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What is Multi Domain SSL (SAN) Certificate?

Multi domain (SAN) is a built-in feature that comes with an SSL certificate which lets users secure multiple domains under a single certificate. Depending on the certificate authority, a user can secure up to 250 domains under a single multi-domain SSL certificate. Securing multiple domains using SAN certificate saves money and SSL management time. Certificate authorities (CAs) such as Symantec, Thawte etc. allow users to add up to 25 domains.

Multi-Domain/SAN SSL Certificate Structure

Under a multi-domain SSL, the first domain is considered as primary domain and other domains are considered as SAN (Subject Alternative Names) domains. For example, if a user wishes to secure five different domains under a single certificate, the first domain which was added during SSL signup process will be the base domains and other 4 domains will be considered as SAN domains. A multi-domain SSL can be availed with domain validation (DV), organization validation(OV), and extended validation(EV).

In case of DV, the verification process will be completed by verifying domain-registrar’s information or via email/file based verification. Whereas in a case of OV and EV, the verification process involves validating business and personal documents. Here it is worth noting that document requirement policy may differ from one CA to the other.

Mostly all the certificate authorities(CAs) offers unlimited number of server licenses with each SSL certificate. It means that a user can secure his/her domain(s) on unlimited number of servers. A few certificate authorities have come up with single server licenses. In this case, the user needs to purchase an additional license for every additional server.

See Also: What is Wildcard SSL Certificate?

Domains a SAN SSL certificate can secure

Under a single multi-domain SSL certificate, a user can secure any number of domains. The examples of multi-domain are given below.
  • www.domain-name.com
  • domain-name.com
  • domain-1-name.net
  • blog.domain-name.com
  • anything.domain-name.com
  • etc.

Multi Domain SSL Certificate Specifications

Each SAN SSL certificate comes up with a 2048-bit signature which is strengthened with the 256-bit long encryption key. It supports on 99.9% web and mobile browsers and is compatible with all leading desktop and mobile-based operating system. It enables encryption which can secure up to 250 multiple fully-qualified domain names.

Certificate Authority and Multi-Domain Policy

  • Comodo Multi Domain with 250 SAN Domains
  • GeoTrust True BusinessID Multi Domain with 2500 SAN domains
  • Thawte Web Server SSL with 250 SAN domains
  • Symantec Secure site SSL with 250 SAN Domains
  • GlobalSign Multi Domains SSL with 100 SAN Domains
  • Entrust Multi-Domain SSL Certificates with 250 SAN Domains
  • DigiCert Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificate with 25 SAN Domains
  • GoDaddy Multi-domain SSL with 5 SAN Domains

Multi Domain SSL Key Features:

  • Can secure up to 250 domain names with single SSL certificate
  • 2048-bit future proof SSL Certificates
  • A single certificate secures both www.domain.com and domain.com
  • SHA-256 signed certificates
  • 99% web and mobile browser compatibility
  • Supports all server types

What’s the Difference? – Single Domain SSL vs Multi-Domain SSL Certificate

InformationSingle Domain SSL CertificateMulti-Domain SSL Certificate
Covered DomainsSingleMultiple
SHA-2 Algorithm SupportYesYes
Fastest IssuanceYesYes
Secure Multiple WebsitesNoYes
Support Additional SANNoYes
99% Browser CompatibilityYesYes
Secure Site SealYesYes
Certificate RequiredSingle Certificate for Single WebsiteSingle Certificate for Multiple Websites

Comparison of Leading Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

Main FeaturesComodo Positive Multi Domain SSLGeoTrust QuickSSL Premium SANSectigo Multi Domain SSLDigiCert Multi-Domain SSL
Certificate AuthorityComodo
Rating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-Off
GeoTrust
Rating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-Half
Sectigo
Rating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-Half
DigiCert
Rating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-OnRating-Half
1 + 2 SAN1 + 4 SAN1 + 2 SAN1 + 3 SAN
$19.49/yr$101.50/yr$137/yr$305/yr
blog.domain.com,
secure.domain.co.uk,
payment.domain.net,
www.blog.domain.org
blog.domain.com,
secure.domain.co.uk,
payment.domain.net,
www.blog.domain.org
blog.domain.com,
secure.domain.co.uk,
payment.domain.net,
www.blog.domain.org
domain.com,
blog.domain.com,
secure.domain.co.uk,
payment.domain.net
Personal Websites/BlogsPersonal Websites/BlogsPersonal Websites/BlogsSmall/Medium Businesses
Thumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-Up
DomainDomainDomainOrganization
Thumbs-DownThumbs-DownThumbs-DownThumbs-Up
Within MinutesWithin MinutesWithin MinutesMinutes
up to 256-bitup to 256-bitup to 256-bitup to 256-bit
2048 bits2048 bits2048 bits2048 bits
MediumMediumMediumHigh
Domain name displayed on certificate detailsDomain name displayed on certificate detailsDomain name displayed on certificate detailsBusiness name displayed on certificate details
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
DigiCert-Site-SealDigiCert-Site-SealDigiCert-Site-SealDigiCert-Site-Seal
Thumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-Up
$10,000$5,00,000$5,00,000$1,000,000
30 days30 days30 days30 days
Thumbs-DownThumbs-DownThumbs-DownThumbs-Down
Thumbs-DownThumbs-DownThumbs-DownThumbs-Down
Thumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-Up
99%99%99%99.9%
Thumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-Up
Thumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-UpThumbs-Up

Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificate Video Tutorial

Different Types of SSL Certificates

Multi Domain SSL Cert Installation Guide & Tools

Multi Domain SAN SSL Certificate Brands & Comparison

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