Identity Guard Reviews: Is This The One To Get?

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Identity Guard is an excellent option at a great price if you are looking solely at getting identity theft protection. However, we strongly recommend Aura (also from Identity Guard) which provides the same online monitoring and protection, plus higher insurance and additional services at a better price. Aura also takes Identity Guard’s highest plan offerings, like White Glove fraud resolution, and makes it standard across every plan.

The question that you should really be asking is which one is better for you: Identity Guard or Aura, since each of these is the absolute best in class in our opinion.

Here’s who should get Aura:

  • You want the higher $5M of theft insurance ($1M/adult) that Aura offers
  • You need a Family plan – Aura offers more value here than Identity Guard
  • You want White Glove fraud resolution standard on all plans, not just the Ultimate
  • You want 24/7 customer service, 365 days a year – because bad stuff can happen anytime
  • You want access to Circle parental controls, antivirus and VPN that Aura offers as part of the package
  • You want the same online monitoring that Identity Guard offers
  • You want more protection for your money

Here’s who should get Identity Guard:

  • You don’t need more than $1M total theft insurance
  • You want great identity theft protection at the cheapest price – Get the Value plan from Identity Guard
  • You don’t need any extras that Aura offers

You can read more about Aura vs Identity Guard here.

But First, Why Should You Trust Us?

You can learn more about our testing process here.

Identity Guard Review: Is It Worth Getting?

When it comes to identity theft protection1, there are a few big names on the market everyone has heard of. Identity Guard, perhaps, is the most famous of them, and has a legit reputation.

This reputation, in my opinion, is well-earned. While there are a few minor gripes I have with the service, as I’ll detail below along with the positives, it is overall an excellent service and well worth looking into for anyone who has a need for identity theft protection options.

Identity Guard’s service comes with a ton of features, but only when it comes to the Ultra plan. This is what we’ll be using as the primary plan, as it includes the most useful features.

Here’s our video review of Identity Guard:

Editor’s Rating:

Overall Score

Monitoring & Alerts

  • Identity Guard found the same number of alerts since they use the same engine

Threat Resolution

  • Only the most expensive Ultra plan offers White Glove support

Theft Insurance Per Adult

  • $1M total Theft Insurance on all plans

Customer Support

  • Great US-based customer support but needs 24/7 hours of operation

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

Cost

  • Identity Guard is great if you want the cheapest plan, but costs more than Aura for similar protection

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

Promo Code

Plan Comparison:

For the Value plan, only the insurance, access to customer care team, risk management, data breach, dark web, and high risk transaction monitoring, plus the safe browsing tool are included.

With the Total plan, you get all of that plus bank account monitoring and the 1 bureau credit score and 3 bureau monitoring.

As you can see, the features are pretty thin on the ground until you get Ultra. Nothing changes here between individual and Family plans, save that the coverage is extended to more people.

Here’s a quick list of what you get with the Ultra plan:

Features Overview:

  • $1 million in insurance (standard across all plans)
  • Access to their US based customer care team
  • White Glove Resolution concierge
  • Risk management report (more of an assessment)
  • Data breach notifications
  • High risk transaction monitoring
  • Safe browsing tool
  • Social media insights report
  • Bank account monitoring
  • Credit and debit card and account monitoring
  • 401k and investment account monitoring
  • Criminal and sex offense registry monitoring
  • USPS address change monitoring
  • Home title monitoring
  • 1 bureau credit score (available monthly)
  • 3 bureau credit monitoring (report available annually)

Monitoring and Alerts

Monitoring Score

You can only access all the monitoring features in the higher cost plans

Dark Web & Data Breach Monitoring

  • Identity Guard found the same number of alerts since they use the same engine

Data Broker Removal Request

  • Not available

Credit Monitoring

Available only on higher plans

  • Monthly Credit Score - Equifax

  • Annual Credit Report

  • Credit Lock - Experian

Financial Monitoring

Available only on higher plans

  • Bank Account & Transaction Monitoring

  • 401k & Investment Monitoring

  • Payday Loan Monitoring

Public Records Monitoring

Available only on higher plans

  • Home Title Monitoring

  • Address Change Monitoring

  • Sex Offender Monitoring

Reputation Monitoring

Available only on higher plans

  • Social Media Monitoring

This is where the service really shines, as it should. As you may have noticed above, Identity Guard includes a slew of monitoring features that help cover pretty much every major threat to your identity.

The big standouts here are the home title monitoring as well as bank account, debit card, and “high risk transaction” monitoring tools. These are the real big-money items that are harder for a potential fraudster to break into, but can be absolutely devastating if it happens.

