Identity Guard Review

When it comes to identity theft protection, there are a few big names on the market everyone has heard of. Identity Guard, perhaps, is the most famous of them, and has a legit reputation.

This reputation, in my opinion, is well earned. While there are a few minor gripes I have with the service, as I’ll detail below along with the positives, it is overall an excellent service and well worth looking into for anyone that has a need for identity theft protection options. Of the options I’ve tested recently, it offers the best overall package.

Is Identity Guard any good? It provides one of the Top ID Theft Protection Services today. The basic plan is cheap and it even offers a 30-day risk free trial if you are shopping for an ID protection service. The Total and Premier Plans are also great options but they can be expensive for some.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Our Testing Method ?

2. Why Should You Get Identity Theft Protection?

3. Quick Breakdown

4. Final Verdict

Why Trust Us?

In short, because we test everything personally. We are committed to honesty and accuracy in everything we do, and use the services the same way any other user would, by signing up for the services after in depth research into each of the pricing options, searching for deals and discounts, then dive deep into each of the offered services. We feed information into the system with known parameters to search for, and then test the service based on speed and accuracy of its threat monitoring and resolution, as well as how the customer support answers questions, and similar other metrics.

Everything here should be identical to how a user would experience purchasing and using each service, and is the result of hours of research into each option.

Who is Identity Guard Best For?

Identity Guard doesn’t specialize in any one particular aspect of id theft protection, making them a great choice for the average person. All of the aspects of their system are tuned to the same, high standard meaning you get the full potential of every aspect of their service. They cover the full spectrum of identity theft and fraud threats.

In particular, if you’re a homeowner their home title monitoring is top notch. This is available with their Ultra plan, like pretty much everything else about the service, so you don’t need to buy a separate add-on for just that.

What Kind of Features are We Looking At?

Identity Guard’s service comes with a ton of features, particularly when it comes to the Ultra plan. This is what we’ll be using as the primary plan, as it includes almost half the features. Here’s a quick list of what you get with the Ultra plan:

Features Overview:

  • $1 million in insurance (standard across all plans)
  • Access to their US based customer care team
  • White Glove Resolution concierge
  • Risk management report (more of an assessment)
  • Data breach notifications
  • Dark web monitoring
  • High risk transaction monitoring
  • Safe browsing tool
  • Social media insights report
  • Bank account monitoring
  • Credit and debit card and account monitoring
  • 401k and investment account monitoring
  • Criminal and sex offense registry monitoring
  • USPS address change monitoring
  • Home title monitoring
  • 1 bureau credit score (available monthly)
  • 3 bureau credit monitoring
  • 3 bureau credit report (available annually)

For the Value plan, only the insurance, access to customer care team, risk management, data breach, dark web, and high risk transaction monitoring, plus the safe browsing tool are included.

With the Total plan, you get all of that plus bank account monitoring and the 1 bureau credit score and 3 bureau monitoring.

As you can see, the features are pretty thin on the ground until you get Ultra. Nothing changes here between individual and Family plans, save that the coverage is extended to more people.

Read More: Best Credit Monitoring Services

Accessibility

This is a quick measure of how easy the service is to use, which in this case is pretty easy.

Primarily what I’m reviewing here is Identity Guard’s website, as it will be where you’re spending most of your time when using the service.

The site is well laid out and comprehensible, even on the main page with an easy to find Login screen. Rounding things out is a quick list of all the plans, their features, and prices.

Of special note is that Identity Guard’s signup process is among the easiest in the business, matched by a few of its competitors. The part of the site that gathers your information and payment info before confirming is easy to use, with properly flowing multi-stage textboxes (eg. when they ask you for your phone number, you don’t have to click on the next box to input the part of the number after the area code, and so on), and all in all it took me about 5 minutes to sign up, if that.

It’s surprising that this needs to be mentioned as an upside in this day and age, but some of the site’s competitors are stuck in the late 90s/early 2000s in terms of their web design.

Inside the user account, things are nicely streamlined. A lot of the information you need is visible right from the main dashboard, as pictured below.

Graphical user interface, application

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As you can see, most of the commonly used features are available without navigating the tabs. You have a quick overview of how many unresolved alerts the system has found, your monthly one bureau credit score, shown prominently, your three bureau reports (available annually), and the status of your safe browsing service and privacy settings on various social media sites.

Additionally, it provides quick links to some of the most commonly used items: home title monitoring and transaction monitoring, as well as resolution tools like the security freeze and wallet protection features which are helpful if you have already been compromised or think you will be soon.

The rest of the site is similarly easy to navigate, with “sticky” drop down boxes that stay open when clicked for much easier navigation than “soft” dropdown boxes which open only when moused over. This is a significantly better design, as it prevents minor frustrations from mouse slipping or just awkwardly shaped boxes making navigation harder.

