You must have heard a lot about the importance of getting SSL certificates for your website or domain, however, there are many different types of SSL certificates for website security, with enough variety that choosing one can feel like a wild guessing game. Luckily for you, we have put together this handy guide to help you decide what type of SSL certificate suits your needs the best!
Let’s start with the basic info first.
What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to encrypt and protect data sent between two systems. Without SSL, anybody can easily steal your passwords and credit card details as well as any other sensitive information you submit to a server in plain text. Therefore, a digital certificate for SSL encryption should be implemented on every website.
SSL was the most widely used cryptographic protocol to provide security over internet communications until it was superseded by TLS (Transport Layer Security). The majority of people continue to refer to this kind of technology as SSL despite the SSL protocol being deprecated and TLS taking its place.
Your URL will change from HTTP to HTTPS and have a grey padlock next to it in all web browsers when an SSL certificate is activated on your server. It gives your visitors the visual signals they need to know they can trust your website. In this sense, having a certificate appear in the URL bar of your website is analogous to having registered trademarks.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is a digital file used to encrypt any data that is sent over the Internet. You can think of it as a passport that ensures that the data being transmitted by your website is not compromised.
It is a security measure taken by website owners to ensure the safety of the information being transmitted. An SSL encryption module is a software that is added to a web server.
The modules encrypt the data transferred from one website to another. When a secure connection is established, this makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept the data being transmitted.
How Do SSL Certificates Work?
SSL protects communication by utilizing specific keys connected to verified clients and servers to encrypt and decode data. It does this by authenticating clients and servers using digital certificates.
It does this through the following process:
- A browser tries to connect to a website that has SSL protection. The web server’s identification is requested by the browser.
- The server provides a copy of its SSL certificate to the browser.
- The SSL certificate’s trustworthiness is verified by the browser. If so, a message is delivered to the server.
- To begin an SSL-encrypted session, the server responds with a digitally signed acknowledgement.
- The browser and the server exchange encrypted data.
Types of SSL Certificates
There are different types of SSL certificates, each providing different levels of security and authentication. The type of certificate you need depends on your business model and customers’ expectations. Following are the different types of SSL certificates available, so you can choose the right one for your business.
1. Extended Validation Certificates (EV SSL)
An EV certificate is a type of digital certificate that provides additional security and validation for your website. Unlike a standard SSL certificate, an EV certificate undergoes a more rigorous vetting process by the issuing Certificate Authority (CA). This ensures that your website is operated by a legitimate business or organization, which can help build trust with your visitors.
The owner of the website must go through a thorough and internationally standardized identity verification process as part of the Extended Validation SSL Certificate verification in order to demonstrate their exclusive right to use a domain, confirm their physical existence, demonstrate their legal existence, and demonstrate that they have authorized the certificate’s issuance process. This confirmed identification information is included on the certificate.
EV certificates are typically used by large organizations or businesses that want to provide the highest level of security and assurance for their customers. However, any website can benefit from an EV certificate, especially if you’re looking to build trust and credibility with your audience.
Otherwise, EV certificates are highly user-dependent. It’s a bad idea to trust the user with your security. We shouldn’t anticipate users to manually and accurately confirm the ownership of the organization and the domain each time they visit a website.
If you have several websites that are published on the Internet, you could opt against using EV certificates. However, it would be preferable if you took them into account for websites like your online store.
Benefits of Utilizing EV SSL
Some of the benefits of EV SSL Certificates are:
- Increasing website traffic.
- Raising conversion rates.
- Data encryption and data security for sensitive information.
- Run on all current browsers and devices.
- Improving SEO ranks.
- Defend clients against phishing and cybercrime.
- Display clear verification information.
Drawbacks of Utilizing EV SSL
EV certificates have the following drawbacks:
- Highly user-dependent.
- Cost more money.
- Mostly have temporary validity.
- Time and effort are needed to finish the validation process.
2. Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL)
Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL) offer the highest level of security and trust for your website. OV SSL is the industry standard for website security, and it’s essential to get one if you want to protect your site from hackers and other online threats.
