MalCare add-on review, can you rely on it to protect your site?

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MalCare add-on review, can you rely on it to protect your site?

Website owners face constant problems and anxiety due to protecting their WordPress site from hacking and exposure to security problems that may affect the stability of the website and may lead to poor user experience, decline in search engine results, loss of customer data, and much more.

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When searching, website owners will find many add-ons and options available to secure WordPress sites, and one of the most prominent of these options is the MalCare add-on, which is one of the latest security options but has managed to gain the trust of more than 300,000 users around the world.

This is because the MalCare add-on works to secure the WordPress site in all aspects, for example, scanning malicious site files, activating an advanced firewall, detecting site vulnerabilities, securing the login page, and so on.

Therefore, in today’s article, we will provide you with a comprehensive review of the MalCare add-on, and we will compare it with other popular add-ons in the field, such as the Sucuri add-on and the Wordfence add-on, and we will explain whether the MalCare add-on actually helps secure your site sufficiently or not.

Why choose MalCare add-on?

The MalCare plugin provides a set of features that make it one of the most prominent options available for protecting WordPress sites. The most important of these features are the following:


01- Why do you choose the MalCare add-on to secure your website?
  • Integrated protection system: The MalCare add-on provides an integrated protection system for WordPress sites, including scanning the site for malicious files and restricting modification to plugins and templates if the WordPress control panel is accessed, backup services, site analysis reports, an advanced firewall, securing the login page, etc. Thus, you can secure most of System vulnerabilities without the need for other security add-ons.
  • Periodic scanning : The MalCare add-on is characterized by scanning your website files periodically, 24 hours a day, to search for any problems, hacked files, etc., and it handles the problem automatically with the possibility of manual scanning from the add-on’s control panel.
  • Not consuming server resources : The MalCare add-on relies on its own servers to scan the entire site’s files and therefore does not affect the performance or speed of the website completely, unlike other security add-ons such as the Sucuri add-on or the Wordfence add-on , which depend on the entire site’s resources, which reduces the site’s speed, especially during The period of periodic scanning or backup. This is clearly evident in the Wordfence add-on, which is one of its most common shortcomings.
  • Scanning speed : The add-on is characterized by extreme speed in all its operations on your site, whether scanning, backing up, etc., because it depends on its own resources, as we mentioned in the previous point.
  • Automatic settings : It works silently by adjusting the automatic settings for scanning, the mechanism for dealing with malicious files, the firewall, backups, etc. for the first time only. Then the plugin works on those settings and does not send any notifications to WordPress or email except in necessary cases only, with the ability to sort Notification properties from internal settings.
  • Advanced backup : Where all your website files are automatically backed up, but in an advanced way, where if you encounter a problem with one of the files or it is hacked, the MalCare add-on replaces the file with the problem with the latest, clean copy of it inside the backup files without affecting the website completely. .
  • Advanced firewall : The firewall in the MalCare add-on has the ability to work, sort traffic, and avoid malicious traffic without visitors realizing this, as it does not need robot verification processes, different pattern solutions, or anything else. 

But in exchange for all the previous features, you will find that the free version of the MalCare add-on imposes multiple restrictions on you in scanning, removing malicious files, etc. Therefore, you may need to get the paid version of it, and during the following paragraphs we will review the pricing options available from the MalCare add-on, as well as we will learn about all the features. Addition in detail. 

Review the protection features of the MalCare add-on

The MalCare add-on offers a set of features that make it an integrated system for protecting WordPress websites and maintaining the site’s performance and stability in the long term. During the following paragraphs, we will review with you these features and explain to you whether they actually help you secure the website sufficiently or not compared to other protection add-ons.

1- Scan website files by Malware Scanner




– Scan Malware Scanner website files using MalCare add-on 

When you install the MalCare add-on, data is automatically synced to external MalCare servers, including the databases and website files themselves.

