Server Name Indication – Bind Different Certificates to 1 IP Address Using the Same Port

In the old days, you could only bind a single SSL certificate to an IP address in IIS. So, if I was using host-headers to have more than 1 site at the same IP address, I could only bind a single SSL certificate to port 443 of one of those WebSites. This was a bummer. In my day job, owing to some limitations, we have our Testing Site on the same server as our Staging Site. As a result, I’d have to bind the Test Site’s certificate to a different port. And as the web server can only have 1 default port for SSL, the 2 urls would be:

  • https://somesite.staging.organisation.org/
  • https://somesite.testing.organisation.org:444/

Nowadays, you can have your cake and eat it. And all it takes is a single checkbox:
Server Name Indication

It’s called Server Name Indication and if the CheckBox is checked for the sites using the same port (presumably 443), then you can bind different certificates to different sites (with distinct host-headers) on the same IP address and the same port.

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