Ithemes Security Vs Wordfence

iThemes Security Vs Wordfence (2023) Which One Should You Use?

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Are you searching for the ultimate comparison between iThemes Security and Wordfence to fortify your WordPress site against hacking and malicious attacks? Look no further! This detailed comparison will help you make the right choice.

When it comes to WordPress security plugins, there are numerous options available, both free and premium. While you have the freedom to choose any of them, it’s crucial to opt for the best one.

Before investing your money in a WordPress security plugin, it’s essential to know which one is better in 2023.

In this post, I’ll provide you with comprehensive guidance to help you determine the ideal security plugin for your website. I’ll also compare these plugins based on various features.

To know a clear understanding of which plugin is the best fit for your needs, take the time to read this comparison between iThemes Security Pro and Wordfence Pro, from start to finish.

So, let’s get started!

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

iThemes Security Vs. Wordfence – Quick Comparison Chart of Difference & Similarity

Let me show you with a comprehensive comparison chart of iThemes Security and Wordfence. Although I’ve included only the highlighted features here.

But keep in mind that both plugins offer even more functionalities. If you want to explore all their features, I recommend visiting their official websites.

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

Before diving into the detailed comparison between them, let me give you a brief overview of these plugins.

What Is ITheme Security?

iThemes Security is a premium WordPress security plugin developed by iThemes Media LLC. As you may know, WordPress sites often become easy targets for hackers due to vulnerabilities and malicious activities. To combat this, iThemes Security implements various measures to protect your WordPress site.

iThemes security plugin

This plugin is incredibly user-friendly, making it perfect for beginners. It offers over 40+ vulnerability checks and can patch common security holes to ensure user satisfaction.

Additionally, it allows you to synchronize multiple websites using the premium iThemes Sync add-on. This add-on enables you to manage multiple WordPress sites conveniently from a single dashboard.

Overall, iThemes Security is a lightweight and well-coded security plugin that caters to the needs of every website owner. It provides robust protection against unwanted hacks and ensures the security of your WordPress site.

Check iThemes Security Pro

What Is WordFence?

It’s another remarkable WordPress security plugin developed by DEFIANT INC. With over 2 million active users, it has gained immense popularity for several compelling reasons.

Wordfence security plugin

I like its user-friendly feature and hassle-free setup process. While a few options may require manual configurations, the plugin offers a powerful server-side scanner that thoroughly scans your entire WordPress installation. The scanning process is efficient and yields excellent results.

Wordfence takes security to the next level with its highly secure web application firewall, which operates at the endpoint. This ensures superior server security and provides better protection compared to other cloud firewalls.

Additionally, it offers a convenient central dashboard that allows you to effortlessly configure all settings, even without any prior knowledge. It enables you to track multiple sites and events, making it a comprehensive security solution.

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.

Let’s delve into the core features of iThemes Security Pro. These features are designed to provide robust security measures for your website and ensure a worry-free online experience.

Core Features Of IThemes Security Pro

Enforcing a strong password

It’s an essential feature for maintaining top-notch security. While you, as the owner, may opt for a strong password, your contributors might prefer simpler ones.

With iThemes Security Pro, you can use the WordPress password meter to enforce strong passwords for editors, authors, and subscribers, thereby minimizing the risk of a security breach.

iThemes Security Vs Wordfence (2023) Which One Should You Use? 1

Sends detailed security reports to the email

You can stay informed about your website’s security with detailed security reports sent directly to your email. These reports cover failed login attempts, file changes, and blocked users, allowing you to stay vigilant and take immediate action if necessary.

Google Recaptcha

You can combat spam effectively by integrating Google reCaptcha into your login, registration, and comment forms. By leveraging this feature, you can effectively block bots and protect your website from unwanted spamming.

ithemes security google recaptcha setting

Locks out users

To further enhance your website’s security, iThemes Security Pro offers the option to lock out users who have too many failed login attempts or generate multiple 404 errors.

This feature acts as a formidable barrier against hackers and bots, safeguarding your website. However, it’s crucial to use this feature judiciously to avoid inadvertently blocking search engine bots and impacting your website’s visibility.

