Best SSL Wildcard Certificates

SSL Wildcard CertificatesSSL Wildcard Certificates are big money-savers. An SSL Wildcard Certificate allows you to secure an unlimited number of first-level sub-domains on a single domain name. That means you can get an SSL Certificate with the common name as *.mydomain.com and you can use it on all of the following without receiving any errors:

  • www.mydomain.com
  • mail.mydomain.com
  • intranet.mydomain.com
  • secure.mydomain.com
  • sitea.mydomain.com
  • siteb.mydomain.com

However, in most web browsers (including Internet Explorer) SSL Wildcard Certificates won't work for multiple levels. This means that an SSL Certificate Wildcard for *.mydomain.com won't work on www.mail.mydomain.com or site1.sitea.mydomain.com or my.ridiculously.long.subdomain.mydomain.com. The web browser will give a name mismatch error. If you need to secure multiple levels of subdomains or completely different domain names in one certificate, check out Unified Communications SSL Certificates. What other benefits and drawbacks are there to SSL Wildcard Certificates?

Advantages of SSL Wildcard Certificates

  • Secures Unlimited Sub-Domains. Where you would normally have to buy a single SSL certificate for each subdomain, you can just buy and use one certificate.
  • Cheaper. Though they cost more than a single certificate, they can easily pay for themselves if you use them on more than a few subdomains. Some certificate providers even provide an unlimited server license so you only buy one wildcard certificate for as many web servers as necessary.
  • Easier to manage. Deploying 30 different individual SSL certificates can be a daunting task, even with a PKI management interface. And then you have to do it all over again, when it comes time to renew them. A wildcard certificate makes quick work of many situations.

Disadvantages of SSL Wildcard Certificates

  • Security. If you only use one certificate and private key on multiple servers, it only takes one server to be compromised and all of the others will be vulnerable as well. In the unlikely event that this will occur, you would have to reissue and replace all of the certificates on all of the servers as soon as possible. Some providers solve this by allowing you to generate new SSL Wildcard certificates using unique private keys.
  • Mobile Device Compatibility. Some popular mobile device operating systems, including Windows Mobile 5, don't recognize the wildcard character (*) and therefore can't use a wildcard certificate. If you need to support these devices you will need to use a single certificate, a UC certificate, or a wildcard certificate with Subject Alternative Names.

You can read more about SSL Wildcard Certificate Pros and Cons here. Compare the best wildcard certificates below or compare SSL with our SSL Wizard to find the best certificate to meet your needs.

Certificate Name DigiCert's Wildcard Plus GeoTrust's True BusinessID Wildcard GoDaddy's Standard SSL Wildcard Thawte's Wildcard Certificate
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Certificate Authority
DigiCert

GeoTrust

GoDaddy

Thawte
Certificate Authority Rating
From 832 reviews
From 83 reviews
From 87 reviews
From 68 reviews
Price For 1 Year
$595
$499
$199
$799
Price For 2 Years $1,070.00 $873.00 $359.98 $1,349.00
Number of Certificates Included 1 1 1 1
Multiple Year Options Up to 3 Years Up to 5 Years Up to 10 Years Up to 2 Years
Domains Secured Unlimited sub domains on a single Domain Name + the base domain Unlimited sub domains on a single Domain Name Unlimited sub domains on a single Domain Name Unlimited sub domains on a single Domain Name
Issuance Speed Within 1 hour 1-2 days Within a few minutes 2-4 Business days
Validation Required Organization and Domain Validation Organization and Domain Validation Domain Validation Organization and Domain Validation
Notification Level in Browsers Domain Name and Organization Name Shown On Certificate Domain Name and Organization Name Shown On Certificate Domain Name Shown On Certificate Only Domain Name and Organization Name Shown On Certificate
Encryption Strength Up to 256-bit Up to 256-bit Up to 256-bit Up to 256-bit
Browser Compatibility 99% 99% 99% 99%
Includes Trust Seal Included Included Included Included
Number of Free Reissues Allowed Unlimited until expired Unlimited until expired Unlimited until expired Unlimited until expired
Server License Unlimited Servers Unlimited Servers Unlimited Servers Single Server - Additional server licenses may be purchased
Support Options Free Chat, Phone and E-mail, Monday-Thursday 24 hrs., Friday 12 am-7 pm, Saturday 7 am-3 pm MST Free Chat, and E-mail, Monday-Friday 8AM-8PM EST, Phone support available for purchase Free Phone and Email, 24x7 Free Chat, Phone and E-mail, 24/5, Multi-lingual
Support Reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews
Free Trial Available No No No No
Uses Chain Certificates Yes Yes Yes Yes
Refund Policy Full refund within 30 days of issuance Full refund within 30 days of issuance Full refund - $15 within 30 days of issuance. No refund after 30 days. Full refund within 30 days of issuance
Warranty $1,000,000 $10,000 $2,000 $0
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