Wordfence vs Sucuri – Which one is better? (Compared)
Wordfence and Sucuri are two of the best and most popular WordPress security plugins on the market.
They are both highly recommended and incredibly helpful in maintaining the security of your WordPress site. This makes it difficult for beginners to choose which one is best for them.
While Sucuri and Wordfence have a lot of similar features, each has its own pros and cons.
In this article, we are going to compare Wordfence vs Sucuri to determine which one is better for the overall security of WordPress in our expert opinion.
Comparison between Wordfence and Sucuri – What to look for?
Wordfence and Sucuri are the two main WordPress security plugins. They both offer comprehensive protection against brute force attacks, malware, and data theft.
As a website owner, you need to choose a security plugin that not only protects your website but protects it effectively. You would also want something that is low maintenance so that you can focus on growing your business.
Finally, you should choose a security plug-in that is easy to use and does not require technical skills for configuration/maintenance.
For this guide, we are going to compare Sucuri vs Wordfence side by side. Our comparison is divided into the following categories:
- Ease of use
- Website Application Firewall (WAF)
- Security monitoring and notifications
- Malware scanner
- Hacked website clean up
With that said, let’s take a look at how Wordfence vs Sucuri overlaps and which shows up as the best security plugin for WordPress.
Ease of use
Website security is an extremely complex and technical area. That’s why our first category of comparison is the ease of use.
Let’s see how easy it is to use Wordfence vs Sucuri to protect your website.
Wordfence – Ease of use
After that, you will see an integration wizard which will help you get familiar with the Wordfence dashboard. It indicates where you will see notifications and security scans.
The plugin will activate the website app’s firewall in learning mode and run an automatic scan in the background. Depending on the size of your website, you will see notifications when the scan is complete.
By clicking on a notification, you will see its details along with the recommended action you need to take. For example, here it showed us that our WordPress theme has a newer version available.
The firewall works as a WordPress plugin by default, which is not very efficient. Wordfence allows you to run it in the enhanced mode for better protection, but you’ll have to configure it manually (more on that later).
The basic configuration of the Wordfence plugin is quite straightforward and doesn’t require too much input from the user. The user interface is a bit cluttered which can make it difficult for beginners to find certain settings/options.
Sucuri – Ease of use
Sucuri offers a cleaner user interface, without unnecessary on-screen prompts. It also runs a quick scan upon activation, and you’ll see notifications on the plugin’s dashboard.
Sucuri’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a cloud-based firewall which means it is not running on your server. In other words, no technical maintenance is required on your part.
You will need to add your API key and configure the DNS settings for your domain name. This will allow the firewall to catch malicious traffic before it even reaches your WordPress hosting server.
Once configured, you won’t have to worry about updating or maintaining it.
Sucuri also makes it easy to achieve the recommended security hardening settings on your website. All you need to do is click to apply various security hardening settings.
The overall user interface is nice. However, users will always have to look further to find the options they are looking for.
Updating name servers on the domain registrar is an additional step required to configure the Sucuri firewall. It can be a bit difficult for some unsuspecting users. The good thing is that the most popular domain registrars like Domain.com, GoDaddy, etc. can help you configure it.
Website Application Firewall (WAF)
A web application firewall monitors your website traffic and blocks common security threats. There are different ways to implement a firewall (application-based or cloud-based).
We believe that cloud-based firewalls are more efficient and reliable in the long run.
Sucuri and Wordfence both offer website application firewalls. Let’s see how they differ.
Wordfence website application firewall
Wordfence offers a website application firewall that monitors and blocks malicious website traffic.
This is an application-level firewall, which means it works on your server and is less effective than a cloud-based firewall.
By default, Wordfence activates it with basic mode. This means that the firewall works like a WordPress plugin, so before an attack can be blocked, WordPress must be loaded. It can take a lot of server resources and is not efficient.
To change this you will need to manually configure the Wordfence firewall in enhanced mode. This will allow the Wordfence firewall to monitor traffic before it reaches your WordPress installation.
As an endpoint firewall, Wordfence can only block traffic if it has already reached your hosting server. In the event of a DDOS attack or brute force attempt, your server resources will still be affected and your website performance will drop. It can even break down.
When you turn on Wordfence for the first time, their firewall is in learning mode. It learns how you and other users access your WordPress website. During this time, several firewall rules are not enforced to ensure that legitimate website users are not blocked by accident.
Sucuri Website Application Firewall
Sucuri offers a cloud-based website app firewall, which means it blocks suspicious traffic before it even reaches your hosting server.
It saves you a lot of server resources and instantly improves your website speed. Sucuri’s CDN servers are located in different regions which is an added advantage in terms of website speed.
