DV SSL vs. OV SSL vs. EV SSL: Differences Explained

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dv vs ov vs ev ssl certificates

The Differences Between DV SSL vs. OV SSL vs. EV SSL Certificate Explained

When we are talking about website security, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is sure to come up. But SSL, too, has its types. They are three main types of SSL certificates: domain validated (DV SSL), organization validated (OV SSL), and extended validated (EV SSL).

It is natural to get confused about which is the ideal SSL security certificate for your website. Moreover, purchasing one SSL and then installing it can be a long and rigorous process which is why many business owners hesitate to use SSL.

This is why we have come up with a guide that will help you decide which is the best SSL security solution for your website.

What is DV SSL?

A DV (Domain Validation) SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate that is issued quickly and with minimal effort.

To obtain a DV SSL certificate, the certificate authority (CA) will verify that the applicant has control over the domain for which the certificate is being issued but does not verify the identity of the applicant or the organization.

Typically, DV SSL Certificates are used for low-risk websites that do not handle sensitive information, such as personal data or financial transactions.

Features of DV SSL Certificates:

  • Encrypts data transmitted between a website and a user’s browser
  • Verifies the ownership of a domain
  • Issued quickly (usually within a few minutes)
  • Offers a basic level of security
  • Does not provide the same level of assurance as OV or EV SSL certificates
  • Can be used to secure a single domain or multiple subdomains
  • Typically has a lower price point than OV or EV SSL certificates, are

Key Specifications of DV Certificates:

  • Issuance Time: The verification process of the DV SSLs is automated and is issued in a few minutes. 
  • Ideal for: Small businesses and startups (that do not deal with financial details), informational websites, and personal blogs.
  • Not Ideal for: Websites dealing with financial data such as bank details, credit card/debit card, or tax info) or any personally identifiable information (PII) like name, date of birth, physical address, credential, phone number, etc. DV SSLs are also not suited for websites dealing with patient’s health records. 
  • Free SSL option: You can avail of free DV SSLs, but it won’t offer site seals – TrustLogo and warranty.

Now, let us understand OV SSL certificates in detail.

What is OV SSL?

An OV SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate that provides more assurance to website visitors than a DV (Domain Validation) SSL certificate. In addition to verifying the ownership of the domain, this SSL certificate also verifies the identity of the organization that owns the domain.

To obtain an OV SSL certificate, the certificate authority (CA) will thoroughly review the organization’s legal and physical existence and its domain ownership. This process typically takes a few. This process typically takes a few days to complete.

Once the CA has completed the validation process and issued the OV SSL certificate, the organization’s name will appear in the certificate details, providing website visitors with more assurance about the organization’s identity.

OV SSL certificates are typically more expensive than DV SSL certificates, but they offer a higher level of assurance to website visitors.

Features of OV SSL Certificates:

  • Encrypts data transmitted between a website and a user’s browser
  • Verifies the ownership of a domain.
  • Verifies the identity of the organization that owns the domain
  • Takes longer to obtain than DV SSL certificates (usually a few days)
  • Offers a higher level of assurance to website visitors
  • Can be used to secure a single domain or multiple subdomains
  • Typically has a higher price point than DV SSL certificates

Key Specifications of OV Certificates:

  • Issuance Time: It typically takes one to three days for the completion of the verification process, as the Certificate Authority (CA) will verify all the details via online government data of your local municipality, state, or nation.   
  • Ideal for: Non-profit organization that accepts online charity or donations; Medium to large organizations; Websites that request confidential details on their online forms or checkout pages.
  • Free SSL Option: There is no provision for a free certificate in OV SSLs.

Read Also: The Best OV SSL Certificates of 2024

Let’s hop on to the EV SSL certificate.

What is EV SSL Certificate?

An EV (Extended Validation) SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate that provides the highest level of assurance to website visitors. In addition to verifying the domain’s ownership and the organization’s identity, an EV SSL certificate also requires the certificate authority (CA) to verify the organization’s legal, physical, and operational existence.

The CA will thoroughly review the organization’s business practices, reputation, and other relevant information to obtain an EV SSL certificate. This process can take several days to complete.

Once the CA has completed the validation process and issued the EV SSL certificate, the organization’s name and location will appear in the certificate details, providing website visitors with the highest level of assurance about the organization’s identity.

EV SSL certificates are typically the most expensive type of SSL certificate and are generally reserved for large, well-known organizations that need to provide the highest level of assurance to their website visitors.

Features of EV SSL Certificates:

  • Display the certificate holder’s name in the browser’s address bar, which helps build trust with visitors to the site.
  • Enhanced security, as the issuing certificate authority (CA), verifies the certificate holder’s identity and legitimacy more thoroughly.
  • Increased encryption strength, with EV SSL certificates using stronger encryption algorithms to secure communication between the website and the visitor’s browser.
  • Compatibility with most modern browsers, as EV SSL certificates use industry-standard encryption protocols.
  • Use the ‘https’ prefix in the website’s URL indicates that the website is secure and the connection is encrypted.
  • Display the padlock icon in the browser’s address bar, indicating that the website is secure.

Key Specifications of EV Certificates:

  • Issuance Time: One to five days. Until you comply with all the requirements laid by the CA or if the CA is not satisfied with the online database, you will have to give registration documents for the verification process. In cases like these, it takes up to 5 days. 
  • Suitable for: Large-scale organizations and businesses, healthcare facilities, and financial institutes like banks.
  • Free SSL: Since getting this certificate involves a rigorous verification process, you cannot avail of it for free.

That was all about three types of SSL certificates. Let us do a comparative analysis for a better understanding.

Read Also: The Best EV SSL Certificates of 2024

Difference Between DV SSL vs. OV SSL vs. EV SSL Certificates

ParametersDV SSLOV SSLEV SSL
Encryption Strength  256-bit256-bit256-bit
RSA Signature Key 2048-bit2048-bit2048-bit
Validation Procedure One has to click on the validation link received in the email or place validation files on the server. By giving all the registration details, proof of physical address, phone number, etc. Dun & Bradstreet credit reports or Professional opinion letters (POLs) are sometimes needed.Similar as DV + OV validation procedures + proof of business’s operation for more than 3 years
Validation Time Within Minutes 1-3 Days  1-5 Days  
ApplicationSmall businesses and startups (that do not deal with financial details), informational websites, and personal blogs.A non-profit organization that accepts online charity or donations; Medium to large organizations; Websites that request confidential details on their online forms or checkout pages.Large-scale organizations and businesses, healthcare facilities, and financial institutes like banks.
Site Seals Static Dynamic Dynamic 
Availability of Wildcard SSL CertificateYes YesNo
Availability of Multi-Domain SSL Certificate Yes Yes Yes 
Cheapest SSL ProductCertera SSL CertificateInstant SSL CertificatePositive EV SSL

We hope the table helped you understand how the three certificates differ from each other.

Other SSL Types Comparison

Choose the Right SSL between DV SSL vs. OV SSL vs. EV SSL Certificates

If you are purchasing SSL certificates, it all comes down to your business requirements and budget. While an EV SSL certificate is an obvious choice for any website as it establishes trust in your end-users, it is up to your discretion and choice to select which would best fit your website and your budget.

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

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