11 best FREE security plugins for WordPress in 2021

Hi I’m Praneeth Kumar.

In this blog post you will learn 11 best free security plugins you can use to secure your WordPress site from malware and hackers.

After reading this ultimate guide, you don’t have to worry about which plugin you need to install in your wordpress website to secure it from hackers and malware.

So without further ado let’s get started.

Here’s a 30000 foot view of the blog post.

11 Free security plugins for wordpress websites;

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Here is a list of 11 best free security plugins for wordpress websites.

Most of the plugins in this list are either free or have a freemium plan which you can use and these are the best in their respective categories.

So let’s take a look at them in detail.

  1. Updraftplus.

Without a doubt updraftplus is by far the best and free wordpress security plugin in terms of backups and restoration.

It doesn’t matter what security measures you take for your website but taking regular backups of your website is the most important part of making a website,

especially WordPress, because you cannot secure any website at 100% rate as there is always room for improvement and things which you cannot control.

Updraftplus is best because it is a trusted and highly tested backup plugin for WP websites.

This plugin has 3 + million active installations and has a five star rating in the WordPress community.

Some of the most amazing features of this plugin is that,

Even with the free plan of this plugin you can easily take the backup of your website, schedule the backups and export the backup from your web server to remote storage like Google Drive.

You can easily restore any backup of your website within a matter of a few clicks.

Believe me this plugin has helped me enormously in making sure my website is safe and Secure and multiple times during my blogging journey where I lost my entire website due to server crashes and hacks sometimes,

But!

I didn’t lose any piece of content because all of my website backups were exported to Google drive which i scheduled everyday so that I can easily restore them without losing any piece of content creating a new wordpress website.

You can also purchase a premium plan of this plugin which can cost you around $42.

Obviously with a premium plan you get extra support and more features from the plugin and you can schedule the backup as per your wish and many more features.

You can also check and compare this plugin with other backup plugins in WordPress like backupbuddy and Jetpack here and understand why this is the best option for backups yourself.

Man, I just love this plugin, I use this plugin across all my wordpress websites for backups apart from backups that web hosting companies do.

  1. Wordfence.

Wordfence is another popular freemium wordpress plugin to make your wordpress website secure.

This security plugin has 4 million + active installations and 4.7 star rating out of 5 in the WordPress community.

The numbers and data clearly show that the plugin is highly rated and very much trusted security wise in the WordPress community.

I also use this plugin on my wordpress website personally.

Some of the most popular features of this plugin in free plan which I really like are,

  • Use 2 factor authentication.
  • Block logins and brute force login attempts.
  • Disable XML RPC.
  • Web application firewall that scans and blocks malicious traffic.
  • Block attackers by IP, Hostname, User Agent and Referrer.

There is also a premium plan that you can purchase for $99. 

With a premium plan and license you get more features like real time data of your site traffic, country blocking and much more.

  1. Sucuri.

If you were using wordpress for quite a while then you must have heard about this plugin regarding security options because it is one of the industry leading WordPress security options.

This plugin has 800000 plus active installations and 4.3 star rating out of 5 which is really awesome.

There is both a free and paid plan that you can use.

Especially in free plan you get,

  • Effective Security Hardening
  • Post-Hack Security Actions
  • Security Notifications

The premium plan starts from 199 dollars a year and you can have access to amazing features of this plugin like Malware scanning, DDoS protection from firewall, SSL certificate, customer support, malware removal and hack cleanup(great for hacked websites).

In the premium plan, you not only get features to improve your security but also you can improve the website loading speed with amazing features like CDN, caching, reduce server load and more.

You can have a 30 day money back guarantee if you feel you don’t want to use this plugin for such a cost you can get your money back within 30 days of purchase of it.

  1. all in one wp security & firewall.

Unlike others, this is a 100% free plugin which offers similar features to other plugins mentioned above.

This plugin has 900000 + active installations and 4.8 star rating out of 5 which is really really amazing.

The main reason why this is so amazing is because this plugin will offer complete 360° security for wordpress websites as the name describes and for absolutely free of cost.

COOL right! 

You have access to amazing features like,

  • User account security.
  • Password strength tool to create strong passwords.
  • Prevention from brute force login attempts by blocking the IP address for a specific period of time in settings.
  • Forceful logout of all the idle users of your wordpress account to prevent outsiders from intruding in your WordPress dashboard. 
  • Add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captcha to WordPress Login form.
  • Easily create and schedule backups with a single click.
  • You will also get web application Firewall protection.

There is also a security scanner like Malware, you can prevent comment spam on your website, frequent updates of this plugin, etc.

If you find any problem while using the plug-in then you can post the problem in the forum of this plugin and

you can get a solution within a couple of days from the experts and other users of the community which means you also have a customer support option.

This plugin is also available in many different languages apart from English like Brazil,Spanish and German, etc to name a few.

Without a second thought this is one of the best wordpress security plugins that you can use for absolutely free of cost in this list.

I love this plugin.

  1. Google authenticator.

This is another popular security plugin that you can use to secure your wordpress website.

Unlike other plugins in the list this plugin will help you create a two factor authentication

whenever you login to your wordpress website, you will have to pass an additional layer of security by entering an additional code of password from a remote service.

This plugin will help you control bruteforce login attempts on your wordpress website.

This is a freemium plugin which has 20000 plus active installations and 4.5 star rating out of 5.

It is a simple plugin which is very easy to use especially for beginners created by Mini orange and helps you secure your wordpress website at the topmost level.

Some of the amazing features of this plugin free plan are, 

  • You can configure authentication from different services like Gmail, SMS Google Authenticator, QR code, OTP verification,etc.
  • Brute force attack prevention & IP Blocking.

Unfortunately if you don’t get access to your wordpress website and lose all the authentication options by accident then

you can also have recovery options through which you can recover your wordpress website with the security codes which you can download on your desktop as a security and prevention.

There is also a premium plan which starts from $25 if you purchase you can get more authentication options, backup option, user role based login options and much more features and security options.

  1. Really simple SSL.

Just like the name sounds it is a plugin which actually enables free SSL certificates for wordpress websites and redirect all the non SSL urls to URLS with https automatically as you install/activate the plugin without even configuring a lot of settings.

There are many plugins for this category but this is the best.

This plugin has 5 million + active installations and 5 star rating in WordPress plugin community so you know it is legit.

For those of you who are still ignoring SSL certificates on their website, let me remind you that including SSL certificates and

having it on your website is going to be a positive ranking factor in Google from June 2021 from core algorithm update of core web vitals.

This clearly means that if you don’t have an SSL certificate installed on your website then you will not rank higher in search engines and you may get a drop in rankings and traffic overall.

There is also a premium plan to this particular plugin that you can buy to get more features like,

  • The option to enable HTTP Strict Transport Security
  • The option to configure your site for the HSTS preload list
  • Advanced security headers for additional security

You can easily purchase the premium plan of the plugin on the official website of the plugin for at least of 29$.

I also have this plugin on my wordpress website but I don’t use the pro version, a free plan is absolutely worth it and you don’t have to upgrade to a premium plan in most cases.

  1. WPS hide login.

Unlike other plugins on this list this is a security plugin which will not directly secure your wordpress website.

This plugin has 900000 + active installations and 4.9 star rating out of 5 in WordPress.

Whenever you want to visit and login to your wordpress website dashboard directly from the domain name of your website then you can search for something like this,

Your domain.com/wp-admin.

Almost all WordPress websites will have the similar URL to login to their wordpress dashboard but the problem with that is everybody knows that and

it is very common hence it is a threat for hacks and attackers as they can easily log into the wordpress Dashboard of any website with this URL as soon as they get the password through brute force attempts.

This can be a huge security issue.

But, 

Using this plugin you can change the login which is very common to a custom one so that

it is difficult for hackers to identify the URL which leads to the login of wordpress dashboard.

From yourdomain.com/wp-admin to you can create a custom one like,

Yourdomain.com/abcd-eyicd something like this,

You got it.

You will have access to this thing only by yourself and it is difficult for hackers to identify the login URL of the wordpress dashboard and when they can’t find the URL they can’t do brute force attempts and you can safeguard your website from hackers.

Thankfully there is no premium plan for this plugin. It is absolutely free of cost and Highly popular as you can see in the reviews and installations.

  1. Malcare.

As the name refers to, this plugin will scan and remove all the Malware on your wordpress website.

This plugin has 100000+ active installations and a 4 star rating.

This popular plugin has both a free and paid plans and in free plan there are some popular features like,

  • Cloud based Malware scanning.
  • Free web application Firewall protection with real time.
  • Captcha based login protection.

But if you want to enjoy the real benefits of this plugin then you will have to purchase the premium plan and some of the most amazing features of this plugin are,

  • View hacked files.
  • WordPress website security hardening.
  • Instant malware removal.
  • Uptime monitoring.

You can purchase the premium plan for 99 Dollars a year.

Ithemes security plugin is a good alternative to this plugin with similar features with a lesser price range of 80$/year as this plugin also has 1 million total active installations and 4.7 star rating.

  1. Akismet.

This is one of the most Highly popular wordpress plugins out of 60000 WordPress plugins.

This plugin has over 5 million Plus active installations and 4.7 star rating.

One of the cool facts about this plugin is that it is written by the WordPress founder and developer matt mullenweg, he is one of the many writers and Developers who designed this plugin.

What this plugin does is that,

This plugin will check the comment section and submission forms like contact form on your website to check and remove spam and malicious content from getting published on your website.

This plugin alone can save you a lot of time moderating the comments and removing the malicious content on your website and this can indirectly safeguard your website from getting hacked.

There is both of free and paid version of this plugin and if you have a personal website then you can get the API key from wordpress.com account and free version and

if you have a business/commercial website where you make money from your website through display ads, affiliate links and sponsored content it can cost you around 100$ a year.

  1. Email Encoder.

Unlike other plugins of this list, this plugin does not directly secure your wordpress website from hackers but it will safeguard your website email addresses from spammers, email harvesters and spambots.

This plugin has 5 star rating out of 5 and 50,000 + active installations which is really great.

This plugin will work with any other theme and other plugins without creating any issues and it is absolutely free of cost.

Apart from email addresses you can also protect phone numbers and other important text and addresses of your website and business from hackers.

If you don’t protect the email addresses and other important addresses of your website from hackers and spammers then

they can easily track and send emails to your account and if you accidentally open the emails/messages and

click on the links then viruses can enter the device of your website and get your device and all the files hacked including your website by these hackers.

So it is very important that you also need to protect the email addresses of your website.

  1. Security ninja.

This is another popular well known security plugin in WordPress.

This plugin has 10,000 + active installations and 4.8 star rating.

This plugin will perform a 50 plus security test of your wordpress website to decide how safe your website is from hackers and malware.

This plugin will check and give you all the vulnerabilities on your website so that you can act upon them instantly within a single click.

To explain it in simple words it will run a security audit of your website and give you all the suggestive measures that you can take to improve the security with precise instructions.

There is also a premium version of this plugin which you can purchase for $50 and you can have access to a lot more features like Firewall protection, block many bad IP addresses, fix complicated security issues within a single click and many more.

They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee for the premium version.

By the way if you want to learn more about securing a wordpress website then you can read my ultimate guide on how to secure your wordpress website?

Consider reading a few more resources of wordpress websites here,

With that being said let’s conclude the blog post.

Ending remarks;

These are all the things you need to know about the best and free security plugins of WordPress.

Do comment down what you think about the security plugins and which will you install on your website.

Share this blog post with your family and friends if you have found it helpful.

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I will catch you next time till then keep learning and keep growing.