There are many different types of SSL certificates in Canada to choose from. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your website.
In today’s guide, we will discuss the different types of SSL certificates and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
What is an SSL certificate?
Just for formalities and so we are on the same page, an SSL certificate is a type of digital certificate that ensures the security of website communications by encrypting information sent between a web browser and the server.
SSL certificates are used to create secure connections and prevent data breaches.
Technically, there are three main types of SSL certificates: Domain Validated (DV), Organization Validated (OV), and Extended Validation (EV).
But they all can be grouped under two major categories based on their functions and how you obtain them.
Based on Validation
a). Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates
Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates are the most basic type of SSL certificate.
They verify that you own the domain, but don’t provide any additional information about your company.
DV SSL Certificates are perfect for personal websites or blogs, or any site that doesn’t handle sensitive information.
If you are looking for a low-cost way to add security to your website, a DV SSL Certificate is a good option.
Requirements to get DV SSL Certificate
To get this SSL, you must prove that you own or control the domain name. The certificate authority will send an email to one of several addresses listed in the WHOIS record for your domain.
b). Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates
Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates are a type of SSL Certificate that is available to organizations.
OV SSL Certificates provide authentication of the organization and verification of the domain name listed on the certificate. The organization must provide proof of its identity to the Certificate Authority in order to get an OV SSL Certificate.
Once issued, the OV SSL Certificate will display the business’s location information in the Subject line in the Details section.
OV SSL Certificates provide authentication of the organization and verification of the domain name listed on the certificate.
Requirements to get Organization Validation SSL
To get an Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate, you must provide the certificate authority with proof that your organization is legitimate.
This usually involves providing business licenses and documents that prove your identity and location.
c). Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates
An EV SSL is the highest level of SSL Certificate available. It provides the highest level of assurance to website visitors that the site is legitimate and that their personal information will be safe.
This type of SSL Certificate requires a more rigorous validation process than other types of SSL Certificates, and as a result, it can take longer to obtain one.
The CA will need to do extensive background verification. And on top of that, they will also need proof of physical location and legal status.
However, the added security is worth the extra effort for many organizations.
Requirements to get Extended Validation (EV)SSL Certificate
We’ve already touched on this.
To get an EV certificate, you must provide a very high level of proof that your organization is legitimate. This usually involves providing official business licenses and documents as well as undergoing thorough background checks with the certification authority.
If you are looking for the highest level of security and assurance for your website, an Extended Validation SSL Certificate is the best choice.
Based on the Number of Domains
a). Single domain SSL certificates
Just like DV certificates, a single domain SSL certificate is the most basic type of SSL certificate and is designed to secure one specific domain.
If you have a website with only one domain, then a single domain SSL certificate is all you need. Single domain certificates are also sometimes called standard SSL certificates or DV certificates (domain validated).
The advantage of a single domain certificate is that it is the simplest and most straightforward type of SSL certificate to set up. All you need to do is prove to the Certificate Authority (CA) that you own the domain, and they will issue the certificate.
The downside of a single domain certificate is that it only secures one website. If you have multiple websites, you will need a separate certificate for each one.
b). Wildcard SSL Certificates
Unlike Single Domain SSL, a Wildcard SSL Certificate is a certificate that can be used to secure multiple subdomains on a domain.
For example, if you have a Wildcard SSL Certificate for *.example.com, you can use it to secure www.example.com, blog.example.com, and mail.example.com.
Wildcard SSL Certificates are a great option for businesses that have multiple subdomains they need to secure, as they offer a convenient and cost-effective way to do so.
They are also a good option for businesses that may add new subdomains in the future, as the certificate can simply be applied to the new subdomain without having to go through the process of obtaining and installing a new certificate.
c). Multi-Domain SSL Certificates
A multi-domain SSL certificate, also known as a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificate, is an SSL certificate that can secure multiple domain names.
This is ideal for companies with multiple websites or companies that want to secure both www and non-www versions of their domain.
Multi-domain certificates can also be used to secure subdomains.
For example, if you own the domain example.com, you could use a multi-domain certificate to secure blog.example.com, shop.example.com, and mail.example.com.
Multi-domain certificates are available from most major Certificate Authorities (CAs) and usually cost more than single-domain certificates.
With this type of SSL certificate, the number of domains that can be secured varies by CA but typically ranges from 3 to 25 domains.
d). Unified Communications Certificates
A Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) is an SSL certificate that secures multiple domain names and multiple hostnames within a single domain name.
A UCC can be used to secure Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office Communications Server, and other unified communications systems.
