Identity Guard Vs. Zander: Which One Will Keep Your Family Safe?

Last Updated on August 15, 2023

Zander is one of the less prominent names out there, at least when it comes to identity theft protection. As opposed to the big names like Aura, Identity Guard, and even IDShield or IdentityForce, they’re on the small side and, to be frank, clunkier, but they do offer enough of a suite of options for a very low price point to be worth mentioning.

However, this comparison is a bit lopsided and weighted toward Identity Guard, which is far more focused on identity theft protection and does a much better job at it. Identity Guard has always been one of the top, most trusted services and still is (although Aura now beats it and every other service out there.) Identity Guard is a heavy hitter when it comes to protecting you and your family from identity thieves.

But let’s have a closer look.

Our Best Choice
Choose Aura if you…:
  • You want the absolute best in threat monitoring and alerts.
  • The maximum of $5 million theft insurance on Aura’s family plan is appealing to you.
  • You value 24/7/365 US-based customer care.
  • You want the best value for your money for the most identity theft protection.
Choose Identity Guard if you…:
  • You want excellent monitoring and alerts.
  • You don’t need more than $1 million in theft insurance.
  • You don’t need any significant extras or 24/7 customer support.
  • For a relatively low price, you are interested in the Value plan from Identity Guard for very basic identity theft protection.
Choose Zander if you…:
  • You want basic major categories of identity theft covered.
  • A maximum of $2 million in theft insurance (for a family) is enough for you.
  • You’re interested in 24/7/365 customer support.
  • You want an entry-level, low-priced service as a new user of identity theft protection.

Identity Guard vs Zander – Head-to-Head Comparison

Aura
Identity Guard
Zander
Overall Score
5/5
4.5/5
3.5/5
Monitoring & Alerts
Aura found 35 in total and 15 unique dark web alerts, the maximum in our test
  • Identity Guard found 35 alerts in total and,
  • 15 unique dark web alerts – after minutes
Although Zander found 27 alerts, they were mainly email addresses and there were no dark web or unique alerts
Threat Resolution
White glove support is standard in all plans
Only the most expensive Ultra plan offers White Glove support
No white glove support
Theft Insurance Per Adult
  • $5 million identity theft insurance total with the Family plan (up to 5 adults)
  • $1 million per adult on all plans
$1 million total theft insurance on all plans
  • $1 million identity theft insurance on individual plan
  • $1 million per adult on family plan
Customer Support
Aura offers US-based 24/7/365 support
  • Great US-based customer support, but doesn’t have 24/7 hours of operation
  • Mon-Fri 8 a.m.- 11 p.m., EST. And, Sat 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., EST
US-based 24/7/365 support, including holidays and weekends
Additional Services
  • VPN
  • Antivirus
  • Parental Controls
  • Password Manager
  • Password manager
  • Childwatch with a family plan
None
Cost
Aura offers an incredibly low price and value for your money
Identity Guard is great if you want the cheapest plan, but the best plan – Ultra, is expensive
Very cheap
Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?
No. You lock in the price for life
No. You lock in the price for life
Yes
Promo Code

Monitoring and Alerts: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard quite simply outstrips Zander, most especially because it finds the alerts and provides them quickly to start with. That said, ideally, you will probably need the top tier from Identity Guard for the full range of monitoring.

Read on below for more detail.

Dark Web Monitoring & Alerts

Identity Guard is the gold standard here. 

When testing Identity Guard, I received five alerts right off the bat (these were actual security breaches I expected to see). What followed was a total of 35 dark web alerts, 15 of which were unique.

On signing up with Zander, however I got a list of every address I’ve ever lived at in my adult life (associated with my legal name and some “aliases”) as potential fraud alerts.

Not bad, per se, and quite useful if you want to verify that none of these addresses are fraudulent. 

The problem is – this was the ONLY thing that Zander provided! 

Even at its highest tier of membership – their “Elite” plan – Zander falls way short of the ideal Identity Guard plan (Ultra). It is actually more or less the same as Identity Guard’s Total plan, which isn’t a particularly impressive plan anyway.

Credit & Financial Monitoring

Identity Guard covers a comprehensive range of monitoring. For example,

Credit report and lock
Payday loan monitoring
Social security number monitoring
Bank account monitoring
Financial Transaction Monitoring
Sex offender and criminal registry monitoring
USPS address change monitoring
401(k) and investment monitoring
Home title monitoring

All these are only included in Identity Guard’s Ultra package, although much of it, save the home title and 401(k) and investment monitoring, are included in the Value and Total packages as well.

Zander’s list is a little sad by comparison:

Experian Credit Lock and freeze (only on Elite plan)
Social security number monitoring
USPS address change monitoring
Home title fraud monitoring

Zander does monitor the web for your credit/debit card and bank numbers, but it doesn’t actually keep a watch on your account or card transactions for any fraudulent activity. However, it will notify you if anyone takes out a new financial account in your name.

Threat Resolution Services: Winner – Zander

Zander offers 24/7/365 customer support, which Identity Guard doesn’t. The range of customer support constitutes a caveat, however. Zander’s customer support was polite and cordial when I called, but they were upfront about the fact that after normal business hours, some services were limited or unavailable. In other words, although they’ll answer your calls 24/7/365, unless you call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., their level of support will be limited.

