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What is a Domain SSL Certificate? Is it the Right Choice for Me?

Domain SSL certificates are fast and inexpensive…are they the right choice for your website?

If you came here searching for “what is a domain SSL certificate,” then you came to the right place. And let us tell you that it’s totally okay to be confused because the world of SSL certificates isn’t easy to understand for people who’re new to this territory. But don’t you worry – we’re going to be your GPS to SSL success.

We know you’d love to go straight to the “what is a domain SSL certificate?” street first. So, let us give an outside view of it. A domain SSL certificate is the most basic type of SSL certificate that only includes the verification of your domain ownership. If you’re looking to get a domain validated (DV) SSL certificate for your website, then you can simply click here to get domain SSL certificates at the best prices in the industry.

If you’re looking to go down the domain SSL certificate street and see what it’s all about, then let’s walk together inside it!

What Is an SSL Certificate?

Have you ever purchased anything online with your credit card or logged in online to view personal information? If the answer to either of these questions are “no,” then you got to come out from under that giant rock you’ve been living under.

In all seriousness, when you type in sensitive information such as your credit card details or password, you’re sending this data to the server of the website you’re communicating with. In other words, your data travels from your device to the web server. Your information is safe when it’s in your hands, and it’s supposed to be safe when stored on the web server. But, what about in between both of them? Is it safe when it’s transmitting?

That’s where SSL certificate come in.

An SSL certificate secures the data that is transmitting between a web browser and a web server. An SSL certificate protects the data with three elements. These are:

  • Encryption: An SSL certificate turns the data into a format that is almost impossible for any hacker to decipher. For example, “password” could be turned into something like “$5t#78o.” In technical terms, this is regarded as “encryption.” Such encryption is employed using mathematical algorithms that cannot be cracked by super-computers, let alone hackers.
  • Authentication: An SSL certificate makes sure that the data is seen only by the intended recipient. This is called “authentication.”
  • Data Integrity: An SSL certificate protects the data from being tampered and makes sure that it reaches in the format sent by the sender.

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How Does an SSL Certificate Work?

An SSL/TLS certificate involves the use of a mathematical key pair. These keys are called: the public key and private key. These keys are totally different from each other, but they’re mathematically related. That’s why it’s called a “key pair.”

The public key, as it sounds like, is public, and anyone can see it. The private key, on the other hand, is supposed to be kept private, and it’s stored securely on the web server. The data is encrypted using a public key, and it’s decrypted using the private key related to that public key. The entire communication happening between the web browser and the web server is called “the SSL handshake.”

Certificate Authorities, SSL Types & Domain SSL Certificates

Let’s get straight to the topic you were waiting for. SSL certificates are issued by approved 3rd-party entities known as “certificate authorities.” These authorities are supposed to conduct a verification process before issuing an SSL certificate. This is done to verify your identity.

This vetting process is done according to the type of SSL certificate you want to purchase. The three types of SSL certificates – as per its validation level – are called: domain validated (DV) SSL certificate (aka a domain SSL certificate), organization validated (OV) SSL certificate, and extended validation (EV) SSL certificate.

Domain SSL (or DV SSL) certificates are the most basic level of SSL certificates. To get a domain SSL certificate issued for your website, you must undergo the domain validation process conducted by the certificate authority (CA). In other words, you must prove the ownership of the domain for which you want to issue the SSL certificate for.

Advantages of Domain SSL Certificates

Although domain SSL certificates are the most basic type of SSL certificate; they offer some distinct advantages. These are:

  • Issued in Minutes: Due to the fact that domain SSL certificates involve only domain verification, the issuance process is quite simple in its nature. In fact, the entire process is automated and can be completed within minutes. Therefore, you can have your SSL certificate within a couple of minutes!
  • Encryption Level: Although domain SSL certificates are the most basic SSL certificate, the encryption offered by them is the same as the encryption level provided by SSL certificates of higher types. 
  • Price: As we saw, the verification process for domain SSL certificates is automated and doesn’t require any human intervention. As a result, these certificates are the most affordable of all SSL certs.

Disadvantages of Domain SSL Certificates

Being the most basic SSL certificate type, domain SSL certificates have some shortcomings that need to be considered. They are:

  • No Organization Validation: Perhaps the most significant shortcoming when it comes to domain SSL certificates is the fact that they don’t allow you to show your organization’s information to your users. Having your organization’s information displayed makes users believe that the website belongs to a legitimate, verified organization. This results in increased user trust and reputation. Unfortunately, domain SSL certificates only offer domain validation.
  • No Special Indicators: OV and EV SSL certificates come with unique indicators that make users aware of your website’s legitimacy. No such features are offered in domain SSL certificates.