After that, the MalCare add-on automatically scans all your website files once every 24 hours, with the ability to flexibly control the scheduling of scans, as well as manual scans on demand.

The MalCare add-on is distinguished by the fact that it relies on advanced scanning algorithms that compare the changes that have occurred on your site with the files that were previously synced on its servers and examine the validity and nature of those changes and their impact on your website. This is because malicious files can be included within WordPress plugins or templates. Or otherwise indirectly, and this is what distinguishes it from the Sucuri add-on or the Wordfence add-on.

MalCare also relies on artificial intelligence to examine more than 100 different indicators on the website to examine any indications that the website is in danger or vulnerable to hacking in general.

It is worth noting that all scans are done automatically on MalCare's external server on the synced data and therefore will not completely affect the speed or performance of the website during the scan.

2- Firewall

03 - Firewall
03 – Firewall

A firewall is a firewall that sorts the traffic on your website, tracks visitor activity, and automatically blocks the visitor when it feels there is a danger or threat from the visitor.

The MalCare add-on provides a good firewall that helps you perform the basic function required of the firewall, in addition to detailed reports in the control panel that show you the number of visits that have been blocked, the reason, the IP address of each user, in addition to the source, timing, etc. in order to avoid or block these sources in general and track them. Your website's performance.

It also offers some advanced options in the free version, for example, preventing Brute Force Attack attacks, as well as SQL file injection. The firewall works completely silently without any request for confirmation or resolution of the CAPTCHA code from the user.

When compared with other protection add-ons, for example the Wordfence add-on, we note that Wordfence offers all the previous features in addition to a more advanced firewall in terms of responding to DDoS attacks, in addition to periodic updates to track newly discovered malicious attacks, but these options are only available in the paid version of the add-on. .

The same applies to the Sucuri add-on, which provides a firewall that includes a set of multiple functions, for example, the WAF service and the CDN service, which helps to better sort traffic and improve the website’s performance in general.

So it can be said that MalCare add-on offers you only the basic requirements as a firewall and comparatively less with other security add-ons.

3- Secure the login page Login Protection


04 – Secure the login page Login Protection with the MalCare add-on 

The third criterion that website owners look for is securing the login page because when a hacker succeeds in accessing the WordPress control panel, he can deactivate the security add-on and thus you lose all the protection features that it provides you.

When testing the MalCare add-on, we found that it is relatively weak in this matter, as it relies on the firewall only to block traffic with a high risk rate and relies on artificial intelligence to identify recurring or otherwise fake registrations.

But you cannot rely on it to impose a maximum number of incorrect logins to one IP address or activate the two-factor authentication option, as it relies on the CAPTCHA V1 option, which means that if the firewall notices a problem, it will request a special captcha solution.

When compared with other security add-ons, you will find that the Wordfence add-on significantly excels in this matter, as it provides the ability to set the maximum number of login attempts, in addition to the ability to activate the two-factor authentication option with customizing roles. It also relies on reCAPTCHA v3, which relies on hidden authentication by relying on the browser until Does not affect user experience.

Therefore, the superiority of the Wordfence add-on in securing the login page is clear, and if you want to rely on the MalCare add-on, you need auxiliary add-ons in order to activate these features independently.

4- Backup site files

Backup is the last resort for website owners to resort to if the site is hacked or has technical problems of unknown cause.

When testing the MalCare add-on, it was clearly superior to all other security add-ons, and this was logical because the MalCare add-on is essentially a development of the BlogVault add-on, which is the most famous in the field of WordPress backup.

The MalCare add-on provides the ability to copy all website files, whether databases or website files itself, from the template, add-ons, files uploaded to the server, etc., to external MalCare servers. Therefore, if the server is exposed to a technical problem, you can obtain the files from an external source, and the storage space for backup copies is unlimited. .

What distinguishes MalCare is its reliance on artificial intelligence to compare website files and files uploaded to the server and clarify the difference between them, with the ability to restore only the different files, which helps you address the problem on your website gradually and without affecting the databases completely.

