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I am thinking about transitioning a number of websites over to using a UC or Multiple Domain SSL certificate.

I guess I'm just wondering what the drawbacks are. So far the only ones I can find are that:

  • they're not ideal if you don't want different domains identified with each other.
  • because you have only one certificate instead of several, if one certificate gets compromised then it's a greater security risk
  • there are some concerns about compatibility with older browsers, as well as some mobile browsers

We don't deal heavily with private information, just info like e-mail, name, organization, etc. We do collect credit card payments but the volume is very small. These certificates would be used mostly for logins.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Adding to what you've got up there:

  • Cost.
  • Need to re-request and re-issue the certificate when you add or remove a domain.

I wouldn't give much weight to the security concern of key compromise; if your web server is breached and is hosting all of those sites, private keys for separate certificates will all be just as accessible to an attacker as a single alternate-name certificate's key would be.

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Actually, for my purposes cost is one of the reasons we're considering it. GoDaddy at least charges just $165 for up to 10 domains, making it a far cheaper option (for us at least) than individual or wildcard SSL certificates. However, needing to reissue the certificate everytime a domain is added or removed is a real concern. We probably won't be removing domains but I can see adding them (particularly subdomains) so maybe a wildcard SSL might serve our purposes better. – Jordan Reiter Sep 19 '11 at 16:56
I went ahead and got the certificate. It works great! – Jordan Reiter Oct 22 '11 at 22:07

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