Identity Guard is an excellent service. It offers the best monitoring on the market, alongside great insurance and one of the easiest to use websites out there all at a great price.
It’s won all of our comparisons for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that every other service out there is pointless. While Identity Guard beats everything else out in most of the key categories, other services offer additional tools and options that Identity Guard won’t give you, without skimping on overall performance too much.
Today we’ll be going over my favorites among Identity Guard alternatives, and how they compare in each of the major overall categories of criteria.
- Best Overall Choice: Aura
- Best Budget Pick: Identity Force
- Best Additional Services: Norton LifeLock
- Best for Businesses: IDShield
- Best Financial Services: Experian IdentityWorks
- Better Threat Resolution
- More Accurate Monitoring
- More Flexible Plan
- Covers up to $5 million in lost funds
- Excellent Antivirus & VPN Included
Get It Now and Enjoy OFF!
This criteria is actually a measure of two things: how many types of monitoring the service offers, and how accurate the monitoring is.
In both categories, Identity Guard typically sweeps. The power of the monitoring they offer is the main selling point of the service. Identity Guard offers broader monitoring than most Identity Guard alternatives, and more accurate monitoring than most competitors. While some come close or even best Identity Guard in one category, none match them or win out in both at the same time.
Identity Guard compares to our four alternatives very favorably, offering everything from common (dark web, data breach, and transaction monitoring, which just about everyone offers) to the harder to find options (like home title monitoring, and 401(k) and investment monitoring). Their accuracy is also pinpoint, and lightning fast.
LifeLock manages to match Identity Guard in the breadth of monitoring with its Ultimate Plus membership, offering all the same monitoring services. However, its monitoring is also significantly SLOWER, turning up the same information over the course of days or even weeks, where Identity Guard picks them up instantly.
Identity Force matches Identity Guard in speed and accuracy, but doesn’t have the breadth. For example, they don’t offer home title monitoring or 401(k) monitoring. This means that the information you can put in is going to be monitored very well, but if you have a need for those niche services it isn’t going to do the job for you.
IDShield is similar, in that its monitoring is excellent in terms of its accuracy and speed, but it lacks the breadth, offering the same level of monitoring as Identity Force or one of Identity Guard’s lower tier service plans at its highest. It’s an outlier in that its monitoring doesn’t just match Identity Guard but EXCEEDS it in terms of performance, turning up information that even Identity Guard’s scans never found.
Experian… doesn’t come close in either category. In terms of monitoring breadth it compares to IDShield and IdentityForce, but lacks anywhere close to the level of accuracy you’d expect from a service like this.
This is a confluence of the raw monetary cost, and the overall value; the bang for your buck.
Most of these services are comparable in that regard, but have very different focuses.
Overall, Identity Guard has by far the best value being one of the cheaper options when you apply the discounts you can get, but offering unmatched service.
LifeLock is a bit more expensive, and bolsters its slightly above-average performance as a monitoring service with extra services.
Identity Force just has a great baseline price, even cheaper than Identity Guard, while still maintaining excellent monitoring services as detailed above. You can save even more money by omitting their credit monitoring entirely (something that is mandatory for other services) and going with one of the free options out there, like Credit Karma.
IDShield doesn’t compare as favorably, but is priced reasonably compared to its top-notch monitoring speed and accuracy. They also offer business plan bundles that other services don’t offer, or at least not as prominently, that let you cover more than private individuals.
Finally, Experian has a decent baseline price to go with its decent overall performance. Nothing to write home about, but it won’t leave you feeling cheated either.
This is how every company handles it when your identity is compromised and you need to do something about it.
I have few complaints with every service here. They’re all roughly equivalent, with Experian really standing out as the outlier.
Identity Guard has an edge on the others due to their “white glove concierge” service, that just makes everything go more smoothly due to more resources being poured into solving your specific case as a preferred customer. They also offer top of the line $1 million insurance at every tier.
LifeLock has nothing in particular that stands out about its resolution services. At the highest level their insurance matches Identity Guard, but it’s based on tier; their bottom and middle tier plans offer less insurance.
Identity Force is an odd duck, offering no form of late night customer service, something which is pretty much standard across the industry. On the bright side, they DO offer the full $1 million in insurance which is also roughly standard, and an additional service: access to dedicated US based private investigators which will look into your case. This helps make up for the inconvenience of needing to call within business hours.