The automatic settings for the MalCare add-on obtain an updated backup copy on the servers once every 24 hours. You can customize that period or perform a manual backup, but this comes at additional costs, especially since the backup service is a completely paid service on the MalCare add-on and the same applies to other protection add-ons.

5- Improving the site’s weak points by security hardening

Website security is not only through installing an advanced firewall or scanning malicious files, but the function of basic security add-ons is to provide you with an integrated environment secured from various penetration and vulnerability factors, and this is the main point of competition between protection add-ons.

When we examined the MalCare add-on, we found that it offers a set of basic features for securing the website in general, as follows:





05 – Improving the site’s weak points by security hardening
  • Change database prefix Prefix.
  • Block PHP installation in untrusted folders on your website. 
  • Disable the file editor, so the hacker cannot modify the plugins or template if he accesses the WordPress control panel.
  • Completely blocking the installation of components or add-ons on your website, so the hacker cannot add any changes to your website or install his own add-ons that affect the website when accessing the WordPress control panel.
  • Change all passwords on your website, server and databases at once using Paranoid.

The MalCare add-on also checks all the add-ons and templates on your website and identifies for you the important add-ons that must be updated to the latest version, specifying the version of the current version and the required version, because the newer versions are used to develop the firewall and close the security vulnerabilities that hackers have accessed, as shown in the following image:




07 – Check plugins and themes activated on your website by MalCare 

It is also worth noting that it monitors the server and the website in terms of the number of uptime hours and sends you a direct email notification if the website is down so that you can examine the underlying problem and try to solve it, as shown in the following image.



08 – Check server status

Most of these options are also available in other security add-ons, but the option to monitor the server, the Paranoid tool, or change the database prefix is ​​not available in the Wordfence add-on, but in return it provides other features, for example, hiding the version of WordPress, and the visitor cannot specify the operating system, template, add-ons, etc. that.

Therefore, this point varies from one add-on to another, but the MalCare add-on can be rated excellent because it provides you with the most basic options you need to secure and monitor all aspects of the website.

6- Easy setup and Control Panel 

All of the previous features are not important if you cannot handle the security add-on correctly and adjust all the basic settings you need on your website, and this definitely depends on the control panel.

When we reviewed the MalCare add-on control panel, we found that it is the best of all among other security add-ons because it provides a comprehensive external control panel with a main interface that includes all the basic reports on the website, for example, backups, scan results, additions, and templates on your website, including version and status, and much more. .

Therefore, you can rely on the main interface only. Examine your entire website, and you will find the possibility of including that interface in the internal WordPress panel as well, but the reports will be more brief and separate.

It is worth noting that the control panel is completely direct and intuitive, and you can handle it with minimal prior technical experience, and you may not need a manual to use and adjust the add-on settings.

You can also link all the websites you own to only one control panel, thus making managing the protection standards for those sites better and easier. Unlike the Sucuri add-on, it does not support multiple websites on the same control panel.

7- Cost Price 

The last point in reviewing the MalCare add-on is the cost, and it may be an important criteria for some users, but it is always not preferable to economize on the website protection budget because it is the basis for the success and stability of the project in the long term. 


10 – Paid plans from the MalCare add-on 

First of all, we reviewed the free plan in the MalCare add-on, which provides you with the basic scanning and firewall options for your website only. As for all the advanced features, you need to access the paid plans. Unlike the Wordfence add-on, it offers you more flexible options in the free plan, but imposes high restrictions on them, for example. Example: Do not update the firewall databases until 30 days after they are released for the paid version.

In the case of relying on the free option, it is best to rely on the Sucuri add-on, as it is a completely free add-on, but the advanced services for it are paid, for example, the backup service or CDN service.