Two-factor authentication

For an extra layer of security, the plugin provides two-factor authentication (2FA). This feature adds an additional step to the login process and offers short-term privilege intensification.

After entering their password, users receive a one-time password (OTP) via email, ensuring that only authorized individuals with access to the email can log into the website.

In case of compromised email accounts, you can set backup codes. iThemes Security supports various 2FA apps such as Authy, Google Authenticator, Topper, and FreeOTP.

You can configure the time-sensitive codes to bolster the overall security of your website. Additionally, you can track user activities such as content editing, login, and logout.

ithemes two-factor authentication

Notification Center

You can always stay up to date with the Notification Center feature. It keeps you informed about all the important events happening on your website by sending real-time email notifications to your admin email address.

This ensures that you’re always in the loop and can promptly address any potential security concerns or important website activities.

With these powerful features, iThemes Security Pro empowers you to proactively protect your website and maintain a secure online environment for yourself and your users.

Ensure that you receive notifications from your website by setting your sender email. If left blank, WordPress will use the default email address for sending emails.

ithemes notification center

Away Mode

When you’re away and concerned about the security of your WordPress website, the “Away Mode” feature becomes incredibly useful.

You can activate this mode and set a specific time lock for your WordPress dashboard, preventing anyone from accessing it during your absence. It provides an extra layer of security and allows you to monitor your website manually.

File Permissions

With this plugin, you can easily keep an eye on any files of your WordPress installation through the File Permissions feature. This panel displays warnings and potential risks associated with files being tampered with.

Database Backups

No need to install an additional database backup plugin because iThemes Security has got you covered. It offers database backup functionality, allowing you to choose what you want to include or exclude from the backup.

ithemes database backup

SSL Configuration

With the SSL Configuration feature, you can enforce users to visit the “https” version of your website, ensuring secure connections.

File Change Detection

For tech-savvy users, the File Change Detection feature is a standout. It detects any modifications made to your WordPress files, especially if you’re using plugins from untrusted sources.

If any file changes occur, you’ll receive an email notification, safeguarding your data and protecting against potential hacking attempts.

Network Brute Force Protection

Network brute force attract is the most common attract for a website, especially for WordPress sites. With iThemes Security, you can protect your website’s admin panel from brute force attacks with the Network Brute Force Protection feature.

You can set the maximum number of login attempts allowed and define the duration of the block for unsuccessful login attempts.

System Tweaks

System Tweaks provide an extra layer of protection by safeguarding essential system files such as .htaccess, readme.txt, and readme.xml. It prevents editing or executing PHP files within plugins and themes, effectively guarding against phishing links embedded in malicious PHP scripts.

Bypass lockouts using a Magic Link

The Magic Link feature allows you to bypass lockouts and enhance security. After a specific period of inactivity or suspicious activity, the magic link will activate, granting access to the user.

ithemes magic links

Real-time overview

With it, it’s easy to get a real-time overview of the security activity on your website, keeping you informed about any potential threats or suspicious behavior.

User Security Check

You can set user security parameters with the User Security Check feature. The plugin automatically sends users an email prompting them to strengthen their security measures, such as updating their passwords.

Trusted Devices (Beta)

Trusted Devices (Beta) feature ensures that even if a user’s data is compromised, your website remains protected. You can set up trusted devices and prevent unauthorized logins.

Automatic Database Backup

Schedule automatic database backups and customize the frequency of backup intervals with the Automatic Database Backup feature.

Hide Login URL

To deter hackers and spammers, you can change the login URL slug using iThemes Security. By replacing the common “wp-admin” or “admin” slug, you can enhance the security of your website.

ithemes hide login URL

Settings Import and Export & more

Simplify the process of site cleanup or migration with the Settings Import and Export feature. If you ever need to start fresh or move your settings to another site, this functionality saves you valuable time and effort.

These are just some of the many features iThemes Security offers to fortify your WordPress website and protect it from potential security threats.

