Six WordPress Security Authentication Plugins
Protecting your WordPress site is obviously important. There are plenty of precautions you can take to avoid getting hacked and having your site compromised. One of the best forms of protection is two-factor authentication.
If you manage a WordPress site or even several sites for clients, beefing up the overall security of a site is a no-brainer. Most users know how to strengthen passwords, but two-factor authentication takes security to the next level.
Even if a hacker guesses your username and password, they will not be able to login to your site without a code, which is usually connected to your smartphone or emailed.
In this article, we’ll look at six authentication plugins available for WordPress. Most are highly rated, free, and can offer a great solution to stopping hackers in their tracks.
Continue reading, or jump ahead using these links:
- Google Authenticator
- Duo Two-Factor Authentication
- Google Apps Login
- Next Active Directory Integration
- Wrapping Up
Alright, here we go…
Our very own answer to security, Defender, features two-factor authentication that can be customized to your specifications to keep your site secure.
The 2FA works in collaboration with the Google Authenticator app, making it easy to use. There is also a Lost Phone feature so that users can get an OTP (one-time-pass) code sent to their email.
You can also select user roles for whom 2FA should be enacted. Plus, as an additional option, you can enter a custom message that will be shown to the user if they have not yet enabled it.
Some of Defender’s main features for 2FA are:
- Enable two-factor authentication for specific users
- Customized emails for OTP codes
- White-labeled so you can create custom graphics for your login page
- It’s Free!
Defender offers a lot beyond 2FA to prevent brute force attacks, hackers, and malicious code. It also features Firewall, login masking, block or allowlist IPs, 404 detections, and much more. To find out more, be sure to check out our article on how to get the most out of Defender.
With a 5-star rating and over 60K active installations, Defender is a great choice for keeping your WordPress site secure with 2FA and beyond.
The two-factor authentication can be enabled on a per-user basis and can be used for an administrator account, while still being able to log in as normal with less privileged accounts.
Some of the best features are:
- QR code on the Profile and Personal options page
- Adjustable settings for description, secret, and password
- Free to use
This is a great plugin if you want to easily increase login security on your site with 2FA and Google Authenticator.
It has a solid 4.5-star rating and over 30K active installations, making it a popular choice to check out.
Duo Two-Factor Authentication allows you to add an extra layer of login security to your WordPress site with two-factor authentication.
There are multiple ways you can authenticate, including using the mobile app, one-time passcodes generated on the app, one-time passcodes delivered via SMS, phone callback to any mobile or landline phone, and one-time passcodes generated by an OATH-compliant hardware token.
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You can also use the Duo Push, which sends a message to your phone and opens the Duo app, allowing you to approve or deny a login request.
Some of Duo’s main features are:
- One-tap authentication
- One-time passcodes
- Phone callback
- One-time SMS passwords
This plugin is easy to set up and has a support forum for any additional help that’s needed.
It also has a 3.5-star review and has over 9k active installations.
With all of the various 2FA options, it offers a bit more than some of the other plugins mentioned as is worth a shot.
With the Two-Factor plugin, you can enable 2FA authentication with time-based one-time passwords and email.
It functions well with custom login pages or membership plugins.
Some of its main features are:
- Email codes
- Time-based one-time passwords
- FIDO universal 2nd factor
- Backup codes
- Testing with a dummy method
This free plugin is a simple solution to 2FA. It has a 5-star rating and over 40K active installations, making it a top-rated and popular security plugin.
With the Google Apps Login plugin, you can allow existing WordPress user accounts to login to your site using Google to authenticate their account. That enables them to click their way through the WordPress login screen with no username or password if they’re logged into, for example, their Gmail.
This plugin uses the most recent secure OAuth2 authentication that is recommended by Google.
Some of the main features are:
- One-click Google login for existing WordPress users
Though it’s a free plugin, there’s also a premium version that offers full support and allows everyone in your G Suite domain to login to WordPress. The prices vary significantly, depending on sites and users. It can range from $29 to $749.
This plugin has a 4.5-star rating and over 20K active installations. For quick access for logging in to your WordPress account via Google, this plugin might work great for your needs.
The Next Active Directory Integration plugin will allow WordPress to authenticate, authorize, update, and create users against Microsoft Active Directory.
It’s simple to import users from your Active Directory into your WordPress instance and keep them synchronized by this plugin’s features.
Some of the main attributes include:
- Authenticating WordPress users against a single or many AD Server
- Authorizing users by Active Directory group memberships
- SSO (single sign-on)
- Automatically creating and updating WordPress users based on their Active Directory membership
There is also a premium version of this plugin that includes features such as profile pictures, BuddyPress simple attributes, support, and logins with Ultimate Member. The prices range from $569 to $2499 per year, depending on the number of sites.
With a 4.5-star rating and over 3K installations, this is a great authentication plugin for its intended uses.
As you can see, there are plenty of free (and premium) options out there to help secure your WordPress site with 2FA. This is great for you and your users to ensure that your site stays safe.
They’re all easy to set up and get started with immediately, leaving hackers scratching their heads and moving on to a vulnerable WordPress site instead of yours.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.
[Originally Published: November 2020 / Revised: April 2022]