Best 5 WordPress Security Plugins
The WordPress is a super easy and flexible platform. It was absolutely a blogging platform at the time of its inception, but, it grew with the passage of time and has become such a platform that can be used for developing all kinds of websites. There is no type of website that you can’t build with WordPress. It is all because of the plugins, which make WordPress super flexible.
Earlier, we discussed with you about the essential types of plugins for WordPress websites. Also, as far, we have described and compared the best of WordPress spam prevention plugins, the best of WordPress cache plugins and the best of search engine optimization plugins. Now, we would like to put on the comparison of the best WordPress security plugins for our curious readers.
Feature Comparison of WordPress Security Plugins
In the WordPress plugin repository, there are five plugins heavily capable and popular for website security. These are Wordfence, iThemes security, All in One WP Security, Sucuri Security, and Acunetix WP Security.
Here is the feature comparison chart of these plugins.
|Features||Wordfence||All in One WP Security||iThemes Security||Sucuri Security||Acunetix WP Security|
|Scanning for suspicious code in files & Malware||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Malware Scanning scheduling||Yes(only in Premium version)||This plugin uses its own external scan service which automatically scans the site once in a day.||Yes(only in Premium version)|
|Firewall||Yes||Yes||Yes(paid add on)|
|Enforce strong password||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Folder/file access permissions||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes(only suggests)|
|Brute Force Protection with Login Lockdown||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Two Factor Authentication for Sign-in||Yes(only in Premium version)||Yes(only in Premium version)|
|User Agents Blocking||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Who Is Lookup Support||Yes||Yes|
|IP Blocking||Yes (IPv6 compatible)||Yes|
|Country Blocking||Yes (only in Premium version)|
|Automatic database Backup scheduling||Yes||Yes|
|DNS Security Monitor||Yes|
|Force logout of users||Yes|
|Disable right click and text selection on web page||Yes|
|Multilingual||Yes ( 11 Languages)|
Wordfence security is the most popular security plugin. It leads the download with over 900,000 downloads by now. Of course, the reason is its credibility. It gives the live traffic report about what is happening on your website. You can see that how a human and a crawler visited your site, by whom 404 error is being generated, and who is failing sign-in even after several attempts. Hence, you can immediately realize the conspiracy and can take action (block) for preventing your website from being hacked. The blocking options given by Wordfence are applicable for IPs, countries, user agents, and URLs (referrer websites).
It shows you the human as well as the crawler activities on your website. It has a password audit feature (premium version only), which is manually driven. When the user drives the audit, Wordfence inspects the strength of the user’s password by simulating a password attack on the website and sends the alert regarding password strength on user email.
For ensuring that only genuine user could get into the dashboard, Wordfence has cell phone sign-in option (premium version only). This is actually a two-factor authentication method of providing secure access to the user account. Provide your cell phone number to Wordfence and activate the cell phone sign-in option, whenever you will try to login to your account, Wordfence will send a verification code, which is to use for signing in. You can enable this option for all the admin level users of your website. Wordfence also has Whois lookup support. Using Whois, you can get the owner information of a domain or a suspicious IP.
With Wordfence, you can make the scan schedule (option available in premium version) for your website or you can leave it on the plugin to run the scanning automatically. It also scans the posts and comments on the website. Often, there is a great risk that someone leaves a blacklisted/malware URL in the comments. If there remains such URL that is in Google’s malware list, then, your website can also get listed as malicious by Google. Therefore, this feature of Wordfence is also of great worth.
All in One Security plugin is a rich one in terms of security features. It provides brute force security, database security, and file system security. For brute force protection, this plugin employs a distinctive approach. The plugin employs cookie based login access for brute force prevention. In this, you are needed to specify a secret word to the plugin. Using this word, it will automatically generate a special URL whose cookie will get deposited on your system. You can login to the dashboard as usual because of the stored cookies, but another person who doesn’t know the special URL will not be able to attempt a login.
This plugin allows changing the default database prefix. You should change the default table prefixes to prevent hackers leverage the advantage for injecting malicious SQL. You can also schedule the database backup. The backup is sent to user specified email.
