6 Best WordPress Firewall Plugins (Compared)
Are you worried that hackers are trying to break into your website?
We wish we could tell you that there is no need to worry but the truth is that it’s totally possible that hackers are looking for ways to gain access to your website. In fact, over 90,000 hack attempts are made on WordPress sites every minute.
Once your website is hacked, hackers use it to execute malicious activities that will damage your website.
Your website will become slow, you will start losing traffic and then your search engine ranking will take a hit. This will inevitably affect your revenue collection. Moreover, things can snowball further and Google may blacklist your site and your hosting provider may suspend your WordPress site.
Needless to say, it’s important to secure WordPress websites and one of the best ways to do that is by using a firewall. A WordPress firewall will block malicious traffic from accessing your site, therefore, deflecting any hacking attempt.
In this article, we’ll show you the top WordPress firewall plugins that you can use to protect your website today.
What is a WordPress Firewall?
Using a firewall is one of the oldest ways to protect a system from hack attempts.
Many of you may already know that firewalls protect your computer, even your smartphone from hack attacks.
When it comes to websites, firewalls help protect a website from hackers and bots. It investigates traffic, identifies bad traffic, and blocks it from accessing your website, therefore, it prevents any incoming attacks.
By using a firewall, you can ensure that only good traffic, i.e. traffic without any malicious intent can access your website.
WordPress firewalls (as the term implies), are designed specifically for WordPress websites. They are customized with rules tailored specifically to thwart attacks that are launched at WordPress websites.
There are two types of WordPress firewalls. Those are:
- Plugin-based Firewall
- Cloud-based Firewall
1. Plugin-based Firewall
A plugin-based firewall can be easily installed on a WordPress site, just like any other plugin. As traffic requests pour in, the plugin investigates the traffic, following which the traffic is either blocked or allowed to proceed to the website.
2. Cloud-based Firewall
Cloud-based firewalls which, as the name suggests, are installed on a cloud-based data center that is external to your website. Traffic coming to your website is first sent to that remote data where they are investigated. Good traffic is sent back to your website and the bad ones are promptly blocked.
As you can imagine, installing a plugin-based firewall is easy. But setting a cloud firewall involves a few steps. You will need to configure the firewall to ensure that the incoming traffic is sent to the data center and not your website server. It’s not a complicated process and generally, the firewall offers step-by-step instructions on how to do that.
To further understand how the firewalls are different from one another, let’s use an analogy.
Imagine your website as your house which has implemented two types of protections.
It has a security guard deployed at the door and there are high walls surrounding the house to keep intruders out. The wall is the type of protection that a cloud-based firewall provides. And the security guard offers the type of protection a plugin-based firewall provides.
Besides preventing malicious traffic, WordPress firewall can be configured to meet the security needs of your WordPress website. For instance, you can configure your firewall so that a user can only spend a few minutes on the WordPress login page. In this way, you can prevent specific kinds of attacks like brute force attacks from compromising your website.
How Does a WordPress Firewall Work?
The sole focus of a WordPress firewall is to protect your website from a hack attack. Firewalls do this by taking the following steps –
→ Typically, they sit in front of your website server to review the incoming traffic.
→ Every firewall comes with a list of known malicious IP addresses. Every device connected to the internet has a unique identification code called an IP address. When someone tries to access your site, the firewall checks their IP address against its list to see if it has a malicious history.
→ If it’s a match, the traffic request is immediately blocked.
→ Besides known malicious IPs, the firewall has certain rules via which it determines new threats. When it finds a new threat, the firewall adds it to its list so that when the malicious IP launches an attack on your WordPress website again, it is promptly blocked.
In this way, the firewall protects your WordPress website.
Now let’s look at the best WordPress application firewalls that you can install on your site.
Top WordPress Firewall Plugins
There are plenty of WordPress firewall plugins to choose from. We have tried out some of the most popular plugins for WordPress websites and selected the following plugins as the most effective ones. Here are the best top WordPress firewall plugins –
1. MalCare Security & Firewall Plugin
MalCare offers a powerful WordPress firewall that provides real-time protection to your website. The firewall comes with a pattern detection technology that can detect and automatically block all kinds of malicious visitors and bad bots. The firewall works around the clock so your website stays protected at all times.
- Analyses Every Single Visitor
- Automatically Blocks Bad Bots & Malicious Traffic
- Detects New Types of Malicious Traffic
- Records Details of Traffic Requests
- Allows Whitelisting Blocked Traffic
- Automatic Functions: The firewall is automatically enabled once you install the plugin on your website. Not just that, the plugin identifies malicious traffic and automatically. prevents it from accessing your website.
