SiteLock vs Wordfence

The emergence of hacking goes back to the time of the emergence of websites. The positives and negatives of the internet world walk hand-in-hand making website protection necessary for everyone. But with dozens of security options available in the market, how do you choose the best one for your website?

I’m here examining the differences between the two security solutions for WordPress websites – SiteLock vs Wordfence. I’ll also be covering the other alternatives briefly to help you make the right choice for your website.

 

SiteLock

SiteLock is a cloud-based cybersecurity tool available for the protection of your website from malware and hacking attacks. Many top web hosting companies like Bluehost, HostGator, and iPage offer SiteLock as an optional security add-on during their registration process. The paid addon needs to be installed and configured with your website.

Features

  • It is completely a cloud-based security solution protecting your website at the very source.
  • It regularly scans all the website files on your server and automatically removes malware from them if any.
  • It spots any outdated plugins and other vulnerabilities on your website.
  • Along with malware, it also protects your website from automated bots.
  • Your website is consistently scanned for spam messages, cross-site scripting, and SQL injections.
  • It improves the performance of your website with its Content Delivery Network (CDN) by reducing the bandwidth used by your server.
  • The browser caching feature increases the speed of your website by storing the content files on your browser or device.
  • The security tool prevents the redirection of incoming traffic, unauthorized website access, and data loss.
  • It protects your website from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The security solution carries the power to block unwanted traffic to your website thereby improving your website’s performance dramatically.
  • The tool offers a trust seal or a security badge that can be placed on your website to win the trust of your visitors.

 

Pros and Cons of SiteLock

Pros of SiteLock Cons of SiteLock
Regular website scanning for malware and vulnerabilities Installation and configuration can take up to 24 hours
Automatic malware removal Lacks early detection of malware infections
DDoS attack protection An expensive website security tool
Increase in website speed Apart from the monthly or yearly charges, an additional amount charged for cleaning the website if infected
Website Application Firewall protecting the website from harmful traffic
Removes the blacklisting of vulnerable websites once secured
Makes the website Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant
The SiteLock Trust Shield helps to win the trust of your potential customers

 

 

Pricing

SiteLock offers the following 3 website security plans –

Secure Alert

It is the basic plan offered by SiteLock that protects the websites not having an existing security issue. It secures one website at $14.99 monthly or $149.99 annually saving you the cost of two months with a long-term plan.

Secure Starter

The intermediate plan is pre-built for websites having an existing security issue. It protects a single website at $29.99 monthly or $299.99 annually saving you the cost of two months with an annual plan.

Secure Speed

The largest security plan is made for businesses performing form completions on their websites and driving phone calls through it. The plan protects one website at $49.99 monthly or $499.99 annually again saving you the cost of two months with the yearly plan.

 

Wordfence

Wordfence is a free security plugin for WordPress websites that stays on your web server, unlike SiteLock which is cloud-based. The localized firewall holds the power to provide complete end-to-end encryption for your website data by performing deeper server-side scans.

Features

  • It is a server-based security tool that provides end-point protection to your website.
  • It identifies malicious traffic to your website and blocks it.
  • The WordPress plugin also blocks the scans from botnets before they can access your website.
  • It empowers you to block the users going against your predefined security rules.
  • The plugin provides secured WordPress login with Two Factor Authentication.
  • It regularly scans your website files, plugins, and themes for vulnerabilities.
  • The Wordfence Live Traffic feature allows you to view the activities on your website in real-time.
  • The security tool scans your website for malicious codes, shells installed by hackers, SEO spam emails, known malicious URLs, backdoors, known patterns of infections, and other vulnerabilities.
  • It prevents your website from SQL-injections and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks.
  • Your website files are regularly compared with WordPress repository files to spot any discrepancies.
  • Wordfence maintains a list of IP addresses launching hacking attacks on different websites across the globe and uses this information to protect your website from such IP addresses.
  • The country blocking feature blocks the attacks targeted at your website from a specific country.
  • The tool places a limit on the failed login attempts to prevent any unauthorized access to your website.

 

Pros and Cons of Wordfence

Pros of Wordfence Cons of Wordfence
A cheap and effective WordPress security tool Reduces the performance of the website by using the website’s server
Offers early detection of malware Unavailability of the automatic malware removal tool
Prevents the website from brute force attacks with secured logins The availability of abundant website security features might be confusing for some
Available in both free and paid version
Regularly scans the website for vulnerabilities
Protects the website from the suspicious IP addresses
Allows real-time viewing of your website activity
Prevents the website from bots, SQL-injections, and XSS attacks
Blocks malicious traffic to the website

 

Pricing

Wordfence plugin is available in both free and premium versions. The free version offers limited features but does protect your website effectively. The paid version offers premium security features along with the basic ones available in the free version. The prices start at $99 per year for a single license that translates to one WordPress installation. The more licenses you purchase, the more discount Wordfence offers. Additionally, buying multiple years of license upfront might also result in a one-time discount.

