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What are the Differences Between Single, Multiple, and Wildcard SSL?
What are the Differences Between Single, Multiple, and Wildcard SSL?
Rapyd Team avatar
Written by Rapyd Team
Updated over a week ago

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a cornerstone of online security. In this article, we delve into SSL and its various certificate types: Single, Multiple, and Wildcard. Each type serves a unique role in safeguarding domains, from securing individual domains to encompassing numerous subdomains under a single certificate.

What is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication over the internet. It uses SSL certificates to establish a secure connection between a client (e.g., web browser) and a server.

Single SSL Certificate:

  • Covers a single domain or subdomain.

  • It is issued for a specific fully qualified domain name (FQDN), such as

  • Can be used for securing a single website or application.

  • If you have multiple domains or subdomains, you need to obtain separate SSL certificates for each one.

Multiple SSL Certificates:

  • Covers multiple individual domains or subdomains.

  • Each domain or subdomain has its own separate SSL certificate.

  • Useful when you have a few distinct domains or subdomains that need separate SSL certificates.

  • Requires managing and renewing multiple certificates separately.

Wildcard SSL Certificate:

  • Covers a main domain and all its subdomains.

  • It is issued for a specific domain and its unlimited subdomains.

  • The domain name is represented with an asterisk, such as *

  • Provides flexibility and convenience as you only need one SSL certificate to secure multiple subdomains.

  • Particularly useful when you have a large number of subdomains or anticipate adding new subdomains in the future.

  • Easier to manage and renew compared to multiple individual certificates.


A single SSL certificate secures a specific domain or subdomain, multiple SSL certificates secure individual domains or subdomains separately, and wildcard SSL certificates secure a main domain and all its subdomains with a single certificate. The choice depends on your specific needs, the number of domains or subdomains you want to secure, and the scalability required.

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