Identity Guard’s threat resolution services are also limited in terms of when you can reach them but when you do, it’s excellent – their representatives typically have an average of 7 years experience in the industry and is US-based (as is Zander’s).

However, white glove concierge support with Identity Guard is only available on their Ultra plan.

Both services offer lost wallet help and remediation that helps you to cancel and renew cards if your wallet is lost or stolen.

Insurance: Winner – Identity Guard

Whereas Identity Guard only offers $1 million in insurance total (across all tiers of all plans), Zander ups the ante here, offering $1 million per adult (on the family plan it allows two adults – see below.)

Both also cover lost wages and similar expenses in order to get your identity back and to restore losses as a result of fraud.

Zander has a list of exclusions though, which can be problematic. These include things like “legal fees exceeding $125 an hour”. 

On the other hand, Identity Guard also has limits, but they’re based on weekly terms (e.g. $2000 per week reimbursement on lost wages, up to five weeks). This is more useful because you aren’t limited as to who you can consult regarding legal fees. Note that you are limited in that no additional funds can be allocated for legal fees. So, should your lawyer charge you $1 million in fees, you won’t get anything else.

When all is said and done, Identity Guard trumps Zander in terms of freedom of use of your insurance funds, which could technically offer more money…in theory.

Family Plans: Winner – Identity Guard (…sort of)

Identity Guard’s family plan is a lot more generous than most services in this industry – you can include up to five adults and unlimited kids. Compare this to the typical two adult and three to four kids norm of most other services (except Aura! which covers five adults and unlimited kids, with each adult getting $1 million in theft insurance).

Thing is, Identity Guard’s insurance is still only $1 million, in total. And, of course, you need the top tier for really comprehensive cover.

Zander allows two adults, on the other hand, and ten children (“for free” they say!) And you get $2 million in theft insurance. While cover for the children is generally limited to under the age of 18, should a child go on to study, they will retain cover up to the age of 26. Which is pretty generous!

So the winner would be whichever best meets your priorities – the insurance or the cover.

Ease of Use: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard’s website is clean, gives you all the relevant information and the features on the first page are the ones you’re likely to want quick access to.

identity guard dash

Zander’s web design isn’t bad, it’s just kinda outdated, to be honest. Still, it’s functional, logically laid out, and has a few useful buttons to get you to different parts of the page. 

What’s really annoying is the website takes really long to load – even with a fast internet connection (so the problem is on their end) each page is really sluggish.

zander dashboard

Additional Services: Tie

While Zander does offer a VPN and antivirus program, Identity Guard arguably offers more in that they also offer stuff like their Risk Management Score feature. This helps you analyze your online habits and advises you on improving your online safety. 

Zander’s VPN is the popular UltraVPN, and the antivirus is termed “UltraAntivirus”

Ultimately, it will depend on what you value most in terms of these differing additional services, of course.

Cost: Winner – Zander

Plan Type
Annual Billing
Monthly Billing
Individual
$144 /year
$15 /month
Couple (2 Adults)
$264 /year
$29 /month
Family (5 Adults, Unlimited Children)
$444 /year
$50 /month

Zander is crazy cheap! Their Elite plan is roughly the same price as Identity Guard’s Total plan, coming in at $9.99 per month or $19.49 per month for the Family plan. (Zander is still no competition for Aura, which costs less, monitors more, and is way more accurate!)

Plan Type
Annual Billing
Monthly Billing
Individual Value
$86.40 /year
$7.20 /month
Individual Total
$191.88 /year
$15.99 /month
Individual Ultra
$287.88 /year
$23.99 /month
Family Value
$143.88 /year
$11.99 /month
Family Total
$287.88 /year
$23.99 /month
Family Ultra
$383.88 /year
$31.99 /month

However… the Elite plan only offers pretty much the same OPTIONS as Identity Guard’s Total plan (which is as basic as you can get in terms of what is monitored).

The only really worthwhile plan with Identity Guard, if you want decent monitoring, is the Ultra plan, and Zander can’t compete with that at all. 

Plan Type
Annual Billing
Monthly Billing
Essential Plan
$75.00 /year
$6.75 /month
Elite Cyber Bundle
$110 /year
9.99 /month

But Zander is definitely cheaper for the same level of service as Identity Guard’s Total plan, so it can be argued to win this in this category, making it an okay budget option. If you’re new to identity theft protection, it may be a good entry point to dip your toes into.

When you take into account family plans, the gap is even smaller, so if you’re comparing family plans specifically, the win might go to Identity Guard. This is a close call.

Final Verdict – Identity Guard Wins

identity guard logo

Ultimately, Identity Guard emerges as the better option, even if the most expensive tier (the Ultra plan) is really the optimum level to look at. This for one major reason: it actually monitors what you need monitoring, and it provides timely alertswhich is what you’d want to pay your identity theft protection service to do, after all.

That said, have a look at Aura. It beats both of these with ease, in every respect!