Types of SSL Certificates Available in the Market

Do not get confused with different types of SSL certificates. The straightforward purpose of all SSL certificates is same- secure your website.

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The selection of SSL protocol depends purely upon the usage. If you have big enterprise then its obvious that you will go with EV (Extended Validation) certificate instead of DV ( Domain Validated) certificate.

But, before plunging into the certificate classification let me ask the basic question- What’s the importance of SSL certificate?


Taking your business online is not a big deal but winning the trust of customers by providing safe & secure transaction is most important.

SSL cert. provides the trust seal that customer and search engine both recognizes. Today, HTTPS-based websites get preference in ranking due to trustability level.

The certificate is provided by trusted CA( Certificate Authority) that authenticates the transaction & enterprise identity as well. The encryption technology behind SSL cert. safeguards user’s privacy.

The certificate available in the market provides three levels of trust :

  1. DV (Domain Validated)
  2. OV (Organization Validated)
  3. EV ( Extended Validation)


1. Domain Validated Certificates can be called as a basic certificate.There is only single step verification while other certificate types have multiple steps verification processes.

It has automated validation process which checks only domain ownership.The verification can be done using any two methods:

  1. E-mail based authentication: The CA (Certificate Authority) sends an e-mail to registered e-mail ID available in whois directory. The authentication process hardly takes 15 minutes to accomplish.
  2. File-based authentication: The authority provides a text file which needs to be uploaded to root directory for verification.

Since the organization’s information is not validated so business legitimacy is not assured to visitors.  It is used in the places where there are no financial transactions or where there is already a robust internal security system.

Suitable for: Blogs, small business website, charity website etc

Cost: It’s a low-cost SSL solution. One of the popular SSL in this category is COMODO Positive SSL.

2. Organization Validated Certificates can be called as a medium level certificate.It involves 2-3 steps verification process. It’s a manual process where CA’s real agent verifies the company business information using the public database. If required documents are also asked to submit.

This standard certificate provides a higher level of trust. The OV certificate contains dynamic site seal with business information and a padlock icon in the address bar. It takes about 1-3 days time to complete the validation process.

Suitable for: E-commerce website, medium enterprises, trading website etc

Cost: The pricing is of medium category.  One of the popular product in this category is COMODO OV certificate.


3. Extended Validation Certificates is the highest level certificate. It involves rigorous background verification of company based on guidelines of CA/B ( Certificate Authority / Browser) Forum. The best feature of this certificate is ‘GREEN BAR’ and a unique identifier which makes the site gain more security scale and win the confidence of visitors. It takes about 1-5 days before completing the validation process.

Suitable for: Banks, financial institutions, government agencies, big enterprises, e-commerce stores etc

Cost: The pricing is of higher range but worth buying if you are concerned to secure your site assets as well as user interests.  One of the popular product in this category is COMODO EV certificate.

Certificates are further classified based on the number of domains:

  1. Single Domain Certificate
  2. Wildcard Certificate
  3. MDC ( Multi-Domain Certificate)
  4. UCC (Unified Communications Certificate)

1) Single Domain Certificate helps to secure one domain name which qualifies based on any of these three validation levels – DV, OV and EV. This is suitable for businesses having few domains in their asset list. This certificate validates parent domain and not the subdomain. Do not buy this certificate thinking that you can secure sub-domains also using the single domain certificate.


2) Wildcard Certificate helps to secure one domain name and all sub-domains created under parent domain. Once you install wildcard SSL it will take care of all future sub-domains.It’s cost effective and prevents multiple-handling.

Example: (*.

3) MDC ( Multi-Domain Certificate) helps to secure several domain names and sub-domains which is covered under a single certificate. If you have multiple domain assets/ different IP’s then MDC is the best solution for easy management, tracking, cost saving and monitoring sites. This type of certificate is best for companies doing global business and holding country specific TLD extensions.


4) UCC (Unified Communications Certificate)is a special category certificate that helps to secure multiple domain names and multiple hostnames using a single certificate. It is also known as SAN(Subject Alternative Name) SSL certificate. Unlike other certificates where you require different IP addresses, UCC certificates don’t have the unique IP address criteria. It allows up to 100 domains covered under a single certificate. This certificate is best for Microsoft® Exchange Servers and Microsoft Live® Communications Servers.


Wrapping up:

There are several types of SSL certificates available in the market. The price of the certificate varies and depends upon a number of factors like a number of domains,  types of validation chosen and certificate brand.

If you have a small list of domains then go for single domain certificate and if you have multiple domains then go for a wildcard or multiple domain certificates.

You can check with respective CA’s to know the number of domains allowed under one certificate like 25, 100 or 250 domains.

There are so many types of  SSL certificates available online. You can pick the one as per your requirement.

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