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What’s The Difference Between Multi-Domain & Wildcard SSL Certificates?

Multi Domain SSL certificates and Wildcard SSL Certificates are two of the most popular types of digital security solutions available in the SSL industry today. Wildcard SSL provides a secure SSL connection for an unlimited number of subdomains, while Multi-Domain SSL Certificate protects multiple websites with different TLDs under that single domain on multiple web servers. 

In this article, we’ll compare Multi-Domain SSL vs Wildcard Certificates to help you decide which solution is right for your needs. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between these two.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate is a small data file that digitally binds a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the HTTPS protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure critical financial data like credit card transactions, banking transactions, sensitive-data transfer and other important credentials, and more recently, is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.

Different Types of SSL Certificates

  • Extended Validation (EV): EV SSL Certificate is the gold standard for web security.
  • Organization Validation (OV): OV SSL Certificate is designed for organizations to prove their identity and secure the website.
  • Domain Validation (DV): DV SSL Certificate is used by business owners to secure a single domain name.

What Is a Multi-Domain SSL Certificate?

Multi-Domain SSL Certificate, also known as a SAN (Subject Alternative Name) certificate, is a multiple domain SSL/TLS certificate with the ability to secure up to 250 multiple fully qualified (FQDN) websites or domain names with just one single certificate. They contain all of the SSL features like unlimited server licenses, reissuances, quick issuances and functionality of regular single-domain SSL certificates, including premium SSL encryption for HTTPS traffic and displaying a green padlock in the latest web browsers.

Benefits of Multi-Domain SSL Certificate

Here are the benefits of Multi-Domain SSL certificate over other types of certificates:

  • Multi-Domain SAN SSL allows you to secure numerous domains and subdomains with a single certificate, making it more cost-effective than Wildcard SSL. It is great for organizations with an array of domains and websites, as it allows them to secure their entire website portfolio.
  • Multi-Domain SAN SSL certificates also offer better security, as they can be issued with longer encryption strengths of 256 bit. These certificates are also ideal for domains that have different extensions.


Best Cheap Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

  • Comodo PositiveSSL Multi-Domain Certificate

This certificate is ideal for securing multiple domains belonging to the same organization.

  • Comodo Multi-Domain SSL

This certificate is suitable for small businesses with multiple websites. It provides up to 250 domain names and includes unlimited server licenses.

  • Comodo Multi-Domain Wildcard Certificate

This certificate is an affordable and efficient option for securing up to 250 domains and subdomain with one certificate. It allows you to secure all your web websites for one low price.

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate?

A Wildcard SSL Certificate is a type of SSL certificate used to secure multiple subdomains with just one SSL certificate. It allows organizations and businesses to easily implement SSL encryption on primary websites, and subdomains hosted on their multiple web servers.

Benefits of Wildcard SSL Certificate

Here are the main advantages of choosing a Wildcard SSL Certificate for securing your website:

  • One of the main advantages of opting for a Wildcard SSL Certificate is the cost savings. Investing in a single certificate can cover an unlimited number of subdomains on your primary domain.
  • Another advantage of a Wildcard SSL Certificate is that it is easy to manage. You only need to install the certificate once, which will automatically secure all your subdomains.


  • Wildcard SSL Certificates provide strong 256 bit SSL encryption, making it virtually impossible for hackers to intercept sensitive data.
  • Finally, a Wildcard SSL Certificate also helps to increase brand recognition and trust.


Best Cheap Wildcard Certificates

  • Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard

Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard is one of the leading cheap wildcard SSL certificates available in the SSL market. It provides encryption of up to 256-bit, domain validation, and a warranty of $10,000 USD. It is ideal for protecting multiple subdomains as it covers the primary web address and an unlimited number of its subdomains.

  • Sectigo Wildcard SSL 

Sectigo SSL Wildcard DV Certificate is an affordable and secure wildcard certificate. It provides encryption of up to 256-bit, validation, and a warranty of $250,000 USD.

  • Sectigo Positive Multi-Domain Wildcard

The Sectigo Positive Multi-Domain Wildcard is a cost-effective way for businesses to secure multiple subdomains. It allows you to protect all of your subdomains with a single SSL certificate, making it perfect for organizations with multiple websites they need to protect.

How to Choose the Right Type of SSL Certificate?

You must consider various factors when choosing the right type of SSL certificate for your website. These factors are as follows:

  1. Validation Level

The level of validation required for the certificate varies depending on the type of website and its purpose. If you are looking to protect customer/users data or deal with sensitive information, then you will need a higher validation certificate than simple domain validation certificate.

  1. Trust Levels

When choosing an SSL certificate, it’s important to consider how well-known the Certificate Authority (CA) is and how much trust users may have. SSL certificates from more trusted CAs such as Sectigo, Comodo, and Certera are generally seen as being more trustworthy than other SSL brands.

  1. Cost

Cost can also be an important factor when choosing SSL certificates. The more features and benefits an SSL certificate provide, the more expensive it is. However, some providers offer cheap SSL certificates due to volume discount from Certificate Authorities.

  1. Features & Benefits

When looking for an SSL certificate, it’s important to consider the additional benefits and features you will get for your money. Some SSL/TLS certificates may have additional benefits, such as a warranty, server licenses, re-issuances, compatibility, etc.

Wildcard SSL vs Multi-Domain SAN SSL

One significant difference between Wildcard SSL and Multi-Domain SAN SSL is that the former allows for unlimited subdomain coverage, while the latter can only cover up to 250 domain per SAN certificate. Wildcard SSL certificates are much more cost-effective than Multi-Domain SAN SSL certificates as you purchase one certificate for all of your subdomains rather than paying each domain name or subdomain individually.

Wildcard SSL is often used by small to medium businesses that have multiple websites and need HTTPS secure connection across all of the domains and subdomains. Multi-Domain SAN SSL certificates benefit larger organizations and enterprise companies with multiple FQDN websites, subdomains and multiple TLDs requiring SSL encryption.

In terms of website security, both Wildcard SSL and Multi-Domain SAN SSL are highly secure and offer strong SSL Encryption algorithms of 256 bit for website traffic protection. However, if you need more domain coverage and want to cover numerous domains and multiple TLDs, then you should opt for Multi-Domain SAN SSL. Both Wildcard SSL and Multi-Domain SAN SSL are available for both medium and enterprise websites.

Cost Analysis

A Multi-Domain SSL certificate is more expensive than standard SSL, Wildcard SSL, and other organization validation SSL certificates. Due to a higher level of validation process provided by certificate authority for business authentication. When deciding whether multi-domain SSL is the right option for you, it’s important to consider the cost of certificate for multiple domains and top-level TLDs.

The Bottom Line

Wildcard SSL certificates are ideal for protecting multiple subdomains within a single domain, while Multi-Domain SAN SSL certificates are best suited for securing top-level domains. Both offer comprehensive SSL encryption and high-end authentication capabilities to secure customer data and keep it safe from malicious cyber attacks.

If you are looking for a cost-effective SSL solution that provides comprehensive HTTPS encryption and authentication across domains, then is the perfect choice for you.

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