IDShield is in a similar boat. While they technically offer 24/7 support, this is in the form of an “emergency line” outside of normal business hours. They have less ability to help you since most of the supervisors and more experienced representatives simply aren’t at work during this time. To make up for it, the service offers the standard $1 million in insurance, as well as some interesting benefits, like continued coverage for deceased individuals who were members when they died.
Experian has the same issue of not having 24/7 customer service at all (not even a dedicated emergency line that I’m aware of), but has nothing to really make up for it. They offer the standard $1 million in insurance, though less generous in reimbursement than Identity Guard, and that’s it.
While there are other minor criteria we cover in more in-depth reviews, these are the major, critical things that an identity theft protection service is mostly judged on.
Identity Guard Alternatives:
Best Budget Pick: Identity Force
Identity Force offers a lot to love for users, and a lot of that stems from it having an insanely low price for what it provides.
At about half the price of Identity Guard Ultra, it provides a similar level of performance, with lightning fast and accurate monitoring alongside excellent resolution tools like its customer service and crack team of in-house, US based private investigators ready to dive deep into any identity threat alerts.
This price is achieved by cutting out its credit monitoring entirely, leaving you with only their
“UltraSecure” package, but that is a small price to pay given that the functionality can be restored for free by many credit monitoring services out there.
The only real complaint with Identity Force is their lack of the advanced monitoring features that Identity Guard offers, like home title monitoring. If you still primarily rent, this may not even be a drawback at all.
Read more: Identity Guard vs. IdentityForce.
Best Additional Services: Norton LifeLock
LifeLock is a service that already comes close to meeting Identity Guard’s standards in a lot of ways, with a similar breadth of monitoring with its most expensive plan, and the ability to “tier down” to its Total plan to save money if you don’t need home title monitoring and the like. Their threat resolution services are also great, offering solid insurance and very knowledgeable customer service reps.
The main drawback: expense. Even with deals that reduce the price, LifeLock comes out to be one of the more expensive services on the market, and this is in part due to what they offer on the side.
Every tier of LifeLock comes with two major additional services: Norton 360 Security, and a VPN service.
Both are fairly valuable things you’d find yourself paying an additional monthly fee for if you wanted them, so if you need an antivirus service or VPN, instead of paying for something like AVG antivirus and NordVPN on the side, bundle those services into your identity theft protection for a bit of extra savings; it’s a great deal in that case.
Just be prepared to deal with their slow, if fairly accurate, monitoring.
Best for Businesses: IDShield
Two of the main drawbacks of IDShield are its lack of breadth for monitoring, and the lack of 24/7 customer support.
Neither of these are relevant when it comes to their business monitoring services. It covers everything you could really want for your business, in one complete package, and you’re not likely to be on the phone with them outside of business hours in any case.
With these drawbacks out of the way, IDShield offers excellent coverage, with its astoundingly fast and accurate monitoring and alerts. IDShield is a tempting option for individuals, but outshone by competitors which simply offer more.
But for businesses? IDShield is probably better suited to covering your business than your personal life, surprisingly.
Read more: Identity Guard vs IDShield.
Best Financial Services: Experian IdentityWorks
In most respects, Experian offers a very lackluster identity theft protection solution. Their monitoring is middle of the road in terms of breadth, and lacking in terms of both speed and accuracy.
On top of that, their resolution services are limited in both scope and availability, with insurance that meets pretty much the bare minimum expected from a service like this.
However, where they blow other services out of the water? Helping the user make better financial decisions.
IdentityWorks is unique among identity theft protection services in that its identity theft features seem to be almost an afterthought. Instead, what they offer is identity theft basic coverage, alongside a suite of powerful financial tools.
From bill negotiation services to top of the line credit monitoring, IdentityWorks account holders have a lot of tools at their disposal to improve their own personal finances, tighten budgets, and make smart investments, while keeping their identity at least minimally protected. This service is well worth trying if you’re not particularly worried about identity theft (due to an abundance of caution or some other factor) and are really interested in these other services.
Read more: Identity Guard vs Experian.
While Identity Guard beats out all these services in a lot of key ways, each is one I find to be extremely interesting in one way or another. They offer a lot of options in terms of protecting yourself or enhancing your life in different ways than Identity Guard offers, and most do it without overly compromising the strength of their core features, Experian’s IdentityWorks excluded.
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