padlock over credit card and laptop keyboard representing identify theft protection
Identity Theft
March 18, 2020

Identity Guard vs. LifeLock vs. Experian

Written By Jack Ryder
Last updated March 27, 2020

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Identity Guard vs. LifeLock vs. Experian: It’s a fact that identity theft is a growing problem. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft complaints have increased by 47 percent since 2014. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your confidential data is to subscribe to one of the many identity theft protection services that are now available (many are paid on a monthly basis.) There are a number of companies offering these identity theft protection services and accounts, but three in particular stand out in the marketplace: LifeLock, Experian and Identity Guard. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of each identity theft protection service. Whether you are looking for an Identity Guard review, LifeLock review, Experian review, or IdentityForce review, we have you covered. Read our identity theft protection reviews so you can make the best decision about how to protect yourself and what matters the most.

Best Identity Theft Protection Companies

RankIdentity Theft ProtectionBest ForMonthly FeeSTL Rating
1Lifelock Identity Theft ProtectionOverall Coverage$8.99★★★★★
2Identity GuardAffordability$8.99★★★★★
3IdentityForceExtras$14.99★★★★
4ExperianCredit monitoring$9.99★★★

Best Identity Theft Protection Companies

RankIdentity Theft ProtectionSTL Rating
1Lifelock Identity Theft Protection★★★★★
2Identity Guard★★★★★
3IdentityForce★★★★
4Experian★★★

LifeLock offers proactive identity theft protection by monitoring credit applications in your name and file sharing networks that you use. There are effectively three layers of protection: detect, alert and restore. The service looks for any suspicious activity during which your identity is used to obtain credit, loans or services under your name. When any potentially fraudulent activity is detected, you will be sent a notification by email, text or phone. LifeLock also offers restoration services if your identity is compromised.

LifeLock Review image
  • Price: LifeLock has a unique price for each of its three plans. LifeLock cost: Lifelock Standard costs $11.99 per month, Lifelock Advantage costs $22.99 per month, and Lifelock Ultimate Plus costs $34.99 per month. All prices include applicable sales tax. Lifelock is currently offering a deal where the plans are discounted to $8.99, $17.99 and $26.99. You can sign up for Lifelock here.
  • Features: The specific features that you get from LifeLock depends on the plan that you choose. All plans, however, offer some level of identification theft restoration, identity theft protection and credit monitoring.
  • 24/7 Live Member Support: Members can contact LifeLock’s Identity Protection Agents 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone or e-mail.
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Disclosure
Disclosure

Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site. The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Lifelock Pros and Cons

ProsCons
• Best overall protection• Can get expensive with extras
• Comes with Norton security package• No fixed cost for family plan
• 60-day money back guarantee

 

Lifelock Plans Include

  • LifeLock Identity Alert System
  • Reduced pre-approved credit card offers
  • Lost wallet protection
  • USPS Address change verification

While it may be true that you could do a lot of what LifeLock has to offer for yourself, do you really have the time to set protective measures in place and actively monitor your credit reports and other channels on a regular basis? Would you know what to do if your identity was compromised or your personal information was stolen? These are questions worth asking yourself when weighing DIY tactics against an automated service.

How Much Does LifeLock Cost?

Like many subscription services, LifeLock is available in a range of prices that will depend on your requirements. Lifelock is currently offer discounted rates. The prices are:

  • LifeLock Standard — $11.99/mo (Discount: $8.99)
  • LifeLock Advantage — $22.99/mo (Discount: $17.99)
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus — $34.99/mo (Discount: $26.99)
  • LifeLock Junior — $5.99/mo (all prices include applicable sales tax)

If you are wondering about a LifeLock identity theft protection family plan, there isn’t one in the true sense, but they do offer the LifeLock Junior plan*, which allows children under the age of 18 to gain access to the same protection as their parents. Criminals can often resort to targeting a child’s personal records and information, and so LifeLock Junior is a good way for parents to gain peace of mind and ensure their children’s personal information is not stolen. For a family of four with two children under the age of 18, the LifeLock family plan cost would be $31.96.

Is Lifelock Worth It?

