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This will be a comparison between opposites. One of these services is affordable, extremely effective, and one of the best all around identity theft protection services on the market. The second is…none of these things. It should quickly become apparent which is which.
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IdentityForce Vs. IdentityIQ: Head to Head Comparison
|Criteria||IdentityForce (8.5/10)||IdentityIQ (1/10)|
|Ease of Use||6/10||6/10|
|Monitoring and Alerts||9/10||0/10|
Monitoring and Alerts: Winner – IdentityForce
IdentityForce has extremely good monitoring for a service of its type. While it doesn’t cover the more niche options, like home title monitoring, that are very important to a subset of users, it covers all the bases that every user would want covered:
The monitoring is very accurate, and picks up on new alerts quite quickly, which makes it one of the better options on the market for competent basic monitoring.
IdentityIQ, by contrast, offers fewer types of monitoring, mainly only providing dark web monitoring and a smattering of the other minor monitoring types (like change of address monitoring).
But that doesn’t really matter, because IdentityIQ is laughably incompetent at all of it.
Over the course of testing, I received zero alerts from identityIQ. There are somewhere between 5 and 10 alerts I expect to see from every new identity theft protection service I test, because the test information has a few “pre-seeded” fraud alerts that services should pick up.
These range in severity from a compromised email address from years ago on an old website – which is actually forgivable for some services to miss – to a spoofed phone number which all competent services should give an alert about.
IdentityIQ, again, gives you nothing. Their service promises little and somehow manages to deliver on even less.
Threat Resolution Services: Winner – IdentityForce
IdentityForce edges things out here by a hair, as their customer support has a little more availability.
Being able to gain quick access to customer service after an alert pops up is key to the threat resolution department of any service like this, as it puts you on the road to resolving the threat and removing said alert as quickly as possible.
Neither service here offers 24/7 monitoring, with IdentityForce being available 7 days a week, but only between the hours of 8 AM and 5:30 PM EST. This can make it annoying to get in touch with them on weekdays if you find it hard to take off work to get a phone call, or don’t have text alerts turned on for example.
IdentityIQ is in a similar boat, though their daily hours are slightly broader. IdentityIQ is open from 8 AM to 8 PM EST on weekdays, and 9 AM to 6 PM EST on Saturdays. So their daily hours are definitely better.
I think IdentityForce having an entire extra day of availability edges things out, however, even without taking into account the fact that IdentityIQ’s threat resolution department is technically worthless as their monitoring system is incapable of detecting threats for you to resolve in the first place.
Insurance: Winner – IdentityForce
IdentityForce offers the industry standard for insurance: two separate $1 million pools that can be used to reimburse lost funds and expenses accrued while trying to resolve an identity fraud event.
IdentityIQ’s insurance isn’t terrible, but it is subpar, as you only get a single $1 million insurance plan that covers both, though to sweeten the deal every one of their plans comes with $25, 000 in family insurance coverage for lost funds, which is a nice bonus.
Ease of Use: Winner – Tie
Both services here have okay websites and dashboards.
IdentityForce’s is a little better in my opinion, due to the layout that’s easier to navigate.
The site is very simplistic, though weirdly crowded. I’m not a fan of the sidebar with the news updates and the like, because none of it is especially useful. Still, the site is easy enough to navigate.
IdentityIQ’s dashboard is likewise fine:
I definitely found it a bit more cumbersome to navigate, as there’s somewhat of a learning curve for where each of the links takes you, and there’s a lot of scrolling involved. It’s clearly inferior to IdentityForce’s dashboard.
The main reason they get the same score? IdentityForce makes it incredibly annoying to both sign up for and to cancel their service. Their retention department in particular is extremely pushy, and I had to very firmly tell them to stop calling me multiple times before they’d leave me alone. I’ve rarely had a similar experience with another service.
Additional Services: Winner – IdentityIQ
IdentityIQ offers an antivirus service and a VPN for an additional charge over their already high price. These services are actually pretty decent for what you pay, so they have that going for them.
By contrast, IdentityForce has a free VPN that comes with its service, but it’s not very good.
IdentityIQ wins this one by the barest of margins, and if the services were even a dollar more expensive I would have called this a tie.
Cost: Winner – IdentityForce
Let’s ignore the concept of “value” for a moment, and just take a look at identityIQ’s prices in a vacuum.
This…is a lot of money. The first notable thing here is that IdentityIQ offers separate monthly and annual plans. For most services, this makes sense. The typical benefit of an annual plan is you pay a higher up front fee, for what is essentially a “bulk discount” on the service. If their month to month cost is $20 (or $240 per year), then the price for signing up for an annual plan will be something like $200, saving you a total of $40 over the course of the year.
This is a good incentive for many customers to commit to a year with the service if they decide they like it after the one-month free trial most services offer.
Apparently, whoever is in charge of pricing IdentityIQ did not get that memo. The annual plan is exactly the same as the monthly plan, allowing you to lock yourself into a one year contract with the service for precisely zero benefit to yourself.
This is a shame, as the prices for this service are ridiculously high, even taken on its own.
When compared with what the service offers on paper (extremely basic monitoring), it looks even higher. When compared with what the service actually provides (essentially nothing)..well, any price is too high, but you get the picture nonetheless.
Contrast that with IdentityForce which, as we’ve established, provides infinitely better performance and insurance, combined with arguably superior threat resolution.
Even IdentityForce’s most expensive plan is cheaper than IdentityIQ’s equivalent. Even better…to get the full performance package that IdentityForce offers, you actually only need the cheaper plan there, as the credit monitoring is pretty much superfluous. You can get equivalent or even better monitoring for free from sites like Credit Karma, at the cost of getting a few too many emails from them.
So, IdentityForce costs close to half of what IdentityIQ’s “Secure Max” plan does, and provides quite literally infinitely more security since, again, IdentityIQ does not work.
The sheer gall that IdentityIQ has to charge this much for such a shoddy service is appalling.
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Conclusion: Winner – IdentityForce
IdentityIQ is an absolute disgrace of a service that delivers on none of its promises, and worse…would be severely overpriced even if it did.
IdentityForce is better in every way that matters. Its monitoring not only works, but it works very well, comparing favorably to the absolute best on the market in speed and accuracy, if not breadth of monitoring types. It hits the high market standard for insurance, provides competent threat resolution, has a solid website, and even provides an extra service, however minor.
Despite my gripes with the tenacity of their retention teams souring my last impressions with the service, I still judge IdentityForce as one of the best services on the market, and certainly one of the best values with its performance and low price point combined.
IdentityIQ would compare extremely poorly even if its product description matched how it actually performs. As it is, I barely have the words to describe how angry I am at this service for wasting my time.
If you’re looking for a budget service that provides stellar performance, it’s hard to do better than IdentityForce, and I’d recommend most people new to shopping around for identity theft protection to try it out for a month and see if it meets your needs.
If you’re looking for a premium service more in IdentityIQ’s price range, there are many, many better options out there that promise a whole lot more and actually deliver above and beyond what their description tells you about the service.
There is no world in which I recommend IdentityIQ to any user.
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