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DV vs OV vs EV SSL – Which Certificates Are Good for Site Security?

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While website security used to be one of the most overlooked aspects to business owners, the rise of cyber attacks has made taking precautions against attackers no longer optional. That’s why making sure that your website has the proper security measures in place is just as important as checking your office is locked at the end of the day. This is where it’s helpful to compare DV vs OV vs EV SSL certificates to see which solution offers the best security for your website.

And it’s understandable why some business owners are still hesitant to implement website security in their business. After all, it can be a long and frustrating process to purchase and install an SSL certificate depending on who you choose to work with.

Not only that, but with a myriad of different SSL certificates for you to choose from, figuring out which one suits you best can be frustrating if you’re not sure where to even start. But worry not! To make your selection process easier, here’s a bit of information on the three main types of SSL certificates: domain validated (DV), organization validated (OV), and extended validated (EV).

Compare DV vs OV vs EV Certificates to Choose the Best Option for Your Business

SSL certificates come with three types of validation types that can be performed by the certificates’ issuing organizations, trusted third parties that are known as certificate authorities (CAs). In this section, we’ll break down the three types of validation levels.

What Are the Benefits of Domain Validated SSL Certificates?

A domain validation SSL certificate is an entry-level solution that provides basic validation with the benefit of being affordable.

The downside to DV SSL certificates is that they are very easy to obtain (this can also be a benefit, depending on how you look at it!) and require the most minimal form of validation from the issuing CA. Because these certificates offer the most basic security, they also can sometimes invoke doubt with site visitors due to a lack of visual indicators that the website is secure aside from the padlock next to the web address bar and a static site seal.

There’s also another downside to using DV SSL certificates: their low warranties. Most (if not all) paid SSL certificates come with a warranty that will cover up to a set amount of damages caused by CA-side errors, but most DV-oriented solutions only come with $10,000 or $20,000 warranties, which may not be enough coverage in the unlikely event that the encryption fails.

However, that doesn’t mean that DV SSL certificates should be avoided. They’re a great value for those who are looking to secure their website while not breaking the bank. These certificates are best suited for blogs and informational websites that don’t collect or use customer data.

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What Are the Benefits of Organizational Validated SSL Certificates?

An organization validation (OV) certificate is a step up from a DV certificate as it requires the issuing CA to verify your company’s identity before they can issue the certificate.

The advantage of OV SSL certificates is that they make it easier to keep track of your SSL certificates (if you have multiple) as they will be under your company’s name and can even be assigned to a specific department.

They also come with higher warranty amounts and dynamic site seals depending on the brand you choose to go with, protecting you from any damage if the site goes down due to a bad SSL certificate while also giving your visitors visual indicators that show your site is secure.

The only downside to OV SSL certificates is that they don’t offer as many visual indicators as an EV, which we’ll get into shortly, and require longer issuance time (one to three days).

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What Are the Benefits of Extended Validated SSL Certificates?

Extended validation SSL certificates are often seen as “premium” SSL certificates because of their no-compromise level of features. Large corporations, banks, and online stores often use EV SSL certificates, since they tend to make customers feel more secure than other types of certificates.

The reason EV SSL certificates are regarded as premium is for two main reasons:

  1. These certificates come with warranties worth up millions of dollars, and
  2. They offer things other types of SSL certificates don’t have — visual indicators that shows a green bar along with the company name next to the address bar. A few browsers have decided to phase out this feature though, but there are still many that support the green address bar. Some browsers still show the company’s name in the web address bar next to the URL.  

However, as to be expected, premium features come premium prices. EV SSL certificates are the most expensive option available (though not too expensive that they’re unaffordable), so it’s up to you to decide whether the features are worth the price difference between OV and EV. 

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