6 Best WordPress Security Plugins for Website Protection [2020]

Deepak Choudhary
| | November 4, 2020
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I have realized that many new and even some experienced bloggers made two types of common mistakes which costs them dearly in the long run.

First they choose a cheap web host for their blog that doesn't have security mechanism in place, and second, they don't use any good security plugins for their WordPress blog.

Due to the above mistakes their site remain vulnerable to the following threats:

  • brute force attack
  • malicious traffic
  • malware
  • hacking attempts

Thus, it is essential to use a good web hosting provider and install a good security plugin that can protect your site from hackers and malware.

Why Use A WordPress Security Plugin?

If you have a misconception that hackers only target big and popular websites, beware.

In fact, 58% of malware attacks are directed at small business websites.

If you're still not sure about using a security plugin for your site, look at the following statistics by SecurityWeek.com.

  • About 18.5 million websites on the internet are infected with malware at a given time each week.
  • While an average website is attacked 44 times every day.

Every day thousands of websites, big or small, are hacked or infected with malware or ransomware.

If you don't use a good security plugin for your WordPress website then there is good change that some day it will be hacked.

A hacked website can be devastating for a business, no matter its size. It can cause some good damage to your site reputation and business.

  • You can loose important data of your website.
  • You can be blocked from accessing your website.
  • Hackers can steal your users and customers private data.
  • Your website can even be destroyed or deleted completely and you won't be able to recover it.
  • Your website can be used to distribute malicious code to your visitors hurting your brand and SEO rankings.

Though sometimes it was possible to recover your site but not without hiring professionals and incurring huge costs.

The first important step that you could take to secure your WordPress site is to install and activate a WordPress security plugin.

It would help you to tighten security of your website by keeping at bay all the above mentioned threats.

A single plugin is enough to protect your site. Using more than one security plugins can cause performance issues or bugs in your site.

Apart from the security plugin, you can also follow a small guide where I have mentioned all the important security measures like protecting .htaccess folder, wp-admin, wp-login, and others. Check out the guide here - How to keep website secure?.

I have listed below some of the best WordPress security plugins.

Best WordPress Security Plugins

Let's check out some of the best WordPress security plugins that you can use to protect your website.

Malcare WordPress Security Plugin

Malcare is one of the best security plugin for WordPress websites. Combined with its backup plugin it provides all-in-one protection to your site.

Once you install its plugin, it automatically conducts a full scan of your site looking for any security issues. Scanning is done daily and security reports are sent to your email every day.

Malware Scanner

Malcare features one of the most powerful and comprehensive malware scanner.

You don't need to scan your site manually for malware. It does it automatically. It scans all the files, databases, and also track any changes in your site to detect malware.

Unlike other security plugins, it does scanning on their own server without slowing down your site.

It's on-demand scan feature allows you to scan your WordPress site any time for malware, hackers, and bots.

Instant Malware Clean

Got your site infected with malware, Malcare takes care of this issue with just one click.

It is the only security plugin that offers one-click feature to remove all the malwares from a infected website. There are no hidden charges. One can conduct unlimited malware cleanups at no extra cost.

MalCare Firewall

Powerful firewall by MalCare analyses every IP request to check for malicious traffic and hackers.

Once the firewall detects a potentially harmful IP request, it blocks it immediately to protect your site.

Hackers continuously tries to hacked into a site by trying different login id and password combination. It is called Brute Force Attack.

MalCare protects your site here too. It  prevents Brute Force Attacks by limiting the number of failed login attempts by an IP.

You can even enable captcha based login protection to your site. Bots cannot read captcha. Thus by enabling this feature, you can block any bots attempt to gain unauthorized access to your site.

MalCare Key Security Features

  • Automatic daily scan for malware
  • One-click unlimited malware removal at no extra cost
  • Uses own server for malware scanning
  • Firewall to block malicious IP addresses
  • Prevents brute force attacks
  • Captcha based login to block bots
  • Block execution of any PHP files in the uploads folder
  • Regular audit log to identify all instances of unauthorized access to your WordPress admin
  • Real-time email alerts
  • 24/7 Support

Cons

One important feature that MalCare currently lack is a 2-factor authentication. According to their website, they are considering to add this feature soon.

MalCare Pricing & Plans

MalCare has a free version available on the WordPress plugin repository. It has some basic but essential features like malware scanning with firewall and login protection.

However, if you want complete protection of your site with advanced features like instant malware removal, instant firewall updates, and other premium features, you will have to upgrade to its premium version.

MalCare has the following pricing and plans - Personal, Small Business, Developers, and Agency Plus.

MalCare Security Plugin Pricing & Plans

Personal Plan at $99 per year is best for website owners wanting to protect a single website.

If you have more than more website, Small Business Plan that allows protection for 5 websites would be best fit. It will cost you $259 per year.

Developers and Agency Plus plans are suitable for those who want to protect more than 20 plus websites.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5

Wordfence WordPress Security Plugin

Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan is another popular security plugin that provides all round protection to your website.

With over 150 million downloads, Wordfence has clearly made its name in the industry as one of the most trusted security plugins.

Once you install and activate the Wordfence security plugin on your site, it automatically starts monitoring the traffic for hack attempts in real-time.

WordPress Security Scanner

The scanner performs comprehensive scan of your site to check for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.

All the core files, themes and plugins of your site are completely checked for any security vulnerabilities. If any changes is found that can harm your site, it overwrites them with the original unchanged version.

WordPress Firewall

Malicious traffic can inject harmful codes on your website that can collect your user information, display malicious advertisements, or even completely break down your site.

Wordfence offers a powerful firewall that identifies and blocks malicious traffic in real-time.

Unlike other security plugins that features cloud-based firewall protection, Wordfence firewall runs at the endpoint, your server, providing better protection than cloud alternatives.

Wordfence actively monitors all the IP addresses that are actively attacking WordPress sites. It automatically blocks all such IP addresses from gaining access to your site.

Wordfence Key Security Features

  • Malware scanner automatically blocks requests that include malicious code or content.
  • Integrated Web Application Firewall (WAF) that automatically identifies and blocks malicious traffic
  • Brute force attack prevention by limiting login attempts
  • Checks for known security vulnerabilities and alerts you to any issues
  • Alerts you to potential security issues when a plugin has been closed or abandoned
  • Scans file contents, posts and comments for dangerous URLs and suspicious content
  • Real-time firewall rule and malware signature updates via the Threat Defense Feed
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) and login page CAPTCHA to stop bots from logging in
  • Free version can be used on unlimited sites

Wordfence Pricing & Plans

Wordfence also has a free version available on WordPress.org repository that you can use on your site to protect it against common security threats.

However, if you need advanced features like real-time malware signature updates via the Threat Defense Feed (free version is delayed by 30 days), complete firewall features, real-time IP blacklist, premium support, and others, you will need to subscribe to its premium plan.

Wordfence has the following pricing plans.

Wordfence Security Pricing Plans

For single website license, it would cost you $99 per year. For multiple websites, please check the above image.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5

Sucuri WordPress security plugin

Sucuri is another popular WordPress security plugins in the market with over 1 million users.

Sucuri is known for its advanced Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) that provides all round protection against almost all types of website threats.

Unlike most of the other security plugins, it also offers its own CDN services as a part of its premium plan. Sucuri CDN caches your website content automatically and speed it up by 70% on average.

Web Application Firewall

Sucuri's firewall provides protection against malicious code, prevent website hacking and blocks Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Brute force attacks are common security threat to a website. The firewall provides protection from brute force attacks and prevent password cracking to keep your site safe from hackers.

Captcha based login, 2-factor authentication, and whitelisting IP addresses are some of its additional features.

Monitoring & Detection

Without a dedicated malware scanner, you may remain unaware of malware infection or hacking attempts on your site.

Sucuri Malware Scanner monitors all files on your server for signs of malware to find backdoors, phishing pages, spam, hacking attempts, DDoS scripts, and more.

It automatically alerts you of any changes in Domain Name System (DNS) settings and SSL certificates, and also monitors security warnings from blacklisting authorities.

Website Malware Removal & Protection

If your website gets infected with malware, you can use Sucuri services to safely remove any malicious code that is present in your website file system and database. It will restore your site back to normal.

It also helps in preventing SEO spam keyword and link injection.

Sucuri Key Security Features

  • Web Application Firewall to protect your website against hacks, malicious traffic, and DDoS attacks
  • Remotely scans your website for malware
  • Clean your website at no additional cost if it gets infected with malware
  • CDN servers to boost your website's speed and performance
  • Protects your website against SQL Injections, XSS, etc.
  • Monitors your website uptime to alert you if your website is down and visitors can't access your site
  • Monitors for security warnings from blacklist authorities
  • 30-days money-back guarantee
  • Dedicated customer support

Sucuri Pricing & Plans

It has both free as well as paid version.

It's free version is good to protect your website from common security threats but if you want advanced protection then you would have to subscribe its premium version.

Sucuri has the following pricing plans - Basic, Pro, Business and Custom Solutions.

Sucuri Website Security Pricing

The Basic Plan will cost you $199.99 per year that include all the premium features like regular malware and hack scan, malware removal, blacklist monitoring, advanced DDoS mitigation, and others.

You may find the price of Sucuri at $199.99 per year a bit on the higher side.

All the more when you compare it with the price of MalCare and Wordfence, both of which cost $99 per year.

