an SSL certificate.

1. Security Issues

The number one reason to install an SSL certificate is to avoid any security issues. The shared SSL certificate itself isn’t secured, and it has certain issues that shouldn’t be taken for granted. These certificates don’t provide direct interaction and control to website owners. So, once the shared SSL certificate gets compromised, it’ll affect all the websites on which it’s installed on.

2. Installed on the Shared Hosting Provider’s Hostname and Not Your Domain Name

As mentioned above, a shared SSL certificate isn’t installed on your domain name URL, but it’s installed on the shared hosting provider’s hostname. So, if any user wants to verify whether the certificate details are legit, they won’t be able to do so, and the website name will differ from the certificate domain name. And, it can create conflict and trust issues for those who aren’t technically sound.

3. Business Name Isn’t Included

Businesses and organizations that heavily depend on the website for revenue generation, winning your customers’ trust are of the utmost importance. If, in any means, you can provide any visible clue on your website that you’re what you say you’re and it’s a legit website that’s safe to deal with, it’ll give a boost of confidence to your customers, which will help in generating revenue. Unfortunately, using a shared SSL certificate, you won’t be able to do so as you can display your business name using other dedicated SSL certificates provided by trusted Certificate Authority like DigiCert or Sectigo.

What Is a Dedicated SSL Certificate?

A Dedicated SSL certificate is the opposite of a Shared SSL certificate. Unlike Shared SSL, a Dedicated SSL certificate is installed directly on your domain name. Suppose you’ve installed a Dedicated SSL certificate. In that case, the user will be able to verify the details of the SSL certificate and will be able to see the URL name instead of hosting or CDN provider, which helps build customer trust.

Dedicated SSL Certificate Is More Than Encryption

Many believe that SSL is for encrypting data. It indeed does encrypt the data. But it’s one part of its primary function.

For acquiring this Dedicated SSL certificate (Private SSL Certificate), users have to go through the vetting process set according to the CAs guidelines. This vetting process is one of the deciding factors that you’re a legit business website and organization.

Furthermore, different verification process user has to go through, and each depends upon the type of Dedicated SSL certificate user purchases. For instance, DV (Domain Validated) SSL certificate is issued by only verifying the domain name. In contrast, the other two OV (Organization Validated) and EV (Extended Validated) SSL certificate’s verification process is lengthy, where it also verifies your business registration details.

Different Types of Dedicated SSL Certificate

Below are the three different types of dedicated SSL certificate:

1. DV (Domain Validated) SSL Certificate

For getting this SSL certificate issued, applicants have to verify that they’re the website’s owner. It’s quite a straightforward process, and DV SSL can be issued within minutes. However, your details are not displayed to your website visitors.

2. OV (Organization Validated) SSL Certificate

It’s a mid-level SSL certificate that includes a vetting process where the actual human being is involved. For this certificate to be issued, CAs verify documents and records regarding your organization for assuring that you’re a legal entity. OV SSL certificate displays your organization detail like physical address, the organization’s name in the certificate detail section for assuring users that they’re on the safe website.

3. EV (Extended Validated) SSL Certificate

Among all types, this EV SSL certificate is the most advanced certificate that also offers a maximum level of visible clues to boost user confidence. For getting this SSL certificate issued, the applicant must go through a very stringent vetting process, which is not that easy. It’s the certificate used by those sites that deal with user’s sensitive details like the credit card number.

Shared SSL vs Dedicated SSL – Side by Side Difference

Shared SSL Certificate Dedicated SSL Certificate
Installation A Shared SSL certificate is not installed on your domain name, but it’s installed on the web server’s hostname that hosts more than one website. Usually, it’s hosting provider and CDN (Content Delivery Network). Unlike Shared SSL, a Dedicated SSL certificate is installed on your domain name URL.
Price Cheap and affordable. Marginally higher price compared to shared SSL certificate. But, affordable options are available depending upon the CA you select to go with.
Vetting Process It doesn’t require the vetting process to get a shared SSL certificate. For getting ownership of a Dedicated SSL certificate, you’ve to go through the vetting process that is set according to the guidelines of CA.
Display Business Name No, a shared SSL certificate doesn’t include a business or organization name. Yes, a Dedicated SSL certificate includes a business or organization name.
Trust It doesn’t provide enough room to trust the site. Establishes trust on a higher level.
Revocation Not possible to revoke or modify the issued certificate. As you don’t have any control over it. It can be modified and even revoked as you have bought from the CA.
Providers Example Hosting provider and CDN (Content Delivery Network). CAs (Certificate Authorities) such as Sectigo and DigiCert.

Wrapping Up

From the above side by side comparison, nothing much has left to say that a dedicated SSL certificate is more helpful for the website owners. It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a simple blog website or any other website that deals with organization data. A dedicated SSL certificate will be an ideal choice. It even helps boost user’s confidence, which means more revenue.

However, shared SSL helps in certain situations like when someone is looking to secure a connection with the server, which is not visible publicly. Otherwise, you’ve any small static website that doesn’t make a difference if it has low traffic.

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