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Case Study : Captcha Solutions

What is a captcha ?

Forms on a website are open to misuse both by human visitors and automated web scripts. Adding a test (such as a question + answer) to your forms that only a human could answer correctly can quickly cut down the amount of spam and junk responses that you receive. Such tests are known as Turing Tests.

What captchas are available ?

There are many captcha solutions available, some free to use, some licenced for a fee.
A captcha can be added to your forms as long as your website supports server-side scripting (eg PHP, ASP).

Choose the system carefully : too easy a solution will let through more spam, too difficult a solution will irritate your customers.

Here are some working examples of solutions to this problem that we can add to your existing website.

Google's reCAPTCHA plug-in

Google's solution is free to use but is one of the more difficult to read.
However, this does make it one of the more secure 'captcha' systems.

To try out Google's reCAPTCHA plug-in, enter the words shown and click the 'Validate' button.

If the words are unclear, use the 'recycle' button to the right of them to request a new pair. offer their system licence free,

It is easier to read than Google's reCAPTCHA and both the number of characters and the alphabet used can be varied.

If the letters are unclear, use the link below the image to have them read out to you or refresh this page for a fresh string.

The Captcha image
Read these letters to me phonetically (opens as mp3)

Enter the letters shown above:


This captcha uses a simple text string but with a more varied background. This system does not offer the option of having the letters read out to you.

Please enter the letters shown in the image :

Answer :
Question and Answer

This is an alternative form of Turing test which poses very simple questions to the user, but which a computer could not answer easily..

Questions can be tailored to your needs and could refer to other information on screen.

Single word answers (or digits for 'how many' type questions) are used which are not case sensitive.

Please answer the following question :

Is sugar sweet or bitter ?

Answer :