Last Updated on August 29, 2023
To be sure, Zander Identity Theft is one of the most low-priced identity theft protection services currently available.
So, if you’re just starting out exploring identity theft protection or you simply don’t want to pay for a more robust service, then Zander might be a good fit. Add to that the personal finance expert Dave Ramsy’s thumbs up, and it seems worth a look.
However! Aura eclipses it, giving you far superior monitoring, better value for money, and super efficient 24/7/365 customer service that can’t be beaten.
Zander actually offers very little in comparison – e.g., no credit monitoring at all and no financial transaction monitoring. And that’s just to start with.
But read on…
- You want vastly superior threat monitoring & alerts.
- You’d like up to $5 million in identity theft insurance if you have an extended family.
- Aura’s reliable 24/7/365 US-based customer care and white glove concierge service (across all plans) appeal to you.
- You want the most value for money in identity theft protection.
- You are mainly interested in paying as little as possible, despite getting less protection.
- You’re happy with $2 million in theft insurance with some exclusions.
- You don’t mind monitoring and maintaining your credit bureau scores.
- You don’t need family cover for more than two adults and 10 kids.
Zander Review: Is It Worth Getting?
Zander has been providing insurance since the 1920s and has earned the trust of thousands over the years. No surprise then that they’ve ventured into identity theft security as well.
With a starting plan of under $7 a month, Zander is undeniably cheap and, on the surface, offers a reasonably decent, albeit basic range of coverage, including the main identity theft categories, such as your social security number and the dark web.
Spend just a fraction more, and you can get more comprehensive monitoring, 1-3 credit bureau credit reports, and various other added services from several other identity theft services, like Aura, especially.
So is Zander worth getting? Unless you’re really precious about your budget, I’d say not. But let’s look at how it performed in our tests, and you decide.
Monitoring and Alerts: 5/10
The whole raison d’etre behind getting identity theft protection is having your identity details monitored number one, followed by being given timely alerts so you can take the necessary action to mitigate any damage.
Zander will monitor your Social Security number, the dark web for any of your details, and USPS change of address (and they monitor for “home title fraud”). But that’s all.
No credit monitoring, criminal records monitoring, financial or transactional monitoring, or specific monitoring like vehicle title monitoring and 401(k) and investment monitoring. (Aura offers all these and more.)
Alerts were… well, awkward and virtually useless, to be honest. The long list of alerts (27 in all) were mainly associated with my email addresses and phone numbers (and not “critical” as they declared them to be). And I couldn’t really do anything with them anyway because the alerts simply don’t give you enough detail (e.g., no actual website associated with an email that was breached, so I have no idea which password needed to be changed.)
Dark Web Monitoring
Ok, Zander found 2 dark web alerts – the same two that Aura found, in fact. Sorting them from the other 27 was another matter, however.
Credit and Financial Monitoring
This is where Zander really falls flat. They don’t monitor financial transactions, other than on their Elite plan where they warn you if anyone opens a financial account in your name. They also don’t offer any credit bureau reports or scores (which is the reason, they say, their fees are so low).
They do provide a number of articles on how to monitor your credit yourself and on their Elite plan, there’s an Experian credit lock button. Are you happy to spend the time doing this yourself? I’m not.
As already pointed out, most other identity theft protection services do offer all of the above.
Public Records Monitoring
Zander includes USPS address change monitoring and monitoring court records in case your personal identifying information (PPI) is associated with any illegal activities. Other than that, Zander is a bit disappointing here too. There is no home or vehicle title monitoring.
Yes, they offer what they call “home title fraud” monitoring, so should you fall prey to home title fraud, Zander will cover any legal fees and other costs and help you restore your title.
They also don’t offer you a data broker removal service (which Aura does, by the way – Aura automatically sends data opt-out requests on your behalf to all the major data brokers!).
Threat Resolution: 6/10
Should you be a victim of identity theft, access to customer service at any time of the day or night is an indispensable tool so you can remedy the situation sooner rather than later. So Zander’s 24/7/365, US-based customer support, as advertised, seemed promising.