But website owners looking for advanced features like DNS change monitoring and CDN to boost website speed, may want to subscribe at this price.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

iThemes Security Plugin

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) is the product of same company which developed one of the best back up plugin Backupbuddy.

With over 1 million plus download, iThemes Security is another popular security plugin which protects your website for malware and other security vulnerabilities.

WordPress Malware Scanning

Software vulnerabilities gives hackers the blueprints they need to take over your site.

And it is very hard to keep track of every disclosed WordPress vulnerability without the help of third-party security plugins.

Site Scan by iThemes Security performs automatic checks for known malware and vulnerabilities, blacklist status, website errors and out-of-date software installed on your site. 

If it detects any vulnerabilities and if a patch is available, iThemes Security Pro automatically apply the fix to remove the threat.

You can easily set automatic malware scanning from the Dashboard.

One-Click WordPress Security Check

The latest version of iThemes Security features One-Click security check for your WordPress website.

It ensures that your site follows the recommended security settings.

To enable it, install and activate the iThemes Security on your site. Then, go to Security >> Settings and click the Secure Site button to complete the security check.

As soon as it is activated, it automatically checks for your site for the following security features.

  • Malware Scan Scheduling
  • Local Brute Force Protection
  • Network Brute Force Protection
  • Two-factor Authentication
  • Database Backups
  • Banned Users
  • Strong Passwords
  • User Logging

 iThemes Key Security Features:

  • Two-factor authentication to provide an extra layer of security
  • Automatic malware scanner
  • One-Click security check
  • Hide login and Admin URL
  • Google reCAPTCHA for protection against spammers
  • Brute force protection
  • File permission check
  • File change detection
  • Password expiration

Cons

Though iThemes Security has all the important features to look after the security of your site, but absence of Firewall is a big turnoff for me.

Hopefully they will soon add this crucial features in its package.

iThemes Security Pricing & Plans

iThemes Security has both free and paid plans. One can download the free plugin from WordPress.org. Download the free plugin here.

The free plan offers features like malware scanner, brute force protection, strong password enforcement, security logs, hide admin URLs, and others.

The premium plan include all the features of free plan. In addition to that, it offers premium features like Google reCaptcha integration, two-factor authentication, scheduled malware scanning, password expiration, and others.

It offers the following paid plans - Blogger, Small Business and Gold.

iThemes Security Pricing and Plans

Blogger Plan at $80 per year is perfect for site owners that need protection for single website.

If you have multiple websites, then you can subscribe Small Business Plan ($127 per year) that includes protection for 10 websites.

If you're looking for unlimited plan, then go with Gold Plan. It would cost you $199 per year.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

All In One WP WordPress Security Plugins

All In One WP Security is another popular security plugin with 8,00,000 plus active installs.

You can install this WordPress security plugin to add some extra security and firewall to your site.

Security features of All In One WP Security:

  • Protect against “Brute Force Login Attack” with the Login Lockdown feature.
  • Force logout of all users after a configurable time period
  • Add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captcha to WordPress Login form.
  • Ban users by specifying IP addresses.
  • Add firewall protection to your site via htaccess file.

Rating: 4 out of 5

BulletProof Security WordPress Security Plugins

BulletProof Security with 60,000 plus active installations is relatively new among large players. However, it has some useful features that can help you to secure your website from external threats.

It has setup wizard which will guide you to enable all security options to protect your site.

BulletProof Security Features:

  • MScan Malware Scanner scans your website for malware threats.
  • Add firewall protection to your site via htaccess file.
  • It has Login Security & Monitoring system.
  • Idle Session Logout
  • Auth Cookie Expiration
  • Database backup

Rating: 4 out of 5

I will recommend you to install any one of the above security plugin. One security plugin is enough to optimally protect your website.

These are some awesome plugins to secure a website.

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In addition to a WordPress security plugin, it is also recommended to follow the below mentioned tips to keep your website secure.

  1. Whenever WordPress releases its latest version update it to keep your website safe.
  2. Don't use too many plugins. Always use plugins that are essential to your site and keep your plugins up to date.
  3. Install an Antivirus Programs to keep your computer and website secure.
  4. Regularly change your WordPress passwords.
  5. Always take a back up of your website. It will help you to restore your website if anything goes wrong. 
  6. Use CDN like Cloudflare to keep your website fast and secure.

Conclusion

These are some of the essential plugins that can protect your website from external threats.

If you have not yet installed any security plugin for your website then your website security is at risk. Install any of the above WordPress security plugin today.

Having a proper security system in place for your website will give you peace of mind and you can concentrate on producing awesome contents for your users.

If you have not yet started your blog yet, get started today with Dreamhost at only $2.59 per month.

Which security plugins you are using in your blog, please share your experiences in the comment.

If you know any other security plugin which works better than the one I have mentioned above, please offer your comment below.

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