Types of SSL certificates
Another factor that will affect the type of SSL cert you choose is how many domains you need an SSL cert for. Each SSL certificate combines the level of validation we discussed in the previous section with the number of domains you want to protect. The four types of SSL types based on the number of domains are:
Single-domain SSL certificates
Wildcard SSL certificates
Multi-Domain SSL certificates
Unified Communications SSL Certificate
Single-Domain SSL certificates
With a single-domain SSL certificate, a single domain and all the pages on that domain are protected. All three validation levels – DV, OV, and EV – are available for these kinds of certificates.
Namecheap’s offering for single-domain SSL certificates include: PositiveSSL; InstantSSL; and EVSSL.
Wildcard SSL certificates
With a wildcard SSL certificate, a single domain and unlimited subdomains for that domain are protected. For example, if you have an SSL certificate for “yourwebsite.com”, any subdomains you add, such as “mail.yourwebsite.com” or “login.yourwebsite.com” will automatically be secured. Even if you don’t have any subdomains currently, if you plan on adding any in the future, a wildcard SSL cert will save you money and hassle as you won’t need to keep on buying individual SSL certs every time you do so. Wildcard SSL certificates can be issued with DV and OV levels of validation, but not EV.
Namecheap’s offering for Wildcard SSL certificates include EssentialSSL Wildcard and PremiumSSL Wildcard.
Multi-Domain SSL Certificate
With a multi-domain SSL certificate, up to 100 different domains are protected. Wildcard domains can also be protected with a multi-domain SSL cert. This kind of SSL cert is ideal for organizations running multiple websites, as they only have to deal with a unified cert for all of them, rather than keeping track of individual certs for each one. Getting this kind of cert will also save money in the long run.
Namecheap’s offering for multi-domain SSL certificates include PositiveSSL Multi-Domain Certificate and Multi-Domain SSL.
Unified Communications Certificate
Unified communications (UC) certificates are similar to multi-domain certificates in that they can secure up to 100 domains and subdomains on one certificate. However, UC certificates are created specifically for environments that utilize Microsoft Exchange and Office Communications, and they use the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) extensions instead of different IP address to secure these domains.
Namecheap’s offering for UC Certificates is Unified Communications.