Best security and firewall plugins for WordPress in 2019 [Updated]

3 Essential security plugins that will make your WordPress site an unbeatable shield in front of hackers

  • MalCare

    Best for: Overall security
  • Astra Web Security

    Best for: Powerful features
  • Wordfence Security

    Best for: Real-time protection

In a world in which hackers compete for how many websites they manage to break it is essential to think about security measures, now more than ever. WordPress as a platform offers probably the most secure environment among content management systems, but to make things even safer, we offer you top security plugins to keep the bad guys away from your site.

Tips for a secured WordPress website

Always update your WordPress site / themes and plugins to the newest version available

As I said earlier, WordPress is a well coded platform that offers security measures perfected by top developers in the world. WordPress as a CMS has the advantage of being the most popular platform which comes as both a blessing and a curse. The fact that is popular makes it a more common ground for hackers but also this means it's greater because has a larger team of developers involved, people who work 24/7 to bring the cutting-edge / flawless security solution that you know today.

My recommendation is to check for updates in the WordPress dashboard as frequently as possible and whenever you see a new update, just install it.

Never install untrusted plugins

The internet is full of "so called" developers who offer plugins and themes. Their only interest is to gain access to your WordPress website and exploit all possible vulnerabilities. These can turn into ransomware, malware, keyloggers and every possible form of unwanted intrusion.

Stay away from nulled plugins and themes

You'll see that every popular premium plugin and theme out there has a fake version tricked by hackers to work for free. These versions may indeed work, but you should know that they will always come alongside unwanted code in your WordPress website. Usually hackers manage to infiltrate bad code in your site using the "php injection" method or simply by generating new files on your server.

If an offer looks too good to be true, then stay away because it probably is. We recommend you to only install plugins and themes from authorized / trusted developers and the official WordPress repository.


  • MalCare

    Best plugin for: Overall security

    Starting price: $99 / year

    MalCare can be your own personal champion that's fighting with the bad guys on a daily basis. The plugin is ensuring the security for over 400.000+ sites and includes one of the most complete solutions in terms of security for WordPress.

    The basic MalCare package starts at $99 / year and offers the best protection against malware and hackers.

    In the package, MalCare offers automatic, daily malware scans, a full firewall and login protection alongside brute force attack prevention.

    As a means to strengthen your defense, MalCare applies the "Website hardening" technique which is a way to ensure that hackers find no backdoor or vulnerabilities in your WordPress site.

    MalCare is basically a collection of security tools that includes:

    1. Malware scanner - a deep scanner against 100+ signals and dynamic malware detection

    2. Malware removal - One click to remove malware + a system for auto-clean

    3. WordPress firewall - Advanced IP blocking and defense against malicious traffic

    4. Login protection - Limits the number of logins and protects against brute force attacks

    All these together make MalCare the perfect solution that solves your security issues on WordPress.

      Pros

    • Real-time email alerts when security threads are detected
    • 24/7 premium support and help from security professionals
    • One-click malware removal

    check out MalCare

  • Astra Web Security

    Best plugin for: Powerful features

    Astra Web Security WordPress

    Even though Astra is not the most popular WordPress security plugin, it stands out in the crowd with its advanced suite of solid security systems.

    For starters, Astra includes a WAF (web application firewall) that promises to filter every incoming request to your website and block unwanted bad bots, SQL injections and XSS attacks.

    The firewall is also a great ally againt malware and 80+ attack types. Astra Web Security maintains the effort to avoid all kinds of unwanted connections and bad bots so you end up only with real people on your signup forms.

    To do this, Astra plans honeypots for hackers and includes a signup spam prevention system.

    Another thing that makes Astra stand out in the crowd is the reputation monitoring tool which tests out when your website gets blacklisted and lets you know before your users find out.

    Astra is monitoring patch vulnerabilities automatically and tracks every change in your WordPress file system. If something unwanted appears, you will get notified ASAP.