Ultimate Question: Should I Purchase a Domain SSL Certificate?

A domain SSL certificate is a great fit for people who’re looking for a no-frills kind of SSL certificate that does nothing except encrypt your website’s communications.  So, if you have a personal website or a blog, it makes sense to get a domain SSL certificate.

However, if you’re purchasing an SSL certificate for your organization/e-commerce website, getting a domain SSL certificate might not be as helpful because it doesn’t show your organization’s details, which can be of considerable significance when building trust with a user. So, if you have a company/organization, you could consider getting an OV or EV SSL certificate instead. However, in many cases, a domain SSL certificate is an excellent choice and can get the job done!

DV SSL vs OV SSL Certificates – Which One Is Affordable for My Website?

You have many choices when it comes to purchasing an SSL/TLS certificate for your website. You’ll see all kinds of acronyms — DV SSL vs OV SSL , OV vs EV SSL, etc. It can be a somewhat disconcerting experience having to scour through the web to find the perfect certificate that will meet your needs. Confused about which product to choose? Consider looking at domain validated (DV) and organization validated (OV) SSL certificates if you’re on a budget but need your site to run on HTTPS in a secure manner.

If we look at DV SSL vs OV SSL, a domain validation SSL certificate is a quick and easy solution to switch your site from HTTP to HTTPS. However, it has advantages and disadvantages, too. This type of certificate provides the same level of encryption as any other SSL certificate. However, it can also be purchased by malicious attackers who phish data from end-users. OV SSL, on the other hand, has a relatively stringent process to validate the legitimacy of your business and website and is a much more secure alternative.

Choosing between these and their variants will depend upon your specific requirements. The two validation levels are different, but before getting into DV vs OV SSL, let’s take a look at each of these individually.

DV SSL vs OV SSL: What Is Domain Validation?

Domain validated SSL/TLS certificates are a fast and convenient way to encrypt your website with the least vigorous verification process. It is the most basic validation level where the certificate authority (CA) only checks if the applicant (organization or individual) truly owns the registered domain.

To verify ownership of the domain that was submitted with the order, you can respond to the email the CA sends on your registered mail ID. The CA can also send the domain control validation (DCV) email to five preapproved emails associated with your website. Email-based authentication is the simplest and most preferred form of verification.

You can also verify your ownership via alternative methods like file-based authentication or hash-based authentication (offered exclusively by Sectigo).

Get a DV SSL certificate starting at as little as $9.98 per year

DV SSL vs OV SSL: What Is Organization Validation?

Organization validated SSL/TLS certificates offer the same level of protection as their domain validated counterparts. In addition to encrypting the traffic and verifying domain ownership, they also check the organization details.

In case of an OV certificate, the issuing certificate authority verifies if the business that is associated with the domain is genuine. It validates registration details like the business’s name, location, address, and incorporation information. For public-facing websites representing a company where the security and authenticity of a website is a concern, OV certificates have proved to be a suitable solution.

To get an OV certificate, you’ll need to clear the following verification steps:

  • Domain Verification
  • Organization Authentication
  • Locality Presence
  • Telephone Verification
  • Final Verification Call

These steps are considerably straightforward, and the process is hassle-free for most legitimate businesses.

Get an OV SSL certificate starting at $33.69 per year

DV SSL vs OV SSL: Let’s Compare the Differences

Up until now, we have looked at a high-level overview of the individual certificates and what they have to offer. Now let us dive into a comparison to understand which certificate will serve you best when it comes to DV vs OV SSL:

DV SSL Certificate OV SSL Certificate
DV SSL only verifies the ownership of the associated domain. OV SSL not only verifies the domain information but also the legitimacy of the business associated with it through basic business validation.
DV SSL certificate supports automated issuance and can be issued within minutes. OV SSL certificate can be issued within a single business day.
DV SSL certificates provide the most basic form of validation. This is perfect for websites that merely need the traffic to be encrypted. OV SSL certificates have a more thorough vetting process as compared to DV and should be used where the identity of an organization needs to be asserted.
DV SSL certificates should not be used on security-critical sites or sites that collect any sensitive data. OV SSL certificates provide greater assurance in terms of identity. It is a much safer alternative as far as security goes.
The company information is not provided. A phishing site might also be able to get a DV certificate. The company information is mentioned in the certificate, which provides a certain level of trust among users.