5 Best Alternatives to reCAPTCHA
By Nina Narayan
August 24, 2022
Developed by Google, reCAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA system that aims to help developers distinguish between real, human users and automated computers or bots that access websites. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart. The system usually does so by asking users to identify a certain set of images, decode hard-to-read text, or complete a similar task whose success depends on the ability to utilize human insight. Despite its widespread use, reCAPTCHA has several disadvantages. It obstructs the user experience, often fails to counteract more advanced bots and CAPTCHA farmers, and can be inaccessible to many users. Furthermore, it even routinely blocks real users from entering websites and submitting forms because of the difficulty of certain tests. Here are the five best alternatives to reCAPTCHA to help your website counter non-human visitors and automated attacks.
hCAPTCHA emphasizes the important balance between privacy and security in its mission to stop bots. It prompts users to click a checkbox while analyzing if their movements are natural and then requests further visual challenges if needed. hCAPTCHA additionally offers an alternative accessibility option for those who are visually impaired or may struggle with the standard visual challenges needed to access a website. This improves both the user experience for those often overlooked while also benefiting hosts that choose to employ more accessible CAPTCHAs.
2. The Honeypot Method
3. Really Simple CAPTCHA
Really Simple CAPTCHA, as the name suggests, is a truly simple plugin that is easy to install into your plugin and easy to use. It uses its PHP sessions as temporary files rather than storing info, a practice that aims to decrease the risk of conflict. This CAPTCHA does not occupy a large amount of storage space and boasts an easy-to-navigate interface, thus benefiting clients and their users. The simplicity of this option does, however, result in a lower level of security for the plugin.
Akismet is a WordPress comment and contact form spam protection system that filters out bots so that your website can maintain its credibility. Akismet filters out approximately 7.5 million pieces of spam per hour and does so without interrupting user interactions with your site. This alternative plugin is a time saver and does not slow down WordPress sites. Its invisibility to users counteracts accessibility challenges and other roadblocks that interfere with the user experience.
One option for your website or app is humanID, an identity provider that offers an easy-to-use, one-click authentication solution. humanID allows for a more seamless login process that makes engaging with an app easier for users while benefiting apps through increasing security and lowering the risk of compromised passwords and thus compromised data. SSOs not only protect websites and apps from breaches but also build trust in users through their emphasis on privacy. One-click authentication is much simpler than CAPTCHA and rids users of the frustrating and difficult-to-pass puzzles that often hinder conversion rates and engagement.
Ultimately selecting an optimal alternative to reCAPTCHA is in the best interest of your website or app. Guaranteeing more accessible security measures and ensuring a higher level of ease in the anti-spam process will retain more users than a faulty and challenging series of puzzles. Beyond improving the general user experience, alternative methods to anti-spam and bot protection will help your website build a more robust front against fraudulent form submissions and bot attacks, thus increasing the authenticity and reliability of your brand in the long run.