The consensus with the majority of LifeLock reviews from users is that the service is very good, with many saying the service gives them peace of mind and that they have received alerts when their identity was compromised. LifeLock reviews also seem to illustrate that users appreciate the 24-hour support line, with many LifeLock reviews citing instances of how LifeLock alerted them to fraudulent activity on one of their accounts.

  • Price: LifeLock is one of the more affordable of identity protection services.
  • Features: LifeLock offers a range of features, including alert notifications, bank account monitoring and also sex offender register alerts on the Ultimate Plus plan. LifeLock is not able to monitor all transactions, but they are clear about this on their website and in their terms and conditions.
  • Cancellation: Members can cancel at any time by calling the customer service number or canceling through their LifeLock portal.
  • Reputation: LifeLock is considered one of the leading identification protection companies by its users, but has only been awarded 3.5 stars by the Better Business Bureau.
  • Guarantee: LifeLock offers a full 60-day money back guarantee for annual memberships.
  • Customer Service: The general consensus is that LifeLock customer service is good. There is also good evidence of LifeLock responding quickly to negative reviews and offering to find solutions for its customers.

LifeLock Complaints

Complaints about LifeLock have noted difficulties in canceling subscriptions and that there is no fixed LifeLock cost for the LifeLock family plan. Some business owners have also complained that certain fraudulent business transactions have not been flagged by the system.

Other complaints referenced the lengthy setup process and outdated website. If you want to know more, check out our full Lifelock review.

Common Lifelock Reviews

LifeLock reviews written by customers show that the company works well for most people. LifeLock customers who enjoy the company’s services say that they get peace of mind because they know that professionals are protecting their personal information. Satisfied customers also write LifeLock reviews about the company’s outstanding customer services.

Several people who use LifeLock say that they have avoided identity theft because of the company’s services. Many customers also say that they know LifeLock does its job well because they receive notifications after opening new credit card accounts.

Unfortunately, some of LifeLock’s customers have negative things to say about the company. A handful of LifeLock reviews state that the company wasn’t able to detect the signs of identity theft. If that’s the case, then they have good reasons to feel upset. After all, LifeLock exists to protect people from identity and data theft.

To be fair, LifeLock states on its website that it cannot stop every instance of identity theft. In fact, no company can catch every sign of identity theft immediately. If you decide to get a LifeLock membership, you should understand that the services provide a layer of protection. It cannot guarantee your safety. You will, however, get reimbursed for any money that was stolen from you.

The specific amount of money that you can get returned depends on your plan. The Standard plan covers up to $25,000 of loss. The Advantage plan covers up to $100,000. The Ultimate Plus plan will reimburse up to $1 million of your stolen funds. Many people find the LifeLock $1 million guarantee attractive.

When it comes to prices, most people think that the LifeLock costs are fair. Since the company doesn’t have a LifeLock family plan, though, households may need to purchase several plans to protect every family member. Without a family plan, LifeLock prices can become more expensive than customers original expect.

Identity Guard is one of the most respected identity theft and fraud security services in the world. Given its prominence, it makes sense that so many people choose the Identity Guard Family Plan. It offers practically everything you could want in a family plan. When you think about Identity Guard versus Lifelock or IdentityForce, you have to consider Identity Guard’s affordable price and long list of services. Assuming that the company helps protect you from identity theft, you won’t have to worry about your plan’s lack of victim assistance services.

Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection

Identity Guard website

Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection image
  • Price: Identity Guard offers a variety of plans, so pricing ranges from $8.99 to $24.99 per month. You also can save 33% if you pay for an annual plan. You can get 20% off a monthly plan through this link.
  • Plans: Identity Guard offers three plans: Value ($8.99), Total ($19.99) and Premier ($24.99). Identity Guard also offers family versions of the same plans, starting at $14.99.
  • Features: All consumer plans offer a dedicated U.S.-based case manager, an anti-phishing app, the Identity Dashboard, dark web monitoring, a risk management report, safe browsing tools and identity theft victim assistance. The Total plan also includes a monthly credit score*, monitoring of your address, three-bureau credit monitoring, and tax refund alerts. In addition, the Premier plan includes additional credit scores and reports, as well as a social insight report.
  • Customer Service: Identity Guard has a U.S.-based customer service office that can be reached online through email or on the phone.
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Disclosure
Disclosure

* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.

** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a

Identity Guard Pros and Cons

ProsCons
• Affordable with additional discounts• Does not offer 24/7 customer service
• Utilizes IBM Watson for extra protection• No free trial
• Identity theft insurance

 

Common Identity Guard Reviews

Identity Guard often gets positive reviews from practically everyone who uses the service. In many Identity Guard reviews, you’ll find that clients like that Identity Guard has joined forces with IBM Watson to provide a higher level of identity protection. They appreciate the Identity Guard $1 million identity theft insurance that applies to every plan. Considering the Identity Guard price, technology and comprehensive monitoring services, it’s easy to see why so many people prefer Identity Guard.

Experian has an advantage over other identity theft protection services in that it is one of the main three credit bureaus that need to be monitored to avoid identity theft. Since credit is it’s business, you also get a lot of extra benefits from the service, including ability to dispute items on your credit report directly from the Experian website. It also helps that Experian has direct access to one of your credit reports, so it can be alerted to any fraudulent activity immediately instead of going through a third party. Here’s a full review of Experian’s identity theft protection service, called IdentityWorksSM:

Experian Identity Theft Protection

30-Day Free Trial

Experian Identity Theft Protection image
  • Price: Experian has two plans that are priced at $9.99/month and $19.99/month. You can also opt for paying for a year upfront, which will save you 2 months of payments on both plans. Get a 30-day free trial from Experian here.
  • Plans: Experian has two plans, the IdentityWorksSM Plus plan and the IdentityWorksSM Premium plan. The Plus plan offers the basics of identity theft, while the Premium plan offers extras like FICO credit scores, social security number monitoring and non-credit loan alerts.
  • Features: Experian’s IdentityWorksSM Plus features include credit monitoring, credit alerts, daily FICO scores, identity theft insurance and black market website monitoring. The IdentityWorksSM Premium plan includes 3-bureau credit monitoring and alerts, quarterly 3-bureau FICO scores, financial account takeover alerts, social security number trace alerts, change of address alerts, court records and booking alerts, non-credit loan alerts and sex offender registry alerts.
  • Customer Service: Experian offers stellar customer support, allowing you to do everything from disputing credit report errors and adding fraud alerts from its website. It also offers phone support 7 days a week, as well as email support.
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Experian Pros and Cons

ProsCons
• Best for monitoring your credit• Doesn’t provide vault password storage
• Provides FICO score updates• Doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service
• Free trial

 

What Makes Experian Stand Out

One of the main things that makes Experian stand out is its engrained knowledge of credit reports and identity theft. Since it is already one of the three credit bureaus that compiles credit reports, it only made sense for the company to expand into identity theft protection services.

Another thing that makes Experian stand out is the wide range of things that it monitors to help protect against identity theft. The IdentityWorksSM Premium plan, which is cheaper than Lifelock’s highest plan, monitors everything from black market website activity, social security trace activity, change of address, court records, non-credit loan alerts and other areas that have the potential to alert you to identity theft, many that other identity theft protection services do not monitor.

Remember that identity theft protection can not help you with your debt, so if you need help getting your debt in order, try one of the best debt relief services like National Debt Relief or top-rated service Accredited Debt Relief, a review of which you can find here.

Common Experian Reviews

Experian is fairly new to the identity theft protection game, and it has been operating as a credit bureau business for decades, so it is difficult to differentiate the credit bureau Experian reviews from the identity theft protection Experian reviews. For example, Experian has an A- from the Better Business Bureau, but that score is mostly reflective of its credit bureau business, so there is no way to tell how that relates to IdentityWorksSM, although if there were any major problems with its identity theft protection service, it would drag the overall grade down much further.

Most other online Experian reviews of IdentityWorksSM give it fairly high marks, which is a good sign for the service. There are few actual consumer reviews of the service, which makes it difficult to determine just how happy actual customers are. Overall, though, from the professional Experian reviews, it seems like Experian’s IdentityWorksSM does a good job at identity theft protection.

Lifelock, Experian and Identity Guard are some of the top names in identity theft protection, but there are other options if you are not satisfied with any of those. Here are some lesser-known names in identity theft protection that might help you make the right decision.

