Types of SSL Certificates – Which one is good for your business?

6 Mins read
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In today’s digital age, online security is of topmost priority. With cyberattacks being more prevalent than ever, the need to protect sensitive information, secure transactions, and maintain user trust has led to the widespread use of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates. SSL certificates are cryptographic protocols that establish secure connections between web browsers and web servers, ensuring data confidentiality and integrity. In very simple terms, SSL is one of the most basic security measures that encrypts data as it travels between clients and servers and decrypts it when it reaches the destination. This ensures that your data remains leak-proof and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands during its journey. But that’s not all an SSL certificate does.

SSL certificates also help your website rank better. In fact, in 2014, Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal. This meant that Google would prioritize websites that are SSL-certified. According to a study by Moz, more than 50% of the results on the first page of a Google search had SSL certification. The search engine giant wants its users to access websites that are secure for use. To that effect, there’s an alert in Google Chrome that warns customers when they use a website that does not have an SSL certificate.

Q: So how does one recognize a website that has an SSL certification?

A: When a website has an SSL certificate, its URL will start with https:// instead of http://. A padlock icon visible on the address bar of a website is also proof that it has SSL certification and is secure.

When you click on the padlock symbol, many of the following details of the SSL certificate appear:

  • The domain name
  • The organization to which the certificate was issued
  • The certificate authority that issued it
  • The certificate authority’s digital signature
  • The subdomains associated with the certificate
  • The date of issuance, the expiration date, and the public key.

However, the private key is confidential, and the information is not displayed.

SSL certificates come in various types, each designed to meet specific security needs. Let us delve into the world of SSL certificates, exploring its different types and their importance.

Importance of SSL Certificates

SSL certificates play a crucial role in today’s internet landscape. They not only provide the most basic level of security through encryption and authentication, but they also create a level of trust in the user’s mind that their personal information will not fall into the wrong hands from your website.

Below are the reasons why SSL certificates are so critical for a website.

1. Data Encryption:

The first and foremost role of an SSL certificate is to encrypt and decrypt the data that moves between the user’s browser and the web server. This ensures that sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card numbers, personal information like social security numbers, biometrics, health records, etc remain confidential as it moves between servers and clients.

2. Trust and Authentication:

SSL certificates help verify the identity of the website owner and its business. This assures users that they are interacting with a legitimate and secure website and gives the business credibility.

3. SEO Boost:

Search engines like Google give priority to websites with HTTPS (secured with SSL), boosting their rankings. Google aims to protect users from cyber threats as websites that are not SSL-certified tend to be more susceptible to cyberattacks and might get compromised. As a result, websites with SSL certificates tend to rank higher in search results.

4. Protecting User Privacy:

The encryptions provided by SSL certificates protect users’ privacy by safeguarding their personal information from interception by cybercriminals.

How SSL Certificates work

SSL certificates work on the principles of encryption and authentication. Below is a step-by-step breakdown of how they help websites.

1. Handshake Initiation:

When a user accesses a website, their browser requests the server to establish a secure connection. This leads to the server responding by sending its SSL certificate to the browser.

2. Verification:

The browser then verifies the certificate’s validity. It checks whether the certificate issued is provided by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) or not. It then further ensures that the certificate has not expired or been revoked.

3. Key Exchange:

Once verified, the browser generates a unique session key and encrypts it with the server’s public key from the SSL certificate. This session key is used for encrypting and decrypting data during the session.

4. Secure Communication:

With the session key established, data transfer between the browser and server is encrypted. Even if the data gets intercepted by a cybercriminal at any point, it remains unreadable without the session key.

Types of SSL Certificates

Several types of SSL certificates provide different levels of security. Here is a list of different types of SSL certificates and how they help with the security of your organization.

1. Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates

Domain-validated SSL certificates are the most basic type of SSL certificate. They validate the ownership of a domain but do not verify the identity of the website owner.

Ideal for: DV certificates are commonly used for personal websites, blogs, and small e-commerce sites. They provide basic encryption and are easy to obtain, making them a cost-effective choice for many website owners and freelancers.

2. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates

Organization-validated SSL certificates offer a higher level of security compared to DV certificates. In addition to domain ownership verification, OV certificates also verify the legal identity of the website owner or organization. This provides users with more confidence in the authenticity of the website they are visiting.

Ideal for: OV certificates are often used by businesses, government agencies, and organizations that require an extra layer of trust and security.

3. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates

Extended Validation SSL certificates offer the highest level of trust and security among SSL certificate types. To obtain an EV certificate, the certificate authority conducts a thorough validation process, including verifying the legal entity’s identity and checking its right to use the domain. Websites with EV certificates display the company name in the browser’s address bar, giving users a clear indication of the website’s authenticity and security.

Ideal for: EV certificates are commonly used by e-commerce websites, financial institutions, and any site where user trust is paramount.

4. Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates are a convenient option for organizations that manage multiple subdomains under the same primary domain.

Ideal for: These certificates secure the main domain and all its subdomains with a single certificate, making them cost-effective and easy to manage. For example, a wildcard certificate for “” would also secure “,” “,” and any other subdomains.

5. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (SAN Certificates)

Multi-domain SSL certificates, also known as SAN (Subject Alternative Name) certificates, allow website owners to secure multiple domain names with a single certificate.

Ideal for: This is especially useful for large organizations with multiple websites or microsites. With a SAN certificate, you can secure “,” “,” and “” all under one certificate, reducing administrative complexity and cost.

Getting SSL Certificates

ZNetLive a leading distributor of cloud and cybersecurity services provides SSL certificates powered by Comodo at pocket-friendly prices.

  • Positive SSL (DV): The basic SSL (DV) certificate is available at Rs 78/- per month. It provides domain validation for a single domain name. Along with industry-standard encryption of 2048 bits (strength up to 256 bits), it also provides a static site seal and unlimited server licenses.
  • Comodo Elite SSL (OV): The Comodo Elite SSL (OV) certificate is available at Rs 750/- per month. It provides almost all the features of PositiveSSL (DV) and additional features like Dynamic Comodo Secure Site Seal with an issue time frame of 1-3 days.
  • PositiveSSL Wildcard (DV): This certificate is available for Rs 746/- per month. It also provides all the features of Positive SSL (DV). What makes it different is that the certificate is valid for a single domain and all subdomains. The certificate is also trusted by all browsers with 99.9% Ubiquity.
  • Comodo EV SSL: Available at Rs 1400/- per month, this certificate provides a wide range of features like showing verified company names in all browsers, Site Seal, free unlimited services licenses, and a Dynamic TrustLogo. The issue time of the certificates takes anywhere from 1-5 days.

To figure out what package works best for your business or for any queries on the features of the certificates, you can contact the sales team at ZNetLive.

Wrapping Up

SSL certificates are a fundamental component of online security and trust. They assure users that their data is safe during online transactions. The type of SSL certificate you choose should align with your website’s security requirements and the level of trust you want to establish with your users. Whether you’re running a personal blog, an e-commerce platform, or a large organization, the right SSL certificate is a critical step in safeguarding your online presence and protecting user data.

Image credit: Freepik

Read Next: Free SSL vs. Paid SSL – Know the difference

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