Read iThemes Security Pro Review

Core Features Of WordFence Security Plugin

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

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

With the Live Traffic feature, you can gain real-time insights into the activity happening on your website. Unlike Google Analytics and other Javascript loggers, Live Traffic allows you to analyze traffic that might not be visible through those tools.

This means you can effectively monitor and identify any bot or hacker attacks that would otherwise go unnoticed. If you detect any suspicious activity, you have the option to manually block the attacking IP address, providing an additional layer of security.

Two-factor authentication

You can enhance the security of your website with the Two-factor authentication feature. By using TOPT tools like Google Authenticator or FreeOTP, you can add an extra layer of protection to your login process. Simply scan the QR code with your phone or manually enter the keys to enable this security feature.

Wordfence two factor authentication

Leaked PW protection

It’s easy to protect a website from brute force attacks with the Leaked PW Protection feature. This feature uses an API that detects leaked passwords from other sites and adds them to the plugin’s database.

If a hacker attempts to exploit your site using a leaked password, the plugin will prompt a password reset, ensuring that unauthorized access is prevented. It’s a smart and effective way to safeguard your website’s security.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

Wordfence Security: Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

You can use it for free. But the real gem of this plugin is its real-time threat resistance feed, which is particularly impressive considering that it’s developed by an analytics company.

Wordfence Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

With this feed, Wordfence keeps a vigilant eye out for any potential hacking attempts or malicious activities, ensuring that users are promptly alerted and protected.

It leverages its extensive network to actively monitor the IPs of known attackers and effectively blocks their access to any websites equipped with Wordfence.

However, you should note that while WordFence is undoubtedly a valuable security plugin, it does have its drawbacks. It can place a significant load on your server and its user interface can feel a bit clunky at times.

Despite these minor downsides, it remains a reliable and effective tool for bolstering your website’s security.

iThemes Security Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

The prevention system of iThemes Security is highly effective in detecting various types of threats, including changes in core files, hacker activities, and unauthorized file editing.

Whenever it identifies such real-time threat activities, it promptly sends an email notification to keep you informed and in control.

IThemes Security Real-Time Threat Resistance Feed

I like its ability to enforce secure password usage and block users after a certain number of login attempts. This is particularly useful in preventing malicious bots from launching brute-force attacks on your site, adding an extra layer of security.

It’s worth noting that while iThemes Security offers robust protection, some of its features may have a slight impact on your site’s speed. However, when it comes to overall site security, iThemes Security surpasses Wordfence in terms of effectiveness.

Moreover, iThemes Security provides a wide range of features in its library. This helps you avoid traffic and congestion issues, ensuring that your site remains secure without compromising performance.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

iThemes Security Pro Vs. Wordfence Pro: Backup

As a savvy blogger or webmaster, you should prioritize the regular backup of your site. If you think about backup features, Wordfence plugin falls short and lacks this functionality.

Therefore, to ensure comprehensive site backup, you’ll need to use a separate backup plugin that can cover your entire site, specific files, and databases.

ithemes database backups

On the other hand, iThemes goes above and beyond by providing a built-in database backup feature alongside its robust security measures.

With iThemes, you have the convenience of automatically backing up your site’s database on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. This feature ensures that your database is securely stored and you can easily access it whenever needed.

iThemes takes care of the backup process and delivers the entire database file to your email in a compressed zip format for added convenience and peace of mind.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

IThemes Vs. Wordfence: Malware Scanning & Removing

I love using Wordfence because it’s known for its amazing automatic malware scanning and removal feature. The pro version of this plugin takes care of scanning your site for any malicious activity or vulnerabilities and getting rid of them without you even noticing.

On the other hand, iThemes Security Pro offers a slightly different approach. It focuses mainly on malware scanning and keeping a close eye on your site for any potential threats.

If it detects any malicious vulnerabilities, it’ll promptly send you an email notification in real-time, ensuring that you’re aware of any security issues right away.

Winer for this feature: Wordfence

iThemes Security Vs. Wordfence–Security Authentication & Alerts

Both Wordfence and iThemes Security share some common features, such as two-factor authentication, alert modifications, malware scanners, and file-change detectors.