For file system security, the plugin allows setting the secured file permission within its interface. You can even disable PHP file editing, plus, deny the access to readme.html, license.txt, and wp-config.php. You can run the scan for file change detection, malware, and database with the help of this plugin.
This plugin helps you keep the bird’s eye view on users’ activities as it maintains the log of users that when they visited, what IP they used, date and time of login and log out. With the help of this log, you can enable blockings for IPs and user agents.
iThemes is another powerful security solution. With the help of this plugin, you can prevent your website from brute force attacks and 404 attacks. The plugin maintains the log of user activity, so you can know that who attempted the invalid logins, file changes, and 404 intrusions on your website. Having this information, you can ban the conspirators. There is a quirky option given by iThemes that is you can ban an IP from where the login attempt is made by “admin” username.
iThemes can permanently ban an IP according to the setting you would have done. The plugin can automatically take the database backup after set intervals. You can store the backup on your local system as well as you can get it in your e-mail. There is a distinctive option in iThemes that is “Away Mode”, activating this mode, you can disable the access to the dashboard for a set time. You can enable this mode for the time of day when you don’t need to login to the dashboard.
You can configure iThemes to send you the notification if any unauthorized change is detected in the files. You can do even more for preventing files being changed as iThemes gives the options to restrict the access (read/write permission) to all the sensitive folders and files.
The hackers often apply the brute force when they know login URL. iThemes gives the option to change your login URL, you are required to provide a slug for changing the URL. When the attacker wouldn’t know the login URL, it couldn’t even attempt to crack into your dashboard.
Besides this, you can disable the login error message. The error message mighty helps a hacker to intrude into the dashboard of the site.
The Sucuri plugin makes it to the list of best security plugins as it has very nice security features. This plugin monitors each and every activity done on the website. It keeps track of every logged-in user and what changes have been committed by the logged-in user. It has file integrity monitoring option, which detects if there is any problem with the files.
Sometimes, what the hacker does, they cunningly infect the websites with malicious/blacklisted URL such that owners don’t get the clue that something is wrong with their websites. Sucuri has a blacklist monitoring feature, which comes from some big blacklisting engines, is helpful for those website owners who don’t know what’s wrong has gone with their sites. The plugin detects whether the sites have been listed by blacklist engines or not.
This plugin recommends you to harden those configurations which hackers often see as a golden opportunity to intrude the website. With one click, you can correct those settings.
The distinctive feature of Sucuri is posting hack security actions. If you feel like your website has been hacked, then, Sucuri will help you take these actions- use security keys, reset user’s passwords and rest plugins.
Compared to above plugins, Acunetix has fewer features, yet it is a nice plugin. The hackers can leverage any little loophole in a website. There are some things on your website that seems you little but could be advantageous for the hackers, such as, WordPress version display in the source, the default (WP_) prefix with database tables, file update notification display to all users, WordPress login error display, PHP and database errors, etc. This plugin allows closing these loopholes. Acunetix also allows you take the database backups of your website. One more feature of this plugin is “live traffic” report. Live traffic report gives the information that from where your website is visited, at what time it is visited and what is the user agent.
If you think that only highly popular websites stay the target of hackers, then, you are wrong. The hackers don’t show their mercy on the lesser known websites. They just know taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of the websites, whether they are more popular or lesser popular. The security plugins help the website administrators to remove the vulnerabilities of the websites. All of the above-described plugins are very helpful in protecting WordPress websites from malicious attacks and hacking attempts, but the winner could be one.
According to the feature comparison chart, the Wordfence and All in One WP security are close competitors. Both have very nice security features, yet the Wordfence wins the battle. Wordfence has more options, which are very advanced. It can run an automatic scan, it has advanced live traffic tool, it scans the posts and comments too, protects a website from malware as well as backdoors, it blocks an attacker in real time for all the websites.
The real-time blocking means if a website using Wordfence security is attacked, then, that the attacker is automatically blocked from all the websites using this plugin. Plus, it gives an extra advantage to the user by enhancing the website’s performance owing to falcon engine. The Falcon engine is the fastest WordPress caching engine deployed by this plugin. Wordfence also supports WooCommerce and other major plugins.
But, if you want a completely free solution, then, all in One WP Security is a better option.
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