 

SiteLock vs Wordfence

Now that you know that both SiteLock and Wordfence are website security tools providing effective protection to your website, let us consider the similarities and differences between the two:

Similarities between SiteLock and Wordfence

  • They protect your website from malicious attacks and malware.
  • They block unwanted traffic from suspicious URLs.
  • They regularly scan your website for vulnerabilities.
  • Both offer a yearly paid plan for the complete protection of your website.

Differences between SiteLock and Wordfence

  • Where SiteLock is a cloud-based security tool, Wordfence is a server-based security plugin.
  • SiteLock is offered by web hosting companies like HostGator and Bluehost as a paid security addon during their registration process. Wordfence, on the other hand, is available as a plugin in the WordPress repository.
  • SiteLock offers only the paid plans whereas Wordfence has both free and paid versions.
  • SiteLock offers protection from DDoS attacks while Wordfence does not.
  • SiteLock takes up to 24 hours in installation and configuration while Wordfence installation is a matter of a few minutes.
  • SiteLock offers automatic malware removal while Wordfence does not.
  • Where Wordfence is effective in detecting malware early, SiteLock’s early malware detection tool is not up to the mark.
  • Wordfence provides real-time updates of threat defenses performed while SiteLock doesn’t have such an advanced security update feature.

 

The above differences have been tabulated here to make it easy for you to understand:

What is the difference between SiteLock and Wordfence?

Basis SiteLock Wordfence
Security point Cloud-based Server-based
Availability Provided as a cybersecurity tool by web hosting companies as an optional addon Available as a security plugin in the WordPress repository
Price Offers 3 paid plans that are expensive Offers a free and a premium plan cheaper than SiteLock
Protection from DDoS attacks Available Not available
Installation and configuration A little complicated and time-consuming Quick and simple
Automatic malware removal Available Not available
Malware detection Lacks in detecting malware early Efficiently performs early malware detection
Real-time threat defense feed Not available Available

 

Which is better among SiteLock and Wordfence?

To decide which option is better for providing security to your website, I’d like to share my personal experience as well as some facts here:

My experience:

Based on my humble experience, Wordfence is better than SiteLock in many ways. Though both the tools provide enough security to your website, Wordfence is more reliable. It offers a large number of security features in both its free and premium plans to suit the needs of all website owners. Additionally, it is either available for free or at a much cheaper rate than SiteLock, if we consider the Wordfence Premium option.

Major security concern:

The point at which these tools provide security is another very important consideration while choosing between SiteLock and Wordfence. As you now know that SiteLock is a cloud-based security tool whereas Wordfence is an endpoint firewall working at the website server level. Since the latter is powered completely by your website’s server, there can be no bypassing or leakage of your website data. However, there are high chances of website bypassing and data leakage while working with a cloud firewall especially when the attacker is aware of your server’s IP address.

SiteLock’s poor costing structure:

I’d also like to share a major problem with SiteLock. In addition to the monthly or yearly fee it charges to protect your website, it also charges you a “cleaning fee” of over $200 if your website gets infected. All the files of your infected website are also held and the site is taken offline until you pay these cleaning charges. In my opinion, if SiteLock is in charge of your website’s security and a breach happens thereby, the website owner shouldn’t bear the additional charges of getting the website cleaned.

 

Other Alternatives

Apart from SiteLock and Wordfence, you can choose between other top security solutions including Sucuri, iThemes Security, and MalCare. All these tools provide effective security to your website but offer different features. In my opinion, Wordfence is the best among these security solutions followed by iThemes Security, MalCare, Sucuri, and then SiteLock.

Here are the top website security tools lined up from best to worst:

Wordfence Premium > iThemes Security Pro > MalCare > Sucuri > SiteLock

  • Wordfence is the only WordPress security plugin providing a firewall and malware scan with real-time updates.
  • Considering iThemes, it does offer malware scanning but doesn’t have a firewall to provide complete protection to your website.
  • MalCare offers you only the basic security for your website thereby lacks advanced functionality.
  • Sucuri performs only a few remote malware scanning requests without any source code inspection. Its reliability is questionable since it is owned by GoDaddy that has a horrible reputation in the web hosting industry.
  • SiteLock, as discussed above, has a major security concern since it is cloud-based. Additionally, it has a poor costing structure that charges you unnecessarily making it an expensive option for your website.

 

Final words: What is the best website security tool?

Whether your website security requirements are basic or advanced, I’d recommend Wordfence for providing complete protection to your website at an affordable rate. It scans your website files for malware, provides a firewall, prevents unauthorized logins, protects your website from brute force attacks, and allows real-time viewing of your website activities.

To add to it, Wordfence does offer a free version that might be enough for your needs. You can always add an extra layer of protection by choosing its premium version later which is also available at a pretty competitive price.

What do you think about my views about SiteLock vs Wordfence? Have you ever faced any security threats concerning your website? Which website security tool you chose to deal with the issue?

Please feel free to share your experiences and opinions regarding the different security plugins we discussed here. I’d also love to hear about any other security solution that you used for your website and your experience with the same be it positive or negative.

 

The information and opinions found in this article are the author’s and do not reflect the opinions of Tribulant Software.

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