Every website must have some level of security. Regrettably, establishing your website, reputation, and business may take years. A hacker, on the other hand, may just need a few minutes to ruin all you’ve built.
As a result, this iThemes Security vs Wordfence comparison will be an opportunity to go through how to secure your website whilst comparing key features of these plugins.
The most used security plugins for websites are Wordfence and iThemes Security. They’ve gained in popularity over the years, have a lot of good ratings and evaluations, and are used on millions of websites across the globe.
When it comes to protection against brute force, malware scanning, and other features, both plugins are quite comparable. This may make choosing the appropriate tool for your site more challenging.
iThemes Security offers a number of impressive websites security features and a highly user-friendly interface. Wordfence also has its own set of sophisticated security features. Since its debut, it has been used on over 3 million websites.
In this post, I’ll be looking at a few key security features offered by both plugins.
Overview – iThemes Security vs Wordfence
Wordfence Security combines ease of use with a comprehensive set of security capabilities and includes login security and security incident recovery.
With this plugin, users can track hacking attempts and general traffic patterns, as well as secure any WordPress site with the plugin’s endpoint firewall and malware scanner.
To better safeguard and protect a site, this feature offers the most current malware signatures, dangerous IP addresses, and the most updated firewall rules. Furthermore, it comes with a set of features that make it about the most complete security plugin on the market.
Offering north of Thirty solutions preventing unwanted intruders and hackers, Better WP Security rebranded as iThemes Security makes it simple to safeguard and secure any WordPress site.
The plugin aims to detect weak passwords, plugin vulnerabilities, and outdated software.
Furthermore, Wordfence removes trial and error from securing WordPress, so users don’t have to battle with installing a security plugin.
Its free plan includes basic security measures, but upgrading to the Pro version unlocks additional features such as two-factor authentication, robust password enforcement, database backups, and more.
Features – iThemes security vs Wordfence
The Away Mode, Google reCAPTCHA integration, file change detection, and other features of iThemes Security make it the superior choice of the two plugins. Here’s a quick count of all of its features.
1. Detection of 404 Errors
Based on the restriction users specify, the plugin blocks any IP from scanning vulnerabilities on your site.
This occurs because such bots produce a large number of 404 errors, therefore if you change the default to Ten errors in five min, the plugin’s impact will begin immediately.
2. Protection From Brute Force Attacks
iThemes Security plugin gives users the opportunity of restricting the number of unsuccessful login attempts any client is permitted to make using this functionality.
In cases where someone takes guesses to decode your login credentials, they would end up being locked out.
3. Enforce Strong Password Policies
Website admins may utilize this function of the iThemes Security plugin in enforcing passwords and locking down WordPress in some cases. It comes in handy when you need to establish strong passwords for editors, administrators, or users on a site.
4. Hide Login and Admin Button
Site owners and administrators may also modify the default WordPress login URL using the iThemes Sec. This makes it difficult for attackers who don’t know where to search. It is also important in helping your customers in remembering their login links if you’re an agency.
5. Detection of File Changes
In the event that someone gains access to a site and alters or deletes files, this security plugin will send an email to the administrator. This indicates if you have been hacked.
6. Dashboard Away Mode
it becomes The iThemes plugin offers this feature, to allow you to make your WordPress dashboard unavailable at specific times of the day while you’re not using it. This makes it impossible for people to gain illegal access to your website.
7. Notifications by Email
These are notifications when to let the website owner know that someone has been locked out of the site after repeated unsuccessful login attempts or when files have been changed or deleted.
8. Authentication using two factors
Users may input a password and a code delivered to their mobile devices using 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) from iThemes Security.
This information will assist customers in secure login into their accounts and will serve as an additional layer of protection to authenticate the person who is signing in and keep hackers out.
Toopher, Google Authenticator, Authy, and FreeOTP are all supported by this plugin. Time-sensitive numbers are delivered to the email addresses connected with each user account, and there is also a set of OTP also called one-time backup codes that may be used to log in if your main 2FA method is lost.
9. Blocking Bad Users
You may also ban problematic users from your website if they repeatedly try logging in and fail, or in cases that they produce numerous 404 errors. If they are on a bot blacklist, this tool will also keep them out.
10. Report on Security Level
This report allows owners to assess the security of their site and offer recommendations for improvements and upgrades.
The report includes software and configuration information, the overall security grade, and action items to help owners to improve the security grade, allowing them to rapidly identify and address security problems.
11. Backups for Databases
With this plugin, owners may have their website database backups delivered to their email addresses on a regular basis. They may also utilize the iThemes backup plugin to create full backups and transfer them to off-site storage services.
12. Scanning for Malware
The virus scan function in this Security plugin is powered by the iThemes Site Scanner. This feature assists in the detection of known blacklist status, malware, vulnerabilities, out-of-date software, and website problems. You may run daily scans and get email notifications if anything is discovered.
13. Security Dashboard
Site admins or owners may monitor the activity on the site using the iThemes plugin. A vital activity that this dashboard monitors are the log entries. The plugin collects related data and presents them in a manner that is useful to admins.
