Security is an important part of any website, especially eCommerce sites which include a lot of information such as customers’ private data, address, phone number, and bank account. Because it helps to secure and keeps your site safe and protects your website from hacking. Therefore if you are running a WordPress eCommerce website, you should install a security plugin to check your website for you. In this article, we are giving you a collection of the top 10 Best Free WordPress Security Plugins 2021 and also make a general comparison of them for you to choose the best one to install on your eCommerce site.
Why Should You Use a Security Plugin for Your WordPress Site?
Approximately 18.5 million websites are infected with malware at any given time each week. An average site gets hacked 44 times per day, including WordPress and non-WordPress sites.
A security breach on your WordPress website can cause some severe damage to your business:
- Hackers can steal your data or one belonging to your users and customers.
- A compromised website can be used to spread malicious code to unsuspecting users and other sites.
- You may lose your data, lose access to your site, or get locked out. Or your data may be held hostage.
- Your website may be destroyed or deleted, affecting your SEO rankings and brand reputation.
To avoid being hacked, you need to follow security best practices to protect your WordPress site. And one of the most crucial steps is to use a WordPress security plugin. It helps you increase the security of WordPress while preventing brute-force attacks on your site.
Features That A Powerful and Free WordPress Security Plugin Should Have
Before moving on to the top free WordPress security plugins, let’s quickly learn what features they should have.
In our opinion, a good free WordPress security plugin needs to have the following features and functionalities:
- Complete malware, virus, and spam detection
- Protect login page
- Keep your WordPress site secure yet fast
- The ability to quickly fix the website before it is suspended or blacklisted
- Ability to block malware traffic through a strong firewall
- No limits for virus or malware removal
- Measures to strengthen security
- Fast and positive customer feedback
- Multiple website management capabilities via a single dashboard
10 Best Free WordPress Security Plugins to Protect Your Site in 2022
Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 best free WordPress security plugins and how they can protect your website.
|WordPress Security Plugins||Rating||Active Installations||Pro Version|
|WordFence security||4.8/5 (3,571 reviews)||3 millions+||Starting at $99|
|iThemes Security||4.7/5 (3,830 reviews)||900,000+||Starting at $80|
|BulletProof security||4.8/5 (535 reviews)||60,000+||Starting at $69.95|
|Shield security||4.9/5 (916 reviews)||80,000+||Starting at $12|
|MalCare security||4.3/5 (137 reviews)||20,000+||Starting at $99|
|Sucuri security||4.4/5 (337 reviews)||700,000+||Starting at $199.99|
|Cerber security||4.9/5 (466 reviews)||100,000+||Starting at $29|
|All In One WP Security & Firewall||4.9/5 (1000+ reviews)||900,000+||Free|
|Jetpack||4.0 (1,600+ reviews)||5 millions+||Starting at $96|
|WP Fail2ban||4.6/5 (54 reviews)||60,000+||Free|
Note: You only need to use one plugin from this list. Having multiple active plugins from this list may result in errors.
The first solution you can choose to tackle all WordPress security issues in your eCommerce site is Wordfence Security which is considered one of the most popular WordPress security plugins in the market. It is an all-in-one security plugin and offers a complete service of protecting your website from most security vulnerabilities.
- WordPress firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic before it attacks your site
- WordPress security scanner: Malware scanning to check files, plugins, and themes before they’re uploaded
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) and logging in limitations to avoid brute force attacks
- Efficiently assess the security status of all your websites in one view. View detailed security findings without leaving Wordfence Central.
- Track visits and hack attempts in real-time
- Help you to create a strong password, instead of the weak one.
One minus point of Wordfence is that it runs on your own server, so it could slow your site a little bit at least.
Wordfence comes in both free and pro plans. The free plugin includes a web application firewall to track and prevent harmful traffic, and a malware scanner to check your files for malware, backdoors, and other security vulnerabilities.
“For clients looking for a free and dependable WordPress security plugin, Wordfence fits the bill,” shared Donald Chan, a founder at IMPACT
If you want to get advanced functionalities like Real-time malware signature updates via the Threat Defense Feed, and Real-time IP Blacklist, etc, you have to upgrade the plugin to the next level at a relatively affordable price. You can start the premium version of Wordfence at $99 per year to get more frequent scans, spam protection, and other advanced features.
