Plugin Reviews

AVH First Defense Against Spam

The AVH First Defense Against Spam plugin gives you the ability to block spammers before any content is served.

10 reviews
Average Rating
2.7 out of 5 stars
By , for WP 4.2.2

Blocks legit content, messed up https, prevents people from commenting even if whitelisted... this causes more problems than it solves.

Quality Plugin, may not be for Beginners
By , for WP 4.1.1

I've used this plugin on several sites and use all 3 of the 3rd parties with it. It's been very solid for me and very reliable (I get results just as good as Akismet). However, the settings may be a bit confusing for beginners or those not familiar with WP and how spam setups work.

It's the one I use
By , for WP 3.8.1

Works very well with only default options. I hope it will not block trusted visitors - the limit of this kind of plugins.

Blocked by my own blog!?!
By , for WP 3.8

avh-first-defense-against-spam repeatedly added my IP as SPAM to its IP cache. I deleted the IP from the cache and tried again. First time it shows the page, second time I am blocked. It blocked me even though I was no even trying to add a comment. This is not acceptable.

Additionally it does not tell me why it blocked my IP. It does not even tell me when I'm logged in as admin. In the IP cache it should show the reason why it added an IP as SPAM. Also missing is a reverse lookup of the IP. I'm tired of doing the reverse lookup by hand.

By ,

Blocked the whole university! LOL

Whole country blocked
By ,

2 days ago I received a "Access has been blocked" message when I tried to assess my favorite blog at home.
today I got the same message when I tried to assess the blog at my office.
I think the damned plugin blocks all IP of the single biggest ISP of Taiwan.
or even worse, it blocks the whole country.
great job!

Fantastic plugin
By ,

I want to break down the 6 reasons why I love this plugin:

1) This plugin brings together the power of numerous blacklisting networks into a single tool. Now I have the power to easily fight back against the spam.

2) It's not a single click install but it's close. Some minor configuration is required getting API keys, etc but I believe it's worth it.

Why is this a selling point? To me it highlights that it isn't a "black box of voodoo magic" and suggests it is legitimately protecting my blog. I am highly suspicious of dodgy plugins that pull you in with "magic" and try and make you pay.

3) Speaking of which it is completely free and makes use of free blacklisting networks such as StopForumSpam, Spamhaus and ProjectHoneyPot. I have my fingers crossed they'll add support for OpenBL.org in the future (hint hint).

4) It doesn't try and pretend it stops every and all spam or malicious attack - however I'm yet to see a solution that does without a high level of false positives. Beware of anyone promising everything. However that said my spam comments have dropped by 95% after installing AVH First Defense Against Spam.

5) With the bad traffic stopped, I can more clearly distinguish legitimate traffic in my webstats and analytics from all that noise.

6) There is next to no performance hit against my blog loading especially with the built-in caching layer. There can be a very slight delay if the third-party network is slow but this is a) rare and b) worth the half a second wait.

Fantastic plugin, excellent work and great quality. I look forward to seeing it expand into other networks into the future. :)

Blocks honest users from accessing the websites
By , for WP 3.4.2

If you're using this plugin and have the "block before serving content" on (if that's a separate setting, that is), then you're effectively blocking broadband users from accessing your website at all (thanks to the plugin using Spamhaus lists in the wrong way). Screenshot to prove that: http://i49.tinypic.com/357psib.jpg

Works great
By , for WP 3.5

It reports IPs that try to comment on your blog. You can then add the bad IP address to the Blacklist. You can also Whitelist you IP address and others you don't want blocked. Connects to Spamhaus, Honey Pot, and Stop Forum Spam to check IPs against their lists. You can add your HoneyPot catcher link in the settings.

Plugin blocked Google-Bot
By , for WP 3.4.2

The plugin blocked the Google Bot from indexing my website. I recognized that only as I looked in my Webmastertools and I got a bunch of 404's. Allthough all sites were accessable for me, the Google Bot was blocked. I am not sure what settings were responsible for that as I directly deleted the plugin to prevent further damage to the website and it's rankings.

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