Difference Between Multi Domain & Wildcard SSL Certificates

Multi-Domain vs Wildcard: What’s The Best SSL For My Site?

Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and it doesn’t appear as if it will ever stop growing. The ThreatMetrix Q2 Cybercrime Report states that from 2015 to 2017, cyberattacks climbed by 100%, and they are still increasing now. Google has taken the lead in the fight against this rise in cybercrime by promoting the adoption of SSL certificates and the HTTPS protocol on all websites.

Selecting the appropriate SSL certificate for a website is essential for those who want to safeguard their websites against cyberattacks. However, the majority of people struggle to choose the option that best meets their needs given the variety of possibilities available.

In this post, we’ll provide you with a general overview of the benefits, drawbacks, and key distinctions between the two most widely used types of SSL certificates: Multi-Domain and Wildcard.

Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

Subject Alternate Name (SAN) and Unified Communication Certificate are additional names for Multi-Domain SSL (UCC). A Multi-Domain SSL, as its name implies, is primarily used to secure several Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs), which can be either top-level domains or subdomains. The user must specify all of the domains they want the Multi-Domain SSL to cover before the certificate can be issued.

Multi-Domain Features

  • Flexibility: A single Multi-Domain SSL certificate can secure multiple domains (within the issuing Certificate Authority’s limits) and subdomains, making it extremely flexible.
  • Encryption: Offers 256-bit encryption, which is the highest level of encryption.
  • Compatibility: It’s compatible with almost every website software out there, both for desktop and mobile browsers.

Multi-Domain Limitations

  • The issuing Certificate Authority sets restrictions on how many domains the Multi-Domain SSL certificate can cover. A single certificate from Comodo enables the customer to safeguard up to 250 domains.
  • Before issuing, the various domains must be defined. Users must reissue the certificate and provide the new domains if they want to add domains while the certificate is still valid.

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Users can get a certificate for a single domain using Wildcard SSL. Within that main domain, they can secure numerous subdomains. All subdomains are automatically covered by the SSL certificate, which the user must acquire for the main domain. For instance, blog.domain.com, store.domain.com, www.domain.com, etc. would all be protected by a wildcard SSL certificate issued for *.domain.com. However, if you wanted to protect a second-level subdomain like dev.blog.domain.com, you would require a separate certificate.

Wildcard Features

  • Flexibility: A Wildcard SSL Certificate allows the user to secure an unlimited number of subdomains. Additionally, additional subdomains can be added even while the certificate is still valid.
  • Encryption: Offers 256-bit encryption, the strongest type of encryption available.
  • Compatibility: Like Multi-Domain SSL in terms of combability wildcard SSL works with virtually every website, on both desktop and mobile browsers.

Wildcard Limitations

Users can secure an endless number of subdomains, but only for one primary domain. If they want to secure multiple domains, they must get several separate certificates (or get a multi-domain wildcard SSL).

Difference between Multi-Domain and Wildcard

Multi-Domain SSL Certificate

  • Covers multiple domains and subdomains.
  • Available with Domain, Organization, & Extended Validation types.
  • Limitations on the number of domains covered by the certificate are defined by the issuing Certificate Authority.

Purchase Multi-Domain SSL Certificate here: Multi-Domain (SAN ) Archives – SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL Certificate

  • Covers a single domain but multiple subdomains.
  • Available with Domain and Organization Validation types.
  • No limits to the number of subdomains covered by the certificate.

Purchase Wildcard SSL Certificate here: Wildcard SSL Certificates – Staring from 150$/Year

Which One Should You Choose?

The final decision regarding which certificate to choose rests in your hands. However, the following guidelines should help you out:

If you would like to secure multiple subdomains with the possibility of adding even more subdomains in the future, you should use a Wildcard SSL Certificate as it will offer you the flexibility you need.

If you own 2 or more top-level domains, you may want to go for the Multi-Domain SSL Certificate as it may be more cost-effective.





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