    "Health Check" is one of Astra's features that triggers a site-wide scanner which tracks and finds security issues in the header of your website. This includes scanning for HTTP security and over 140+ other security issues.

      Pros

    • Protects you against bots and malware
    • Helps you block unwanted IPs
    • Includes an advanced firewall
    • Tracks incidents and monitors patch vulnerabilities in WordPress
    • Cutting-edge malware scanner out of the box

    check out Astra Web Security

  • Wordfence Security

    Best plugin for: Real-time protection

    Wordfence Security

    Wordfence is currently the most popular WordPress plugin designed to secure and protect your website. The plugin is available on the WordPress plugin's repository and has over 3 million downloads.

    What's even more incredible is that Wordfence Security has an average rating score of 5 stars out of 5.

    Everybody loves Wordfence and here are some good reasons why you should like it as well:

    Web Application Firewall - built to identify and block malicious traffic real-time

    Protection from brute force attacks by limiting the number of logins to your website

    Blacklisting IPs suspected for malicious activity

    Malware scanner - deep scanner for malware and malicious software / code

    File checker - compares original core files with potential unwanted additions and removes those

    On top of these, Wordfence is powered by the Thread Defense Feed which updates the plugin about latest threads and new vulnerabilities.

    The Wordfence Scan will alert you whenever your site is at risk or is threatened by new vulnerabilities.

    Just make sure you update the plugin regularly so you benefit from the latest tools to fight the hackers.

      Pros

    • Live traffic monitor
    • Deep scanner for malware
    • Advanced WordPress firewall
    • Blacklist suspicious IP addresses

    check out Wordfence Security

  • All in One WP Security & Firewall

    Best plugin for: Free solution

    The All in One WP Security plugin is a lightweight addition to your WordPress security, a plugin that won't ask for much but will return tons of features that fight against malicious activities.

    All in One WP Security helps you change the admin username for security and helps you detect user accounts which have identical login and display names (bad security practice). Besides that, the All in One WP Security will include a password strength monitor and will stop user enumerating so bots can't discover users or authors on your site.

    In terms of brute force protection, the plugin will limit the login attempts and block IPs that are suspected to execute brute force attacks.

    As the WordPress administrator you can blacklist and whitelist certain IP addresses and force logout of all users after a specified time period.

    In order to add another security layer, you can use All in One WP Security alongside the Google reCaptcha in the forget password form.

      Pros

    • Includes WordPress firewall system
    • It is lightweight and easy to use
    • Control blocked IPs and whitelists
    • Monitor and track suspicious user activities
    • Helps you change the admin username for security purposes

    check out All in One WP Security & Firewall

  • WP Hide & Security Enhancer

    Starting price: $39

    One of my personal favorites, the WP Hide & Security Enhancer is a plugin designed to keep the essential files hidden from potential attackers. The plugin uses .htaccess rewrites in order to change the names and paths to images, files, admin permalinks and even root files or folders.

    This practice will change the structure your website and won't give any hints whatsoever that your website is running on WordPress.

    Besides that, WP Hide will remove all the WordPress specific meta data which is usually included in the contents of every WordPress site.

    The best part is that no file or folder will be moved, but the plugin will use .htaccess rewrites to alter the paths.

      Pros

    • Change the wp-admin folder name and login URL
    • Change the themes / plugins folder name
    • Change the style.css name
    • Meta cleanup

      Cons

    • No firewall or malware scanner included

    check out WP Hide & Security Enhancer

  • JetPack - VaultPress

    Starting price: $39 / year

    VaultPress

    VaultPress is a plugin developed by the WordPress creators (Automattic) is a highly reliable security and backup plugin that now is part of the larger family pack JetPack.

    JetPack is VaultPress + many more improvements and tools that help you keep your website at the highest performance and security.

    The JetPack plugin will monitor your website 24/7 and will notify you whenever something suspicious is happening on your site. The even greater part is that JetPack can restore your WordPress website to previous states of your choice.

    In the package you'll find an advanced brute force prevention tool, a spam filter and a way to keep malware injections away.

