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» » Difference between Wildcard SSL and SAN SSL Certificates

Difference between Wildcard SSL and SAN SSL Certificates

7-11-2019, 07:54

Still not sure which multi-domain SSL certificate is best for you? Well, you are not alone. The SSL world can be a bit confusing especially to new users, let alone delving into multi-domain SSL certificates. Talking of multi-domain certificates, Wildcard and SAN SSL are two excellent options you can purchase in this range, but which one of the two should you go for? Well, we will be going through the two in detail, particularly the difference between Wildcard and SAN SSL certificates.
Difference between Wildcard SSL and SAN SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL Explained

For starters, how does wildcard SSL certificate work and when should you use it?
It is simple. Just as the name suggests, this type of SSL certificate is meant to secure your domain along with an unlimited number of the subdomains you have. A wildcard SSL has a symbol * to imply that you can secure * with the character referring to other subdomains. If you buy a wildcard certificate for, you will secure a subdomain like, etc.
However, you won’t be able to use it to secure a second level subdomain like This is because the Asterik isn’t meant to match the fullstop or let’s just say it won’t work on multi-levels of subdomains

Advantages of Using Wildcard SSL Certificate

There are a number of advantages of going for a wildcard certificate including:
  • Easy management: Wildcard SSL are super easy to manage given that you only have once certificate and you are good to go for a year or so. This will also translate to less operational costs if you have hired a developer to set it up for you. Once he or she is done configuring the wildcard SSL, you won’t need have to undertake a lot of other maintenance procedures afterwards.
  • It is Relatively Cheap: Using a wildcard SSL, you won’t have to buy a certificate to secure every other subdomain you add to your main domain. This makes it cheaper in the long. It is something like killing many birds with a single stone!
  • It affords you Flexibility: Wildcard SSL allows you to add as many subdomains for protection as you fancy provided you do so when the certificate is still valid. You get to secure every facet of your web assets with a single certificate and the beauty is that you don’t have to define the name of the subdomain when purchasing the certificate. This is what the Asterik symbol in the wildcard SSL refers to.
  • Compatible with Most Browsers: You won’t have to worry about browser compatibility as your sites will definitely wok on virtually every common browser used. It will work on the likes of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Apache, etc.
  • Encryption: Wildcard SSL uses an advanced level encryption algorithm to secure communication between your server and the users. To be specific, it uses 256-bit encryption.

#Tip: Use wildcard SSL when you want to secure your subdomains or perhaps if you have no subdomains but you are projecting to expand in future.

SAN SSL Certificate Explained

The SAN SSL (Subject Alternative Name) or Unified Communication Certificate is a certificate that allows you to protect a number of hostnames. Often confused with Wildcard SSL, the two are actually quite different. The former will only secure a domain and its sub domains while the SAN SSL will secure a number of domains plus its subdomains.
Let’s say you have a number of sites like,, SAN SSL certificate can be able to cover all of them but you will have to include all to domains you want to be covered when buying the certificate. Some providers do however allow you to change names if need be.
The other downside is that if you want to add more subdomains or even domains, then the certificate will have to be reissued again.

Advantages of SAN SSL

SAN is also a great option particularly if you have a number of key related domains you want to secure: Here are some of the advantages that come with this certificate:
  • It Offers Flexibility: You will get the flexibility of securing more than one related domains and even subdomains using just one certificate. This certificate will cover multiple domain names that need SSL on a single server with no need to link different IP addresses to the different SSL certificates.
  • Saves on Cost: SAN SSL certificates are versatile enough to work on multiple domains hence you will not need to spend more on many certificates. It is somewhat a one-stop shop and you will love that you will not be forced to use lots of certificates having different renewal and expiration dates. Costs aside, it also reduces the need for management thus setting you free to focus on other stuff.
  • Cross Browser Compatibility: Just like most SSL certificates, this one is also compatible with most browsers used around meaning that your web users won’t get notifications related to the site’s security.
  • Security: SAN SSL isn’t just versatile, it is also quite secure. The algorithm behind this SSL is a full 256-bit encryption system that secures communication pretty well.
  • Microsoft Exchange and the Microsoft Office Communication: This type of SSL certification is common in giving SSL secured communications in office environments.

#Tip: You can use SAN SSL if you are configuring a secure a server that goes by multiple names

Final Remarks:
That’s it about wildcard SSL and SAN SSL. The two are multi-domain SSL but what distinguished them is the functionality. So, take your pick from the two but ensure that you understand what you need before making a decision.шаблоны для dle 11.2

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