When you purchase a UCC, you’ll receive a security certificate for each of the domain names and hostnames that you want to secure.
The advantage of a UCC is that it allows you to use a single certificate for all of your domain names and hostnames, which makes it easier to manage your SSL certificates.
How to Install an SSL Certificate
Most companies will provide instructions on how to install an SSL certificate once you’ve purchased it.
Either way, here’s how to install a Let’s Encrypt SSL (free SSL certificate) using cPanel.
First, log into your cPanel account.
Search for Let’s Encrypt.
Click Issue next to the domain/subdomain you’d wish to install an SSL certificate on.
Finally, click Issue.
SSL Certificates are used to create a secure connection between a website and a user’s web browser.
There are three main types of SSL Certificates: Domain Validated (DV), Organization Validated (OV), and Extended Validation (EV).
- Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates are the most basic type of certificate and are typically the quickest and easiest to obtain. DV Certificates only verify that you own the domain; they do not verify any other information about your organization.
- Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates provide more assurance than DV Certificates because they require the website owner to provide additional information about their organization, which is then verified by the Certificate Authority. OV Certificates can take longer to obtain than DV Certificates because of this extra step in the validation process.
- Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates go through an extended validation process that provides the highest level of assurance. The Certificate Authority will review your organization’s legal documents and make sure that they are up to date and in line with standard business practices.
You can visit this page to check SSL certificate prices in Canada.
Types of SSL Certificates FAQs
How Many Types of SSL Certificates Are There?
As website security becomes increasingly important, you may be wondering how many types of SSL certificates are available. The answer may surprise you – there are actually quite a few different types! Here’s a rundown of the most popular SSL certificate types:
1. Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates: These are the most basic and most commonly issued type of SSL certificate. They simply verify that you own the domain name listed on the certificate.
2. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates: These certificates provide more assurance than DV certificates, as they not only verify your ownership of the domain name but also that your organization is a legitimate business.
3. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates: EV certificates offer the highest level of assurance, as they require a thorough vetting process by the Certificate Authority before being issued.
Free vs Paid SSL – Which One Should I Choose?
When it comes to SSL, there are two main options: free and paid. So, which one should you choose? It really depends on your needs. If you have a simple website with limited traffic, a free SSL certificate may be enough. However, if you have a more complex website with more traffic, you may need a paid SSL certificate. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:
- The level of security: Free SSL certificates provide basic security, while paid SSL certificates to offer enhanced security.
- The level of encryption: Free SSL certificates offer lower levels of encryption than paid SSL certificates.
- The type of warranty: Paid SSL certificates come with warranties that cover certain types of damages caused by the certificate issuer. Free SSL certificates do not come with such warranties.
What Is a Class 3 SSL Certificate?
A Class 3 SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate that is typically used for websites that need to provide a high level of security. Class 3 SSL certificates are usually more expensive than other types of SSL certificates, but they offer the highest level of security available.
Is SSL the same as TLS?
SSL and TLS are two different protocols that are often used interchangeably. SSL is the predecessor to TLS, and TLS is an updated version of SSL. Both protocols are designed to provide security for communication over a network.
SSL uses symmetric encryption for data confidentiality and message integrity. It uses public-key cryptography for authentication. TLS also uses symmetric encryption and public key cryptography, but it adds additional features such as perfect forward secrecy and elliptic curve cryptography.
Overall, TLS is more secure than SSL because it provides stronger encryption algorithms and more privacy protection mechanisms. However, both protocols can be effective in protecting data during transmission.
Which is better SSL or TLS?
There are a few key differences between SSL and TLS that impact security. TLS is the more recent protocol and offers better security than SSL. One key difference is that TLS uses stronger encryption algorithms, which make it more difficult for attackers to decrypt data. Additionally, TLS supports perfect forward secrecy, which means that even if an attacker manages to get hold of the private key, they will only be able to decrypt data that was encrypted with that key at the time they obtained it. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to mount a successful attack.
Overall, TLS is the better option in terms of security. However, both SSL and TLS are widely used and considered secure protocols. If you are looking to implement either one, consult with your security team to determine which is best for your specific needs.
Which type of SSL certificate is best?
If you’re looking for the most basic level of security, then a standard SSL certificate will suffice. These are typically used for small websites with low traffic levels.
If you have a larger website or one that handles sensitive information, then you’ll need an extended validation (EV) SSL certificate. These provide the highest level of security and are usually used by e-commerce sites and other websites that handle sensitive data.
Finally, there are wildcard SSL certificates, which can be used to secure multiple subdomains on a single domain. These are ideal for businesses with multiple websites or online properties.