SSL Certificate Type Comparison – Domain vs Organization vs Extended Validation

When purchasing an SSL certificate, customers can choose between one of the following SSL Validation Types:

  1. Domain Validation (DV)
  2. Organization Validation (OV)
  3. Extended Validation (EV)

All of the above SSL types encrypt the communication between the users and the web server.

Actually, the main differences between the SSL validation certificates have nothing to do with the encryption but rather with the additional checks that are performed on your business or organization by the certificate authority, the organization that issues your certificate.

What are the SSL validation types?

The main benefits of using SSL are the security (via encryption) that it provides and the trust it builds between you and your users.

In terms of security, the SSL types (or validation types) provide the same levels of encryption.

For trust building, however, each validation type validates certain aspects of your website and business.

1. Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates

The CA (certificate authority) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name.
No company identity information is vetted and no information is displayed other than encryption information within the Secure Site Seal.

DV SSL Certificates

2. Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates

The CA (certificate authority) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts some vetting of the organization.
Additional vetted company information is displayed to customers when clicking on the Secure Site Seal, giving enhanced visibility in who is behind the site and associated enhanced trust.

3. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates

The Certificate Authority (CA) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts a THOROUGH vetting of the organization.
EV SSL Certificates are available for all types of businesses, including government entities and both incorporated and unincorporated businesses.
The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines and includes:

A. Verifying the legal, physical and operational existence of the entity

B. Verifying that the identity of the entity matches official records

C. Verifying that the entity has exclusive right to use the domain specified in the EV SSL Certificate

D. Verifying that the entity has properly authorized the issuance of the EV SSL Certificate

Which type of SSL is right for me?

This depends on what your organization wishes to get out of the SSL certificate.
Category A: Some organizations need SSL simply for confidentiality, e.g. encryption
Category B: Some organizations wish to use SSL to enhance trust in their security and identity, e.g. they want to show customers they have been vetted and are a legitimate organization

If you find yourself in the first category, you probably need Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates.
If you find yourself in the second category, you probably need Organization Validation (DV) or Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates depending on the level of trust you wish to establish.

Recommended SSL Certificates

Not sure which SSL certificate is right for you? Contact us – we love to help. 🙂

On our website we only offer Domain Validation (DV) certificate plans as they are the most popular, however, we are able to offer any type of certificate based on your specific needs so feel free to reach out and ask!

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