Installing an SSL Certificate is absolutely crucial to every modern website. Google will penalize you for not having one, and you will severely downgrade the security of your users.
By not having an SSL certificate installed, users of your website will be sending their data across the internet without any encryption. Anyone snooping can see exactly what information is being sent (usernames, passwords, credit card info, etc.) and use it for all kinds of nefarious reasons.
Whereas with an SSL Certificate installed, that information is first encrypted before being sent across the internet.
Some Web Hosting Companies, like Namhost, offer free SSL Certificates with all hosting accounts. But you also get paid SSL Certificates which can have hefty price tags attached. So why is there such a huge disparity in prices, and is it really worth spending the extra bucks?
This article will look at the different types of SSL Certificates available today and why you should consider opting for a paid SSL Certificate over a FREE one. ?
SSL Certificates by Validation Level
While all SSL certificate types share the same encryption strength, you should consider their differences: the warranty amount, the validation steps, and the certificate price.
- Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL)
Domain Validated Certificates can be obtained quickly, and you only need to verify that you own the domain name. You can do that via email, DNS, or by uploading a file to the site's document root.We can further split this certificate type into two categories: free DV certificates and paid DV certificates. While there are plenty of free SSL providers today, Let’s Encrypt is by far the most popular and used.DV certificates are the best choice for personal websites, blogs, and other simple websites that don’t sell products and services or process people’s sensitive information.This is the most affordable certificate type, so its warranty is modest and usually close to $10,000.
- Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL)
To get an Organization Validated Certificate, you must first have a registered business. That’s because the certificate authority will have to validate your company's registration, location, and phone number. The whole process can take several days to complete.OV certificates are the best choice for smaller ecommerce stores and other websites that store and process people’s personal information.This certificate type is more expensive, and its warranty is much higher compared to DV certificates, starting from $1,000,000.
- Extended Validation Certificates (EV SSL)
Extended Validation Certificates take the company validation process one step further. Certificate authorities perform deep background and legal checks, verify your company’s physical address, and more. Sometimes it can take a week or more to complete the process.EV certificates are the best choice for large ecommerce stores, banks, and websites that offer financial services.This is the most expensive certificate category, and its warranty can reach several million dollars.Note: In the past, EV-certified domains would get a green bar with the company’s name displayed in the browser. It was a well-known and trusted security banner then, but now it's no longer in use.
SSL Certificates by Domain Coverage
There’s another way to categorize SSL certificates, and that’s by their domain coverage. Some certificates can cover a single domain, while others can cover hundreds of them. Subdomains need to be considered as well.
- Single-Domain SSL Certificates
Single-domain certificates can only be used to secure one domain without its subdomains.
- Wildcard SSL Certificates
Wildcard certificates secure the main domain and its first-level subdomains, such as www.example.na and blog.example.na.
- Multi-Domain SSL Certificates
With a single multi-domain certificate, you can secure multiple domains. Subdomains can be secured as well, but only if their main domains are not secured with the same certificate.
- Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificates
Multi-domain wildcard certificates can secure multiple domains and all of their first-level subdomains.
Now that you have a better understanding of how SSL certificates work, you can make the best choice for your business.
Ready to upgrade? Namhost has got you covered with an extensive offering of SSL certificate types and providers. Click here to take a look.