Norton LifeLock Review

Among the big names in the identity theft protection business, LifeLock is one of the biggest, and for good reason. It provides a competent, affordable service that comes with some really enticing extras that makes it stand out from the crowd.

When you consider the vast feature list and the overall public feedback about the products and services, the higher price point can become quite justifiable. If you want close to impenetrable online ID protection and budget is not a priority then, choosing LifeLock will make more sense for you. Ultimate Plus include three credit bureaus for monitoring and annual credit reports.

  • Money-back guarantee
  • Compensation ranging from $25,000 to $1 million
  • Reliable customer support
  • Dedicated identity restoration department of services Lifelock offers

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Why Should You Trust Us?

2. Why Should You Get Identity Theft Protection?

3. Quick Breakdown

4. Final Verdict

Why Should You Trust Us?

We use a simple, comprehensive rating system that gives us consistent results. We use each product the exact same way a real user would, searching for the best deals and signing up with comprehensive test information to give us a base to work with.

From there, we rate each product on a simple scale from 1 to 10 in each of our categories. In order of importance, these are:

  1. Monitoring and alerts
  2. Threat resolution
  3. Insurance
  4. Ease of Use 
  5. Cost
  6. Additional services

A service can be subpar on some of these metrics (particularly in the area of additional services) while still being great. Conversely, failing in the realm of monitoring or threat resolution is a death sentence for any service that might otherwise be perfect in every other area. A service with poor monitoring in this case fails our basic criteria for being competent.

Why Get Identity Theft Protection?

It’s a statistical improbability that you will never suffer some form of identity theft in your lifetime. Information is a bigger business than ever before, both in the private and corporate sectors, and once your information is out there it’s freely available, forever.

Having access to resources and customer support representatives who can help you undo the damage done by people who’ve stolen your info is lifesaving. Going it alone once your identity is stolen is hard, and it’s too late to take advantage of some of the benefits (like insurance) once it’s already happened.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Quick Guide

Ease of Use
9/10
Monitoring
7/10
Threat Resolution
9/10
Insurance
8/10
Additional Services
10/10
Cost
8/10

Ease of Use:  9/10

LifeLock provides a competent website. It’s not the best out there, but it lacks any glaring flaws as well. 

A quick look at the dashboard:

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The information is laid out well enough, though you have to scroll to see everything on the dashboard. This gives it a hit compared to something that uses the width of the screen a bit better.

Other than that, however, everything is good. Each of the tabs is clearly labeled, and navigating between them is quick and easy. Everything transitions quickly after initial loading, with no apparent processing time on transferring between tabs.

You get a lot of relevant information up front, and absolutely no fluff. All of this is information you’ll want to be able to immediately lay an eye on.

Basically, while there’s room for improvement in presentation, there’s nothing that’s really wrong with the site either. Good stuff.

I can’t say the same thing about the desktop and mobile apps, unfortunately. Neither are unusable or anything, but they’re just kind of clunky and redundant overall . This goes especially for the desktop app, which exists mainly to control the Norton 360 security package, and has little to do with the monitoring service at all except to link back to the main website.

Monitoring and Alerts: 7/10

LifeLock’s monitoring is a bit of a mixed bag. On putting in my information, I was initially greeted with zero alerts: not a good sign.

About two weeks after initially signing up, however, 6 alerts appeared. These are all things I would have expected to see crop up, though disappointingly it wasn’t everything. The compromised name, address, and phone number are useful information to have, but it’s also some of the easiest information to find publicly.

There are a number of data breach alerts I expected to see from various sites that simply did not pop up.

This tells me a few things about LifeLock’s alert system. It is very good at tracking your basic personal information via various sources, it is slow (perhaps on purpose, so as not to throw up false alerts?) and its data breach monitoring is extremely ineffective.

For this reason, it sadly falls short of many of its competitors in the realm of monitoring. That said, it’s also better than the average of what I’ve looked at and does offer a wide range of monitoring that does seem accurate. It’s just a shame the data breach, and presumably dark web monitoring that goes along with it, are so lackluster.

It’s worth noting that the breadth of their monitoring is also very good with Ultimate Plus. While their data breach monitoring will be lacking at every level of service, the addition of home title monitoring and 401(k) and investment monitoring makes LifeLock one of the top services around in terms of how many different types of monitoring it offers. 

Read More: LifeLock – Alternative and Competitors

Threat Resolution: 9/10

LifeLock offers very good threat resolution options with its service, which are broken down into two primary features.

The first is access to their ID restoration team and overall customer support. This customer support is available 24/7, which is an extreme rarity when it comes to identity theft protection services, who vary on their hours but are typically at least closed on Sundays, and by midnight every evening.

Access to day or night customer service is an indispensable tool when it comes to correcting the problems brought about by identity theft sooner rather than later.

Alongside that, LifeLock offers a variety of credit freeze and credit lock options, which you can use to either preemptively head off any potential problems stemming from identity theft, or reactively “staunch the bleeding” by preventing criminals from actually doing anything with your information, like opening new credit cards, taking out loans, and so on.

While credit freezes are an almost universal feature offered by identity theft protection services, and allow you to shut down the opening of new lines of credit through a fairly cumbersome process (you need access to a separate website for it), credit locks are simpler to manage.

LifeLock offers an Identity Lock service that lets you lock down your Transunion credit score with a single click, and unlock it the same way. You’ll still need to freeze your Experian and Equifax files on your own, but it makes things easier.

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Insurance: 8/10

LifeLock’s insurance plan is unusual among similar services. Most have a flat $1 million insurance plan; this covers both stolen wealth and expenses like lost wages.

LifeLock, on the other hand, varies the insurance by the level of your plan.

All three offer up to $1 million in coverage for the fees required to hire lawyers and experts. However, only their highest tier plan (Ultimate Plus) offers this for stolen funds or other expenses (the aforementioned lost wages, as well as things like childcare service you wouldn’t normally need).

The lower tier services, Select and Advantage, offer $25,000 and $100,000 respectively in stolen fund reimbursement and expense compensation.

Despite this, I still rate their insurance plan highly, even for the Total plan (Select is a bit disappointing). It offers good coverage, and acts as a nice bonus to an otherwise already good service.

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Additional Services: 10/10

This is where LifeLock truly shines, and I think is their main focus.

In addition to the identity theft protection benefits, LifeLock comes equipped with the full Norton 360 security suite, the control panel for which is shown below.

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This offers a number of services, some of which are very useful and valuable, and some of which are less so.

As a quick rundown, Norton 360 security offers:

  • Norton antivirus software
  • A secure VPN service
  • Cloud data backup
  • Password manager
  • PC optimization services

Of these, the VPN and antivirus software are the valuable costly options, while the others are of limited usefulness. VPNs and antivirus protection both cost money, and can add up over time to quite a bit in monthly fees. Norton’s options are competent and, importantly, included in the price of the service without hiking it up much.

This inflates the value of LifeLock quite a bit over what other services offer on its own.

The other options? They’re fluff, mostly. Everything there is available for free via some other means, such as their “pc optimization” tool being a much slower, less comprehensive version of something like CCleaner, or is otherwise only minimally useful (like the parental controls).

Read More: Is LifeLock Worth Your Money?

Cost: 8/10

LifeLock sits in a bit of a weird spot in terms of price. In absolute terms, it’s one of the most expensive services out there. Even when you take into account our 25% discount (off the first year), the prices are fairly hefty, as you can see below.

SelectAdvantageUltimate Plus

$8.99/month
($107.88/year)
$17.99/month
($215.88/year)
$26.99/month
($323.88/year)

Additionally, that price is only for your first year, the price will jump up by 25% after your first 12 months with the service, after which you’ll be paying normal prices.:

However, LifeLock has a few advantages that other, naturally cheaper options don’t, which still makes it worth it. The first is the addition of those services mentioned above: the VPN and Norton antivirus software.

Those alone would more than make up the difference in price between LifeLock and another option, so if you need both anyway (which many people do) you’re actually saving a lot of money in the long term.

The second advantage: the aptly named Advantage plan. You can save a lot of money per month by foregoing the Ultimate Plus plan, and going with Advantage.

While Ultimate Plus offers a lot, some of those features will be irrelevant for a subset of users. If you don’t own a home, you have no need for home title monitoring for example.

You can essentially sneak an extra 33% off the service by simply opting out of the plan that offers features you don’t need. While this guts the insurance plan to a tenth of what it normally would be, $100,000 in coverage is still quite respectable, so if you don’t stand to lose more than that in assets it should also be enough for many peoples’ purposes.

So while LifeLock is fairly expensive on paper, it offers enough variety in its service plans and overall value that it becomes surprisingly easy to justify the cost.

Read More: LifeLock Promo and Discount You Can Avail

LifeLock Family Plans

In terms of rating, consider this a subset of cost, but LifeLock’s family plans are worth talking about as their own separate entity.

The pricing on these is odd in some areas, particularly if you try to take advantage of the 25% off discount, which makes it difficult to look at the individual prices for these plans. As a result, it may be better to look at LifeLock’s baseline prices and mentally apply the discount yourself.

SelectAdvantageUltimate Plus
Two Adults
(monthly)

$16.99/month
($203.88)
$29.99/month
($359.88)
$41.99/month
($503.88)
Two Adults
(annually)

$14.99/month
($179.88)
$24.99/month
($299.88)
$34.99/month
($419.88)
Two Adults
+ 5 Kids (monthly)

$23.99/month
($287.88)
$36.99/month
($443.88)
$48.99/month
($587.88)
Two Adults
+ 5 Kids (annually)

$20.99/month
($251.88)
$30.99/month
($371.88)
$40.99/month
($491.88)

As you can see, the LifeLock family plans encourage you even more heavily to take the annual approach. You can get coverage for two adults and 5 kids for an entire year for a LOWER monthly cost than just two adults with their Ultimate Plus plan.

In terms of coverage, everything else is the same. You get the same monitoring options and accuracy, just applied to multiple people at once.

LifeLock’s family plans also, notably, appear to have no restriction on what is considered to be a household. This means you can cover multiple people who might be living in different locations under the same plan. If you and your spouse are currently working in different cities, for instance, or if you want to cover a child who’s gone off to college as one of your adults.

This gives a lot of flexibility in the coverage, and helps a lot with selling their family plans over some other options.

Even outside the raw prices being pretty good deals overall, the  value shouldn’t be understated. While the Select plan is a bit suspect (essentially costing the same as buying two accounts), the Advantage and Ultimate Plus plans are significantly cheaper than having two separate adult and individual accounts, making them a great way to save money.

Comparison Articles:

Final Score: 8/10

LifeLock is an extremely good identity theft protection service that sadly has a few glaring flaws.

Chief among these is the monitoring services, which are hit or miss. Some are more accurate than others, and the data breach protection in particular is a massive disappointment, as it seems to lack the depth and accuracy of competitors.

Still, the rest of what LifeLock offers creates a very different picture of the service, and can help smooth over that misstep. Their customer support team is great, as is their Transunion Credit Lock option.

They offer a wide variety of different tools and services included in their identity theft protection, including some which can be quite costly per month on their own, making the service an excellent value.

Overall, while the service lacks in a  couple of key areas, most users should find a lot to love when it comes to LifeLock’s services, and they should get the job done more than well enough in most circumstances.

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