The interface is overall clean and easy to use, which is exactly what we look for.

There is also a mobile app, but it is, unfortunately, not up to the same standard. It is overall cumbersome and slow, with even simple tasks taking longer due to the slow loading times and much more obtuse layout. Customer reviews shed light that this is a more recent development, as it used to be much cleaner, and so this could be subject to change in the future.

As it is, however, I would suggest sticking to the website whether you’re on your computer or on mobile. It’s just going to provide a much better, frustration free experience.

Monitoring and Alerts

This is where the service really shines, as it should. As you may have noticed above, Identity Guard includes a slew of monitoring features that help cover pretty much every major threat to your identity.

The big standouts here are the home title monitoring as well as bank account, debit card, and “high risk transaction” monitoring tools. These are the real big money items that are harder for a potential fraudster to break into, but can be absolutely devastating if it happens.

That’s not to say the other monitoring tools aren’t worthwhile. Data breach and dark web monitoring help to tell you when your login information for various sites have been compromised.

 As an example, if something like your Facebook account is hacked, that can lead to a lot of your other information being compromised. Your Facebook account page would give information like your email address, which if logged into could give a whole lot more information about you, and so on. 

This problem is exacerbated if you use a predictable set of passwords across multiple accounts. One account being compromised could then lead to them ALL being compromised.

However, while knowing when these things have been compromised is highly useful, it can often be too late to prevent that cascade from compromising something like your bank account, hence those “last line of defense” options I mentioned first.

Combined, along with the other nice features, you get a very effective net.

Even better, these alerts are both fast and accurate. The monitoring systems were able to throw up alerts, pulled from known issues with our test case information, within minutes of inputting the relevant account info. This tells us that however this system works in the background, it must have a lot of meat behind it to trawl through even fairly vague information and find known issues so quickly.

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These are the 5 alerts as pictured above on the dashboard screen, and remain there until dealt with so you won’t forget.

All in all, this monitoring performed better than I expected. I knew their monitoring service was good, but the speed was particularly surprising; other services I’ve tested have taken days or even weeks to throw up the same alerts as Identity Guard found in minutes.

Threat Resolution

Once you’ve received your alerts, what matters the most is what tools you have to deal with it.

Thankfully, Identity Guard doesn’t drop the ball on that front: far from it.

Their customer support team is available 24/7, and all of their agents are extremely knowledgeable. Even better, their customer support staff is large enough that wait times on hold are typically quite short. I never spent more than two or three minutes on hold when calling, though that is in part because I took advantage of the ability to call during what would not normally be regular business hours.

In addition to the more general services of their stellar customer service team, they have a few nice little options besides that. Of particular note is their Wallet Protection service, which essentially boils down to a call with a customer support rep, whose attention will be specifically bent toward helping you if your wallet is lost or stolen.

While they can’t get the stuff inside of it back for you, they can walk you through the process of reordering and canceling credit cards, driver’s licenses, and so on, and handle some of the details for you.

Keep in mind that while their people are on call at all times, there is only so much they can do to directly help you. When it comes to data breaches and identity theft, a lot of the actions that need to be taken will need to be done by you personally; you can’t really just tell them to “handle it” for a lot of stuff. Be sure to take all of their advice seriously.

However, what the service does let you do is get your money back on a lot of identity theft, as I’ll detail below.

Insurance

Identity Guard’s insurance policy is hands down the best I’ve seen. At every tier of service, even the lowest, you get $1 million in insurance coverage.

This isn’t just lost funds reimbursement either, like many other services out there. Pretty much any identity theft protection provider will give you a significant amount of reimbursed funds. That is, if money is directly stolen from your account, they will give it back to you up to the maximum amount the policy covers.

Identity Guard’s insurance policy, however, is infinitely more flexible and useful to the average consumer, covering pretty much any money you could conceivably lose as a result of your identity being stolen.

This includes the obvious reimbursed funds, of course, but also unexpected expenses like needing to hire childcare when you  normally wouldn’t, or reimbursing you for missing work to deal with actions necessary to deal with your current crisis.

This gives you a lot of peace of mind. While it won’t completely alleviate stress, and missing time off work for example could still have consequences (if your boss or clients expect strict deadlines you’re not able to meet, for instance), it will at least help with not having to worry about lost wages on top of everything else.

The policy is quite thorough, and covers a generous amount for each specific type of monetary loss. For example, they will cover up to $2000 per week in lost wages (to a limit of 5 weeks), for instance.

Cost

Now that we’ve gone over what the service actually provides, let’s do a quick rundown of what it will ultimately COST you.

