iThemes Security Vs Wordfence (2022) Which One Should You Use?

Looking for the best comparison between iThemes Security vs Wordfence for adding strong security layers to prevent your WordPress site from hacking or any malicious attacks? This battle of comparison between iThemes and Wordfence will be your right direction to choose the best one.

There are lots of free and premium WordPress security plugins. So you can use any of them, but using the best one is a major concern. Before going to invest money in a WordPress security plugin, consider which is the best in 2022.

In this post, I’ll guide you thoroughly, which security plugin is suitable for your website. Also, I’ll compare these security plugins from several parameters.

So to get a rational idea of which is the best, read this comparison between iThemes security pro vs Wordfence pro first to last.

So, let’s get started!

Read: Perfmatters plugin review; #1 WordPress Speed Optimizing plugin

iThemes Security Vs Wordfence – Quick Comparisoin Chart of Difference & Similarity

This is a comparison chart of iThemes security vs Wordfence. Here I’ve shared only highlighted features. But both plugins have more features than this comparison. So knowing about all features, you can visit their official website.

FeaturesiThemes SecurityWordfence
Free and Paid
Block Bad Users
Block Targeted Users or IP
404 Detection
Hide login/admin URL
Change WordPress salts & keys
Away Mode
Database Backup
File Change Detection
Remove Windows Live Write header information
Remove RSD header info
Rename ‘admin’ account
Change WordPress database table prefix
Change wp-content path
Force SSL for any post, page, or admin page
Turn off file editing in WordPress admin
Local brute force protection
Network brute force protection
XML-RPC brute force protection
Email Notifications
Security logs
Strong Password Enforcement
Malware Scan
Two-Factor Authentication
File Permission Check
Scheduled Malware Scanning
User Action Logging
Password Expiration
Passwordless Login
Bypass Lockouts with Magic Links
Web Application Firewall
Monitor live traffic
Content safety checks
Country blocking
Checks your site for known security vulnerabilities
Repair files
Rate Limiting

iThemes Security Vs Wordfence–Overview

Before sharing a depth comparison between iThemes Security & WordFence, you should have some idea about these plugins.

Here I’ve mainly compared their pro features and benefits, including price. So let’s start…

What Is ITheme Security?

iThemes Security is a premium WordPress security plugin, a product of iThemes Media LLC. WordPress sites are usually an easy target for hackers because of vulnerabilities and other malicious activists. That’s why it takes various measures to protect a WordPress site.

The iThemes Security plugin can tackle over 40+ vulnerabilities and can also fix common holes and build user satisfaction. iThemes is easy to use and very beginner-friendly; that can configure any newbies.

Besides, it allows synchronizing with multiple websites using the iThemes Sync add-on, which is also premium. This add-on helps you operate multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard.

Overall, this security plugin is lightweight, well-coded & suitable for every website owner, and it completely helps to protect WordPress sites from unwanted hacks.

Check iThemes Security Pro

What Is WordFence?

Wordfence is another WordPress security plugin developed by DEFIANT INC. It has gathered over 2 million dynamic users. It’s trendy and famous for several reasons.

The plugin is easy to use & effortless to set up. Although a few options require some manual configurations, it gives you a powerful server-side scanner feature. Also, it scans entire WordPress installation, and the process is quite excellent.

Wordfence provides a highly secure web application firewall, which operates at the endpoint. Also, it ensures better server security with better protection than other cloud firewalls.

It also comes with a Wordfence central dashboard that you can easily use to configure the whole settings with no knowledge. Even it allows you to track multiple sites and events.

Check Wordfence Pro

iThemes Security Vs. Wordfence – Features

I’ll not include all features of iThemes here. But I’ve shared only features that I can’t avoid.

Core Features Of IThemes Security Pro

  • Enforces a strong password: It’s safe to have a strong password to avoid a security breach when you want the best security. You might choose a strong password as an owner, but your contributor may like to keep it simple.
iThemes Security Vs Wordfence (2022) Which One Should You Use? 1

According to the WordPress password meter, you can force your editors, authors, and subscribers to keep their passwords.

  • Sends detailed security reports to the email: It sends all the failed login, file changes, and blocked user reports directly to your email.
  • Google Recaptcha in login, registration, and comment form: ReCaptcha is one of the best ways to save your website from spamming.
ithemes security google recaptcha setting

You can set Google reCaptcha to block bots from accessing your website.

  • Locks out users having too many failed login attempts or 404 errors: This feature is awesome to block hackers or bots to safeguard your website. You can set a timer for how many times a bot can crawl within your preferred time. You can use this feature wisely because this can block the search engine bots by taking them into spam.
  • Two-factor authentication: It’s a feature that gives an extra security layer and Short-term privilege intensification. This can save the user’s account and the website if the password is compromised.

The plugin will send an OTP after logging in with the password. The account owner will get that through an email that ensures no one can log in to the website unless they have access to the email.

Besides the OTP, you can also set up backup codes if the email account is compromised. iThemes Security supports Authy, Google Authenticator, Topper, and FreeOTP. You can set time-sensitive codes to make sure the website is well secured. You can also track users when they edit content, login, or log out from the site.

ithemes two-factor authentication
  • Notification Center: The notification center will send everything that happens on your website as mail to your admin email.
ithemes notification center

You can set your sender email to ensure you get notifications from your website. Otherwise, keep it blank, and WordPress will send the mail from the default email.

  • Away Mode: If you are concerned about your WordPress website getting hacked while away, this feature will come in handy. You can set up a certain time lock for your WordPress dashboard.

So none can access your WordPress dashboard when “away mode” is activated. This adds up to one more security if you want to monitor your website manually.

  • File Permissions: It shows WordPress’s files and directories to run the website. You can see the warning and risk of the file being tampered with from this panel.
  • Database Backups: If you ever feel you need to install a database backup plugin for your website, iThemes Security already provides you with that feature. You can decide what you need and what you want to exclude from taking a backup.
ithemes database backup
  • SSL Configuration: With this configuration, you can force your users to visit your website’s “https” version.
  • File Change Detection: One of the coolest features for nerdy users. If you use plugins that are not downloaded from a trusted source, it can detect any changes. If anyone changes any file on your WordPress, it will directly email you about the change. It will save you from both data theft and potential hacking.
  • Network Brute Force Protection: With Brute Force Protection, you can ban users who want to get into your website admin panel by guessing the password. You can set the maximum number of times any user can attempt to log in. Also, you can set the time for remaining blocked before trying again.
  • System Tweaks: This setting saves your system files such as .htacess, readme.txt, readme.xml, etc. These files store important details on your website. It can also prevent editing or executing PHP files on plugins and themes. This feature can save your site from phishing links if the theme or plugin has a malicious PHP script.
  • Bypass lockouts using a Magic Link: You can use the magic link feature to bypass lockouts for additional security. It’ll activate after a certain time when it detects the user is inactive or have suspicious activity.
ithemes magic links
  • Real-time overview of the security activity
  • User Security Check: You can set the user security parameter for your users. The plugin will send users an automatic email to add more security layers with a password.
  • Trusted Devices (Beta): Your website can be secured as high as possible, yet it can be hacked due to the user’s fault. If any user’s data is still compromised, this plugin can save you from hackers.
  • You can set up the trusted devices and lock unauthorized logins.
  • Automatic Database backup: You can schedule automatic database backup and the duration for taking the next backup.
  • Hide Login URL: Usually, all WP websites will have the “wp-admin” or “admin” in the login URL slug. The first thing any hacker or spammer will try to exploit is that common feature. You can change your login URL slug with iThemes Security to save your website from spammers.
ithemes hide login URL
  • Settings Import and Export & more: Sometimes, situations may arrive when you will need to clean up your site for some reason. You won’t want to start things from scratch if you already have an established website. The import and export setting will save you a lot of time and effort if you ever need to go that path.

Read iThemes Security Pro Review

Core Features Of WordFence Security Plugin

  • Scans public configurations efficiently.
  • A well-customized firewall suite: The plugin includes country blocking, manual blocking, real-time threat defense, and brute force protection features.
  • Real-time monitoring: It prevents hack attempts, including their source, IP address, time of the day, and time spent.
  • Site-wide firewall to guard you against global threats: The firewall of Wordfence runs on the endpoint of your hosting. It gives 85% more protection than normal to user identity and works as a scanner. The firewall works by implementing deep integration into your WordPress website. You can rely on encryption because it won’t leak any password or user data.
wordfence firewall report
  • Live Traffic: It is a controlling tool that enables you to analyze activity on your site in real-time, including traffic not shown by Google Analytics and other Javascript loggers. Using this feature, you can monitor any bot or hacker attack that doesn’t appear in analytic tools. You can block the hacker attack manually by blocking the IP.
  • Two-factor authentication: The feature gives an extra security layer. Two Factor Authentication works with TOPT tools like Google Authenticator, FreeOTP, etc. You can scan the QR code with your phone or directly put the keys.
Wordfence two factor authentication
  • Leaked PW protection: It’s a very cool feature to save your website from brute force attack. The plugin uses an API that detects leaked passwords on other sites and adds them to the database. If the hacker finds the leaked password and tries to exploit the site using it, the plugin will request a password reset.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

Wordfence Security: Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

Wordfence allows free sign-up, but its genuine star feature is the real-time threat resistance feed, considering that it’s a subsidiary of an analytics company.

Wordfence Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

Wordfence uses this feed to alert users from being hacked and prejudiced. It also uses an extensive network to monitor the renowned IPs of attackers. It blocks them from entering all websites having Wordfence installed.

However, WordFence Security is a useful security plugin because it significantly loads on a server and has a clunky user interface.

iThemes Security Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

iThemes Security prevention system can detect changes in core files, hacker’s actions, editing files, and more. It notifies these real-time threat activities through an email.

It enforces secure password usage and blocks users after one or too many login attempts. So this feature is useful to keep malicious bots out of the site from brute force attacks.

IThemes Security Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

On the other side, it has some features which may slow down your site, but overall it protects a site better than Wordfence.

Also, you can easily avoid the traffic and jamming problem as iThemes Security has various features to choose from in its feature library. It’ll be the best for your site security.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

iThemes Security Pro Vs. Wordfence Pro: Backup

Keeping a daily automatic backup of a site is an excellent decision if you are a smart blogger or webmaster. Wordfence plugin has no backup feature. So you need to use a separate backup plugin to backup your entire site, any specific file, or database.

Whereas iThemes offers a database backup feature along with website security. You can automatically backup your site’s database daily, weekly, or even monthly using this feature. IThemes sends the entire database file in a zip format to email.

ithemes database backups

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

IThemes Vs. Wordfence: Malware Scanning & Removing

Wordfence is more popular for its automatic malware scanning and removing feature. The pro version of this plugin automatically scans malicious and vulnerabilities of the site and deletes them silently.

Whereas iThemes security pro has only a malware scanning feature and notifies about any malicious vulnerabilities directly to email in real-time.

Winer for this feature: Wordfence

iThemes Security Vs. Wordfence–Security Authentication & Alerts

The similarity is that both have two-factor authentication, alert modifications, malware scanners, and file-change detectors, but Wordfence repairs it, provides extra service and is good for content safety checking.

Whereas iTheme Security has many features like magic links, Hide Backend, 404 Detection, Database Backups, Trusted Devices (Beta), and more features than Wordfence.

The pro version of iThemes is the best for completely protecting a WordPress site from being hacked or any malicious attack.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

iThemes Security Pro Vs. Wordfence Pro–Pricing Plans

iThemes Security Pricing Plans

iThemes Security has 4 pricing plans. The 1 site plan costs only $80 per year, 10 sites costs $127/per year, whereas the unlimited sites plan costs $199 per year and unlimted sites plan (including iThemes Pro Gold, BackupBuddy, Restrict Content Pro) costs $499 for per year. All plans include one-year unlimited customer support and free plugin updates.

iThemes security new pricing plans

Wordfence Pricing Plans

Wordfence pricing plans work a little differently than iThemes. 1-site license costs only $99. But, if you buy more licenses, the bigger discount you get.

wordfence security pricing plans

So here, iThemes is more affordable, but the price for 1-site licenses doesn’t differ a lot. So you can purchase whichever plugin you prefer. But if you buy over one license, iThemes Security is more reasonable.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

Pros & Cons of iThemes Security

Pros:

  • Easy to install, just a few clicks.
  • Less complexity.
  • Suitable for beginners to start with.
  • iThemes Security has a regular backup feature for the database, allowing you to get back online quickly in the event of an attack.
  • It perfectly works with BackupBuddy.

