Today, Internet users care more about security than ever. If you own a website, you’ll need to show to users that you are able to provide a secure connection and protect their data. To do this, first of all, you must purchase an SSL Certificate.
However, before you do this, you should do some research. In general, there are three basic types of SSL certificates, and it is very important to understand the differences between them. After all, an SSL certificate must comply with the security requirements of your site.
In this article, we briefly describe all types of SSL certificates. Then we will talk about when each of them is most useful. Well, let's start!
What kind of SSL Certificates exists?
With the right SSL certificate, visitors will be informed that your site is secure. You may have noticed that while most website URLs used, to begin with, HTTP://, many now start with HTTPS:// instead. This seemingly small difference is actually very important.
To better understand, let's give a look at all the "communication protocols." They allow you to transfer information between the site server and the visitor's browser. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) has long been the default option, but today, HTTP Secure (HTTPS) is a newer and more secure protocol that not only transmits data via the Internet but also encrypts them. HTTPS is increasingly recommended for use on sites. It greatly reduces the risk of interception and use of sensitive data by hackers. However, to use HTTPS on your site, you need a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. This certificate activates the HTTPS protocol, creating a secure link between your website and each visitor’s browser, protecting all data transmitted between the two. Obtaining an SSL certificate isn’t difficult, but first, you’ll want to understand the various options that are available.
The 3 Types of SSL Certificates
Let's give a look at three basic types of SSL certificates. We will explain what distinguishes them, discuss their pros and cons and talk about when each of them is most useful.
1. Domain Validation
SSL certificates differ based on how they’re ‘validated’. In other words, each kind of certificate requires a different process to be approved. The organization providing this approval is called a Certificate Authority (CA).
Domain Validation certificates are the easiest. To get one of these SSL certificates, it is enough to prove that you are the owner of your domain name. Typically, the certification authority performs this verification by email or searches for domain name system (DNS) records for your site. The main advantage of a certificate with domain verification is that it is issued quickly and simply - it can be obtained in a matter of minutes. It is also the most affordable, in terms of cost, type of SSL certificate. Some of these certificates are issued even for free. However, domain certificates also provide the least level of security. Users will know that their information is encrypted, but can’t verify that you are who you claim. Some browsers display sites with this certificate using a gray warning symbol next to the URL.
On the other hand, if your site does not handle confidential information, then this level of protection may be quite sufficient for you. Certificates, with domain verification, are ideal for blogs, portfolios, and other sites that do not collect confidential user data.
2. Organization Validation
This is a slightly more advanced level of SSL certificate. To get it, representatives of the Certification Center will have to examine your site in order to prove that your organization is legal.
An organization validated certificate is usually more expensive than a certificate with a domain verification. The verification process also takes longer. Typically, the Certification Center spends a few working days conducting a brief investigation, which makes the process of obtaining this certificate less convenient.
On the other hand, a certificate with company verification is more secure. Since, visitors can easily find information from the owner of the site, which increases the trust between you and your users. That is why this certificate provides the necessary minimum of security for sites that collect confidential user data, for example, e-commerce sites. However, if you are the owner of this type of site, we strongly recommend considering the following type of SSL certificate.
3. Extended Validation
Extended validated certificates require the strictest validation process. Before issuing one of these certificates, the certification authority will conduct a thorough investigation to find evidence of the existence of the organization, its legal status, ownership of the domain name, and more.
This is the most expensive SSL Certificate, and it takes quite a long time to obtain it. The issuance time will vary depending on which CA you use, but more often than not, it takes from one to two weeks to confirm.
Fortunately, this certificate also provides the highest level of security. A certificate with extended verification proves that your organization is legitimate, which means that users can be sure that their information is protected and used carefully. In addition, most major browsers will indicate that your connection is secure. An extended validation certificate is strongly recommended for use on e-commerce sites that process personal user data.
Hostimul offers all kind of certificates described above. Choose and install the SSL Certificate you need through Hostimul.
No matter what type of website you’re running, it’s important that your connections are secure. This is one of the best ways of promoting trust in your site and organization. To do this effectively, you’ll need to choose the right SSL certificate.
By now, you should understand the differences between the three basic types of SSL certificates:
- Domain validation. This only requires you to prove that you own your site’s domain. It offers the lowest level of security but is the quickest and cheapest option.
- Organization validation. These certificates can be obtained relatively quickly and are more expensive. In exchange, your visitors get further proof of your site’s security.
- Extended validation. If you’re running an e-commerce site or something similar, this type of certificate is recommended. It’s fairly expensive and takes some time, but provides the highest level of security.