Another free WordPress security plugin is iThemes Security. This free security plugin for WordPress gives the users more than 30 ways to protect their eCommerce WordPress site by fixing common security vulnerabilities, helps users choose strong passwords, stop automated attacks, and more security features. Plus, there is a security checklist in the plugin dashboard for you to maintain your website more easily.
This is an easy-to-use plugin coming with 1-click installation and easy customization; therefore, every WordPress users can easily use it, even the beginners. Unlike Wordfence, it does not include a firewall but offers malware scanning and lots of useful features as below.
- Two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security
- Powerful password enforcement
- 404 detection and plugin scans
- Scheduled WordPress backups
- Locks out any suspicious IP that makes harm on your site
- Sends email alerts to notify you of any recent file updates on your site that may be malicious
- Ability to limit login attempts
Like WordFence, iThemes also provides users with both free and pro services. Although the free version includes some basic security features, you should upgrade to iThemes Security Pro to unlock more advanced features like ticketed support, one year of plugin updates, and support for two websites. The pro plans start at $80 per year. If you’d like to protect more sites, you need to upgrade the plugin to the next levels.
The third plugin that protects your website from WordPress security vulnerabilities is BulletProof.
Although BulletProof is not so perfect and does not provide a full set of WordPress security checklist as other plugins, it offers you some basic security features for free, and has some of the most unique advanced security tools on the market, with features like Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (ARQ IDPS) encrypting solution. That’s why it’s listed in this collection and worth installing in your eCommerce site.
- Malware scanner
- Login Security
- DB Backup
- Database backups
- A somewhat easy-to-use setup wizard
- Send email notifications to the users if they get locked out from failed login attempts
BulletProof comes in both free and paid versions. As mentioned earlier, the free version plugin provides users with basic features. To access advanced features like One-Click Setup Wizard, AutoRestore Intrusion Detection & Prevention System, Real-time File Monitor, and much more, you need to upgrade to a premium plan starting at $69.95 for a single site for a year.
Shield Security is a free security plugin for WordPress that automatically scans and protects your site in a silent way by lowering alerts and notifications to the minimum.
It comes with a guided configuration wizard so you can easily install and customize the plugin on your site. This free WordPress security plugin notices you the list of potential security issues that can be found in your eCommerce site and offers basic website security solutions to them.
- Shield Security Settings Import & Export
- Themes & Plugins Vulnerability Scanner
- Limiting logging in attempts to protect your website from Automatic Brute-Force attacks done by bots
- Automatically blacklists offending IP addresses
- Detection of harmful file changes by scanning WordPress core files
- Built-in Automatic SPAM protection
- 2-Factor Authentication via email and Google Authenticator app
Like other plugins in the list, Shield security also comes in both free and paid versions. To unlock advanced functionalities, you need to install the Shield pro plan starting at a very reasonable price of $12 for a single site for a year.
The next option in the list of best free WordPress security plugins 2021 is MalCare. The plugin works as a security plugin and a firewall and offers a built-in login protection system that protects your WordPress eCommerce site from most security issues.
- Scans your site’s code against 100 signals of malicious code automatically on a daily basis.
- Monitor all traffic including visits, login attempts, and errors, and stores them in the database.
- Make an annual-scan anytime easily with a single click.
- Keep track of file modifications to detect the malicious activity of malware and viruses early.
- Collect, analyze, and use the data on regular intervals from all websites to prevent malicious attacks.
Furthermore, MalCare also includes an intelligent, rule-based firewall, and performs security processes on its servers; hence, the plugin will not affect your website’s performance and speed.
The plugin comes with both free and pro plan. But if you need more advanced features like automatic malware removals, integrated offsite backups, you have to purchase the premium MalCare service starting at $99 per year.
The next choice in the collection of the best free WordPress security plugins is Sucuri. It is the all-in-one security solution that is wildly popular and globally recognized authority in all matters related to website security, with a specialization in WordPress Security.
It offers a full set of security checklists including activity auditing and file integrity monitoring, which helps you monitor what’s happening on your eCommerce site. Moreover, the plugin provides you with basic malware scanning and many other functionalities mentioned below.
