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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 DigiCert, 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.
  • 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

  • DigiCert Multi-Domain (SAN) Certificate with 25 SAN Domains
  • Comodo Multi Domain with 250 SAN Domains
  • GeoTrust True BusinessID Multi Domain with 2500 SAN domains
  • Thawte Web Server SSL with 250 SAN domains
  • GlobalSign Multi Domains SSL with 100 SAN Domains
  • Entrust Multi-Domain SSL Certificates with 250 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 and
  • 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

Information Single Domain SSL Certificate Multi-Domain SSL Certificate
Covered Domains Single Multiple
SHA-2 Algorithm Support Yes Yes
Fastest Issuance Yes Yes
Secure Multiple Websites No Yes
Support Additional SAN No Yes
99% Browser Compatibility Yes Yes
Secure Site Seal Yes Yes
Certificate Required Single Certificate for Single Website Single Certificate for Multiple Websites

Comparison of Leading Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

Main Features Comodo Positive Multi Domain SSL GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium SAN Sectigo Multi Domain SSL DigiCert Multi-Domain SSL
Certificate Authority Comodo
1 + 2 SAN 1 + 4 SAN 1 + 2 SAN 1 + 3 SAN
$19.49/yr $101.50/yr $137/yr $305/yr,,,,,,,,,,,,
Personal Websites/Blogs Personal Websites/Blogs Personal Websites/Blogs Small/Medium Businesses
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up
Domain Domain Domain Organization
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Up
Within Minutes Within Minutes Within Minutes Minutes
up to 256-bit up to 256-bit up to 256-bit up to 256-bit
2048 bits 2048 bits 2048 bits 2048 bits
Medium Medium Medium High
Domain name displayed on certificate details Domain name displayed on certificate details Domain name displayed on certificate details Business name displayed on certificate details
Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
DigiCert-Site-Seal DigiCert-Site-Seal DigiCert-Site-Seal DigiCert-Site-Seal
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up
$10,000 $5,00,000 $5,00,000 $1,000,000
30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down
Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down Thumbs-Down
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up
99% 99% 99% 99.9%
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up
Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-Up Thumbs-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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