As we’ve gone over, the Ultra plan is pretty much the only plan worth mentioning. The Value plan is notable solely for the fact that you can get the full benefits of Identity Guard’s insurance on the cheap, and the Total plan isn’t much better. Almost everything that makes Identity Guard great is exclusive to its Ultra membership.

A quick rundown of the prices:

ValueTotalUltra
Month to Month$7.20/month
($86.40/year)
$15.99/month
($191.88/year)
$23.99/month
($287.88/year)
Annual$6.67/month
($80.04/year)
$13.33/month
($159.96/year)
$20.00/month
($240/year)

As you can see, in the grand scheme of things the prices aren’t too far apart. While the Value plan is notably cheaper, it isn’t going to offer you much, and the Ultra plan offers at least 3 times the functionality for around $80 to $100 per year more than the Total plan. The Total membership is the “hard no” recommendation here. I can see arguments for getting the Value plan, but Total is simply not worth the money you’re paying.

If you pay month to month  especially, the prices are actually pretty close together (it’s only $8 a month more for Ultra than Total) so you can easily try the service for a month to see if you like it without worrying too much about missed savings when you move to an annual plan afterward.

The value difference between Ultra and the other packages is already clear when it comes to their individual plans, but is even more stark when it comes to comparing their family plan prices, as seen below.

ValueTotalUltra
Month to Month$11.99/month
($143.88/year)
$23.99/month
($287.88/year)
$31.99/month
($383.88/year)
Annual$10.00/month
($120/year)
$20/month
($240/year)
$26.67/month
($320.04/year)

You can get coverage for two adults and an unlimited number of kids for about $80 extra per year. That’s a steal: the equivalent of buying one account and getting another for a third of the normal price.

The only issue is the caveats Identity Guard puts on its plan that some others don’t. The main one is that all people covered by the family plan must live under the same roof. 

For most people, this likely isn’t an issue. However, there are some not so uncommon circumstances where it might be a pain to deal with. For example, if you want to get coverage for your adult child going off to college or some other circumstance involving a split household? You’re going to hit a snag, sadly.

Still, the deal is quite good if it works for you, and it should work out fine for most families.

Should You Get It?

As I’ve hopefully made clear by this point, the short answer is yes.

In terms of all around monitoring and resolution performance, Identity Guard is the best in the business. Other services do have a lot of merit though, so let’s quickly go over their main competitors.

LifeLock offers and interesting budget option, largely because there’s little need to pay for their highest tier of service. The LifeLock Advantage plan provides much of what Identity Guard Ultra does (besides a few key features like home title monitoring) at a competitive price. It also has a more flexible family plan, with no “under the same roof” clause, and includes Norton’s 360 security antivirus and computer health program, which is useful.

However, it also has much slower monitoring; it’s one of those that took over a week to throw up the same alerts that Identity Guard found in minutes. That speed can make a huge difference if you’re hit by something urgent.

Experian Identityworks is likewise pretty interesting, with a very affordable base price and a plethora of features. It also has a few specialized options that makes it very good at allowing you to take control of your finances. That, really, is the main takeaway I got from using Identityworks. It’s a solid identity theft protection service, but nothing special; overall comparable to LifeLock with a similar selection of features and a bit more limitation on its resolution services. But it’s excellent for helping you manage your bills and cut costs; it has a free trial, so Identity Guard is worth trying to figure out if what it offers is what you happen to need.

Overall though, Identity Guard is going to be your best bet if you want pure, raw efficiency in your identity monitoring service. In terms of depth and breadth of scans, and giving you a large number of options to actually do something about it, it’s simply the best on the market right now.

Which Plan is Best?

The Ultra plan, no question. One of the only major drawbacks of Identity Guard is that its price tiering is not the greatest. The Value and Total plans are pretty much worthless to the average user, leaving the Ultra plan as the only real option.

It offers by far the most features, and all of the most important ones to boot. I genuinely can’t think of a reason to try one of the other two plans, which is unusual for an identity theft protection service like this.

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Final Verdict

Identity Guard is good, real good. It’s cost effective if you seek out the right deals, and has unparalleled performance when it comes to the speed and accuracy of its alerts. The customer support team is great, with knowledgeable  experts available 24/7, and they can get you sorted out pretty much no matter what happens.

GET 60% OFF
Get Identity Guard

Identity Guard is good, real good. It’s cost effective if you seek out the right deals, and has unparalleled performance when it comes to the speed and accuracy of its alerts. The customer support team is great, with knowledgeable  experts available 24/7, and they can get you sorted out pretty much no matter what happens.

Everything else is likewise top notch, from the insurance plan to the website layout. Aside from a few minor gripes, like the caveats they put on the family plans, and the failings of the mobile app, I have absolutely no complaints with this service.

If you want the top shelf in terms of identity theft protection, this is it. No gimmicks, no tricks, no weird extras you may or may not want: just pure performance.

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