What are the different types of SSL certificates?

There are 3 standard types of SSL Certificate, defined by the differing validation methods used when ordering the certificate. The 3 types are:

  • Domain Validation (DV)
  • Organisation Validation (OV)
  • Extended Validation (EV)

Each level of validation gives a different level of trust.

Domain Validation certificates are the most popular and cheapest of the common SSL certificates. Domain Validation consists of simply verifying the applicant’s right to hold the certificate – so just the email address is verified. This is the quickest level of validation which makes it perfect for smaller websites such as blogs, however it doesn’t provide the higher level of trust that you’d expect from an OV or EV certificate.

Organization Validation certificates check the validity of the applying organization, and as such it requires a much higher level of validation. Information about the business is validated, as well as the business registry databases and documentation. This gives customers a higher level of trust in the organization as opposed to a DV certificate.

Extended Validation certificates are the highest level of validation available commercially, and the process includes extensive vetting of the applicant. Checks are made on the legal status of the company, the public records, as well as the physical existence of the applying entity. This means that the validation process can take considerably longer however the higher level of trust makes it a perfect choice for public authorities or online stores.