1. The Growing Variety of CAPTCHA Types: What’s it for?

CAPTCHA is an essential tool in preventing automated bots from accessing websites and apps, but it can also be frustrating for users. Over recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of CAPTCHA types available, each with its own unique UI to cater for the changing market demand. Some of the newer types of CAPTCHAs include a dynamic image that contains various elements and requires users to arrange them in a specific way, while others ask users to identify specific objects within an array of images or listen to an audio clip and transcribe what they hear. 

Despite the growing variety of CAPTCHAs, it is their security that is constantly being tested and challenged by increasingly sophisticated bots. Therefore, it raises concern for websites, apps and individual users that the increasing CAPTCHA types are for the sake of security or just marketing hype.

2. Strategies Behind CAPTCHAs: What Do CAPTCHAs Do When You Click The Button?

When user clicks on the CAPTCHA button, they are presented with a challenge that is for websites and apps to distinguish their human-like abilities. The methods vary among CAPTCHA vendors. Generally speaking, there are 3 common methods:

  • analyzing user behaviour, such as mouse movements and keystroke dynamics
  • monitoring IP addresses
  • using machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in user data

In addition to these common methods, some bot mitigation vendors employ more advanced techniques to detect bots. For example, some challenges may involve biometric features to verify the user's identity through unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition. But this is still a relatively new technology and not all devices support this authentication. Additionally, biometric authentication may raise privacy concerns for some users. 

To put it briefly, CAPTCHA security strategies are triggered the moment a user arrives on a website (only if it is deployed CAPTCHA), and the interaction between the user and CAPTCHA challenges is part of the strategies. Different CAPTCHA challenges and looks serve a specific need which can be a crucial step among security rules or an essential part of a website’s custom design.

Ultimately, both CAPTCHA looks and security rules are important for the effectiveness of the CAPTCHA system. CAPTCHA looks to determine the user experience of website visitors which is tied directly to a website or app's success — revenue, while CAPTCHA security strategies are equally important as they ensure that the CAPTCHA system is able to detect and block bot activity effectively. 

3. Keeping CAPTCHA Challenges Fun, Engaging and Secure

This is what GeeTest believes when we design GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA. GeeTest CAPTCHA now offers five types of CAPTCHA challenges to its users: Slide CAPTCHA, Iconcrush CAPTCHA, Gobang CAPTCHA, Icon CAPTCHA and NoCAPTCHA CAPTCHA. Websites and apps can choose one type that suits their needs best.

Try the demo here.

Keep reading and discover more about GeeTest CAPTCHA challenges. 

1. Slide CAPTCHA

  • How it works: This is one of GeeTest's most classic CAPTCHA challenges. It requires users to slide a puzzle piece into the correct position. The puzzle piece is often an image or an animation and it’s fully customizable for website and app UI themes.
  • Advantages: Slide CAPTCHA is user-friendly and effective at deterring bots. While users interact with the challenge, CAPTCHA systems analyze data, such as the user's network environment, and adjust the risk in real-time.
  • Security: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • User experience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

2. IconCrush CAPTCHA

  • How it works: Users are presented with a grid of icons and are asked to match three identical icons in a row. select specific images according to the challenge requirements. 
  • Advantages: IconCrush CAPTCHA is visually engaging and effective at deterring risky IPs and anomaly signals, such as CAPTCHA farms, in the meanwhile.
  • Security: ⭐️⭐️
  • User experience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 3. Gobang CAPTCHA

  • How it works: This challenge requires users to win a game of Gobang, also called Five in a Row, a popular strategy board game.
  • Advantages: It is unique, engaging, and difficult for bots to solve. Plus, network security check always runs backstage to detect malicious activities.
  • Security: ⭐️⭐️
  • User experience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  • How it works: This challenge starts with the user clicking on the icons that match the clue provided by the system. 
  • Advantages: The system analyzes the user's behaviour while they solve the challenge, such as the speed and accuracy of the drag and drop action, and checks the user’s network security at the same time. This icon-based behaviour verification can elevate the language barrier for users.
  • Security: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • User experience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  • How it works: This is a less intrusive CAPTCHA that improves user experience without compromising security. Users are presented with a checkbox that they must click to confirm that they are not a bot. 
  • Advantages: GeeTest system verifies and validates each CAPTCHA request and response, supported by multi-layer protections including network environment detection, JS obfuscation, and proof of work, etc., alongside GeeTest dashboard offers real-time data and insights about the website traffic to assist our client’s decision-making.
  • Security: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • User experience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We recently launched OneTap, a solution based on NoCAPTCHA CAPTCHA. Check the details here.

4. Final thoughts

To sum up, the growing variety of CAPTCHA types available serves a specific need in terms of both security and user experience. At least, an effective CAPTCHA should have the following features:

  • A. Reduced user frustration: By making CAPTCHA challenges fun and engaging, users are less likely to get frustrated or annoyed when completing them. This can lead to a better user experience and increased customer satisfaction.
  • B. Increased engagement: CAPTCHA challenges that are fun and engaging can encourage users to spend more time on a website or app. This increased engagement can lead to increased conversions and revenue.
  • C. Improved user experience: By implementing fun and engaging CAPTCHA challenges, users are more likely to have a positive experience with a website or app. This can lead to increased loyalty and repeat visits.
  • D. Enhanced security: CAPTCHAs that are fun and engaging are often more difficult for bots to solve. This increased difficulty can lead to enhanced security and protection against automated attacks.

While some may see it as just marketing hype, the different CAPTCHA challenges and looks are crucial for the effectiveness of the system. GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA offers five types of challenges, each with its own advantages and security level. Website and app developers can choose the CAPTCHA type that best suits their needs. Ultimately, a balance between security and user experience is essential to ensure that users are engaged, while the system is protected from bots effectively. GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA is constantly evolving and improving to provide the best user experience and security.

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Hayley Hong

Content Marketing @ GeeTest