Wildcard SSL Certificate Vs. SAN SSL Certificate – Which One Is Better?

SSL Certificate Vs. SAN SSL Certificate

HTTPS is a necessity nowadays. SSL (Secure Socket Layers) certificates are becoming extremely popular because of their robust encryption securities, and budget-friendly rates. E-commerce and online industries are on bloom, which leads to a rise in cyber-attacks; since hackers are trying all sophisticated ways to gain customer sensitive information.

Cyber-attack monthly statistics 2020 by Hackmageddon indicates the rise in such attacks and the Coivd-19 situation has made these attacks more frequent than ever.

SSL certificate is the answer to the majority of these attacks. i.e. apart from Firewalls and Anti-virus software, SSL certificates play a major role in the prevention of leakage of sensitive information to unknown sources.

When an SSL certificate is installed on a site, it takes your site from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), i.e. from a non-secure site to a secured web protocol, which encrypts your web traffic, making it difficult for hackers to read. A padlock on the site URL is one more sign, stating that the site is secured.

Multiple categories of SSL certificates are trending in the market.

Each category of SSL certificate has its advantages and disadvantages.

Many SSL providers sell these SSL certificates at discounted rates, to provide adequate web security to their users.

Before moving to the comparisons of Wildcard SSL certificate and SAN (Subject Alternate Name) / UCC SSL, there are many questions that users ask relating to the benefits and features of these two SSL categories. So before proceeding to the comparison part, let’s have a quick view on what securities do these two types of SSL certificates cover.

About Wildcard SSL Certificate:

“Does my business site need a Regular SSL certificate or a Wildcard SSL certificate?”

This is a question which arises in the mind of many users. The answer is simple. If your site has only one domain name which needs SSL security, then you can opt for Standard or Regular SSL. But if your website needs the security of multiple sub-domains along with the main domain, obtaining the Wildcard SSL certificate is the best choice.

Wildcard SSL Certificate = Main Domain Security + Multiple Sub-Domains Security (first level).

This wildcard SSL certificate secures all first-level sub-domains. An “*” before the domain name is added in the CSR (certificate signing request) post-purchase of SSL certificate.

Example: *.cheapsslshop.com will secure, blog.cheapsslshop.com and article.cheapsslshop.com too

Features and Benefits of Wildcard SSL certificate:

  • Secures main domain and multiple sub-domains of www and non-www versions
  • Strong 256-Bit encryption and 2048-Bit digital signatures
  • 9% mobile – browser compatibility
  • Saves time and money, since one single certificate secures all sub-domains
  • SHA-2 Enabled
  • Comes with high warranty
  • Unlimited server licenses and SSL re-issuances till certificate life-span
  • 30 Day money-back guarantee
  • Trust seal
  • Helps boost SEO ranks
  • Showcases the authenticity of the website
  • Quick issuance of SSL certificate
  • Affordable and Flexible
  • Available in Domain Validation (DV) and Organisation Validation (OV)

About SAN SSL Certificate:

SAN SSL or UCC or Multi-Domain as the name states secures all domains and multiple sub-domains of your website. The best part of this certificate is that apart from securing all domains of different websites, it secures sub-domains of all levels.

This certificate is more special because only one certificate secures your entire digital infrastructure.

SAN SSL Certificate = Multiple Domain Security + Multiple Sub-Domains Security (all levels)

Example: cheapsslshop.com will secure, blog.cheapsslshop.com, article.blog.cheapsslshop.com, subject.blog.cheapsslshop.com, xyz.com, blog.xyz.com, article.xyz.com, etc.

Features and Benefits of SAN/Multi-Domain SSL certificate:

  • Extremely flexible since it secures up to 250 domains and multi-level sub-domains (depending upon provider)
  • Strong 256-Bit encryption and 2048-Bit digital signatures
  • 9% mobile – browser compatibility
  • Saves time and money since one certificate cost is lower than buying multiple wildcard certificates
  • SHA-2 Enabled
  • Comes with high warranty
  • Unlimited server licenses and SSL re-issuances till certificate life-span
  • 30 Day money-back guarantee
  • Trust seal
  • Helps boost SEO ranks
  • Defines the authenticity of the website
  • Quick issuance of SSL certificate
  • Affordable and Flexible
  • Available in Domain Validation (DV), Organisation Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV)

Both the above types of SSL certificates have their advantages and limitations. To know which one is better than the other, it is essential to compare their features and benefits.

Wildcard SSL Certificate Vs. SAN SSL Certificate:

Wildcard SSL Certificate SAN SSL Certificate
It secures only one domain, i.e. only one website It secures multiple domains (up to 250) depending on the CA, i.e. multiple sites
It secures multiple sub-domains on the same level It secures sub-domains of different levels
It comes in DV and OV only. No EV option available It comes in all validations; i.e. DV, OV, and EV
You need to add “*” before the domain name You need to add other domains and subdomains as SAN names
Example: *.domain.com, www.domain.com blog.domain.com, bank.domain.com Example: www.domain.com, www.domain1.com, blog.domain1.com, article.domain2.com
You cannot use SAN while using a Wildcard SSL certificate You can use subdomains along with SAN SSL certificate
This SSL is ideal for medium businesses This SSL is ideal for large enterprises

Which SSL is Better?

Each type of SSL certificate is better in its way. Which one to choose against the other, solely depends on what type of security your business demands. If you wish for the security of your sub-domains of your main site, Wildcard SSL certificate is an ideal choice.

But if your business is extended amongst other locations and you have multiple sites on varied IP addresses, you need to secure all domains too; apart from securing multiple sub-domains. Then the SAN SSL certificate is the best, rather than buying multiple certificates and facing their installation hassles. Only one SAN SSL certificate not only saves money but also time and administration hassles.

Again, if your business site has multiple sub-domains of various levels apart from a single domain name, you need SAN SSL, because Wildcard SSL simply secures first-level sub-domains only.

In A Nutshell:

SSL security is a boon to business owners and a curse to all cyber-criminals who are trying to gain unauthorized access to websites to fulfil their evil intentions.

Its strong encryption security is non-penetrable and hence, whether you use Standard SSL, Wildcard SSL, or Multi-Domain SSL, its robust security is the same for all these types. Not only does it protect customer data through encryption security, but also authenticates the site thus improving customer trust.

Last, but not the least, SSL helps boost SEO rankings and attracts more network traffic too.

Choose your SSL type wisely and instantly opt for SSL security for the safety of your website.

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