Zander Identity Theft Protection is an intriguing service. Its price is low, and financial guru Dave Ramsey endorses it. But I can’t recommend it to most.
Zander looks lackluster compared to Aura (my top pick for identity protection services).
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- You want that peace of mind that comes with award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring that’s comprehensive and accurate.
- You want to protect your entire family, including adult children and aging parents. With Aura, you can include up to five adults in one family plan.
- You want added services that give you full-fledged digital protection, including data broker removal services, a VPN, antivirus software, and an ad-tracker blocker.
- You have young children you need to protect and want Aura’s award-winning parental controls and safe-gaming features.
- Your budget comes first and foremost, and you’re okay with making sacrifices to meet it – even if those sacrifices put your identity or credit at some risk.
- You have the time and energy to monitor your credit at all three bureaus yourself.
- You’re okay with typical family coverage that only allows for two adults and up to ten dependents.
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Yes, it’s cheap, but there are reasons for that. For example, it doesn’t include credit monitoring, and its additional features are minimal. I’m also not a fan of its user interface.
After testing it for over two weeks, I found it to be sort of blah. And given that you can get a stellar product like Aura for a similar price point (when you use our discount code), I don’t think Zander is a good choice for most people.
Zander Identity Theft Protection: Is It Worth Getting?
In a very specific scenario, Zander Identity Theft Protection, nationally endorsed by Dave Ramsey, is worth getting.
- have a very tight budget
- don’t have a need for additional services
- don’t need to protect your family’s digital safety
- have time to monitor your credit with the three major bureaus yourself
Then, Zander’s Essential plan is a great choice for basic identity protection. Though not the most comprehensive, its monitoring is accurate, and it covers the biggest identity threat areas – namely, the dark web and your SSN.
If you can afford slightly more than $6.75 per month, though, other services offer far more comprehensive monitoring, better-added services, better family protection tools, and three-bureau credit reports and scores.
Aura, for example, offers all of the above, and it costs minimally more.
So, yes, Zander may be worth getting for some. But, for the vast majority of people, it’s not what I’d recommend.
Still, let’s take a look at how Zander did in testing. That should give you the insights you need to decide whether it’s the right identity protection service for you.
Editor’s Ranking Table
Monitoring and Alerts: 7/10
Monitoring and alerts are one of the most important elements in an identity protection service. For me, to consider a service worth getting, monitoring needs to be comprehensive, accurate, and timely.
Alerts also need to be actionable – if they don’t give information you can use, they’re essentially useless.
Zander’s monitoring isn’t very comprehensive, but given the price, that makes sense. It includes:
And that’s it. There’s no credit monitoring, financial monitoring, or specialized monitoring service for items like your home or auto title (all of which competitor options like Aura provide).
As far as accuracy, Zander did better than I expected, but I’ll be blunt – it wasn’t good enough. There were some significant flaws that I’ll dig into below, but suffice it to say when it comes to monitoring, Zander gets an average grade.
Dark Web Monitoring
Zander offers very accurate dark web monitoring. It found the same two dark web alerts that top-notch services like Aura found. But Zander doesn’t make it easy to sort through alerts.
Here’s what I mean – Zander populated alerts in a list format, with everything marked as “critical.” A lot of alerts showed up on this list (14 total), but many of these weren’t truly alerts.
For example, five told me about other aliases linked to my phone number. What were these strange aliases? The five other people on my family phone plan – not exactly a threat.
It would be nice if Zander did a better job of organizing alerts instead of making everything seem like an urgent threat.
Here’s where Zander is really flawed, though – its alerts aren’t actionable.
Take a look at how this example:
Notice it doesn’t provide the website that had the breach. So, I have no clue what password was leaked! I would have to change every password associated with my email to take action on this.
Better services give you the website where your account information was leaked. That way, you know which password was shared – and what other information might be vulnerable.