14. Session Hijacking Protection on Trusted Devices
Owners may combine security measures with session hijacking prevention for unknown devices. This aids in the web site’s security and protects it from known user login breaches.
15. Logins without a password
This is a brand-new feature of the iThemes Security plugin that allows admins to verify the identities of users without the need for passwords.
It’s a simple and secure process that improves the chances of individuals protecting their accounts. The function sends the admin or owner a link via email with a click or a magic link, it logs you into the site.
16. Checks for User Security
This plugin provides user security checks that evaluate user accounts and the site’s security simultaneously. This allows you to take action if required, preventing your site from being vulnerable to hacking.
17. WordPress Version Management
WordPress may be intimidating, particularly as the website develops and you become unfamiliar with the many plugins and themes.
This may be a security concern for your site since old software is linked with security risks, but with this feature (version management), admins can always upgrade to new WordPress themes and plugin versions while also increasing security measures.
When updates haven’t been deployed for a month, iThemes Security automatically activates tighter security. Owners may also check their hosting account for outdated installations.
18. iThemes Sync
You may administer numerous sites remotely or from a single location using iThemes Sync capability. It’s a safe method to remove lockouts remotely and turn off access to the site’s dashboard using Away Mode. Individuals locked out may also be identified by their IP addresses.
Wordfence is available in both free and commercial editions, providing strong capabilities for both small and large websites. Its developer tools, complete firewall suite, monitoring tools, and other features may help you save a lot of money. Here’s a quick rundown of what each feature entails.
1. Threat Defense Feed
The plugin gets the most current malicious IP addresses, firewall rules, and malware signatures using this function, ensuring that the website is safe and secure.
This gives owners unparalleled access to information on how websites are hacked, the source of the assaults, and any dangerous code not cleaned. The Wordfence team of analysts is dedicated to security and keep users up to date when new threats emerge.
2. Security Scanner
Its security scanner looks for malware, dangerous URLs, backdoors, malicious redirection, SEO spam, and code injections in core files, themes, and plugins.
It also compares the site’s files to those in the WordPress.org library, verifies their integrity, and notifies the site owner or admin of any differences.
The plugin also scans the website for any security flaws, abandoned and closed plugins, and content safety checks to guarantee that the articles, files, and comments don’t include any questionable material or URLs.
3. Endpoint Firewall
Wordfence operates on the endpoint or your server to provide greater security than cloud firewalls, which may be circumvented and have been known to leak data in the past.
More than eighty-five percent of the firewall rules in the plugin’s firewall utilize user identification data. This makes the scanner and firewall effective.
Through tight integration with WordPress, the web app firewall identifies and blocks dangerous traffic, and it would not break end encryption, so it can’t be circumvented or data leaked.
By requiring strong passwords, restricting login attempts, and other security measures, the site will be secured from brute force assaults.
4. Leaked Password Protection
Admins can defend their site against attacks that utilize data that are stolen in data breaches. They will be able to block admin logins when known hacked credentials are being used to attempt to get access to the site. To log in, the administrators will need to change their passwords.
5. Advanced Manual Booking
With this Wordfence tool, you can swiftly and effectively ban whole hostile networks, as well as any human or robot behavior that suggests suspect intent based on pattern matching and IP range.
Wordfence is able to accomplish this by displaying referring sites, IP address block ranges, particular browser and/or browser pattern blocks, or a combination of these.
6. Wordfence Central
Wordfence’s Wordfence Central platform allows admins to manage security for numerous sites. It’s a simple and effective method to keep track of everything all from one spot.
7. Real-time Traffic
With this feature, owners or admins can witness hackers attempting to get into their site in real-time, or watch users log in and out of the site in real-time, monitor how Google searches the site, and prevent rogue crawlers in real-time.
8. Blocking by Country
For site owners or admins, there is the possibility to geographically secure the site, Wordfence also allows administrators to ban countries that participate in harmful activity.
This aids in the prevention of assaults, malicious activities, and content theft. Admins may also ban countries that consistently produce unsuccessful logins or a large number of 404 codes.
Site admins may block countries by restricting access to the login form or the other parts of the website, and admins will also be able to view an updated list of country-to-IP mappings or use the Advanced Blocking feature.
9. Repairing Data Files
This function allows an admin to recover from a hack by using Wordfence’s source code verification tool, which notifies them of any changes made to plugins, the core, or theme files and assists them in repairing. The functionality is powered by Wordfence cloud servers, which compare these files to those in the WordPress repository.
Admins can examine how their files have changed once they get a file change alert. They will be able to download the original file then compare it to the current one.
10. (2FA) Authentication Using Two Factors
Wordfence, just like the iThemes Security plugin, provides two-factor authentication to assist prevent brute force attacks and provide very secure remote system authentication.
Pricing – iThemes Security vs Wordfence
If you wish to check out the free versions of iThemes Security or Wordfence to see how they function, you may do so. However, each plugin has a premium paid version, which I’ll go through in this part.
The free version of the iThemes Security plugin may be found in the WordPress repository. The Pro edition has three price options namely: Blogger plan, Small Business plan, and Gold plan.