- Enables Whitelisting Traffic: If you want to unblock a specific IP address which the firewall is blocking, you can do that by selecting ‘add to whitelist’.
You will find MalCare firewall in both the free and premium versions. The premium plan starts at $99 per year for a single site.
Sucuri Security offers a cloud-based firewall which means you will need to take steps to configure it properly. The firewall is popular for protecting websites against DDoS attacks and preventing downtime.
- Instantly Block Hackers
- Protects Against DDoS Attack
- Protects Site Against All Known-Attacks (like SQL injection, etc)
- Mitigates New Threats
- DDoS Attack Mitigation: Hackers launch DDoS attacks by sending thousands of traffic requests to your website. This causes your website to overload and crash. Sucuri prevents this by identifying and blocking such traffic requests before they reach your site.
- Offers SSL Certificate: The plugin will automatically install an SSL certificate on your website. You can also upload your own custom SSL certificates.
Sucuri’s WAF comes in both free and premium versions. But the firewall is available only on the premium version which starts at $199.99 per year for a single site.
3. Ninja Firewall
Most of the plugins in our list are WordPress security plugins, and the firewall is only a part of the wide array of security features they offer. But NinjaFirewall is designed to do one thing only – provide firewall protection.
- Detects and Blocks Malicious Traffic
- Import NinjaFirewall Configuration
- Blocks Direct Request to WordPress Folders (like wp-admin, wp-config, etc)
- File Changes Monitoring: The security solution detects suspicious activities on any PHP files (which can be used to execute malicious activities) and alerts you about it.
- Disallow File Uploads: Hackers may upload malicious files on your website via vulnerable input fields like the comment section or contact form. You can prevent this from happening by disallowing file uploads.
You will find NinjaFirewall in both free and pro versions. The premium plan starts at $45 per year for a single site.
4. Shield Security
Shield Security comes with a highly configurable firewall. Moreover, the plugin developer ensures that when the firewall is processing traffic requests, it’s doing so without impacting the website’s functions.
- Configurable Firewall Rules
- Whitelist IPs, Pages, Parameters, & Users to By-Pass Firewall
- Customizable Firewall Block Response
- Email Report: You can configure the plugin to get email reports on the traffic that the firewall blocks.
- Blocks Executable File Uploads: If you have input fields on your websites like the contact form or comment section, hackers can use it to upload malicious files. To prevent this from happening, you block uploads of certain types of harmful files.
You will find Shield Security in both free and premium versions. The premium plan starts at $29 per year for a single site.
5. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security is another popular WordPress plugin that offers a firewall to protect your site. BulletProof Security dashboard is not the most user-friendly. Many of you may find it difficult to understand what to do so we recommend getting in touch with the developers.
- Protects Site Against All Known-Attacks (like SQL injection, etc)
- Protects WordPress Plugin Files & Folders
- Automated Whitelisting & IP Address Updating in Real-time
- Blocks Malicious Hack Attempts: Instead of attempting to block an individual hacker, this plugin focuses on bad actions. For instance, even if it’s a clean IP address that has no malicious history, the plugin will detect its activity and block all SQL injections or brute force attacks.
- Security Logs: The plugin gives you details on all the hackers and bots they have blocked.
Bulletproof Security comes in both free and premium versions. But the firewall is available only on the premium version which starts at $69.95.
Unlike other services in the list, Cloudflare is not a plugin. In fact, it’s a CDN service that offers a firewall for website protection.
- Apply Custom Criterias to Block or Allow Requests
- Different Security Levels
- Protects Against DDoS and Brute-Force Attack
- Protecting Input Fields: The firewall also extends protection to input fields like comments, user registration, contact form on your website.
- Firewall Event Logs: You can see all the actions that the firewall is taking which include all the traffic that was blocked and allowed.
The free Cloudflare service includes basic DDoS protection but to access the firewall, you need to sign up for the Pro Plan which starts at $20.
That’s if folks. With that, we have come to the end of the listicle on the best WordPress firewall.
The services we have listed offer the best firewall protection. And we are confident that if you implement any of the services your website will be much safer than before.
That said, it’s important to know that using a firewall is just one of the many steps you need to take to ensure that your website is protected. Using a WP security plugin like MalCare is the best way to do that.
MalCare comes with a security scanner using which you can scan your website on a daily basis. It’ll also help you implement site security hardening and login protection measures. MalCare protects your site round the clock so your site is always secure against hackers.
Try MalCare Security Plugin Right Now!
Pritesh is a WordPress enthusiast, and enjoys sharing their experience with fellow enthusiasts. On the MalCare blog, Pritesh distils the wisdom gained from building plugins to solve security issues that admins face.