If you rely on the paid plan, you will find that the MalCare add-on starts at $99 per year for one site and offers three gradual plans, which is almost the same cost as the Wordfence add-on, in contrast to the Sucuri add-on, whose basic cost is almost double, which is one plan at a cost of $199.99 per year for sites. One, but it is equivalent to the advanced plans of the paid version, which costs up to $250 per year per site for both the MalCare add-on and the Wordfence add-on.

Therefore, the clear superiority of adding MalCare or adding Wordfence appears if you want to rely on a medium-cost paid plan, but you must compare the cost with the features that you also get in order to get the best quality of protection at the lowest cost.

Install and set up the MalCare plugin on your WordPress site 

After we learned about the features of the MalCare add-on, we will now learn how to install and set up the add-on on a WordPress website. It is worth noting that MalCare provides a ready-made add-on for WordPress that you can rely on to link all of MalCare’s security services directly to your website.

First, you go to the main WordPress panel, then click on Add-ons from the side menu, choose Add New, then search for the MalCare add-on and click on Install Now next to it, as shown in the following image:


11 - Install the MalCare plugin on the WordPress website

After that, the add-on will be downloaded and installed on your site within minutes, then you click on Activate next to it. In this way, the add-on has been installed and activated. 

 After that, you will be automatically redirected to the MalCare add-on settings page. If you are not redirected to it, you will find a new tab that appears in the WordPress side menu called Malcare, through which you can control the add-on settings.

You will now be asked to register a new account on the MalCare website in order to use all of the add-on’s features, as well as to connect the add-on’s cloud services to your website. You write your email and then agree to the terms and conditions. It is preferable to review them before agreeing, and then click on Submit, as shown in Next picture:

12 - Create a new account on the MalCare plugin on the WordPress website

After that, you will be transferred to the external MalCare platform, where you will click on Don't have an account? Sign Up Here in order to create a new account on the platform, as shown in the following image: 



13- Complete the creation of a new account on the MalCare platform 

After that, you write the email again Email, then you write the password Password, then you confirm it again Password Confirmation, after that you agree to the terms and conditions, and then you click Get Started, as shown in the following image:




14 - Write your new account information on the MalCare platform 

In this way, a new, successful account has been registered on the MalCare platform. You now return to the main WordPress control panel for your website and then choose MalCare from the side menu again. The following page will appear to you:




15 - Add MalCare to WordPress after installation and activation 

This message explains that all the settings and files of the Malcare add-on are done on their own external servers and you must click on Visit Dashboard in order to move to it. This clarifies what we mentioned in the previous paragraph that the Malcare add-on does not affect the speed or performance of your website, unlike security add-ons. The other.

If the same previous page appears to you, you re-type the email registered on the Malcare platform and the link will be done directly and the last page will appear to you without problems. In this way, the Malcare add-on has been linked to your website correctly and successfully, so you now click on Visit Dashboard in order to go to the Malcare settings. .

First of all, you will find that the Malcare server uploads all your website files to its server and links the data in real-time, updated with the site data. You wait until the file upload rate in the Sync In Progress bar is complete, as shown in the following image:



16 - Upload your website files to the MalCare add-on 

After reaching 100%, the site is now connected to the MalCare add-on servers, and you can adjust the add-on settings, as we will review with you in the following paragraphs, so continue reading with us.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a WordPress add-on that will help you fully secure your website and achieve the complete equation for you, then it is almost impossible and you will find many options in front of you, including the MalCare add-on, which we reviewed in today’s article, as well as the Wordfence add-on, the Sucuri add-on, and many others.

You will find that all extensions have a set of advantages and disadvantages, so you must read the review and determine whether the weak points provide you with the minimum required security standards or require a more advanced degree of security.

The MalCare add-on can be quickly judged to be a good addition to securing the website, especially at the paid level, but you may need some external assistance add-ons to reach the full degree of security, for example setting the maximum number of registration times or two-factor authentication, etc., in accordance with the needs and degree of security. Your website required.


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