- Security Activity Auditing
- File Integrity monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning (front-end scans for free or server-level scanning in the premium version)
- Security notifications
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Website firewall (WAF) (premium version only)
Most of these features are offered for free. But if you want to access some features like the website firewall, server-level scanning, and more, you’ll need to pay for the advanced version starting at $199.99 per year to access the full Sucuri platform.
The last but not least solution in the list of best free security plugins is Cerber that can secure your WordPress website by limiting login attempts, scanning your site files, and folders for malware.
- Protect WordPress from harmful attacks, spam, trojans, and malware.
- Mitigates brute force attacks by limiting logging in through the login form, XML-RPC / REST API requests, or using auth cookies.
- Use flexible email, mobile and desktop notifications to tracks user and bad actors activity.
- Use a specialized Cerber’s anti-spam engine and Google reCAPTCHA to protect registration, contact, and comments forms to stop spams.
- Advanced malware scanner, integrity checker, and file monitor.
- Secure WordPress website with a set of flexible security rules and sophisticated security algorithms.
- Restricts access with Black and White IP Access Lists.
You can get basic security protections like local security protection, and automated spam protection with Cerber free plugin; however, to access pro features, you need to upgrade to the premium plan at the price of $29 per site per quarterly.
All in One WP Security & Firewall
Another awesome WordPress security plugin is the All In One WP Security & Firewall which gives you a strong barrier preventing malicious attacks from your eCommerce site.
The plugin offers users various awesome features ranging from the most basic to more premium ones, for you to secure your site.
- Enable manual approval of WordPress user accounts
- Add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captcha and Honeypot to the user registration page to fight against brute force login attacks.
- Add firewall protection to your site via an htaccess file that stops malicious scripts on your site.
- Prevent comments that don’t originate from your domain, reducing SPAM comments posting on your site.
- Scan your WordPress site and notify you if there are any files changing in your WordPress system.
Interestingly, All in One WP Security & Firewall offers such awesome features to protect your WooCommerce site without any fee. You can easily download it from the WordPress plugin repository.
Jetpack is a WooCommerce security plugin that makes your WordPress eCommerce sites safer and faster, helping you grow your traffic.
This security plugin can monitor your WooCommerce site and protect your site from brute force attacks, remove spam comments, and send you a notification if there are any suspicious activities happening.
The plugin includes a huge variety of modules that add various features to enhance customer engagement in your site. But in this article, I just mention the security-related functionalities you can activate to secure your WooCommerce store.
- Protect your site from brute force login attempts.
- Checks your site every 5 minutes and inform you when there is a security issue.
- Prevent malware from your WooCommerce site and protect it with automated resolution.
- Automatically backup your entire site.
- Check all content on your store and filter out all spam on your comments, contact, and product review forms.
Like other plugins, Jetpack is maintained and updated frequently. They’re also constantly adding more and more features to the plugin.
Regarding pricing, you can get the basic feature of the Jetpack plugin without any fee. If you want to reach more powerful security features such as malware scanning, scheduled website backups, and restoration, you need to install the paid versions of Jetpack with the price starting at nearly $8 per month.
The next plugin in this collection is WP fail2ban offfering a different approach that is more effective than what you get from the security suite plugins listed above. WPf2b is designed with three fail2ban filters: wordpress-hard.conf, wordpress-soft.conf, and wordpress-extra.conf, which gives you 2 options to secure your WordPress site, namely immediate banning (hard ban) and the traditional approach – soft ban, with lots of extra rules for further customizations.
- Provide users with hard or soft blocks.
- Work smoothly with CloudFlare and proxy servers.
- Log comments to remove spam or malicious comments from your site.
- Log information about spam, pingbacks, and user enumeration.
- Allow users to create a shortcode that blocks users immediately before even having a chance to reach the login process.
WP Fail2ban is an open-source project. It is updated day by day and has received a lot of contributions from the community. You can use all features above for free.
Conclusion on Top best free WordPress Security plugins
These are the best WordPress security plugins offered for free. With such useful extensions, you can easily protect your eCommerce sites from security issues like Brute force attacks, file inclusion exploits, SQL injections, malware, etc. Hopefully, this article will help you and suggest to you the most suitable solution to securing and maintaining your eCommerce website.
Also, if you have any other plugins that you think can be included in the collection, please let me know in the comment section below.