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A seemingly simple question, but valid nonetheless.

What exactly happens when a browser which does not support SNI attempts to visit a site configured to force SSL via SNI.

Thanks

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it falls back to plain text (HTTP) –  user Jul 4 '13 at 12:28
    
@user No, it won't. –  ceejayoz Jul 4 '13 at 12:51
    
@ceejayoz very informative thank you very much. Unfortunately it depends on many things. In apache default it will and return an HTTP code of 403 –  user Jul 4 '13 at 13:59

2 Answers 2

It will probably connect to the default SSL virtual host. In other words, the same site you'd see if you connect using the IP: https://1.2.3.4/

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I would still love a conclusive answer if anyone has one! –  PUncle Oct 6 '13 at 10:38

It won't be able to load the website, that's for sure. Which is why no large sites will move to SNI-hosted HTTPS sites anytime soon. IE6 and IE7 in XP appear to be the largest old browsers that don't support SNI.

If you can get a hold of a non-SNI supporting browsers, you can see what happens by going to https://alice.sni.velox.ch/

It also appears to matter which server software you are using. With Apache, browsers without SNI support will just get the first configured website (and a hostname mismatch warning probably).

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