In reality, it wasn’t quite that great. While the representative answered within 1 minute of me calling, even after hours, and was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful.
Zander also has an email service which takes a little longer of course. They don’t have a chatbot feature, which isn’t that important anyway, although they can be helpful for basic questions.
Wallet Protection Service
In this category, Zander again falls short compared to other services. They will assist you in canceling and reordering your bank cards and other contents like your driver’s license.
However, there is no insurance for any cash you may have lost, nor do they monitor your credit for any indication of fraud due to the loss of your wallet.
Concierge Resolution Services
While Zander does offer identity restoration and threat resolution (on both plans, and they say they assign a dedicated restoration specialist to your case), it isn’t quite as helpful as some other services and certainly not as thorough as Aura’s concierge white glove service. Still, for this price point, it’s nothing to sniff at.
Theft Insurance: 8/10
Zander’s theft insurance is impressive for a cheap identity theft protection service, offering $1 million per adult on their Family plan (unlike many other services which only offer $1 million per plan).
Insurance cover can be used towards lost wages (you get up to $7500 per month for 4 weeks to cover for lost wages), stolen funds, legal expenses, and any childcare/elder-care expenses incurred while restoring your identity.
That said, Zander has a list of exclusions, though, which could be problematic. These include things like “legal fees exceeding $125 an hour”. So you’d be wise to read the fine print. (They publish this clearly on their website, so they’re upfront about it, at least.)
Zander’s family plan includes two adults and up to 10 children. While cover for children is generally limited to ages 18 and under, should a child go on to study full-time, they will retain cover up to the age of 26, whether they reside under the same roof or not. That’s generous and tops quite a few other services in terms of cover for older children.
While this is good for a cheap service, it isn’t as good as others, such as Aura, where you can include up to five adults and unlimited children. With the latter, you can include your spouse, adult children, and even your parents or in-laws as well.
Where Zander also disappoints because their family plan doesn’t include any kind of parental tools, e.g., the ability to protect my children’s social media activity. Not to mention the ability to monitor or even freeze their credit – which is a prime target for identity thieves.
Ease of Use: 6/10
Zander’s website isn’t really hard to use, per se. It’s just clunky and outdated. Still, it’s fairly logical and has a few useful buttons to get you to different parts of the page.
Not that you should have to go to separate pages for each service, of course – other services keep this more streamlined with everything you need upfront.
The annoying thing with Zander is how long the site takes to load, and each page is sluggish.
Additional Services: 2/10
Zander only offers a VPN and antivirus software on its Elite plan. On the individual plan, these can be used on up to 10 devices, and in the family plan, up to 20 devices. Which is great, don’t get me wrong – getting digital protection as part and parcel of your identity theft protection saves you the money and hassle of sourcing it elsewhere.
However… for the same amount you pay for Zander’s Elite plan, you could get Aura (use our promo code), which gives you not only a VPN and antivirus software but a password manager, an ad-blocker, an email alias tool, spam call protection, and an anti-ad tracker.
Zander Cost: 8/10
Yes, Zander is really cheap. Even compared to a lot of other identity theft protection services out there (except Aura!) it’s extremely affordable. However, you have to bear in mind the range of monitoring and services you’re getting – and not getting – for this price.
You can get Aura, using our discount code, for the same low price as Zander’s Elite plan and get just so much more, it’s almost a no-brainer.
Related Articles: Zander ID Theft Protection Brand Comparisons
Final Score: 6/10
So should you get Zander?
As I suggested at the outset, if you’re just new to identity theft protection and want to try it out without breaking your budget, this is one way to do that. Or, of course, if you’re dead set on price alone and a few bucks mean a whole lot to you.
Nevertheless, consider how much Zander doesn’t offer. No criminal records monitoring, fewer alerts, no financial monitoring to speak of, no credit monitoring, and a more inflexible family plan. Then consider what Aura does offer.
If you want a very affordable identity theft protection service, with fully comprehensive monitoring, the maximum in theft insurance, and a whole slew of additional services…