When it comes to identity theft protection, Identity Guard is one of the “name brands”, the big names that most people think of when they hear the term. So seeing that the people behind Identity Guard have made a new identity theft protection service is inherently a little exciting.
Still, it begs the question: how good is it really? Can it stand on its own, or is it just trading on the name of its predecessor?
That’s what we’re here to find out this time, answering the question “Is Aura worth it?” as definitively as we can, while trying our best not to compare it directly to Identity Guard except where it’s unavoidable. SO, here’s our Aura reviews.
Is Aura right for you? Compared to its competitors, Aura boasts more monitoring tools, better accuracy, and more robust insurance than its competitors. Even better, you can get coverage for yourself and your whole family for an extremely low price. With a wide range of affordable plans, they’re a flexible service that can be perfect for almost anyone.
- More monitoring tools
- Superior accuracy
- Stellar insurance
- Coverage for the whole family
- Concierge customer service
Why Should You Trust Us?
Our process is designed to produce real, usable results that hold up outside of the circumstances of testing.
We do our best to use each service the exact same way a normal user would, starting with bargain hunting, then the normal signup process, and then about a month of working with our test information to determine every facet of the identity theft protection service. How easy is it to use? Is its monitoring accurate and fast? These and a number of other criteria are judged and graded, then tallied into the final score.
Our criteria, in order of importance, are:
- Monitoring and alerts
- Threat resolution
- Ease of use
- Additional services
When it comes to figuring out the overall score for the service, the top two categories are by far the most impactful. Poor monitoring power, speed, or breadth can break an otherwise excellent service, and to a slightly lesser extent so can poor threat resolution. After all, does it matter if the monitoring is accurate if the service doesn’t effectively let you do anything with the alerts?
Failing either category fails the service, and so the other categories act sort of as a tiebreaker, and help when comparing the service to others out there on the market. A service should always provide a well rounded experience, and it gets brownie points for that, but it’s hard to justify knocking a service too much as long as its core performance metrics are met.
Is Aura Identity Theft Protection Actually Worth Buying?
In a word: yes. Identity fraud is quickly becoming one of the most common types of crime. It was already on the rise before 2020, but according to FTC data, cases of identity fraud doubled in 2020, to the point that there was a victim of identity fraud in the United States roughly every 7 seconds.
There are a number of combining factors that made this insane boom in identity theft happen. One of them is the pandemic forcing a lot of people to work from home, and stay there much of the time when they weren’t. While people spending more and more time online was becoming the norm anyway, the boosts in time spent playing online games, watching online videos, and browsing the web in general made a lot more people vulnerable than they would otherwise be. Even people who had previously not spent a lot of time on the internet started to do so, and their inexperience caused them to make mistakes.
Combine this with the rise in online investment, especially in cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the like, and identity fraud became more than just a side hustle for crooks: it became a great way to make a shocking amount of money very quickly.
This upward trend in identity fraud shows no sign of stopping, or even slowing down, any time soon. And so, getting identity theft protection is just common sense.
Even the most basic, cheapest protection you can find is infinitely better than having nothing at all, since it insures your assets and helps to keep you aware of changes in your credit or anything hinky going on with your online accounts, credit cards, banking information, and so on.
Higher quality protection is always better, obviously, but you owe it to yourself to have at least the minimum level of coverage. Even if you feel like you don’t have a ton to steal, fraudsters can always put you in a worse position than where you started by racking up debts you can’t afford to pay and skipping off with the ill-gotten gains.
Read More: Does Aura Have Any Promo Codes Or Discounts?
Quick Score Guide:
|Ease of Use||7/10|
|Monitoring and Alerts||10/10|
Ease of Use
This is the main area I think Aura fails, at least a little bit. I really don’t like the new website and dashboard design. It’s a little too form-over-function. Or maybe more accurately, it prominently displays a lot of the “new” and “exciting” features that Aura adds instead of the most useful ones.
While knowing your credit score and having access to your VPN, antivirus, and password manager features is nice…it’s not the kind of stuff that really belongs on the dashboard. With the exception of the credit score, all of these are things you’ll activate once and then never need to touch again.
That means that after the first time setup, a grand total of five of the seven buttons that make up the dashboard are completely useless. The dashboard almost may as well be empty for all it gives you.
The alerts, strangely, are tucked into the right-hand corner notification bell. This is standard practice for a lot of services when it comes to first time alerts, but there really should be a better way to navigate directly to your primary alerts page any time you log in. After all, that’s a page you’re going to be visiting often. Even when there aren’t new alerts, you’re going to want to check in on old ones.
This may seem like a lot of nitpicky little gripes, especially when there aren’t any major technical issues to speak of; all the pages load quickly and the dropdown box of options is easy enough to navigate.
However, it does make the experience of using Aura a lot more annoying than it really needs to be.
Monitoring and Alerts
Thankfully, here is where my complaints come to a complete stop, for good.
Aura has an insanely good monitoring system. While not the fastest on the market, as it took somewhere between a half hour and an hour to populate the list of alerts completely, it’s plenty fast enough to avoid points being docked.
And the sheer breadth of monitoring, at least for its top level Ultra plan, is nearly unmatched on the market.
We’re looking at:
- Dark web and data breach monitoring
- Payday loan monitoring
- Social security number monitoring
- Bank account monitoring
- Sex offender and criminal registry monitoring
- USPS address change monitoring
- Social media insights
- 401(k) and investment monitoring
- Home title monitoring
These are all of the basic types of monitoring, plus all the more advanced features homeowners and people planning for retirement need to keep their assets safe.
