You must use any one of the Top WordPress security plugins to secure your WordPress website. WordPress is the widely used blogging platform in the world. WordPress is the most secure platform. It regularly pushes updates for the known vulnerability. But hackers attack WordPress website through the vulnerabilities in the third party plugins and themes and weak passwords.
Why should I use Security Plugin?
If you don’t use security plugin, your website may get hacked at any time. If your website got hacked or contain malware, you will lose traffic and income. Even Google may mark your website as malicious website. If your website is already hacked, I suggest you use premium service from Sucuri to clean your website. Now let us see about free and Top WordPress security plugins.
Top WordPress security plugins
All Top WordPress security plugins in this list are free plugins. They have premium version also. You must use atleast free version of any one of the below plugins to protect your website.
WordFence is the complex security plugin. It has over 2 million downloads from WordPress repository. It gives antivirus and firewall protection for your website. It checks your plugins and theme files with the original files. Every day it scans your website automatically for malware and files changes. It will send you mail if there are any changes.
Free version Features
- Scans WordPress Core files, Plugins files and compare them with the official WordPress repository plugins and original themes.
- It gives you the option to stop the brute force attack.
- Scans malicious URL in your posts and comments.
- Checks the strength of all user and admin passwords.
- It has web application firewall. Free version updates database once in thirty days.
- You can see real-time traffic.
- You can block any IP.
- You can check live traffic which gives you details about your visitor country and IP and which post he is visiting. You can also check whether the visitor is human or bot.
It gives all features for free but free version updates malware database in a month. Premium version gives you some more extra features like,
- Country blocking.
- WAF database is updated in real-time.
- Cell phone sign-in.
- advanced comment spam filter.
- Audit passwords
- Remote scans, frequent and scheduled scans
Highlight: More features (including WAF) than any other plugin for free.
Downside: The downside of this plugin is, it works on your server so it takes your server resources heavily. I have been using it for a long time. But because of heavy usage of server resources, I had to move to another security plugin. It may also give issues with some server configurations. Unless you see any issue with your server, you can use it for free.
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Sucuri is another best security plugin for WordPress. It has over 3 lakhs downloads. Its free version will not give you more features like WordFence. It gives the best Web Application Firewall for the premium members. But free version will not give you Web Application Firewall.
At present, I am using this premium service. After using it, my website speed has improved a lot. Because their Web Application Firewall gives you CDN also. They protect our website through their proxy servers which are located world wide. They will also cache your pages and delivers from the nearest server to the visitor. Like this, it improves loading speed. I love its premium service. I can say that it is a must have premium service for any website. Even it cost you $199.99, you can feel safe with this service. If your website has already malware, their support team will remove the malware. And their support is awesome.
Free version features
- Activity Audit logging: It records every activity like user sign in or file changes and keeps the logs in the cloud. With this logs, you can understand which change caused issues to your website.
- File Integrity monitoring: It compares your current WordPress core files, Plugins, and themes with the known good files for the malware.
- Remote Malware scanning.
- Security Blacklist monitoring: If your website blocked as malicious by any one of the blacklist engines like Google safe browsing, Norton, AVG, ESET, McAfee, Yandex, Bitdefender, etc., it will intimate you and will help you to unblock from them.
- Security Hardening features will improve the security of your website.
- Post Hack security features will suggest you what to do after being hacked.
- Security alert option will allow you to set and control notifications for threats.
- Web application Firewall will stop DOS/DDOS attacks, Bruteforce attacks and exploiting vulnerabilities.
- It will also improve performance with Content Delivery Network and Page acceleration.
- Security scanning and monitoring in every 12 hours.
- Website Malware and hack repair.
- Blacklisting warning removal.
Highlight: Perfect security and CDN service.
Downside: Free version will not give you WAF.
Bulletproof security plugin is the cheapest plugin ever. It cost only $59.95 which comes with unlimited websites and lifetime updates license. It protects your website by giving firewall using .htaccess file, data base, and login security. It comes with limited number of features. You need not to setup anything. Just install this plugin and it will work with default options. Of course, you can change settings. It has free version also.
Free version features
- Firewall protection through .htaccess against known and unknown attacks like code injection, SQL injection, CSS, Base64, etc.,
- Login security by limiting login attempts, automatic lockout time, etc.,
- DataBase backup option will help you to backup database. You can also schedule backups.
- You can change DB table prefix.
- Idle session logout feature will help you to automatically log out when your users idle on the dashboard.
- Auth Cookie expiration time option will help you to change the WordPress authentication expiration time.
- Security log will store logs of blocked users, IPs or spammers.
- It can find hidden plugin folders empty folder which might be used by hackers.
