SSL certificates are an important part of online business. They bind small digital files with a cryptographic key to ensure safety during online transactions. After they have been installed on a server, they will activate a padlock, which will show up in the browser. This allows for a secure connection between the browser and the server.
Why Use SSL Certificates
There are two main reasons to use SSL Certificate: Authentication and Security. When using a SSL Certificate you will not only gain encryption, but they also provide authentication. You will be sure the information is sending to the right server and not to a hacker’s server. Since your customers will be sending information throughout several computers, it’s necessary to authenticate your server before the information is delivered.
Security is probably the number one reason to use SSL certificate. The encryption makes it very difficult for hackers to steal credit card information, passwords, email addresses and other bits of information. The SSL Certificate makes the information unreadable to everybody except the server receiving your information.
Types of SSL Certificates
All SSL certificates use the same methods for protection and authentication, for the most part. While this is the case and all certificates must be verified by the Certificate Authority, there are a few different types.
An Essential SSL certificate will secure just one domain. It will secure the www.YourDomain.com and the YourDomain.com versions and the CSR must be generated for both. You will get a green padlock in the address bar of the browser with this type of SSL certificate.
The owner of the Essential SSL Certificate will need to complete the domain control validation through email. This is done with either the domain’s WHOIS Registrant email OR one featuring admin, hostmaster, postmaster or webmaster. Essential SSL also provides quick issuance.
A Wildcard SSL Certificate will secure one domain and all of the subdomains. It will secure the www.YourDomain.com, the YourDomain.com and the subdomain.YourDomain.com. The CSR will only need to be generated for the .Yourdomain.com.
With the Wildcard SSL, you get a green padlock in the address bar of the browser. You will need to complete the domain control validation through email with the WHOIS Registrant’s email or the admin, hostmaster, postmaster or webmaster email options. This SSL Certificate also provides quick issuance.
The EV SSL will only secure one domain in the www.YourDomain.com and YourDomain.com form. The CSR must be generated for both. This SSL Certificate will not only provide a green padlock in the address bar of the browsers, but will also provide a green address bar.
The legitimacy of your domain must be verified with additional documents provided to the Comodo. The verification process does require a callback to the actual domain owner. Issuance takes time and can take up to 6 weeks with this SSL Certificate.
EV certificates provide the maximum amount of trust to visitors, but they also require the most effort to verify.
All three SSL certificate provide different levels of protection. The Essential and Wildcard both provide a $10,000 warranty, while the EV provides a $250,000 warranty. The EV is also the most expensive and the Essential is usually the most affordable. However, the EV takes the longest to verify, as well.
Overall, the three SSL certificates will do about the same thing. However, they are a bit different and you may need one for your subdomains or you may want the highest level of protection. Make sure you weigh the three options and figure out what you really need before you purchase the right SSL certificate for your specific needs.