Organizations that wish to secure multiple domain names, unlimited subdomains, and multi-level subdomains can save a lot of money, time, and resources using multi-domain wildcard SSL certificates. Thus, multi-domain Wildcard SSL certificates, Also called SAN SSL certificates, are the best SSL certificate option for large organizations with several domain names. All you will require is a single multi-domain SSL certificate, and you will be good to go. This article pays attention to the functionality, features, and benefits of a multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate. We will also learn about the key differences between multi-domain SSL certificates and regular SSL certificates.
A multi-domain SSL certificate refers to a special SSL certificate that blends both Wildcard SSL and multi-domain SSL features. With Wildcard SSL certificates, a user will secure all the fully qualified primary domains alongside their first-level sub-domains. Imagine how time-saving and cost-effective it will be to manage a single SSL certificate covering multiple domains and an unlimited number of subdomains. Incredible!
Understanding the Working of Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificates
Just like in a regular Wildcard SSL certificate, you will need to insert an asterisk key before each main domain name you want to secure with your multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate. The asterisk key will help you to fulfil the conditions of the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate.
The multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate will secure the regular domains of a wildcard SSL certificate, such as *.site.com. Therefore, you must specify your domains in your Certificate Signing Request. Please take note that the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate can only secure first-level subdomains.
You receive boundless flexibility and absolute control over the Subject Alternative Name by having the SAN SSL certificate. Furthermore, you will have the option to add, change or remove subject alternative names to reflect the changing needs of your organization.
Ø Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificates best suited for;
SAN SSL certificates support Domain Validation and Organization Validation. Therefore, it is the best SSL certificate option for those with a basic website that needs proper Encryption or run a medium-sized business entity with a network of websites.
Because it is the most versatile SSL certificate on the market today, the SAN SSL gives users several security advantages. However, you ought to understand that the multi-domain SSL certificate also comes with other features other than providing strong encryptions. SAN SSL certificates will give you an impressive boost to several elements of your website. Here are some of the features cum advantages of having the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate.
Ø Features and Benefits of Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificate
- State -of-art 256-bit Encryption
SAN SSL certificates come with SHA-2 Encryption. It is perhaps the most crucial feature of the SAN SSL certificates. The certificate will create a strong bridge between your web servers and your user browsers. Users want to ensure that your website has strong security tools. The best way to show them that your website is secure is by having the SAN SSL certificate. Due to the security strength that the SAN SSL certificate provides, it will be impossible for intruders to sniff into a communication, edit or alter the communication. To ensure that you are on the safe side, you should start planning about acquiring the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate.
- 2048-bit Key Encryption
The SAN SSL certificate has another yet important feature- the RSA 2048-bit signature key encryption. The strong key Encryption is one feature that makes the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate stand out from the rest. Strong key Encryption will effectively protect your website against man-in-the-middle attacks, eavesdropping, and many other threats. Because your signature keys are resilient to threats, you can be sure of your web security. It will also make your customers more confident in your website. When your clients are confident in your security, they will most likely do business with you. Soon, you will be witnessing an increase in leads, conversion rates, and revenues.
- Security to 100 Subject Alternative Names and Wildcard Domains
A single multi-domain wildcard will secure over a hundred primary domain names alongside their subdomains. This will save you the cost of having to buy over a hundred SSL certificates for the sake of all those domains and subdomains. All domains and subdomains will enjoy the same encryption strengths. If you decide to include more domain names in the future, they will be covered automatically under the SAN SSL certificate.
- Time Saving and Cost-Effective SSL Certificate
Suppose you are a small or medium organization searching for a budget-friendly SSL certificate. In that case, the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate is the ideal choice for you. With the regular certificate, you will need to spend a lot of money purchasing multiple SSL certificates. This can make the cost of doing business a bit high for you. It doesn’t have to be that way. A single SAN SSL certificate can secure your primary domains along with their subdomains.
Apart from saving you money, the SAN SSL certificate will also save you time. All the troubles involved in acquiring different certificates, installing them individually, and renewing them separately, are all confined to single tasks. One purchase, one installation, one renewal, and you are done. Indeed, the multi-domain SSL certificates have made work more manageable.
- Server and Browser Compatibility
Another great advantage of the multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate is that it is compatible with all browsers. It doesn’t matter which browser your web visitors will be using to browse through your website. Be it Safari, Edge, Chrome, or OperaMini; the SAN SSL certificate will offer your users a perfect experience. Additionally, you can install the SAN SSL certificate on any server. Be it Apache, cPanel, or Nginx, you can bet on the SSL certificate to deliver outstanding results. The multi-domain SSL certificate is compatible with 99% of web browsers and servers. There is no chance that your web visitors will be warned when browsing through your website.
Ø Comparing MultI-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificates
Different vendors offer multi-domain wildcard certificates at different prices. The table below gives a comparison to the different types of multi-domain wildcard SSL certificates. Study each of them carefully and choose the one that is ideal for you.
|Comodo Positive Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL||Thawte SSL Webserver Multi-Domain Wildcard||Geotrust True BusinessID Multi-Domain Wildcard|
|Domains secured||Up to 250 Domains and Unlimited Sub-Domains||Up to 250 Domains and Unlimited Sub-Domains||Up to 250 Domains and Unlimited Sub-Domains|
|Number of Subject Alternative Names Domains Secured||100||100||100|
|Issuance speed||Issued within minutes||Issued within 1-3 days||Issued within 1-3 days|
|Validation Levels||Domain Validation||Business and Domain Validation||Business and Domain Validation|
|Level of Notification in browsers||Shows HTTPS status in browsers||Shows both Domain Name and Business Name in Certificate Information||Shows both Domain Name and Business Name in Certificate Information|
|Encryption strength||Up to 256-bit||Up to 256-bit||Up to 256-bit|
|Browser and Server Compatibility||Compatible with 99% of all browsers and servers||Compatible with 99% of all browsers and servers||Compatible with 99% of all browsers and servers|
|Number of free reissues allowed||Unlimited Reissuance||Unlimited Reissuance||Unlimited Reissuance|
|Price for Year 1||$122.40||$408.90||$416.15|
NOTE- Multi-domain Wildcard SSL certificates come with different prices depending on the number of years you want to have them. You can check their respective websites to learn more about their annual prices.
Ø Factors To Consider When Buying a Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificate
Avoid making mistakes. Before you buy your SAN SSL certificate, ensure that you consider the following factors:
- The type of SAN SSL certificate you want to purchase.
- The validation levels you would wish your website to have.
- The availability of warranty.
- The brand of certificate authority issuing the SAN SSL certificate.
- The price of the certificate.
Multi-domain Wildcard SSL certificates are gaining a lot of popularity. They are the best certificate option for those who own complex websites with multiple domains and subdomains. You do not have to waste money and resources buying several regular SSL certificates. This article has explained why SAN SSL certificates are essential to your website.