That’s not to say the other monitoring tools aren’t worthwhile. Data breach and dark web monitoring help to tell you when your login information for various sites have been compromised.

These are the 40 alerts as pictured above on the dashboard screen, and remain there until dealt with so you won’t forget.

As an example, if something like your Facebook account is hacked, that can lead to a lot of your other information being compromised. Your Facebook account page would give information like your email address, which, if logged into, could give a whole lot more information about you, and so on. This problem is exacerbated if you use a predictable set of passwords across multiple accounts. One account being compromised could then lead to them ALL being compromised.

However, while knowing when these things have been compromised is highly useful, it can often be too late to prevent that cascade from compromising something like your bank account, hence those “last line of defense” options I mentioned first.

Combined, along with the other nice features, you get a very effective net.

Even better, these alerts are both fast and accurate. The monitoring systems were able to throw up alerts, pulled from known issues with our test case information, within minutes of inputting the relevant account info. This tells us that however this system works in the background, it must have a lot of meat behind it to trawl through even fairly vague information and find known issues so quickly.

All in all, this monitoring performed really well. I knew their monitoring service was good, but the speed was particularly surprising; other services I’ve tested have taken days or even weeks to throw up the alerts as Identity Guard found in minutes. 

In my case, Identity Guard also found the highest number of alerts – 40, which was far higher than their competitors.

Read More: Best Credit Monitoring Services

Threat Resolution

Expertise

  • Excellent, quick and knowledgeable resolution experts

US Based Support?


Customer Hours

  • Mon-Fri 8AM-11PM ET

  • Sat 9AM-6PM ET

Concierge Resolution

  • Only on Ultra plan

Lost Wallet Protection


Once you’ve received your alerts, what matters the most is what tools you have to deal with it.

Thankfully, Identity Guard doesn’t drop the ball on that front: far from it.

Again, a shout out to Identity Guard for making it so easy to find their customer service number. I find this very helpful, especially given the stress you are likely under when dealing with an identity breach.

Their customer support team is available via phone, and all of their agents are extremely knowledgeable. Even better, their customer support staff is large enough that wait times on hold are typically quite short. I never spent more than one to two minutes on hold when calling, though that is in part because I took advantage of the ability to call at what would not normally be regular business hours.

I would, however, prefer 24/7 customer service, which they don’t offer. Their experts are available Mon-Fri from 8am-11pm ET and Saturdays from 9am-6pm ET. No support on Sundays! That’s frustrating if you ask me.

In addition to the more general services of their stellar customer service team, they have a few nice little options besides that. Of particular note is their Wallet Protection service, which essentially boils down to a call with a customer support rep, who will help you if your wallet is lost or stolen.

While they can’t get the stuff inside of it back for you, they can walk you through the process of reordering and canceling credit cards, driver’s licenses, and so on, and handle some of the details for you.

Keep in mind that while their people are on call at all times, there is only so much they can do to directly help you. When it comes to data breaches and identity theft, a lot of the actions that need to be taken will need to be done by you personally; you can’t really just tell them to “handle it” for a lot of stuff. Be sure to take all of their advice seriously.

However, what the service does let you do is get your money back on a lot of identity theft, as I’ll detail below.

Insurance

Theft Insurance Score

Theft Insurance 

  • Maximum $1M Theft Insurance total on all plans

Identity Guard’s insurance policy is very good (but not as good as Aura’s). At every tier of service, even the lowest, you get $1 million in insurance coverage. 

This isn’t just lost funds reimbursement either, like many other services out there. Pretty much any identity theft protection provider will give you a significant amount of reimbursed funds. That is, if money is directly stolen from your account, they will give it back to you up to the maximum amount the policy covers.

Identity Guard’s insurance policy, however, is infinitely more flexible and useful to the average consumer, covering pretty much any money you could lose as a result of your identity being stolen.

This includes the obvious reimbursed funds, of course, but also unexpected expenses like needing to hire childcare when you  normally wouldn’t, or reimbursing you for missing work to deal with actions necessary to deal with your current crisis.

This gives you a lot of peace of mind. While it won’t completely alleviate stress, and missing time off work for example could still have consequences, it will at least help with not having to worry about lost wages on top of everything else.

The policy is quite thorough and covers a generous amount for each specific type of monetary loss. For example, they will cover up to $2000 per week in lost wages (to a limit of 5 weeks), for instance.

Identity Guard Family Plans Review

When it comes to identity theft protection, what a lot of people overlook is that breadth of coverage doesn’t just refer to how many different types of fraud and data breaches the service keeps an eye on, but how many people it covers.