However, Wordfence goes the extra mile by offering repair functionality and additional services, making it a reliable choice for ensuring the safety of your content.

On the other hand, iThemes Security stands out with its extensive range of features. It includes magic links, Hide Backend, 404 Detection, Database Backups, Trusted Devices (Beta), and many more functionalities compared to Wordfence.

If your main concern is complete protection for your WordPress site, safeguarding it against hacking attempts and malicious attacks, then the pro version of iThemes Security is undoubtedly the best choice.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

iThemes Security Pro Vs. Wordfence Pro–Pricing Plans

iThemes Security Pricing Plans

When it comes to pricing, iThemes Security offers 3 different plans to choose from. The 1-site plan comes at a cost of only $99 per year, while the 5-site plan is priced at $199 per year.

For those managing multiple sites, there’s the 10-site plan available for $299 per year.

Regardless of the plan you choose, you’ll enjoy one-year unlimited customer support and free plugin updates, ensuring you receive ongoing assistance and the latest features.

itheme security pro plans price

Wordfence Pricing Plans

On the other hand, Wordfence follows a slightly different pricing structure. The 1-site license is priced at $119, offering protection for a single website.

Wordfence premium price updated

However, the interesting part is that the more licenses you purchase, the greater discount you’ll receive, making it a cost-effective choice for those managing multiple sites.

Considering the pricing comparison, iThemes Security emerges as the more affordable option, particularly if you only require protection for a single site.

But, if you plan to purchase licenses for multiple sites, iThemes Security becomes an even more reasonable choice, providing excellent value for your investment.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your preferences and specific needs.

Winer for this feature: iThemes Security

Security PluginPlanPrice per YearNumber of SitesCustomer SupportPlugin Updates
iThemes Security1-site plan$991UnlimitedFree
5-site plan$1995UnlimitedFree
10-site plan$29910UnlimitedFree
Wordfence1-site license$1191UnlimitedFree
Multiple licensesVariesVariesUnlimitedFree
Note: Price may change from time to time. The current price has been updated on May 28, 2023.

Pros & Cons of iThemes Security


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • Complex configuration.
  • 30 days delay for 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?

After thorough research on these plugins, I’ve come to the conclusion that iThemes Security surpasses the others in terms of security levels.

While it doesn’t offer an automatic malware scanning feature, I’ve found that with reliable hosting, this feature becomes unnecessary. Instead, I recommend focusing on other security protection features when selecting the best security plugin.

If you think about overall protection, iThemes outperforms Wordfence by at least 90%. However, You should note that iThemes Security lacks the ability to automatically remove malware, which is a notable advantage of Wordfence.

If this feature is of utmost importance to you, Wordfence would be a standout choice.

Moreover, iThemes not only provides robust security but also offers excellent value for your investment. It’s a cost-effective option and offers a wider range of features compared to other security plugins like Wordfence.

Taking all these factors into consideration, I highly recommend opting for iThemes Security Pro without any hesitation. It truly stands out as a reliable and feature-rich security plugin for WordPress.

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

iThemes Security Vs. Wordfence Final Verdicts

In my opinion, installing either of these security plugins will bring significant benefits to your website. If you’re a beginner or starting out with a smaller business website, I highly recommend iThemes Security.

It offers the perfect level of protection for your needs. On the other hand, if you have a larger business site that handles sensitive data, Wordfence is the ideal choice to ensure comprehensive security.

I hope this comparison between iThemes Security and Wordfence has provided you with valuable insights and has made it clearer for you to decide which plugin to use for your WordPress site.

But choosing the right security plugin is crucial in safeguarding your dream website, and I’m confident that either iThemes Security or Wordfence will meet your requirements and provide the necessary protection.

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  • Palash Talukder

    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.

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3 years ago

Thank you for your contribution
I chose iTheme Security

3 years ago

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?

Saeed Khosravi
Reply to  Francis
3 years ago

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.

Saeed Khosravi's Official Site