If you’re comparing Identity Guard versus IdentityForce versus Lifelock, then you will have a difficult decision to make. All three companies offer good services that protect clients from identity theft and fraud. At $14.99 per month, though, it costs a little bit more than some of its competitors. Considering that other companies provide extensive features that check black market websites and protect you from lost wallets, you may want to avoid IdentityForce unless you want a simple, straightforward approach to keeping your identity secure.

IdentityForce Identity Protection

Get Started with IdentityForce

IdentityForce Identity Protection image
  • Price: IdentityForce plans cost from $14.99 per month to $19.99 per month. You can sign up for IdentityForce here.
  • Plans: IdentityForce offers two plans: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. UltraSecure+Credit includes credit report monitoring.
  • Features: Both IdentityForce plans provide the essential services needed to protect people from identity theft and fraud.
  • Customer Service: You can contact customer service by phone or through the company’s website.
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IdentityForce Pros and Cons

ProsCons
• Great family plan options• Limited options for plan coverage
• Dedicated case manager• No money back guarantee
• Free trial

 

Common IdentityForce Reviews

IdentityForce doesn’t offer as many identity theft guard services as other companies, but it has an affordable price that makes it appealing to people who want basic coverage. Overall, clients appreciate that the company gives them dedicated case managers, comprehensive monitoring services and strong customer service. When comparing Identity Guard versus IdentityForce, some people fall on Identity Guard’s side because the company offers more plans. Those who like to keep things simple, however, often prefer IdentityForce.

IdentityForce has a strong following and maintains contracts with a number of government agencies, including the FAA and the FBI. Overall, user reviews are positive, with many verified users citing the company’s outstanding customer service and the speed with which restoration and protection services were implemented.

  • Price: IdentityForce offers two plans priced at $14.99 and $19.99 a month. While these plans may be more expensive than LifeLock’s offerings, each plan does include protection for children in the form of ChildWatch.
  • Features: IdentityForce offers credit monitoring, legal protection, internet scanning and complete financial, medical and criminal identity recovery services. They also offer a Delete Now feature that allows users to see what personal information is being displayed about themselves online and to delete information immediately.
  • Cancellation: With IdentityForce, there are no contracts to worry about, but if you cancel in the middle of your subscription month, you will not be refunded the unused portion of that month’s subscription. Cancel by calling a dedicated customer service line.
  • Reputation: IdentityForce has been awarded 4.5 stars by the Better Business Bureau, although users have been slightly less generous with their personal reviews.
  • Guarantee: There is no money back guarantee with IdentityForce. However, new users are offered a 30-day free trial.
  • Customer Service: Customer service is good, with customer complaints in reviews being responded to almost immediately.

Common IdentityForce Complaints

One of the top complaints among IdentityForce users is that there are also only two plans, with features varying quite significantly between the two. A number of users and prospective users have said they would prefer a third plan that offers features and pricing that sits somewhere in the middle of the two plans currently offered.

TrustedID is actually owned by Equifax, and considering the recent Equifax data breach and the credit bureau’s its recent documented issues with identity theft, it seems like it might have some issues when it comes to reputation when dealing with identity theft protection. Nevertheless, we have done an in-depth look at TrustedID to give you a better understanding of how the identity theft protection service works.

TrustedID Identity Protection

TrustedID website

TrustedID Identity Protection image
  • Price: TrustedID’s basic coverage comes in at $16.99/month, which is much more than most other service. It also has a family plan that allows you to add any number of family members for $29.99/month.
  • Plans: TrustedID only offers the one tier of plan for both individual accounts and family accounts, so all the features you see are the features included in your plan.
  • Features: TrustedID will scan black market websites, your social security number, bank account numbers, name, and address. It also includes lost wallet protection and allows you to set up fraud alerts so that lenders must contact you before they can issues a new card. You also get TrustedID’s $1 million insurance policy.
  • Customer Service: You can contact customer service by phone or through the company’s website.
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TrustedID Pros and Cons

ProsCons
• Solid customer service• More expensive than competitors
• Offers ID theft insurance• Limited protection
• History of data breaches

 

What Makes TrustedID Stand Out

TrustedID is much like Experian’s IdentityWorksSM in that it is owned by one of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, so it has a knowledge of credit reports and identity theft. Unlike IdentityWork, TrustedID was an independent identity theft protection company before it was bought by Equifax, so it combines its own knowledge of identity theft with Equifax’s knowledge of credit.

