Allstate Infoarmor is certainly not the best service I’ve reviewed, so I won’t leave you in suspense: Identity Force wins this comparison. But if you’d like to see why, and by how much…let’s jump into it.
Why Should You Trust Us?
Our main goal is ensuring repeatable, realistic results that mimic the average user experience. To that end, we follow the exact same path you would take if signing up for one of these services. We do some bargain hunting to find the lowest price we reasonably can, then plug in our test information and…wait.
Our information is pre-seeded with alerts any competent service should pick up, and the data is manipulated over time to simulate a normal month with a few alert-worthy events.
At the end of the testing period, we rate the service in each of our six primary categories, in order of importance:
- Monitoring and alerts
- Threat resolution
- Ease of use
- Additional services
These scores are then weighted based on their importance, and averaged together to produce the final score. The first two categories, and to a lesser extent the third, make up the bulk of a service’s score, as they are really the core of what should define any identity theft protection service.
A poor score in monitoring or threat resolution ensures a failing grade, and poor insurance is worth several demerits as well, compared to the relatively minor dings a less satisfying user experience or lack of additional tools and services might give.
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Do You Really Need Identity Theft Protection?
Yes and no. The comparison we always like to use is that identity theft protection is like a combination of home security and theft insurance.
While it is not a strict necessity, it’s the kind of thing that makes life less stressful just by you having it, as long as you stay within your budget. Theft and damaged property are always something that can happen to you, no matter how careful you are. There are only so many things you can do to prevent it from happening, so it’s best to have a backup plan when it does, and a way to get your money back.
This goes the same for your online assets as your physical ones. Identity fraud is older than the internet, but with the rise of internet usage among all age demographics, for everything from commerce to entertainment, it’s become an epidemic.
In some places, identity theft is fast becoming more of a threat to the average person than more direct kinds of theft. It’s simply responsible to ensure you’re protected, so you don’t end up regretting it later.
Quick Score Guide:
|Criteria||Identity Force (8.5/10)||Allstate Identity Protection (2/10)|
|Ease of Use||6/10||5/10|
|Monitoring and Alerts||9/10||0/10|
Ease of Use: Winner – Identity Force
When it comes to site dashboards and the like, Identity Force is at the bare edge of what I’d call serviceable. There’s nothing especially good or bad about it.
It’s a little cluttered, but overall isn’t super annoying to use. The main problem is with the initial signup process, which is longer and more cumbersome than with most services.
Allstate, on the contrary, provides a genuinely bad experience.
This dashboard page is absolutely barren, with one of its primary widgets refusing to work most of the time after you’ve logged in.
It is…utterly worthless, and may as well not even exist. The sidebar isn’t terrible, but that doesn’t make up for the terrible dashboard and lack of usable information.
Monitoring and Alerts: Winner – Identity Force
When it comes to identity theft protection, the monitoring tools are the backbone of the entire protection strategy. The service detects a threat, alerts you, and you can take steps to fix the problem. This is a concept that’s easy to understand.
For some reason, however, Allstate Identity Protection fails to understand this simple, basic thing. The monitoring doesn’t work. At all. Over the entire month of testing I received zero alerts from Allstate.
For reference, there are around ten alerts I expect every service to find, and most services find them. For lesser services with more limited or less competent monitoring, I still usually expect to see somewhere between four and five alerts.
Zero is unacceptable.
So, Identity Force wins by default. However, for posterity, its monitoring is quite good compared to other services out there as well. It provides a good array of monitoring tools:
- Data breach and dark web monitoring
- Social security number monitoring
- Social media monitoring
- Credit monitoring
- Bank account monitoring
- Payday loan monitoring
And, of course, the quality of monitoring is very good as well, turning up all of the alerts associated with the types of monitoring Identity Force provides.
The only real drawback is a lack of more specialized monitoring types like home title monitoring, but that is not the end of the world.
Threat Resolution Services: Winner – Allstate Identity Protection
Credit where it’s due, Allstate does provide a very competent threat resolution team. They are available 24/7, and seem both friendly and knowledgeable.
Identity Force, meanwhile, hits the friendly and knowledgeable metric but doesn’t quite have the availability. Identity Force is open 7 days a week, but only between 8 AM and 5:30 PM (EST). This can make them a bit annoying to access during the work week, since for most people you’d have to take time off work to call them in an emergency.
However, this is mostly all on paper. Allstate’s threat resolution…doesn’t actually matter. You can never use them since their identity monitoring can’t detect any threats.
Additional Services: Winner – Identity Force
This is a win for Identity Force by the barest of margins. Both offer the slimmest possible “additional services” in the shape of easy access to forms that can cut down on solicitation and the like.
But Identity Force offers a very limited VPN service (that is barely worth using, honestly) and Allstate doesn’t, so Identity Force edges out the latter here.
Insurance: Winner – Identity Force
Identity Force offers insurance on par with the biggest names out there, offering separate $1 million pools of insurance for expenses and reimbursement for stolen funds. That could be up to $2 million in coverage if you take massive losses in both types of loss.
By contrast, Allstate Identity Protection offers quite possibly the worst insurance on the market, capping out at $500, 000 in expenses and $1 million in lost funds reimbursement.
Given that the expenses are often the costlier part, this can be a problem, and is just an odd choice for a service to skimp on it.
Cost: Winner – Identity Force
Allstate Identity Protection offer s pretty standard tiered service plan, with two service tiers:
On paper, these prices are pretty good. In practice…the service doesn’t work, and so any price you pay for it is essentially just throwing money into a hole and then burning it.
The most galling thing is comparatively, Identity Force is cheaper than Allstate’s Premier plan, and also (obviously) has better performance:
Identity Force’s primary plan (the UltraSecure plan) actually provides all of the available monitoring tools and performance. +Credit is exactly as it sounds…it just adds credit monitoring to the existing service.
So you can save a solid $6 a month by simply foregoing the credit monitoring and relying on a free service like Credit Karma instead.
So Identity Force is both cheaper and better, even when it comes to just looking at the services based on what they promise and not what they actually provide.
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Conclusion: Winner – Identity Force
There’s really not much else to say. Allstate Identity Protection is an awful, awful service that delivers on none of its promises. There is zero reason to take this service, and it’s baffling that a respected company like Allstate would put out such a shoddy service and so proudly plaster their name on it.
Even if you look at just what the service promises on paper, it’s merely mediocre, but it doesn’t even manage to meet that designation.
Identity Force outperforms it in every conceivable way, and is a whole lot cheaper to boot. Just go with Identity Force instead.
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