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IdentityForce is a great service, with a lot to love. It has top notch monitoring and alerts, and decent pricing, but is marred by a few – mostly cosmetic – flaws. However, it’s not the only great service out there. These are the best of the best in terms of IdentityForce’s competitors.
IdentityForce: Quick Review
IdentityForce is a relatively lesser-known identity theft protection service that offers surprisingly great monitoring and alerts for its cost. It will run you a similar price to a lot of its competitors’ cheaper plans, and offers most of the key options out there for monitoring, including:
Most services barely match it in breadth, and in terms of accuracy it blows the average service out of the water, so makes for a tempting alternative to most of the less prominent options on the market.
It does have some problems, mostly in its presentation. Its website is archaic, and its signup process is atrocious and extremely clunky overall.
Still, its monitoring is combined with quite a good insurance plan, and the option for family plans and credit monitoring if you’re willing to pay a bit extra. This includes their interesting Childwatch plan, if you don’t need to cover a spouse, but do need to cover children. This is not something that is commonly offered by these services.
Read More: IdentityForce – An In-Depth Review
Best Performance: Identity Guard
IdentityForce has some of the best monitoring on the market but there are a few that match it.
Among these is Identity Guard which has similarly amazing, perhaps very slightly worse monitoring accuracy, but is still among the very best in the business.
What Identity Guard brings is a similarly keen edge in that regard but far superior monitoring breadth. It offers overall more monitoring tools on tap, including two incredibly key options: home title monitoring, alongside 401(k) and investment monitoring.
These two tools are going to cost you a fair bit extra, but they’re well worth it for many users. Home title fraud is one of the most common and insidious options out there, as reverse mortgages and the like are a prime source of income for unscrupulous individuals.
Likewise, securing your retirement benefits and investments is extremely important, if you don’t want to find one day that your future isn’t as secure as you thought it might be.
On top of this, Identity Guard offers a similar insurance plan, with $1 million in coverage for both lost funds reimbursement and expenses (like lost wages and hiring experts) separately.
Combined with the fact that Identity Guard is much, much easier to use, and you have an excellent alternative. It has a very well laid out website and dashboard, along with great credit monitoring and great pricing overall for all the powerful monitoring tools it offers.
It’s also worth noting that Identity Guard offers far superior customer service, as they’re open later (until 11 PM EST on weekdays) and tend to have more experience in their field than the usual customer service representative for an identity theft protection service. Identity Guard sets one of the gold standards for customer service in the industry.
Best Additional Services: LifeLock
Similar to Identity Guard, LifeLock offers far superior monitoring breadth to IdentityForce, with the addition of home title monitoring and 401(k) and investment monitoring into the other monitoring tools it shares with IdentityForce.
However, LifeLock does fall short in terms of both accuracy and speed, making it not so much a straight upgrade to the overall performance of IdentityForce, unlike Identity Guard.
LifeLock is also significantly more expensive than IdentityForce or Identity Guard. Despite this, it also offers a somewhat worse insurance plan than the other two alternatives mentioned, as its lost funds reimbursement is dependent on the service tier, only scaling up to the full $1 million in service that is fairly standard on the market when you pay for their top tier Ultimate Plus plan.
So what does LifeLock bring to the table that makes the cost worth it?
A variety of valuable services in addition to its well above-average monitoring breadth, and decent enough monitoring performance.
Every service tier of LifeLock comes with their Norton 360 app, which you can install for a variety of benefits.
Some of these are admittedly lackluster.
Their PC health tools are middling at best. Most of these are available for free online, with services like CCleaner which helps you delete unused files and registry files to help optimize PC performance. You can also get defraggers and the like to similarly boost performance.
These tools are nice to have, but not particularly exciting.
The big ticket items are the VPN and antivirus programs. Both are things you might otherwise be paying a separate monthly fee for, and both are great for improving your online health.
Having at least a rudimentary antivirus is important for keeping you safe while browsing the web, and Norton’s antivirus system is far better than the plethora of free options out there.
The VPN service is one of the real winners here, offering you a ton of extra utility by allowing you to mask or even change your country of origin while on the internet. This not only keeps you safe by hiding your info, it lets you do things like access online content that wouldn’t normally be available in your region, like region locked shows and movies on Netflix, videos on Youtube, or even some articles and news items from websites in different parts of the world.
Both of these are a great addition to LifeLock’s value, and are primarily what sets it apart from a variety of services with similar or even significantly better monitoring and resolution services.
Best Credit Monitoring: Experian IdentityWorks
One of the drawbacks of IdentityForce is that it doesn’t offer particularly good credit monitoring for the cost. You can actually forgo the credit monitoring entirely to save about $5 a month, and it’s the option I recommend as it keeps costs low and benefits high.
But credit monitoring is something valuable. While you can get it for free from sites like Credit Karma, getting it bundled with identity theft protection and other benefits is tempting.
Experian’s IdentityWorks offers top of the line credit monitoring, and a variety of other excellent financial tools.
If you’re looking for something to help turbocharge your financial health, Experian’s IdentityWorks service is by far your best bet. Of particular note is their bill negotiation service. You can call into their customer service, and tell them you’re unhappy with how much you’re paying for certain services, like your internet or cable service.
They’ll get on the phone with these services and negotiate on your behalf to sign you up for a new deal. Mind you, you’ll need to be careful as these types of services can end up with you having a lower price…because they simply drop your tier of service below what you may need (particularly common for internet service providers) or lock you into contracts you may not want. Still, so long as you’re aware of these issues they can be worked around, and it’s an excellent time saver.
They also offer streamlining for the process of applying your paid bill history to your credit score, to bring it up. This is, like the bill negotiation service, something you can do manually…but it’s a mind-numbing, long process in both cases and almost not worth the effort sometimes.
As great as all this sounds, it comes with a drawback: IdentityWorks doesn’t offer the greatest monitoring and alerts system out there. In terms of breadth, it’s roughly on par with IdentityForce, or the lower tier plans of Identity Guard and LifeLock.
In terms of accuracy…it is by far the worst of these four options.
That makes recommending Experian IdentityWorks on the merits of it purely as an identity theft protection service is something I can’t do in good conscience, but as a minor benefit attached to their excellent credit and financial tools, it might be worth it for the relatively low cost.
Read our in-depth comparison of IdentityForce and Experian IdentityWorks.
IdentityForce compares extremely well to all of these options, but each offers something nice in comparison, whether it be better monitoring, more nice little extras bundled into the price, or more advanced versions of their optional credit monitoring.
It all primarily boils down to what you value the most that will determine which of these services is worth your time and money.
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