- You can create maintenance page like Website is Under maintenance or Coming Soon page.
- Auto restore and Quarantine feature monitor all your WordPress files for any changes. If it detects any change it will quarantine file or restore the original file. It will also save the Quarantined files in a separate folder to restore it any time.
- It monitors database for any file changes with the existing backup. If it finds any change, it will notify you by Email.
- Plugin Firewall will protect your plugins folders and files by restricting unauthorized access.
- Uploads anti-exploits guard will protect your uploads folder by allowing onle safe image files and file extensions.
- JTC Anti-spam anti-hacker feature will protect your website from spammers by prodiving captcha on forms, comments, login page, etc.,
- php.in security is possible from remote script executions and dangerous php functions. It will also optimize php.in settings for better performance.
- You can change Email alerts and security notifications.
- You can get 16 small plugins like Base64 encoder, decoder, text encrypt decrpt, etc.,
- You can lock and unlock files or folders from dashboard itself without changing FTP permissions.
Highlight: Good number of features. One time purchase plan. Less priced.
Downside: Free version has no file change detector.
iThemes Security is formerly known as Better WP Security. It is another best security plugin. It has over 8 lakhs downloads. It has free and premium versions. This plugin is maintained by iThemes which developes themes and many plugins for WordPress. They claim that they protect you in more than 30 ways. It has some additional features like data base backup and prevents some security holes at your WordPress backend.
Free version Features
- One click WordPress security check option shows you that whether you are following recommended security precautions or not. If not, it will show you what to do.
- Ban bad users and block specific IP address and user agents.
- Hide login URL and 404 detections.
- It will compare WordPress core files with the original files. When file changes it will notifiy you. It will not work for plugins and themes.
- You can remove login error messages, Windows live writer header information, RSD header info, update notification from the specific user role.
- It can change the WordPress database table prefix, and wp-content path.
- You can force SSL on any page or post or login page.
- Turnoff file editing in WordPress dashboard.
- Stops bruteforce attack and XML-RPC bruteforce protection.
- It gives security logs and Email notifications.
- Strong password enforcement. File permission check and iThemes Sync integration.
- Away mode will disable WordPress dashboard for the specific period.
- It gives you Malware scan option which uses Sucuri Site check to scan your website homepage for malware manually.
Premium version gives all free features and some addition features. Comparatively it is less priced plugin. Its price starts from $80 per year for two websites.
- Two-Factor Authentication which helps to sign in through mobile.
- Malware scan scheduling option will scan your website for malware automatically every day.
- You can generate strong passwords and set password expiration time.
- You can use Google reCAPTCHA to protect your site from spammers.
- You can track your user’s activity.
- You can Import and Export settings of this plugin which saves time by setting multiple websites.
- You can create temporary admin credentials which will be reset in a preset time automatically.
- Wp-CLI integration helps you to manage site security using the command line.
HighLight: More features.
Downside: Can not detect Plugins and Theme file changes. No automatic malware scan in the free version.
5.All In One WP Firewall and Security
All In One WP Firewall and Security is completely free plugin. It is the best free plugin which has over 5 lakhs downloads. Its firewall rules fall into Basic, Intermediary and Advanced. Basic rules will not break any functionality. You need to keep an eye on your live website while using Intermediary or advanced features.
- Detects user account if it has Admin as username. It will also detect identical usernames. It will also give password strength tool to create the strong password.
- Protects against Bruteforce login attacks. You can force log out of users after the certain period. You can automatically lock out IPs who tries to login with invalid username. You can add captcha to log in, forgot password and user registration forms.
- You can change Database prefix. You can schedule database backup.
- Protects PHP files by disabling file editing from the dashboard. You can prevent people from accessing readme.html,license.txt, and wp-config-sample.php.
- You can backup and edit .htaccess and wp-config.php files from the dashboard.
- You can ban the users by IP or IP range or user agent.
- It uses .htaccess file to give you firewall protection from known and unknown attacks.
- You can add math to WordPress login page. It can also hide WordPress login URL.
- It can detect file changes in your WordPress and database tables. You can decide whether file change is legitimate or suspicious code.
- It can stop comment spam by stopping comments originating from known spam IPs and by providing captcha.
- It will give you the option to disable right click and copy option on your front end website.
Highlight: Completely free.
Downside: It may give compatibility issues with your plugins and server configuration. It is free so there is no guarantee for the best support.
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My advice is, don’t compromise with the security for your website. if your website gets hacked, you will loose more money than what you spend for the premium security service. Just use premium service from Sucuri and get piece of mind. What to use a free plugin, WordFence gives you better features than any other plugin.
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