All SSL Certificates SSL certificates are categorized by the level of validation and encryption provided OR the number of domains or subdomains under the certificate. So, SSL Certificates fall under three main classifications that can be applied to each one of them. Certificates are issued by a Certificate Authority (CA), a software, which is an application that is specifically designed for issuing and running the certificates.
Encryption and Validation Certificates apply to domain, organization and extended validation. SSL Certificates under the domain number category include single, multi-domain and wildcard types.
Single Domain SSL Certificates
The Single Domain SSL Certificates covers one domain only. It does not cover subdomains. If you purchase a Single Domain Certificate for mywebsite(.)com, the certificate cannot also be applied to blog.mywebsite(.)com. You will have to purchase an additional single domain certificate to cover every sub-domain and additional domains.
Unified Communications (UCC) SSL Certificate
The UCC SSL Certificate is also referred to as Multi-Domain Certificate. They allow multiple domains on a single certificate. Initially, the UCC Certificates were created to bridge communication between a single server and browser. They have later expanded to include multiple domains by one owner.
A single multi-domain or UCC Certificate can cover up to 100 domains. You can use the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) option to alter the domain names on the certificate.
A UCC display a padlock in the address bar to show validation. If you want the UCC to display the green text, padlock and country, then it can be configured and will then also be referred to as an EV SSL or Extended Validation SSL. The difference from the EV SSL Type is the number of domains on the certificate.
Wildcard SSL Certificates
The Wildcard SSL Certificate falls under the 'domain number' type. If your business plans to use one domain and several sub-domains, then the Wildcard SSL Certificate is the best option for you. For example, you can cover onmaxhost.domains and unlimited sub-domains such as dashboard.onmaxhost.domains, email.onmaxhost.domains, etc.
DV SSL Certificates
The DV or Domain Validation provides a low level of encryption. It shows a green padlock next to the URL in the address bar. It is the quickest SSL Certificate you can obtain as it requires just a few business documents for verification. A DV Certificate only covers the domain submitted and does not cover any sub-domains.
Verification requirements are met simply by adding a DNS to the CA (Certificate Authority). The CA then verifies the ownership right of the applicant to the domain submitted.
Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate
The OV SSL Certificate verifies that the organization and the domain being validated are real. It offers a medium-level of encryption and is obtained in two steps: (1) CA verifies who owns the domain being validated; (2) Next CA verifies that the entity or organization owning the domain is operating legally.
The OV SSL Certificate displays a small green padlock followed by the organization's name. The OV SSL is ideal for a business that needs to offer a medium-level of encryption but cannot afford the cost of an EV (Extended Validation) SSL Certificate.
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate
The EV SSL Certificate is the most expensive to obtain. It offers the advantage of showing the legitimacy of your domain from the address bar. Obtaining an EV SSL Certificate requires that you prove that you are legitimate and authorized to own the domain you're submitting. This ensures your website visitors that you are legally collecting the data needed to execute certain actions — such as a credit card number for an online transaction.
The EV SSL Certificate is the best option if you want to fully demonstrate that you are not a spam website. It displays the padlock, HTTPS, business name, and business country in the address.
Any business can apply and obtain an EV SSL Certificate. Though the most expensive, it is the right certificate for businesses that need to provide identity assurance to their users. Websites that intended to process online payment or collect other personal data should purchase and display an EV Certificate.