In computer networking, a wildcard certificate is a public key certificate which can be used with multiple subdomains of a domain. The principal use is for securing websites with HTTPS, but there are also applications in many other fields. Compared with conventional certificates, a wildcard certificate can be cheaper and more convenient than a certificate for each domain.
Wildcard certificates work the same way as a regular SSL Certificate, allowing you to secure the connection between your website and your customer’s Internet browser – with one major advantage. Wildcard Certificates use Subject Alternative Names (SANs) to secure a domain and all of its first-level subdomains. For example, a certificate for *.example.com secures www.example.com, mail.example.com, etc. A standard SSL Certificate would only secure www.example.com, requiring you to purchase an additional certificate for mail.example.com.
If you have multiple sub-domains to secure, then a Wildcard SSL Certificate purchase can save you hundreds or thousands vs the cost of buying individual SSL certificates.
If you request your certificate for *.coolexample.com, you can secure:
If you request your certificate for *.www.coolexample.com, you can secure:
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. A certificate serves as an electronic “passport” that establishes an online entity’s credentials when doing business on the Web. When an Internet user attempts to send confidential information to a Web server, the user’s browser accesses the server’s digital certificate and establishes a secure connection.
1. GeoTrust: GeoTrust offers a range of value-priced SSL Certificates with fast delivery. Geotrust is now owned by Symantec since getting acquired by Verisign. Geotrust provides compatibility with over 99% of the browsers and provides free reassurance. GeoTrust’s Domain Validation (DV) certificates cater to those sites with fewer security needs or a smaller budget. DV SSL certificates are issued immediately after purchase, making them a good option for sites that are looking for quick SSL protection. All of GeoTrust’s low priced plans can boast some useful value-added features. Each plan comes with 2048-bit root and free Expert SSL support. A surprising feature from the budget suppliers is a number of server licenses per certificate; unlimited! GeoTrust is unique in that it offers a free trial to test out their SSL products.Staffed by experts, its live chat feature is the quickest way to find an accurate answer to your problem. GeoTrust’s online knowledgebase contains extensive instructions and manuals. Along with e-mail and telephone support, GeoTrust also has an intuitive ‘Certificate Installation Checker’ support button.
2. Symantec: Symantec uses industry-leading SSL encryption across all their products, with various solutions for website and server security. Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates will increase customers’ confidence and help your website reach its full potential. Their ‘Pro’ SSL products offer ECC encryption, strong security on a short key length. Wildcard SSL certificate protects multiple subdomains under one SSL certificate. Their automated vulnerability scanning software will seek out and repair any potential weak links in your website, while the daily malware scan keeps you on top of scammers and spammers, and helps to protect your site from malware. The Symantec Trust allows you to manage all your Symantec products in one place, including renewals and notifications.
3. Rapid SSL: Just like Geotrust, RapidSSL is also owned by Symantec. RapidSSL offers a low price SSL solution and includes a 30-day money back guarantee plus multi-year and renewal discounts. With a 30 days’ refund and reissue policy, RapidSSL is confident in its features and allow the ‘try before you buy’ offer rarely seen in the industry. RapidSSL provides base level customer confidence with the https, closed padlock and a static trust mark for download and display on your site. With a searchable knowledgebase of articles and guides, it’s both fast and easy to find the solution to a common problem.
RapidSSL releases frequent advisories informing their customers of industry breaches, new malware, and potential threats. With e-mail, toll-free telephone and online chat; our only criticism are the strict working hours of the support (Mon/ Fri – 9am/ 5pm.). Customer support is available in languages across Europe, America, and Asia
4. Thawte: Thawte is a leading global Certification Authority. Their SSL and code signing digital certificates are used globally to secure servers, provide data encryption, authenticate users, protect privacy and assure online identifies through stringent authentication and verification processes. Their SSL certificates include Wildcard SSL Certificates, SAN /UC Certificates, and Extended Validation SSL Certificates.
Thawte products have always had great compatibility, even before their merger with the Symantec brand. Thawte now has 99% ubiquity across all of its products. With 128-bit minimum encryption across most popular browsers, all of Thawte’s products offer incredible security. Powerful root hierarchies and OCSP and CRL Support combine to make Thawte’s safeguarding system rock solid.
In a similar structure to the Symantec Trust Centre, Thawte operates its version of the SSL management panel; the ‘Certificate Centre Account.’ This one-stop-shop allows easy organization, management, and control across all of their products. Another nice value added feature is the free reissue. All of Thawte’s certificates are optimized to be instantly recognized by the browser-integrated OCSP and CRL software.
Thawte’s support channels are both well-staffed and wide-ranging. Their online chat system is one of the best on the market, with distinct operators for different queries (technical, sales, billing, processing). Publishing frequent advisories, the Thawte website itself is a great resource to root solutions to your problems through troubleshooting, FAQs and written guides. The Thawte support team includes field experts who can be contacted through chat, phone or e-mail.