Here’s a quick rundown of each choice:
- The Blogger plan costs $80 for a year and covers one including a year’s worth of plugin updates and support.
- The Small Business plan goes for $127 yearly. It includes a year’s worth of plugin updates as well as support for as many as ten sites.
- The Gold package is $199 yearly. It includes a complete year of plugin upgrades as well as unlimited site support.
Wordfence’s free version includes brute force defense and firewall blocking. For a single website, their Premium plans start at $99.10 per year. If you would need this protection on more than one site, each extra site will be charged separately.
The following are the license plans for multiple sites:
- The cost of a 2-4 site license is $89.10 per year per site.
- The cost of a 5-to-9-site license is $84.15 per year per site.
- The cost of a 10-to-14-site license is $79.20 per year per site.
If you purchase a license for 15 or more sites, each site costs $74.25 per year. With the aforementioned Wordfence plans, those who own numerous websites may save a lot of money.
Comparison – iThemes Security vs Wordfence
This has been a hard comparison since they do things differently.
As a security precaution, Wordfence employs a firewall. It includes an Endpoint Firewall, which is more secure and fully compatible with WordPress than it is with a cloud-based firewall.
A security scanner is provided, which analyzes plugins, themes, and core files regularly. This looks for backdoors, SEO spam, and a variety of other issues. Wordfence may be used to track live traffic such as the origin, time, IP address, and other site traffic characteristics.
Wordfence features a two-factor authentication that protects against brute force assaults, manual blocking, suspicious activity blocking, and account blocking using compromised passwords.
Wordfence is an extremely powerful security tool. Its disadvantages include a complex and difficult-to-use UI and the fact that the plugin may use additional server resources.
File Change Detection is a prominent and unique iThemes Security feature. This plugin outperforms the premium Wordfence plans. It’s essential to note that any plugin that searches site files will use resources.
It’s up to you the owner to decide whether you want to enable or disable the iThemes Security features. You may wish to enable certain features during low-traffic periods or disable functions that you don’t use right now, for example.
Wordfence and iThemes Security are powerful security plugins with a plethora of helpful features. The plugin you use should be tailored to your specific requirements.
Merits and Demerits – iThemes Security vs Wordfence
The default settings offer a high degree of protection once installed, without the need to spend hours customizing settings.
The free edition comes with a lot of features. It’s refreshing to find a free plugin with extensive functionality.
It provides a variety of protection mechanisms for WordPress at various levels.
Many WordPress security plugins are excellent at protecting users from external attacks, but they aren’t so good at protecting them from internal dangers. This plugin also provides many protections against logged-in users, which is a major advantage.
Salting passwords is a small security feature that is very helpful. Salting, in addition to enforcing minimum password quality, goes a long way toward protecting logged-in users.
While the settings are adequate for most people, there is a tremendous quantity of data to process and choices to be made. Only a small percentage of users will alter the default settings.
Enabling both of these features will substantially slow down the WordPress dashboard. While it will not impact the website speed, logged-in users may notice minor stuttering or lag.
It’s impossible to deny that iThemes Security Pro is pricey. Even though I would strongly advise everyone to utilize Pro, I consider this a disadvantage.
Wordfence, unlike many other WordPress plugins, is updated on a regular basis. This implies it guards you against the most recent dangers.
Of course, the premium edition of the plugin includes more functionality than the free version. The free version, on the other hand, still offers a lot of choices, settings, and features. Tech assistance is available in the free and premium editions. So, in case you have a question or need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask.
Wordfence offers a comprehensive firewall in both free and premium versions. This means it protects your website against assaults, malware, and backdoor vulnerabilities. A function like this would normally only be accessible to premium customers. That is, however, one of the reasons why I find it endearing.
Suggestions for new features are usually taken into account. Unlike many other plugins, if there’s anything you’d want to see on Wordfence, you can submit a feature request and it will be taken into account. Wordfence also sends users email notifications when their site’s security and plugins need to be updated, which is a useful feature for busy individuals.
While both free and paid users have access to tech assistance, I presume paying members get it first. I use the free version, and getting a response from them may take up to a week. This is reasonable given that the plugin has over 1 million installs!
There’s also an initial learning curve to contend with. It may be difficult to use at first since it is packed with so many features and choices. Thankfully, there are many online resources.
Site scans are provided by the plugin, which checks your whole website for vulnerabilities. This seems to be beneficial, but it consumes a large amount of bandwidth and may cause your site to slow down.
Wordfence is a great choice for you if you don’t mind knowing what every option and settings do and want to keep your website secure from assaults. If your time is valuable, though, you might consider paying someone to put it up for you.
Last Thoughts – iThemes Security vs Wordfence
Medium to big businesses should use Wordfence, in my opinion. With this sophisticated security technology, you can’t go wrong.
Small and medium-sized companies should use iThemes Security. To utilize, you don’t need a lot of expertise or experience. Beginners will have little trouble setting it up. It’s straightforward and easy to use.
Either of these plugins will provide you with top-notch security features. Hopefully, this iThemes security vs Wordfence comparison article gave you the information you need.