Financial and Credit
As mentioned, Zander doesn’t offer much in the way of financial or credit monitoring services. Instead, they provide many self-help articles that teach you how to monitor your credit yourself.
They say that this is how they keep their rate so low.
And it’s true; you can monitor your credit score yourself for free – they’re not wrong.
However, doing so takes time and effort that I’m not always willing to put in.
That said, Zander’s Elite plan offers a few useful credit and financial tools, like an in-dashboard Experian credit lock. So, you can lock your Experian credit report, but you don’t have monthly or annual report capabilities.
The Elite plan also includes account monitoring means they’ll let you know if someone opens a new financial account in your name.
It’s not transaction monitoring, which allows you to review all your financial transactions in one place – even if they’re from multiple banks. To be amongst the best identity protection companies, Zander needs to offer both transaction and account monitoring services. So, they fall short here.
Zander offers the bare minimum here – it monitors for USPS address changes. But it doesn’t keep tabs on court and criminal records.
Most identity protection services include this – even the budget-friendly ones. So, I’m not sure why Zander doesn’t.
Notably, though, while Zander doesn’t include home and auto title monitoring, it does include home title fraud coverage. So, if you’re a victim of home title fraud, Zander helps you restore your title and equity by covering legal fees and related costs.
Threat Resolution: 7/10
US Based Support?
Lost Wallet Protection
I’ll break this area into three sections:
While Zander does a decent job in all three areas, they’re far from the best I’ve ever seen. So, I’ll cover everything Zander offers here but also give a quick run-down of what other top services include. That way, you’ll gain a complete understanding of how Zander compares to other identity protection services.
Zander offers 24/7 customer service, which is right in line with the best identity protection services. When I called, I reached a representative within one minute. They were helpful and friendly and answered all my questions with ease.
They also offer customer service through e-mail. If you don’t like calling, you can always send a message with your question. This route takes longer because they need to verify your identity. I chose to cancel my plan after my testing.
What Zander doesn’t offer is a 24/7 online chat function. I’m not usually a fan of these anyway (primarily if they rely on an unintelligent bot – like LifeLock, for example). But they are nice to have available for basic questions.
Concierge Resolution Services
Zander offers identity restoration and threat resolution services with both of its plans. That’s impressive, given the Essentials plan’s price point.
But they don’t go above and beyond the way some services do. Services like Costco CompleteID offer a designated restoration specialist and provide you with their direct phone number. And services like Aura boast an average of seven years of identity restoration experience among their resolution specialists.
Other services also include handy tools, like restoration trackers, so you can easily monitor your progress to full identity restoration. But, again, the fact that Zander includes resolution and restoration services at all (especially with its budget-friendly Essentials plan) is a huge win.
Zander offers the bare minimum for wallet protection. If your wallet is lost or stolen, they’ll help you cancel and replace your bank cards and other wallet contents.
But here’s where they fall short…
They don’t offer any sort of lost wallet reimbursement or help you monitor your credit for signs of fraud.
Other services, like Allstate Identity Protection, will reimburse you for the cash that was in your wallet (up to $500) as long as you file a police report. And services like Aura help you create a fraud monitoring plan, and then help you watch your credit for signs of identity fraud.
So, I’m glad Zander offers some sort of wallet protection, but again, it’s the bare minimum.
Theft Insurance: 7/10
Theft Insurance Score
Zander’s theft insurance policy is similar to most other identity protection services. You get $1 million in aggregate coverage, which can go towards:
Notably, Zander doesn’t place a limit on how much can go to each area. And Zander’s insurance coverage increases with each adult on your plan. This means that family plans have $2 million in theft insurance coverage.
Very few services increase their theft insurance coverage with their family plan options. Aura and LifeLock are the only other ones I can think of. Of course, Aura allows up to five adults on a family plan, giving you up to $5 million in coverage – far more than Zander’s $2 million. But still, that it increases at all is a point in Zander’s favor.