Just like EV SSL certificates, these are also highly assured SSL certificates, used to authenticate businesses, organizations, and companies. The primary function of an OV SSL certificate is to encrypt sensitive user data needed for transactions on a website or organization.
Additionally, the organization’s name appears in the site seal, a trust indication that demonstrates the legitimacy of the company and guarantees the confidentiality of any information supplied.
It boosts consumer confidence, which improves the business’s rate of discussion. Websites are protected against phishing assaults and attackers with an OV SSL certificate.
Benefits of Utilizing OV SSL
Here are four reasons why you should get an OV SSL certificate for your website:
- Detection time is Shorter.
- A quick login and easy to do.
- Offers the highest level of security available.
- Trusted by all major browsers and search engines.
- Protects your customers’ personal information from being stolen by hackers.
- Trusted by customers and partners alike.
Drawbacks of Utilizing OV SSL
Organization Validated SSL Certificates offer several advantages over other types of SSL Certificates, but there are also some disadvantages to consider.
- One disadvantage is that Organization Validated SSL Certificates can be more expensive than other types of certificates.
- Another potential downside is that the validation process can take longer with an Organization Validated Certificate, which could delay your website from being up and running with HTTPS.
3. Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL)
Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL) are one of the most popular types of SSL certificates on the market today. The certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA), which verifies that the website’s domain name matches the organization that owns it. When you visit a website secured with DV SSL, you will see https:// in the address bar, and your browser will display a green padlock icon.
DV SSL is an excellent choice for small businesses or personal websites that don’t need extended validation or high-assurance security. It’s also one of the most affordable options available, which makes it perfect for budget-conscious organizations. If you’re looking for an easy way to add security to your website without breaking the bank, DV SSL is definitely worth considering!
Benefits of Utilizing DV SSL
Some of the plus points of DV SSL are:
- Best for bloggers
- Extended Warranty
- Quick Issuance
- Boosts SEO Ranks
- Hassle-free Process
Drawbacks of Utilizing OV SSL
With all the above-mentioned benefits, there is one big drawback of the DV SSL Certificate that makes it simple for online criminals to get SSL certificates for phishing websites using misspelled versions of trustworthy domain names.
For instance, if they wanted to attack example1.com, they might register exampleone.com and obtain a domain-validated SSL certificate for that website using a free webmail account.
Regular website visitors who are duped into visiting a phishing site see the reassuring https, and SSL padlock but may not immediately notice the misspelling address. When a frequent visitor is fooled into accessing the phishing site, they see the safe https, and SSL padlock but may not immediately notice the misspelling address.
4. Wildcard SSL Certificates
A Wildcard SSL Certificate is an important tool for any website owner. It allows you to secure all subdomains of your domain with a single certificate. This can be a big time and money saver, especially if you have multiple subdomains.
Wildcard SSL Certificates are also very flexible. You can add or remove subdomains at any time without having to re-issue the certificate. This makes it easy to keep your website secure as your business grows and changes over time.
If you’re looking for a way to easily and affordably secure all of your website’s subdomains, a Wildcard SSL Certificate is a perfect solution!
Benefits of Utilizing Wildcard SSL
When it comes to website security, there are a lot of different options out there. But if you’re looking for the best possible protection for your site, a Wildcard SSL Certificate is the way to go.
- It protects not just your main domain, but also any subdomains you have. So if you have a blog at blog.example.com or an e-commerce store at shop.example.com, they’ll both be covered under one certificate, making it more convenient and cost-effective than buying separate certificates for each domain/subdomain..
- It offers the same high level of encryption as standard SSL Certificates, so you can rest assured that your website and its visitors are safe from hackers and cybercriminals.
- Installing a Wildcard SSL Certificate is quick and easy.
Drawbacks of Utilizing Wildcard SSL
When it comes to securing your website, you have a few different options available to you. One of those options is wildcard SSL. Wildcard SSL can be a great option for some websites, but it also has its drawbacks that you need to be aware of before making your decision.
- One potential drawback is that wildcard SSL only secures one subdomain on your website. So, if you have multiple subdomains that need to be secured, you would need to purchase a separate certificate for each one. This can quickly become costly and time-consuming.
- Additionally, wildcard certificates can sometimes be less secure than other types of SSL certificates because they rely on a shared key between all subdomains covered by the certificate. This means that if one subdomain becomes compromised, all other subdomains are also at risk.
5. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MD SSL)
Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MDC) are designed for securing multiple fully qualified domain names with a single certificate.
A Multi-Domain Certificate can secure up to 100 different domains or subdomains, making it ideal for eCommerce websites, online businesses, and enterprises with multiple sites.
The usage of Subject Alternative Names distinguishes the multi-domain type from other types. The SAN field may be completely customized using multi-domain certificates.
This enables the certificate holder to add more host names to the list of addresses the certificate will protect. For instance, you are the owner of a global eCommerce website.
By entering the domain names in the SAN box for blogger.com, uk.blogger.com, and the payment page payment.blogger.com, you can secure users of all three websites.
Benefits of Utilizing MD SSL
If you’re looking for a way to increase security and boost your website’s performance, then you should consider investing in a Multi-Domain SSL Certificate. Here are just some of the benefits that come with using this type of certificate:
- Increased Security
- Boosted Performance
- Cost Savings
- One-time verification process
Drawbacks of Utilizing MD SSL
There are a number of benefits of using MD SSL certificates, however, it is one drawback that needs to be kept in mind while opting for it if one domain is affected, it will have its impact on all of the domains.
6. Unified Communications Certificates (UCC)
If you’ve ever wondered what those little green lock symbols in your browser’s address bar mean, they’re called Unified Communications Certificates (UCC).
UCCs are a type of SSL certificate that secures communication between two or more parties. They’re commonly used to secure email servers, but can also be used to secure other types of communication like instant messaging and VoIP.
UCCs are different from traditional SSL certificates in a few ways. For one, they allow for multiple subject alternative names to be included in the certificate.
This means that you can include multiple email addresses or domain names in a single UCC. This is handy if you have multiple employees using the same email server, or if you want to secure both your website and email server with the same certificate.
Another difference is that UCCs must be issued by an authorized Certificate Authority (CA). Not all CAs issue UCCs, so make sure to check with your provider before purchasing one.
Also, because of their extra security features, UCCs tend to cost more than traditional SSL certificates. But if you need to secure communications for your business, they’re well worth the investment!
Benefits of Utilizing UCC
Some of the plus points of DV SSL are:
- Allows users to protect multiple domains
- Saves time in managing SSL
- Comes with both the DV and OV SSL options
- Designed to work with Microsoft Exchange server and Office communications serve
Drawbacks of Utilizing UCC
Unified communications certificates (UCC) can be a great way to streamline your communication systems and save money. However, there are some disadvantages to using UCCs that you should be aware of before making the switch.
- One downside of UCCs is that they can be difficult to troubleshoot. If something goes wrong with your communications system, it can be hard to figure out where the problem lies. This can lead to frustration and wasted time for both you and your employees.
- UCCs do not offer the same level of security as traditional communication systems. If security is a priority for your business, you may want to stick with a more traditional option.
- They can be expensive upfront costs. If you’re on a tight budget, switching to a UCC system may not be feasible in the short term. However, over time, the cost savings from using a UCC could outweigh the initial investment.
Hopefully, this blog post on SSL Certificates was helpful! These certificates can be an expensive way to secure your website. Make sure to do your research before making a purchase. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each of the six types of certificates before choosing the one that will best suit your needs.
TezHost is a trusted and reliable certificate authority that offers secure and affordable SSL certificates. With TezHost, you can choose from a variety of certificate types to suit your needs, and our team is always available to help you choose the right certificate and install it on your website. We also offer a wide range of other security products and services, so you can be sure that your website is safe and secure.
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