The key difference between SNI SSL (Server Name Indication) and IP SSL is the way the connections are made. SSL connects directly to port 443. TLS, on the other hand, starts with a hello via an insecure channel and moves to port 443 following a successful handshake.
With IP SSL, whats secured is an IP address.
With SNI SSL, the hostname is secured.
Server Name Indication (SNI) SSL allows an SSL certificate to bind to a website using a shared IP address. Using SNI SSL will allow an encrypted and secure HTTPS connection to a website. One thing to bear in mind is while SNI provides a secure connection, it is not compatible with some older web browsers.
Browsers compatible with SNI:
- IE 7 and later
- Chrome 5.0.342.1 and later
- Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and later
- Opera 8.0 and later
- Safari 3.0 and later