To use the firewall, you must change the DNS settings for your domain name. This change would allow all of your website traffic to go through Sucuri’s servers.
There is no basic or extended mode. Once setup is complete, Sucuri’s WAF would begin to protect your website against malicious requests, DDOS attacks, and attempts to set the password.
They have a robust machine learning algorithm sophisticated enough to avoid false positives.
Sucuri allows you to switch from High-Security Mode to Paranoid Mode when you encounter DDoS attacks. This ensures that your website server does not go down.
Security monitoring and notifications
As a website owner, you need to find out if something is wrong with your website as soon as possible. A security problem can cost you money and customers.
To receive these notifications, you need to make sure that your WordPress site can send emails. The best way to ensure this is to use an SMTP service to send WordPress emails.
Let’s see how Wordfence and Sucuri handle website monitoring and alerts.
Wordfence monitoring and alerts
Wordfence has an excellent notification and alert system. Firstly, the notifications will be highlighted next to the Wordfence menu in the WordPress admin sidebar and dashboard.
They are highlighted according to their severity. You can click on a notification to learn more about it and how to fix it.
However, you will only see it when you log into the WordPress dashboard.
Wordfence also comes with instant email notifications. To configure email alerts, go to Wordfence »All Options and scroll to the“ Email Alert Preferences ”section.
From here you can turn on / off email alerts. You can also choose the severity level to send an email alert.
Sucuri monitoring and alerts
Sucuri also displays critical notifications on your dashboard. The upper right corner of the screen is dedicated to displaying the status of the main WordPress files.
Below you will see audit logs and site health status.
Sucuri comes with a complete alert management system. Just visit the Sucuri Security »Settings page and switch to the Alerts tab.
You can add email addresses for which you want to be notified. After that, you can further customize the email alerts.
You can choose which events you want to be notified about, the number of alerts per hour, and customize settings for brute force attacks, post types, and alert email subjects.
Their website firewall will also send high-level automated alerts to your email.
Both plugins come with built-in security scanners to check your WordPress site for malware, modified files, and malicious code.
Let’s see how Wordfence and Sucuri analyze malware and other issues.
Wordfence Malware Scanner
Wordfence comes with a powerful and highly customizable scanner to address your hosting’s security and environmental concerns.
By default, scanning is enabled with limited scan settings (to save server resources on shared hosting plans).
For the free version, Wordfence automatically decides on an analysis schedule for your site. Premium version users can choose their own scan schedule.
You can configure the scanner to run in different modes. Some scan options are only available with the premium version.
Wordfence scanner can also verify that your plugin and themes match the repository version.
Sucuri Malware Scanner
Sucuri Malware scanner uses Sucuri’s Site check API. This API automatically compares your site to several Safe Browsing APIs to make sure your website is not blacklisted.
It automatically checks the integrity of your core WordPress files to make sure they are not modified.
You can customize the scan settings from Sucuri Security »Settings page and by clicking on the scanner tab.
Sucuri’s free scanner works on publicly available files on your website. It is not a WordPress-specific scanner, so it is incredibly good at detecting all types of malware and malicious code.
It’s also less intrusive on your server’s resources, which is an added benefit.
Hacked Website Cleanup
Cleaning up a hacked WordPress site is not easy. Malware can affect multiple files, create links in your content, or prevent you from exiting your own website.
Manually cleaning everything on your own is not possible for most beginners.
Fortunately, Wordfence and Sucuri offer a site cleanup and malware removal service. Let’s take a look at which one does the best.
Wordfence site cleanup
Wordfence site cleaning service is not included in their free or premium plans. It is sold separately as an additional service.
Site cleanup will also give you a premium Wordfence license for a website.
The malware cleaning process is quite straightforward. They will scan your site for malware/infections and then clean up any affected files.
Their team will also investigate how hackers gained access to your site. They will prepare a detailed report of the entire cleaning process with suggestions for future prevention.
Sucuri Site Clean up
All paid Sucuri packages include a website cleaning service. It comes with site cleanup, blacklist removal, SEO spam repair, and WAF protection for future prevention.
They are really good at cleaning malware, injected spam codes, and backdoor access files.
The process is quite straightforward. You open a support ticket and their team will start working on the cleanup process.
They will use your login credentials for FTP / SSH or cPanel access. During the process, they keep a log of every file they touch and automatically save everything.
Wordfence and Sucuri are great WordPress security plugins. However, we believe Sucuri is the best WordPress security plugin overall.
It offers a cloud-based WAF that improves your website performance and speed while blocking malicious traffic and brute force attacks.
Wordfence is a good free option if you are using a server-side firewall and scanner.
for website maintenance service contact us.