We’ll break down what is SAN certificate is SSL and why it matters to your organization
SANs. Hardly anyone seems to love acronyms as much as IT and infosec professionals. Well, except maybe government or medical professionals… but, you get the point. However, what is SAN in SSL? You’re likely here because you’re wondering “what is a SAN certificate” and how is it useful? Well, you’ve come to the right place for an answer. This is kind of our area, after all.
Let’s break it down.
What Is a SAN SSL Certificate in SSL/TLS?
In cybersecurity, a SAN certificate means an SSL/TLS certificate that is capable of securing multiple domains or subject alternative names (SAN) under a single certificate. A user can customize the SAN certificate anytime during its validity period to add multiple subject names (up to 250) to the certificate.
In IT, a SAN could mean a storage area network. But in the case of SSL/TLS, which is what we’re talking about in this article, SAN means “subject alternative name.” A SAN is a field that allows you to specify the host names that will be covered under a single SSL certificate. A SAN SSL certificate can secure both internal and external domain names using industry standard 128-256-bit encryption.
But, wait, covering multiple domains – isn’t that the job of a multi domain SSL certificate?
Yes, right you are. Because not all servers allow for multiple certificates to be installed, it’s useful (and often times more cost effective) to use one certificate instead of multiple to cover all of your domains. Hence, a multi-domain certificate. However, these certificates are sometimes referred to a SAN SSL certificates or even UCC SSL certificates, a term that stands for “unified communications certificates.” The biggest difference is that a UCC was originally designed specifically for Microsoft’s Exchange and Communications servers (however, UCC certificates can now be installed on other servers as well).
Purchase SAN Certificate/Multi-Domain SSL & Save Up to 88%!
We offer the best discount on all types of SAN SSL Certificates (Multi-Domain SSL). We offer certificates from the leading CAs, including Comodo CA, Sectigo, Thawte, and GeoTrust with SAN certificates starting as low as $18.02 per year.
|SAN Certificates||Validation Needs||Warranty Amount||Issuance Time||Cheapest Price|
|Comodo Positive Multi-Domain SSL||Domain||$10K||Minutes||$18.02/yr.||READ MORE|
|Sectigo OV SSL Multi-Domain/UCC||Domain +
|$1MM||1-3 Days||$73.70/yr.||READ MORE|
|Comodo DV UCC SSL||Domain||$25K||Minutes||$93.30/yr.||READ MORE|
|QuickSSL Premium SAN (Sub-Domains)||Domain||$500K||Minutes||$96.69/yr.||READ MORE|
|Comodo Multi-Domain SSL||Domain +
|$250K||1-3 Days||$101.14/yr.||READ MORE|
|Comodo UCC SSL||Domain +
|$250K||1-3 Days||$101.92/yr.||READ MORE|
|Sectigo UCC SSL||Domain +
|$1MM||1-3 Days||$101.92/yr.||READ MORE|
|GeoTrust True BusinessID Multi-Domain||Domain +
|$1.25MM||1-3 Days||$125.94/yr.||READ MORE|
|PositiveSSL EV Multi-Domain||Domain +
|$1MM||1-3 Days||$128.18/yr.||READ MORE|
|Positive Multi-Domain Wildcard||Domain||$10K||1-3 Days||$148.18/yr.||READ MORE|
Differentiating SAN vs Multi Domain SSL
A multi domain SSL certificate is a single certificate that covers multiple FQDN domains — or what are known as “fully qualified domain names” — such as www.domain.com or domain.com. These certificates typically include SAN fields that allow you to specify any additional host names you wish to secure. So, this means that most multi domain SSL certificates will allow you to secure multiple FQDN domains as well as hundreds of SANs.
One important note: The list of SANs you include on a certificate are public — meaning that if you don’t want people knowing that your domain is affiliated with another domain, it’s best not to list it on that certificate. So, if you’re a parent company that is known for selling vegetarian products but have another subsidiary that sells products containing animal byproducts, you may want to use a separate certificate.
How a SAN Certificate Works
A SAN name in the SSL/TLS certificate can be a domain name, a subdomain name, IP address, or even a common hostname. A user can add up to 250 subject alternative names in the subject field of a SAN or UCC SSL certificate.
Now that we’ve answered your original question about “what is a SAN SSL certificate,” let’s break down how it works. Let’s say, for example, that you have the domain “mydomain.com.” If you wanted to secure multiple domains, you could simply list them in the certificate’s SAN field. Examples of SAN domains include:
… and so on and so forth. You get the idea.
Where to Find Your Certificate’s SAN Information
If you’re visiting a website that uses a multi-domain SSL certificate and decide to be nosey, you can see what other domains are covered under the certificate. Simply click on the padlock icon in your browser’s address bar and select Certificate. Under the Details tab, in the Show dropdown menu, select Extensions Only.
Click the third option on the list, Subject Alternative Name, to see the list of SANs.
So, that’s it. What, you were hoping for more? Well, we can point you in the direction of where to purchase a SAN certificate from your choice of industry-trusted certificate authorities (CAs). Be sure to check out our deals on Comodo PositiveSSL Multi-Domain SSL certificates: starts at $18.02 per year.
Compare Top SAN Certificates of 2020
|Features||Comodo Multi-Domain SSL Certificate||Thawte Web Server SSL Certificate||Geotrust True BusinessID Multi-Domain||Comodo UCC SSL|
|Price for 1 year||$129.00||$79.00||$155.00||$130.00|
|Price for 2 years||$113.00/yr||$69.00/yr||$136.00/yr||$114.00/yr|
|Price for 3 years||$107.50/yr||$65.83/yr||$129.17/yr||$108.33/yr|
|Price for 4 years||$104.81/yr||$64.19/yr||$125.94/yr||$105.62/yr|
|Price for 5 years||$101.14/yr||N/A||N/A||$101.92/yr|
|Multiple year options|
|Domains secured||Secures WWW & NON-WWW Domain and up to 250 Multiple (FQDN) Domains||Secures WWW & NON-WWW Domain and up to 250 Multiple (FQDN) Domains||Secures WWW & NON-WWW Domain and up to 250 Multiple (FQDN) Domains||Secures WWW & NON-WWW Domain and up to 250 Multiple (FQDN) Domains|
|Issuance speed||1-3 Days||1-3 Days||1-3 Days||1-3 Days|
|Total number of san domains||250||250||250||250|
|Free san included||2||N/A||4||2|
|Validation required||Organization and Domain Validation||Organization and Domain Validation||Organization and Domain Validation||Organization and Domain Validation|
|Notification level in browsers||Domain Name and Business Name Shown on Certificate||Domain Name and Business Name Shown on Certificate||Domain Name and Business Name Shown on Certificate||Domain Name and Business Name Shown on Certificate|
|Encryption strength||256-Bit SHA-2||256-Bit SHA-2||256-Bit SHA-2||256-Bit SHA-2|
|Browser compatibility||99.9 %||99.9 %||99.9 %||99.9 %|
|Includes site seal|
|Daily malware scanning||No||No||No||No|
|Free vulnerability assessment||No||No||No||No|
|Green address bar||No||No||No||No|
|Refund policy||15 Days||15 Days||15 Days||15 Days|
|Read More||Read More||Read More||Read More|