The other thing that makes TrustedID stand out is its family plan. You can add everyone within your immediate family to your plan for just $29.99, which is a great deal for larger families. If it’s just you and your spouse, other service provide better discounts for spouses and significant others.

Common TrustedID Reviews

TrustedID tends to get mixed reviews, both from professionals and actual consumers. TrustedID reviews from professionals do tend to be more positive, but generally top out at 4 out of 5 stars, making it second to heavy hitters like Lifelock and Experian. TrustedID also does not have a rating from the Better Business Bureau, so there is no way to compare it to other identity theft protection services in that field.

Consumer reviews of TrustedID tend to be a little more harsh, although most online company reviews do tend to skew more toward angry customers as opposed to happy customers. A combination of reviews on Yelp and other consumer sites talked about how TrustedID’s customer service was good, but what the service offered was often confusing, and some complained about being charged more than they originally agreed to.

Keep in mind that while identity theft protection services do monitor your credit report, they cannot make changes or improve your credit in any way. If you are looking for ways to improve your credit, check out our best credit repair reviews to get a better idea on how they work. Our Sky Blue review and Lexington Law review compare the top two companies.

It can be difficult to determine exactly which identity theft protection service is best for your family. Identity Guard vs. Lifelock, LifeLock vs. Experian, or another identity theft protection service entirely? Which should you choose? It really depends on the service. Each identity theft protection company offers pros and cons, so it depends on what you are looking for. Here are some of the pros for each service:

Lifelock: Best for people who are constantly online

Lifelock is the #1 name in identity theft protection for a reason; it has all the bells and whistles you need to protect yourself at a reasonable price. That combined with the fact that you also get Norton protection for your devices make Lifelock the best all-around protection when it comes to identity theft. You get all of Norton’s security features to not only protect your computer and phone, but your online presence as well.

Identity Guard: Best for people who love deals

Identity Guard is not only one of the most affordable services, but it also is constantly offering deals for new users. Currently, you can get 20% off when you sign up. It also offers discounts if you sign up for an annual plan as opposed to a monthly plan. Identity Guard also offers great family discounts.

IdentityForce: Best for protecting your family

IdentityForce offers a great add-on to their standard service for your children. Child Watch monitors your child’s information for fraud or identity theft, and also offers the same $1 million in insurance that you get with the standard plan. For only $2.75/month for an add-on, it’s a pretty good deal.

LifeLock doesn’t have a family plan, but if your family is only you and your spouse, you can get their basic plan for both of you for less than $20 with our 10 percent discount.

Experian: Best for people concerned about their credit

Experian allows you to not only protect your identity but also keep your credit in check. It monitors your credit daily and sends you email updates if there are any changes to your credit report. It also offers Experian Credit Boost, which allows you to raise your credit score almost instantly.

How do the other services stack up? If you choose the LifeLock Ultimate plan ($26.99/month), you get monthly updates about your TransUnion credit score and reports. IdentityForce monitors all three of your credit bureau scores (as does LifeLock), but only gives you access to your credit scores once a year. For someone who wants to monitor their credit as well as protect their identity, this can be a huge drawback.

Some Identity Theft Protection Services Offer Specific Features

Here are IdentityForce’s special features:

  • Insurance records
  • Vehicle registration monitoring

LifeLock’s basic plan has basic features, but LifeLock’s Ultimate plan offers these extra features:

  • Surveillance of unregulated global networks and file-sharing sites
  • Checking and savings account application alerts
  • Will remove you from mailing lists

About the Author

Jack Ryder

Jack Ryder has been working as a reporter and writer in the personal finance space for many years. He enjoys breaking down complicated finance information into easy-to-read articles, so his readers can better navigate their financial lives. He is currently the Editor of the Credit Repair and Debt Relief categories, although enjoys writing about all things finance. Jack has had articles appear in publications from the Huffington Post to Business Insider. You can contact Jack at jack@simplethriftyliving.com

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