These two services, at first blush, seem to have little reason to be compared to each other. Identity Guard is one of the most famous identity theft protection services out there, and is well known to be one of the best on the market.
Identity Force, by contrast, is significantly lesser known, and puts on a pretty unassuming front. It might appear that it can’t possibly compare…but you might be pleasantly surprised if you take a deeper look at what it actually offers.
How Do You Rate Things?
We sort everything into a few criteria, and rate everything on a scale from Poor to Excellent, for an easy to understand metric of how good each of the service’s features stack up.
Here are the criteria:
Value: how much the service gives you in relation to its cost.
Ease of Use: how streamlined the process of using the service is.
Monitoring: how well the monitoring tools work.
Customer Service: the competence and reliability of the customer service team, as well as the available hours.
Insurance: how comprehensive the insurance plan is, if any.
|Ease of Use||Excellent||Fair|
How Easy Is Each to Use?
This is one of the biggest points of contrast between these two services.
Identity Guard has probably the best ease-of-use rating on the market. Its website is extremely well laid out and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for, even before you sign up for the service.
Sign up is very quick and easy. Once you’re signed in, the process to put in all your information is similarly quite fast, with the service quickly walking you through how to get all the monitoring tools working for you.
Their dashboard is likewise great:
All the information is laid out and extremely easy to see, with a list of your alerts, your credit score, and all the other relevant information and tools you’d need quick access to are easily represented here.
Identity Guard has one of my favorite account pages and dashboards of any service on the market, and it’s the standard by which I compare everything else. Simple and elegant, just like you’d expect from an important service.
Identity Force is, unfortunately, a bit of a mess.
This starts even on their website’s home page. It’s not labyrinthine or impossible to navigate or anything, but minor annoyances add up, like how clicking on “products and pricing” does nothing; you need to follow the dropdown to “choose your protection” to see prices and plans.
Identity Force also doesn’t list their family plan details on their website, for no discernible reason. You need to call into their customer support during normal business hours just to ask about their family plans.
These annoyances continue with the signup process. Putting your information in to create your account is a cumbersome chore, and doesn’t really instill confidence in the product when the website feels at least a decade, maybe two out of date.
Once you actually get in though, things are a bit better. The dashboard page feels a bit cluttered, and doesn’t give as much information as easily as Identity Guard’s does, but it’s workable. The pages load quickly and the tabs are well labeled.
So, not the best…but not the worst. So long as you can push past their atrocious signup process.
Related Article: A Detailed Review on Identity Guard
How About the Monitoring Tools?
Now this is where things get more promising.
Identity Guard’s monitoring tools are, similarly, what I would consider the gold standard on the market. Few match them in any category.
Identity Force is one of the exceptions.
The speed and accuracy of Identity Force’s monitoring is a match for Identity Guard’s. It might even be a little bit better. This puts both of them at the absolute peak of identity theft monitoring services when it comes to pure power and performance in their monitoring.
However, Identity Guard still offers more breadth of monitoring. A lot of the core features are shared, including the monitoring tools below:
- Bank account and credit card monitoring
- Data breach and dark web monitoring
- Sex offender and criminal monitoring
- USPS address change monitoring
- Payday loan monitoring
- Investment account alerts
- And more!
These are a lot of the good, basic options any service should offer, along with an extra: investment monitoring. This is something not every service offers, and it’s interesting that Identity Force offers it without the flipside that usually comes part and parcel with it, which is 401(k) monitoring; something Identity Guard also offers.
Identity Guard also offers one other major key monitoring feature: home title monitoring. Your home’s title is a weak point a lot of people don’t consider, and it makes a tempting target for a lot of identity thieves, who can use it for a number of features, like reaping the benefits of a reverse mortgage in your name. Identity theft could occur unexpectedly so better be prepared so when it happens to you, you are ready and protected.
It also offers a few other protection tools that Identity Force doesn’t, like their risk assessment and management gauge, which takes an accounting of your online habits and accounts, and tells you how at risk you are of identity theft from online sources.
In the end, Identity Guard wins it, but it’s by a much slimmer margin than usual.
How Do They Help if You Get Hacked?
As with all identity theft protection services, the customer support team is the centerpiece of all of the resolution services that they offer.
Both offer competent representatives, but this is a category where Identity Guard very clearly takes the cake.
For one, their customer service hours are much longer than Identity Force’s. Identity Guard is open from 8 AM to 11 PM on weekdays, and 9 PM to 6 PM on Saturdays (they’re closed Sunday though). Identity Force, by contrast, are only open from 8 AM to 5:30 PM, and on weekdays only. They have zero weekend availability.
This is a shame, because limited availability is a huge drawback for a service like this. Having no weekend access at all is a huge inconvenience for a service like this, and can cause extreme problems if a time sensitive emergency crops up, say, on a Friday evening after they’ve already closed.
Identity Guard also has an edge in that their customer service representatives tend to be more experienced. They stick around the company for about 7 years, on average, so you’re more likely to be put on the line with a representative who already has a few years of experience working threat resolution for Identity Guard, and can put you on track to getting your life back on track quicker and easier.
Both offer wallet restoration services as well, meaning they have a dedicated branch of their customer service whose job is to help you cancel and reorder credit cards, driver’s licenses, and other things in your wallet if you happen to lose your wallet, or you believe it’s been stolen.
Plus, if you do lose some money…
There’s Always Insurance
Both services offer a similar insurance plan.
$1 million in lost funds reimbursement, coupled with a separate $1 million in expense coverage is a standard that most services are able to meet, making it roughly the industry standard in my experience.
This is a good thing, as it means you generally don’t need to choose your identity theft protection service based on the power of its insurance rather than its prevention and resolution tools.
Despite it being fairly standard, I do like to call out services that offer the full $1 million in coverage, especially when it’s split into the two distinct halves, just like it is for both of these services.
Some rare options do offer significantly worse insurance in a multitude of different ways, and it always hurts trust in the service.
The main reason I give the edge to Identity Guard in this comparison is transparency. You know exactly what you’re getting from Identity Guard’s insurance plan, as it’s listed on their website and fairly easy to find.
For Identity Force, you don’t really have the full details easily available.
Aside from that, Identity Guard just offers an extremely generous plan not quite matched by other options. For example, most plans cover lost wages as part of expenses, but the amount varies. Identity Guard offers $2000 per week, for up to 5 weeks in lost wages alone, and they’re similarly specific in what they offer for the other expense categories.
Both at least make it very easy to access their insurance when needed, though the point of insurance, of course, is that you hope you’ll never have to use it.
This one is pretty easy to break down. Identity Guard offers a much larger number of options than Identity Force, with their three plan tiers: Value, Total, and Ultimate Plus. Each one offers progressively more, and costs more and more as you scale up.
They also offer family plans, covering two adults and up to 10 children. Otherwise their policy plans are the same in terms of content; there are no features that are specifically locked to family plans.
Check out Identity Guard’s family plan on our full detailed guide.
|Individual Annual||$6.67/month |
|Family Annual||$10.00/month |
In terms of the overall value of these, I think the Ultra plan is the only one particularly worth considering. The Value plan offers beyond minimal coverage, and to be fair does have a beyond minimal price as well. Another check on the side of the Value plan is that it offers the full $1 million in coverage for their insurance.
The Total plan is…far from total coverage, and one of the worst values on the market in my opinion.
Ultra, on the other hand, is where you get your top notch breadth alongside the powerful, fast, and accurate monitoring tools. As a quick note, all of the above prices are taking into account a discount we have available for Identity Guard. It’s always available, and won’t expire.
On the flipside, Identity Force doesn’t really offer a ton of options. Arguably they don’t really offer an option at all:
UltraSecure is the only real service tier here. The only reason there are two options listed is one comes with credit monitoring, and one doesn’t. There are no extra monitoring options.
It is my recommendation that you don’t bother with UltraSecure+Credit. It’s significantly more expensive, and only offers credit monitoring…something you can get for free from sites like Credit Karma or even Experian’s free account.
Additionally, Identity Force offers family plans as well, but for that you need to call in for pricing details on. Otherwise they’re the same as an individual plan, but the price may fluctuate based on given details.
Likewise, Identity Force offers periodic discounts and free trial options you can take advantage of on a limited time basis.
As an interesting option, they also offer their Childwatch plan, solely for covering children; you don’t need to pay for a second adult account to cover a child. This will run you a flat price per child.
In terms of overall value, Identity Guard is better, but Identity Force carves out an interesting niche, given that it’s around the same price as Identity Guard Total, (or a lot cheaper if they have a discount running), and is a whole lot better.
While all in all I’d say Identity Guard is a better service, Identity Force makes for a solid budget option, with similar performance and a lower price than Identity Guard’s top tier plan.
Both of these options represent some of the best services on the market, even if Identity Force’s clunky, archaic exterior might make it hard for many prospective users to look deeper into the product and see if it serves their needs.
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