Cons:

  • This plugin is useful for defensive measures only and should not be relied on for full shelter.
  • Doesn’t offer complete protection, such as partial spam protection and malware cleaning.

Pros & Cons of Wordfence Security

Pros

  • It has a built-in Firefall.
  • WP security scanner checks and repairs files that have changed by overwriting them with a pristine, original version and quickly delete any files that don’t belong.
  • Provide some unique tools like cell phone sign-in and password auditing.

Cons:

  • Complex configuration.
  • 30 days delay those who use the community version.
  • Paid members can get customer support priority, while other customers sadly have to wait to receive their support.

Which One Should You Choice?

In my research about these plugins, iThemes Security is the best from all aspects of the security levels, although it hasn’t an automatic malware scanner feature. But if you use good hosting, you never need this feature. So instead of this, consider other security protection features to choose the best security plugin.

iThemes can protect a WordPress site at least 90% better than Wordfence. However, iThemes Security can’t automatically remove malware, whereas Wordfence can do this. So it’s a prominent feature if you buy Wordfence.

Besides, iThemes is a cost-effective and more feature-enabled plugin than other security plugins like Wordfence. So you can undoubtedly go with iThemes security Pro.

Note: If you don’t purchase a premium one right now, then Wordfence is the best for free use.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is ITheme Security A Good Plugin?

In my opinion, iThemes Security is a superb security plugin for WordPress users of all levels. Hobbyist users get free protection, while smaller businesses or serious website owners can purchase a more robust security package at a relatively low price.

Does IThemes Security Have A Firewall?

iThemes Security doesn’t have any firewall. The developers recommend you use the Sucuri DNS service for Firewall protection; however, if you prefer Cloudflare, that is a great option.

Does IThemes Security Lockout?

iThemes Security will lock out users if they get too many 404 error requests. So, if you simultaneously put the wrong password or change something that ends in a 404 result, iThemes security can lock you out.

However, you can keep your IP address on the allowlist if you have a habit of forgetting passwords.

Does WordFence Lockout?

Wordfence added this feature for security purposes. Wordfence lets a user attempt 20 login requests(you can control it). After that, it’ll lock out the IP address.

This feature is designed to block brute force attacks, and more than 20 attempts on login is a sign of a brute force attack.

iThemes Security Vs Wordfence Final Verdicts

I believe you’ll benefit from installing any of the above security plugins. If you’re a beginner and about to start, iThemes Security is perfect for you as it’s suitable for smaller business websites, whereas Wordfence is ideal for a more prominent business site with sensitive data.

So I hope the comparison between iThemes Security Vs Wordfence has helped a lot and is now clearer than before which plugin you should use on your dream WordPress site.

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Palash
Palash

Palash Talukdar is a digital marketer & the founder of WP Basic Pro. He has been building and managing WordPress websites for 5+ years. He loves to write about WordPress, SEO, marketing, productivity, and web performance.

Articles: 134

3 Comments

  1. Hi, I use both security plugins but recently turned off iThemes while trying to optimize my site for speed. I however saw in your post that the plugin is light weight. My question is this, could using the both plugin cause any form of conflict? And the iThemes usually send database backup file. Can I use this backup to recover my site files should any eventuality occur?

    • @Francis,
      Thanks for your comment. I think using one security plugin is better. iThemes security pro is good than its free version otherwise you can use WordFance free. Yes, you can use a database backup file to restore your database using phpMyAdmin’s import option. Here, you need excellent skills in phpMyAdmin. But don’t worry you have another easy option to use their Backupbuddy plugin.

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