Zander isn’t who I would pick to cover my family. While their family options are decent, they don’t include the full suite of services other family identity protection services offer.
My first issue with Zander is their flexibility. With Zander, you can only include two adults on your family plan (unless their adult dependents) and up to ten children. I prefer services like Aura and Identity Guard, which let you include up to five adults. That way, you can cover college-aged kids, aging parents, and anyone else you need to protect.
My second issue with Zander’s family protection is that it doesn’t include the services families with young children need. As a parent of a small child, I want a service that includes things like the ability to freeze my child’s credit. Ideally, it will also include parental control tools.
Higher-end services, like Aura, include these. In fact, Aura goes as far as to include safe gaming, which monitors over 200 online games for signs of cyberbullying and grooming amongst player interactions.
With Zander, you don’t get anything like that.
Additional Services: 6/10
Zander’s Essentials plan doesn’t include any additional services, which isn’t surprising. Its Elite plan, though, does offer a VPN and antivirus software for use on up to 10 devices (20 with the family plan).
A VPN and antivirus software are great inclusions when it comes to digital privacy and security, but other services at similar price points offer more.
My top pick for identity protection, Aura, includes antivirus software, a VPN, plus data broker removal services, a password manager, an e-mail alias tool, an ad blocker and anti-ad tracker, AND spam call protection – for the same price as Zander’s Elite plan (when you use our discount code).
So, while I’d never choose an identity protection plan on its additional services alone, Zander’s are clearly lacking.
Ease of Use: 6/10
I wouldn’t say Zander is hard to use, but to say I liked its interface would be a stretch.
The dashboard is pretty simple, but its site organization is strange. If you use the drop-down links, each area of the service has its own page, which is a little bizarre. I’m not sure that change of address monitoring or financial account takeovers need their own page. Most other services group these into one monitoring area.
I also don’t like that Zander uses part of its dashboard to upsell you on other services. The “Free quote” section is a list of other Zander services you can sign up for, including health insurance, life insurance, and so on.
Individual Plan Cost
Couple Plan Cost
Covers 2 Adults
Family Plan Cost
Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids
Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?
Zander offers two plans at extremely affordable rates. Its Essential plan is the cheapest identity protection service I’ve seen, starting at under $7 per month for individuals.
The Ultra plan is slightly more expensive but still well within most budgets at $9.99 per month.
Family plans cost a little more, but overall, Zander is a very cost-effective service.
But here’s the thing – if you want an identity protection service that does it all, meaning it offers identity AND credit monitoring, includes financial monitoring tools, and comes with all the extra features on a much smoother interface, you can have it at the same rate as Zander’s Ultra plan.
When you use our discount code, you can get Aura for the same affordable price as Zander’s Ultra option. So, why would you pick Zander over Aura unless you want their Essentials plan, which will save you a few bucks a month but only includes the bare minimum?
So, Should You Get Zander Identity Theft Protection?
No, Zander Identity Theft Protection isn’t the best choice in most cases.
If you’re evaluating services on price alone, their Essentials plan looks great. I’ve yet to see another service charge below $7 a month for individuals. But, when you see a service that cheap, you have to ask why it’s priced that way.
In Zander’s case (and to its credit), it’s not because it’s inaccurate, but it isn’t comprehensive. It’s missing key monitoring services like criminal records monitoring. It also lacks financial monitoring tools and doesn’t offer credit monitoring at all.
It also lacks added features, even with its Ultra plan. And its family options aren’t anything special.
If you want an affordable identity protection service that doesn’t force you to sacrifice features, you want Aura. Aura provides comprehensive monitoring, flexible family plans, great theft insurance coverage, and a full fleet of digital security features.
And when you use our discount code, you can get Aura at a price that’s in line with Zander’s Ultra plan.
So, unless you’re on the tightest of budgets and have time to monitor your credit score on your own – Zander’s not the best option. I recommend choosing Aura instead.
Let’s Compare Zander: