Google reCAPCHA in April 2024 revises its offer by becoming virtually fee-based for most websites. It goes from 1.000.000 free uses per month to only 10,000, 100 times less.

What is Google reCAPCHA?

reCAPTCHA is a free service provided by Google that helps protect websites from spam and automated abuse. It is a form of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), which is a test designed to determine whether the user is a human being or a computer. reCAPTCHA does this by presenting tasks that are easy for humans but difficult for computers, such as recognizing distorted text, images of objects, or sounds.

The reCAPTCHA service is widely used on the Internet to:

  • Protect registration and login forms from bot attacks.
  • Safeguard comment and feedback systems from automated spam messages.
  • Ensure that only human users can access certain online resources or services.

Over time, reCAPTCHA has evolved to become more user-friendly and less intrusive, with versions such as reCAPTCHA v2 introducing the famous "I am not a robot" checkbox, and reCAPTCHA v3 working in the background to assess user behavior without interrupting the user experience.

How to use reCAPCHA with PrestaShop?

There are many modules for integrating Google reCAPCHA into PrestaShop in order to block both bogus registrations and spam sending via the CMS contact page. Currently the best module for PrestaShop in our opinion found on PrestaShop Addons is: Advanced Google Re-Captcha Anti Spam & Fake Accounts by ReduxWeb

Compared to other similar solutions, it integrates very useful additional features such as the ability to filter emails by excluding disposable addresses, the temporary emails we have already discussed here.

What changes for those who use reCAPCHA for free?

Google also offered reCAPCHA for Enterprise solutions, but it is free for the majority of websites, having a free usage threshold of up to 1.000.000 of interactions. So the paid version was intended only for very large entities.

The free tier limit will be reduced from 1 million free evaluations per month to only 10.000. This represents a substantial decrease in the number of free evaluations available to users.

New reCAPTCHA Standard Plan

From April 2024, however, several major changes to the service will be introduced by Google, including a significant price increase; free use will go to a maximum of 10,000 interactions per month, which is 100 times less. This drastic reduction of free ratings per month will make it necessary for many realities to switch to paid plans starting from the cheapest which is $8 per month, for 100,000 validations (enough for the majority of users), so we are not talking about huge figures, but a cost of $96/year that will be added to other expenses.

What changes for Enterprise plans?

Enterprise users will continue to pay $1 per 1,000 ratings after the first 10,000 free ratings. This is a reduction from the previous one million free evaluations per month. In addition, the cost for the "transaction protection" feature is significantly reduced.

The impact on developers and companies

Upcoming changes in pricing are expected to lead many developers and companies to look for alternative solutions and reevaluate their current use of reCAPTCHA. However, the new plan offering 100,000 evaluations for $8 per month may be sufficient for many users.

These changes indicate a significant shift in Google's approach to its reCAPTCHA service, which is likely to affect a wide range of websites and online services.

Alternatives to Google reCAPCHA

There are several alternatives to reCAPTCHA that offer similar functionality to protect websites from spam and automated abuse. Here are some of the most popular options:

  1. hCaptcha: hCaptcha is a popular alternative to reCAPTCHA that pays special attention to user privacy. It offers a CAPTCHA solution that also helps websites earn money every time the CAPTCHA is solved.

  2. Akismet: Akismet is more focused on protecting against spam comments on blogs and websites. It is widely used in blogging platforms such as WordPress. Akismet analyzes comments and post content to determine if it is spam.

  3. CleanTalk: CleanTalk provides a cloud service to protect websites from spam without the need for users to resolve CAPTCHAs. It offers an invisible solution that automatically filters spam in comments, registration forms, contacts and bookings.

  4. FriendlyCaptcha: Friendly Captcha is a privacy-friendly alternative to reCAPTCHA that requires users to solve simple graphical puzzles. It is designed to be mobile-friendly and accessible.

  5. FunCaptcha (Arkose Labs): FunCaptcha offers a unique approach by presenting website visitors with small games or challenges that are easy for humans but difficult for bots to overcome.

  6. MTCaptcha: MTCaptcha is a CAPTCHA service that emphasizes security and privacy while providing a good user experience. It is GDPR and CCPA compliant and offers various customization options.

  7. reCaptcha by BestWebSoft: This is a CAPTCHA solution that can be easily integrated into WordPress forms. It offers simple and customizable CAPTCHA protection for registration, login, comment and password recovery forms.

  8. KeyCAPTCHA: KeyCAPTCHA stands out for its unique approach to CAPTCHAs, offering a variety of interactive puzzles that users must complete to prove they are not bots.

Author: Loris Modena

Loris Modena


For Ind Loris Modena owner of Arte e Informatica, began working in the computer industry in 1989 as a systems engineer involved in the maintenance and installation of computer systems. He starts programming for the web in 1997 dealing with CGI programming in PERL and later moving to programming in PHP and JavaScript. During this period he approaches the Open source world and Linux server management.

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