When it comes to family members, their safety is often intrinsically linked to yours. If a spouse’s information is breached, particularly stuff like bank details, it can affect both of you. Even if accounts aren’t directly linked, some types of data breach can tank your credit, and while that may not directly affect both of your credit scores, it can negatively impact things like jointly applying for a home loan, since both of your credits will be taken into account there.

Besides things happening to your family that might directly impact you, you’ll obviously want to keep your family safe from harm, so covering as many people as possible is a no-brainer.

Identity Guard Family Plans are a bit different compared to the family plans offered by competitors, like LifeLock. While some limit the number of kids that are covered to a maximum of 5 and/or 10 kids, Identity Guard, has no limits whatsoever. You could have 20 kids and they’d all be covered. The only caveat here is that they all have to live in the same household, and that goes for any adults (up to 5) covered by the plan as well.

This is an inconvenience you need to deal with in order to take advantage of the generous pricing here. You can’t cover another adult living in a different household.

This makes the plan better in some niche circumstances, and worse in others. If you do happen to have 20 kids, or you run something like a foster home and want to cover some extra bases for free, it’s a solid option to have.

If, on the other hand, you have an adult child going off to college, or both you and a spouse may have a different legal address for whatever reason (business, legal separation, etc.), or some other uncommon but variable circumstances…you’re kind of out of luck.

Still, in terms of pure cost efficiency these family plans should be great for the majority of standard family units: two adults and a variable number of kids living under the same roof.

And the family plans cover exactly the same things as Identity Guard’s individual plans.

The Value plan is going to be largely worthless to a lot of people, but it’s not quite completely pointless. The main benefit of the Value plan is that it’s extraordinarily cheap, and still comes with Identity Guard’s full $1 million insurance policy, even if the monitoring is so basic it’s dwarfed even by LifeLock’s otherwise lackluster Select plan.

The Identity Guard Total plan is one I’d ignore completely in this scenario. Compared to competitors (eg. LifeLock Advantage, IdShield Family) it’s only slightly cheaper even with discounts applied and doesn’t offer anything in particular that most users would want.

That leaves the Ultra plan, which, as usual, is going to be your best bet. If you want the widest ranging protection possible (an insanely good monitoring suite that does broad spectrum, deep dive analysis of your history on the internet and off of it), and particularly protection for your family home with home title monitoring, you want Identity Guard Ultra. Even if you don’t own a home yet, their 401(k) and investment monitoring is something you’ll want to focus on. If you’re starting a family, you already need to be thinking about retirement (and preferably have been buying in for years already).

So, is it worth it? Under most circumstances, I’d say yes. If you have a spouse, or live together with your significant other, then it’s an absolute no brainer. If one of you has identity protection, there’s no reason not to extend that to both of you.

If you have kids? Absolutely, even more so. You can cover an unlimited number of kids for the cost of a third of an account, essentially, which is a great deal. Even if you’re a single parent, getting the family plan might be worth it if you’re worried about your kids’ identities being stolen. The cost isn’t really that much extra per month (even less if you pay for a year in advance) so you’re not losing out too much for that extra bit of peace of mind.

Ease of Use

This is a quick measure of how easy the service is to use, which in this case is pretty easy.

Primarily what I’m reviewing here is Identity Guard’s website, as it will be where you’re spending most of your time when using the service.

The site is well laid out and comprehensible, even on the main page with an easy to find Login screen. Rounding things out is a quick list of all the plans, their features, and prices.

Of special note is that Identity Guard’s signup process is among the easiest in the business, matched by a few of its competitors. The part of the site that gathers your information and payment info before confirming is easy to use, with properly flowing multi-stage textboxes (eg. when they ask you for your phone number, you don’t have to click on the next box to input the part of the number after the area code, and so on), and all in all it took me about 5 minutes to sign up, if that.

It’s surprising that this needs to be mentioned as an upside in this day and age, but some of the site’s competitors are stuck in the late 90s/early 2000s in terms of their web design.

Inside the user account, things are nicely streamlined. A lot of the information you need is visible right from the main dashboard, as pictured below.

Identity Guard makes it super easy to find their customer service number – I find this simple fact puts them ahead of some of their competitors.

As you can see, most of the commonly used features are available without navigating the tabs. You have a quick overview of how many unresolved alerts the system has found, your monthly one bureau credit score, shown prominently, your three bureau reports (available annually), and the status of your safe browsing service and privacy settings on various social media sites.