    As a means to improve security & performance, JetPack also includes image CDN, video CDN and lazy loaders for images.

    To go one step further, the plugin also integrates a traffic and website monitor alongsite promotion tools.

    Overall JetPack is the most complete WordPress plugin for Security and Performance.

      Pros

    • Malware protection and scanner
    • World-class support from WordPress professionals
    • Data restore and rewind functions

    check out JetPack - VaultPress

  • Defender Pro

    Defender Pro is a massive security plugin for WordPress developed by the creators of Smush image compression. They are well renown for offering the top-notch WordPress experience and security is no exception for them.

    Defender Pro is a solution used by over 100,000 WordPress websites keeping them safe no matter what.

    The plugin does this by using brute force lockout techniques, it limits the number of login attemps and blocks attackers who want to guess your user passwords.

    The file change monitor will scan for unwanted file changes and if new files were added to your core WordPress website. If that happens, the plugin automatically deletes them.

    Defender will block every attempt that scanning bots make when they want to find vulnerabilities by returning a 404 not found page.

    Everything is logged in an audit log and you will get email notifications whenever your site is facing vulnerabilities or hacking issues.

      Pros

    • IP lockout and brute force prevention
    • Blacklist monitor and 2-factor authentication
    • Backup and restore any point using Snapshot (cloud backups)

    check out Defender Pro

  • BulletProof Security

    Bulletproof Security plugin

    Bulletproof Security is a free WordPress plugin that comes with great solutions to eradicate malware and login security issues. The plugin is active on over 70.000 websites and has an average rating of 5 starts out of 5.

    Bulletproof includes a firewall and db-backup solutions that are working in sync with an awesome anti-spam solution.

    The plugin has support for malware scan and advanced logging for HTTP errors and security threads.

    Bulletproof can be downloaded from the official WordPress repository for free.

      Pros

    • .htaccess protection (firewalls)
    • Security logs and HTTP error logging
    • Malware scanner & quarantine for intrusions
    • Real time file monitor (IDPS)
    • Database monitoring and cleaning

    check out BulletProof Security

  • WebARX

    Starting price: $14.99 / month

    WebARX

    A premium plugin, a new entry in the WordPress world but a powerful solution to fight against malicious software and unwanted intrusions.

    WebARX is a complete web application firewall (WAF) that offers 24/7 monitoring and security based on WordPress hardening.

    WebARX will keep an eye on the expiration date of SSL and domains so you keep these updated and will also allow you to implement 2 Factor Authentication and generate backups with ease.

    What we also like about WebARX is the security reports (whitelabelling) and the cloud dashboard.

      Pros

    • Cloud dashboard
    • Remote plugin management
    • Malware and attack prevention
    • Generates PDF security reports
    • Automatic cloud-backups with restore capability

    check out WebARX

  • SecuPress

    SecuPress is a powerful security solution for WordPress designed to block any attempt at intrusion on your website. The plugin comes bundled with an IP blocking system, XML-RPC and Rest API management and anti brute force logins.

    The premium version of SecuPress also includes a detector for vulnerabilities inside plugins and themes, PHP Malware scanner and email notifications and alerts whenever some unusual activity is detected.


      Pros

    • PHP Malware scan
    • Scheduled tasks
    • PDF reports
    • Move wp-admin login page

    check out SecuPress

Honorable Mentions

  • What is WordPress hardening?

    WordPress hardening refers to the ability to enhance the security of your WordPress website. This can be achieved using different methods. However, the most common methods include IP blocking, implementing 2-Factor Authentication, preventing brute-force attacks, including honeypot forms in your website, eliminating malware software and PHP injection etc.
  • Why use a WordPress security plugin?

    The answer is simple. While WordPress offers a powerful and secure code by default, every second a website around the world is hacked. Hackers become smarter and security measures have to be strengthen whenever possible. A security plugin ensures that your online business is safe and nobody can infiltrate it.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may contain affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, we may earn comissions if you click and make a purchase.
Last updated on