Looking for the best firewall plugin for your WordPress website? WordPress firewall plugins protect your site from hacking attacks, brute force, and distributed denial of service (DDoS). In this post, we’ll compare the best firewall plugins in WordPress, and how they match up against each other.
What is a WordPress Firewall Plugin?
A WordPress firewall plugin (also known as a firewall or WAF web application), serves as a barrier between your website and all incoming traffic. These firewalls of this web application track your website traffic and block several rising security threats until they hit your WordPress pages.
Apart from greatly enhancing your security with WordPress, these web application firewalls can often speed up your website and improve performance.
There are two common types of plugins with WordPress firewall.
DNS Level Website Firewall-These firewalls route your website traffic via their cloud proxy servers. This allows them to send only legitimate traffic to your webserver.
Application Level Firewall – These firewall plugins scan the traffic once it reaches your server but before loading most WordPress scripts. This approach is not as effective as firewall level DNS in raising server load.
We recommend using a DNS level firewall, as it is exceptionally good to identify genuine website traffic vs. bad requests.
They do this by monitoring thousands of websites, analyzing patterns, scanning for botnets, documented bad IPs, and blocking access to pages your users would usually never ask for.
Not to mention, the website firewalls at the DNS level significantly reduce the load on your WordPress hosting server which ensures that your website does not go down.
Having said that, let ‘s take a look at the best firewall plugins in WordPress that you can use to secure your site.
Sucuri is WordPress’ leading Website security service. They provide firewall level DNS, intrusion and brute force protection, as well as elimination of malware and blacklist services.
All traffic on your website goes through their cloudproxy servers, where every request is checked. Legitimate traffic is enabled to move through, and it blocks all malicious requests.
Sucuri also increases the performance of your website by reducing the server load through caching optimization, website acceleration, and (all included) Anycast CDN. It defends the website against all documented threats, including SQL Injections, XSS, RCE, RFU.
It is relatively quick to set up their WAF. You will need to add a DNS A record to your domain, and point it to the cloudproxy of Sucuri instead of your website.
We use Sucuri at WPBeginner to boost our protection over WordPress. See how Sucuri helped us block 450,000 attacks on WordPress in 3 months.
Pricing: Billed annually starting from $199.99 / year.
2. MaxCDN (StackPath)
MaxCDN (now a member of the StackPath family) is one of the industry’s leading firewall providers for CDN protection and web application. By design, their robust framework provides support for the Layer 3 and 4 DDoS on all plans.
The WAF StackPath provides support for Layer 7 DDoS to the domains that are under its support. Like Sucuri, this is a DNS level firewall that not only lets you speed up your website but also defends you from malicious attacks.
StackPath does not offer an application-level firewall as they do not have a WordPress plugin which is why they are # 2 after Sucuri in our list. Yet their plans for small businesses are more affordable and featured-packed compared to Cloudflare. (our #3 ranked provider).
Pricing: They offer a free trial for 1 month and after that pricing begins at $20 a month which is enough for most WordPress small business websites.
Cloudflare is best known for its free CDN service that also provides basic DDoS security. But their free plan does not include a firewall for website use. You need to sign up for their Pro plan for WAF. Cloudflare is also a firewall on the DNS level which means your traffic passes through your network. This will improve your website performance and reduce downtime in the event of unusually high traffic.
The Pro plan contains only DDoS protection against attacks on layer 3. You would need their business strategy, at least, to defend against advanced DDoS layer 5 and 7 attacks.
Cloudflare has its pros, including CDN, caching, and a bigger server network. The downside is they don’t offer security scans, malware protection, blacklist removal, security notifications, and alerts at the application level. They ‘re also not tracking the WordPress site for file changes and other rising security risks to WordPress.
Pricing: for Pro plan starting at $20 / month and for Business at $200 / month.
4. Wordfence Security
Wordfence is a common WordPress security plugin with a built-in firewall feature for the website. It tracks the malware, file updates, SQL injections and more on your WordPress domain. It also defends your site from DDoS attacks and brute force attacks.
Wordfence is an application level firewall that will trigger firewall on your server and block bad traffic after it hits your server but before loading your website.
This isn’t the most effective way of blocking attacks. Huge numbers of bad requests keep rising the demand on your server. WordPress does not come with a content delivery network ( CDN) because it’s an application level firewall.
Wordfence comes with security scans on request, as well as planned scans. It also lets you track traffic manually and block suspicious-looking IPs directly from your WordPress admin field.
See our guide on how to install and set up Wordfence protection in WordPress for more detail on Wordfence.
You just need the Premium edition to get your sophisticated application level firewall.
Basic module pricing is Unlimited. Premium edition pricing for a single site license starts from $99 / year.