The alerts page itself is laid out nicely, and gives a good bit of detail on the type of breach and what account it’s associated with if you drop down the boxes.
Weirdly, as you can see, it posts the site that was breached in the overview if it’s an email address breach, but keeps the details for other types of accounts that could just as easily be summarized the same way hidden under the dropdown. This isn’t bad, per se, but it is strange.
Still, there’s absolutely nothing of substance for me to complain about here. The service is fast, accurate, and sweeps the web thoroughly for perfect results. It’s the gold standard for identity theft monitoring that very few other services I’ve reviewed meet.
Similarly, they meet the gold standard here.
In addition to all of the side benefits you’d expect, like a wallet restoration service that helps expedite canceling and re-ordering credit cards, driver’s licenses, and so on if your wallet is lost or stolen, the core of Aura’s threat resolution boils down to the most simple and effective thing it can be: 24/7/365 customer support access.
I always love when I see this, and it’s as good as threat resolution gets without factoring in highly specialized side benefits that some other services offer in exchange.
The Ultra plan also gets White Glove concierge service, though the difference between these is unclear, as the 24/7 support is available to all customers in this case.
As an added bonus, Aura has a built-in stable of experienced, friendly customer support representatives to draw on from Identity Guard, so any growing pains in that regard should be kept to a minimum.
Aura Identity Theft Protection goes above and beyond for insurance, in a plan I’ve never seen before.
At a baseline it’s pretty standard stuff. $1 million in coverage for all their customers that covers both stolen funds and expenses separately; lawyer’s fees and daycare costs aren’t going to cut into the up to $1 million you could get back in funds siphoned from accounts or invalid debts incurred.
This is exactly what I expect from a top of the line service, and where it usually ends.
Aura goes one step further though for their Ultra plan members. It covers up to $5 million in lost funds…and that is for each individual adult on the plan. So if you have a spouse on your family plan, both of you are covered for up to $5 million in lost funds, each.
A bit overkill for most people, but I don’t think anyone’s ever complained about getting too much insurance for a good price.
Read Also: Best Alternatives To Aura.
Here we have what I’m pretty sure is why Aura was made in the first place.
Identity Guard was many things. It had excellent monitoring breadth, speed, and accuracy. Good, though just short of great threat resolution features. An excellent website layout, stellar insurance, and a great price to boot.
But one thing it lacked? Extras.
Extra features are what have become the main seller of several identity theft protection services on the market, and Identity Guard lacked any to really speak of.
Aura shores up that gap by providing a wide variety of additional services that help to elevate the service into being more than just identity theft protection. It’s a total online health package.
…At least in theory.
In practice, I think a lot of these features are very basic. Their “VPN”, sometimes billed as “Wifi Security” is really just an IP masker. It doesn’t have any of the other benefits you’d expect from a VPN service worth the name, and is not going to replace your Nord VPN or whatever subscription you have any time soon.
A similar note goes for their antivirus plan, which is likewise basic. It’s primarily a program that you can use to scan stuff before you download it. This is nice, but limited.
The password manager is an excellent tool, and you should take advantage of it.
This bundle of relatively mediocre things adds up to more than the sum of its parts though. If you’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…this is your ounce. A pound of prevention would be better, and it’s something you should consider investing in regardless, but don’t turn up your nose at these features if you aren’t already paying for something better.
If you are already paying for something better…yeah, it’s probably best to keep doing that. But if you’re looking to save a bit of money, these services can tide you over for a while.
You would expect all of these services to come at an insanely high price. You would be wrong, mostly. You will need to invest in finding a discount or affiliate link (like the one we provide), but those are going to be available consistently. As a result, those are the prices we’ll be discussing rather than the ones listed on the website, which are a bit higher.
These prices are…not shabby, to put it lightly. The Ultra plan there costs about the same as most services that offer a whole lot less than Aura brings to the table. The family plans in particular are a great deal, giving you coverage for up to 10 people.
Note there I said “people”. This is unusual in itself, and I did a bit of a double-take when I saw it, and had to look deeper in.
But yes, Aura means what it says. Their family plan covers up to 10 people. Adults or children in any combination. Not 2 adults and up to 8 children, you could have 10 adults on the plan, or 1 adult and 9 children (as long as you’re their legal guardian).
This is a really flexible plan, and very surprising to see.
Each adult gets their own insurance plan as well, giving you an insane amount of insurance coverage across all your family members. It’s an absolute steal for the price.
Aura is one of the best identity theft protection services I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. It stands alone very well, but in the context of the larger picture it’s even more impressive.
Identity Guard was already the service I judged all other services against, and generally found them wanting. Aura takes every complaint I ever had about Identity Guard, like how rigid and limiting its family plan was compared to other services, the limited customer service hours, and so on…and fixed them.
Saying Aura is “perfect” isn’t accurate, of course. I had my gripes with its website layout (and hopefully they’ll spruce it up at some point), and there’s always room for improvement in other areas. Providing a live text chat support to use in addition to their phone line would be amazing for more casual inquiries instead of having to go through the effort of talking on the phone. The VPN and antivirus service could also stand to be a lot more robust; I’d be willing to pay a bit extra for that service if so.
But Aura is currently as close to perfect as I’ve seen. There’s very little I can think of that would improve the service in any measurable capacity, and even less of it is in the realm of “fixing mistakes” rather than just adding more useful features that aren’t strictly necessary.
Aura set out to surpass and replace the best identity theft protection service on the market, and it succeeded in spades.
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