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Do you want to safeguard your collection of online business websites, domains, and subdomains? If yes, then using Multi-Domain SSL or Wildcard SSL Certificates are two highly flexible options that you can choose from. You can use both of these certificates to secure multiple websites or domains. Still, after having the same objective, specific technical features and limitations are exclusive to each SSL certificate that differentiates one from the other.
This article aims to provide insights into Multi-Domain SSL and Wildcard Certificates. So, without further ado, let’s start by exploring Multi-domain certificates.
The multi-domain SSL certificate covers multiple primary domains or FQDNs and their corresponding subdomains. You can use this single SSL certificate to protect all these websites. Two primary reasons make this certificate an appropriate choice for medium, and enterprise organizations operating in numerous domains and subdomains:
Multi-domain certificate, also known as Unified Communication Certificate (UCC) or SAN SSL certificate, comes with a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) field in which you can specify additional hostnames. In the SAN field, you can add up to 250 additional FQDN domains, subdomains, or even IP addresses you want to protect.
Let’s understand MDC certificate examples through a hypothetical situation. Thomas owns a web hosting company, and the domain is – www.affordalewebhosting.com. Thomas also wants to secure related domains, such as:
Then in such a case, Thomas can use the multi-domain SSL to secure his main domain and multiple subdomains.
Even if he wants to expand the presence of this company adding more websites or TLDs around the globe and protect all domains in other nations with different TLDs (Top-level domains), he can use the same multi-domain SAN certificate to do so, such as:
There are various noticeable technical features, such as:
Here are some of the most significant limitations:
The quantity of domain names that can be accommodated within the certificate is limited; it can be as minimum as two and as maximum as 250.
|Product Name||Validation Type||Issuance Time||Pricing|
|Comodo Multi Domain SSL||Business Validation||1 to 3 Days||$69.99/yr|
|Sectigo Multi Domain SSL||Business Validation||1 to 3 Days||$59.99/yr|
|PositiveSSL Multi-Domain||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$14.99/yr|
|Certera Multi-Domain SSL||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$10.99/yr|
|PositiveSSL Multi-Domain Wildcard||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$99.99/yr|
A Wildcard SSL certificate secures a domain and all its subdomains with a single SSL certificate. Instead of using separate SSL certificates for each type of subdomain, IT administrators can reduce their workload by using this subdomain SSL certificate.
Notably, it also supports the latest and modern SSL encryption algorithms, such as 256-bit and 2048-bit RSA, which enable premium encryption for multiple subdomains. Additionally, there is another significant difference in multi-domain SSL vs wildcard SSL – EV Wildcard certificates do not exist. This is because they are weak against security vulnerabilities that are too substantial.
Using the earlier stated example, Thomas now wants to secure the www.chocklate.com domain with all its subdomains, such as:
Thomas can use a Wildcard SSL certificate to do the same. Using a multi-domain certificate when there is only a single primary domain and its subdomains to protect will not be a justifiable option to choose, as it will be overkill and will not allow you to monitor unlimited subdomains.
There are various noticeable features, such as:
Here are some of the most significant Wildcard certificate constraints:
Note: If you want to secure multiple domains along with an “n” number of subdomains, you should choose a Multi-domain Wildcard SSL certificate for the same. This certificate is a combination of a multi-domain and a wildcard certificate.
|Product Name||Validation Type||Issuance Time||Pricing|
|Certera SSL Wildcard Certificate||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$19.99/yr|
|Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard Certificate||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$38.99/yr|
|Sectigo Positive SSL Wildcard||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$38.99/yr|
|Comodo EssentialSSL Wildcard||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$49.99/yr|
|COMODO Wildcard SSL||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$90.99/yr|
|SECTIGO Wildcard SSL||Domain Validation||10 to 15 Minutes||$149.99/yr|
For a better understanding, let’s explore the difference between these two certificates in a tabular format:
|Benchmark||Multi-Domain SSL||Wildcard SSL|
|It secures||Multiple domains, SANs, and IP addresses.||A single domain with all its subdomains.|
|Number of domains that can be secured is||Between 2 to 250.||One primary website and unlimited number of subdomains.|
|Cost||Starts at $10.99/Yr. – |
Expensive in comparison to OV Wildcard certificates.
|Starts at $19.99/Yr. Inexpensive in comparison to OV Multi-Domain certificates.|
|Validation option||DV, OV, and EV.||DV and OV.|
|Managing domain||Is complicated as each new domain requires a new certificate to be issued.||Is easier as it covers all subdomains automatically.|
|Web Browser compatibility||99.99%||99.99%|
|Valid for||5 years||5 years|
Multi-Domain SSL Certificates secure numerous domains and subdomains. On the other hand, Wildcard SSL Certificates secure a single domain along with infinite subdomains.
Both certificates offer robust security features, such as 256-bit encryption. Additionally, they can be issued with different validation options. Furthermore, both certificates come with trust logos, financial protection, and improved website SEO and search engine rankings. Organizations should consider their specific needs and choose the certificate that best fits their requirements.