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[Updated] Astra Vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

Posted on the 19 October 2019 by Jitendra Vaswani @JitendraBlogger

Like I said in my previous post - Astra vs Malcare, I did extensive research to find the best security solution to suit my website. While I was at it, I also discovered the basic requirements you should never compromise on in a security solution.

So, with this post, I am going to list the most important features a security solution should have. And also, how these features vary in the two services i.e. - Astra vs WordFence.

Plugins on WordPress are plenty. Security plugins are no exclusion. WordFence is a free security plugin exclusively defined to protect WordPress sites. The following picture depicts the official site of WordFence .

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons
About Astra

Astra, on the other hand, is a plugin meant for WordPress, Magento, Opencart, Drupal, PrestaShop and custom PHP all alike. Since this comparison includes WordFence, WordPress sites might take center stage in our concern. But, since it also includes Astra, we won't totally miss out on other CMS(s).

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

Kicking off this comparison with the most wanted feature in a security plugin - The Firewall. Let's find out how the two plugins perform.

Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison from a User's Point of View

1. Firewall: Astra vs WordFence

Firewalls are security guards that protect your website from all attacks that the web might throw your way. It's also a great way to ensure continuous monitoring on your site. 'Cause no human can practically monitor their websites 24*7, and why should you when you have smarter ways to do that. Programs like a firewall can effectively secure you from attacks like SQLi, XSS, CSRF, bad bots, and many more.

For our website, we wanted a plugin that blocked all the attacks, filtered the traffic, was customizable, and yet doesn't hamper the performance of the website. While doing the comparison, I found that people opt for WordFence mainly because it's free.

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

But, when your utmost concern is your website's security, this attribute takes a back seat and the focus shifts to what this plugin is offering besides being free. Because, I will trust someone with my website's security only if they're good at it, not because it's free. So, I tried not to get affected by the freemium service and find the true value behind it.

In the wordfence firewall , I found the security mechanisms to be alright but the performance wasn't what I had expected. It worked from my WordPress backend, which was both good and bad. Good because of no need to handle a separate dashboard. Bad because it eventually crowds your backend, which slows the website.

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

Whereas, Astra Firewall operates from its own dashboard, which is accessible from your WordPress site's backend also. In the case of other CMS, the Astra dashboard remains the same and a single handle for all the features. This doesn't mingle with your website's speed and performance. On the contrary, it boasts the performance.

2. Security audit: Astra vs WordFence

I have been told multiple times the importance of security audits for a site. Hence, I was convinced to get a security solution that offers that. Comparing the two WordPress plugins I found that, WordFence has got no security audits option. Astra, on the other hand, offers in-depth security audits . Afterward, it provides a detailed report of the vulnerabilities found. This report also contains quick fixes to these vulnerabilities. Most importantly, Astra promises to be there for your developers till the time they can fix these.

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

Further, Astra Security Audits are available in one of these two ways: 1) With the business plan and 2) as a separate pack.

Here's how the security audit dashboard in Astra looks like:

3. Malware Removal: Astra vs WordFence

In a situation of crisis such as a hacked website, urgent malware removal becomes necessary. An immediate malware removal service by a professional can be a savior in these cases. This would ensure that your site doesn't face downtime for a longer period. It also ensures that you do not face the bitter consequences of the hack. Timely hack cleanup keeps your website's SEO and searches engine ranking from taking a hit.

Now, wordfence is more popular for its firewall product and doesn't enjoy a reputation of a fully-fledged malware removal service. But, it does offer malware removal currently at $179. Wordfence has dynamic pricing for its malware removal service, which means the rates keep on fluctuating based on WordFence's liking.

Besides the pricing, WordFence exercises several other conditions for its malware service like -

" All service pricing assumes that your website is less than 10GB in size. An additional charge of $50 per 10GB will be added for sites over the limit. "

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

Astra offers immediate malware cleanup for $228 and takes responsibility for your website's security for a complete year. It means this is not just a one-time malware cleanup, but you get their cleaning services for one whole year.

Not only the cleaning services, but this price also gets you a one-year subscription to its firewall & malware scanner. With their firewall, scanner all in place you have nothing to worry about.

4. Malware scanner: Astra vs WordFence

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

The Malware scanner is a tool that requires no explaining. Although there is an abundance of malware scanners in the WordPress market, the right ones are hard to find. This population of Scanners for WordPress is a direct result of WordPress' popularity and huge market share.

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

Both these security solutions, WordFence and Astra offer efficient malware scanners. Astra's is a machine-learning one. In layman's language, it means that it learns from previous hacks and keeps updating itself to better protect a site. Apart from the signatures, it also scans the files against the checksums. And, it highlights file changes and fetches details of malicious codes within various files in your website.

You can schedule scans with this scanner so that the process is further automated. It also facilitates one-click removal of infected files from the dashboard itself.

Here is a still from Astra's malware scanner:

WordFence's scanner also has a number of already identified malware signatures and IPs which it uses to detect malware on the site. Repair files that have changed by overwriting them with a pristine, original version and easily delete any files that don't belong.

5. Support: Astra vs WordFence

Other than core security needs, a virtual solution has to have awesome support. It should be so good that it blurs the virtual line of the service. In the end, it is humans who we connect to not the software. I need to be assured that there's someone behind this plugin who is willing to listen, answer and help in case I have queries. I would happily pay more to have a solution that has good and consistent support over a service where I get no response back.

Astra subsided my fears and doubts with awesome reviews. WordFence competes pretty closely with Astra in this sense.

Perks of using Astra

Now, coming to the perks. Don't you love little surprises & freebies? Well, I do.

After executing exceptional security service, Astra still has more to offer. Besides the core malware scanner, it also offers a 'Health Scan' that scans your website for other security factors like - Header security, HTTP security, Cookie security, etc. Additionally, there are smaller perks like IP blocking/whitelisting, Range blocking/whitelisting, Country blocking/whitelisting, etc.

With that, it also allows adding a readymade GDPR consent bar on your website.

Quick Links:

Conclusion: Astra vs WordFence Comparison 2019

After looking at all my concerns and the offerings in the respective security plugins, I can safely conclude that Astra is the more smart and obvious choice for your website's security. It swiftly covers all the security needs of your site and promises a wow service. WordFence even though popular in the WordPress market due to its free plugin doesn't complete security needs a web owner might have.

If you have not invested in a security solution yet, In today's times, it does not do depend on luck and forgets to secure.

[Updated] Astra vs WordFence 2019: Comparison With Pros & Cons

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