Additionally, it provides quick links to some of the most commonly used items: home title monitoring and transaction monitoring, as well as resolution tools like the security freeze and wallet protection features which are helpful if you have already been compromised or think you will be soon.

The rest of the site is similarly easy to navigate, with “sticky” drop down boxes that stay open when clicked for much easier navigation than “soft” dropdown boxes which open only when moused over. This is a significantly better design, as it prevents minor frustrations from mouse slipping or just awkwardly shaped boxes making navigation harder.

The interface is overall clean and easy to use, which is exactly what we look for.

Their mobile app is, unfortunately, not up to the same standard. It is cumbersome and slow, with even simple tasks taking longer due to the slow loading times and much more obtuse layout. Reviews from customers shed light that this is a more recent development, as it used to be much cleaner, and so this could be subject to change in the future.

I would suggest sticking to the website, whether you’re on your computer or on mobile. It’s just going to provide a much better, frustration-free experience.

Identity Guard Cost & Pricing

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $5.39/m Value Plan

  • $11.99/m Total Plan

  • $17.99/m Ultra Plan

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $8.99/m Value Plan

  • $17.99/m Total Plan

  • $23.99/m Ultra Plan

  • Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

Promo Code

Now that we’ve gone over what the service actually provides, let’s do a quick rundown of what it will ultimately COST you. 

You can get 40% OFF Identity Guard today by using our affiliate link

As we’ve gone over, the Ultra plan is pretty much the only plan worth mentioning. The Value plan is notable solely for the fact that you can get the full benefits of Identity Guard’s insurance on the cheap, and the Total plan isn’t much better. Almost everything that makes Identity Guard great is exclusive to its Ultra membership.

As you can see, in the grand scheme of things the prices aren’t too far apart. While the Value plan is notably cheaper, it isn’t going to offer you much, and the Ultra plan offers at least 3 times the functionality for around $80 to $100 per year more than the Total plan. The Total membership is the “hard no” recommendation here. I can see arguments for getting the Value plan, but Total is simply not worth the money you’re paying.

If you pay month to month especially, the prices are actually pretty close together (it’s only $10 a month more for Ultra than Total) so you can easily try the service for a month to see if you like it without worrying too much about missed savings when you move to an annual plan afterward.

The value difference between Ultra and the other packages is already clear when it comes to their individual plans, but is even more stark when it comes to comparing their family plan prices, as seen below.

You can get coverage for two adults and an unlimited number of kids for about $80 extra per year. That’s a steal: the equivalent of buying one account and getting another for a third of the normal price.

The only issue is the caveats Identity Guard puts on its plan that some others don’t – the main one being that all people covered by the family plan must live under the same roof. The deal is quite good if it works for you, and it should work out fine for most families.

Should You Get It?

As I’ve hopefully made clear by this point, the short answer is yes, but…. we recommend Aura (from Identity Guard) instead. It offers you more bang for the buck.

Here’s who should get Aura:

  • You want the higher $5M of theft insurance ($1M/adult) that Aura offers
  • You need a Family plan – Aura offers more value here than Identity Guard
  • You want White Glove fraud resolution standard on all plans, not just the Ultimate
  • You want access to Circle parental controls, antivirus and VPN that Aura offers as part of the package
  • You want the same online monitoring that Identity Guard offers
  • You want more protection for your money

Here’s who should get Identity Guard:

  • You don’t need more than $1M total theft insurance
  • You want great identity theft protection at the cheapest price – Get the Value plan from Identity Guard
  • You don’t need any extras that Aura offers

Identity Guard is going to be your best bet if you want pure, raw efficiency in your identity monitoring service. In terms of depth and breadth of scans, and giving you a large number of options to actually do something about it, it’s simply the best on the market right now. 

It’s cost-effective if you seek out the right deals, and has unparalleled performance when it comes to the speed and accuracy of its alerts. The customer support team is great, with knowledgeable experts available who can get you sorted out pretty much no matter what happens.

Everything else is likewise top-notch, from the insurance plan to the website layout. Aside from a few minor gripes, like the caveats they put on the family plans, and the failings of the mobile app, I have absolutely no complaints with this service.

However, I think Aura’s overall package is a better choice for most people and families. It provides everything Identity Guard does, but with higher insurance per family, white-glove concierge on all plans, and a series of useful extras like parental controls.

Let’s Compare Identity Guard vs the other top brands:

Citations:

1. https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft

2. https://www.natca.org/benefits/home-auto/identityguard/

3. https://www.ncpers.org/files/IDG%20Brochure.pdf

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