LifeLock — now NortonLifeLock — is one of our favorite identity theft protection services on the market today. When we reviewed NortonLifeLock recently, we found numerous unique features, a robust suite of protections, and a beautifully designed app. There’s definitely a reason why they’re one of the biggest names in the industry right now.
That said, though, they’re certainly not for everyone. The service is vast and requires a lot of setup on the front-end for it to be functional. The list of features can get confusing, and some of them won’t even work unless you’re running a PC. The user experience can feel a bit overwhelming, like you’re drinking from a firehose.
Because of these reasons, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the three best alternatives to NortonLifeLock. They are:
Over the course of this in-depth guide, we’re going to unpack all three LifeLock alternatives in terms of features and pricing so you can get a better idea which service might be best for you.
1. Identity Guard
Identity Guard is a top-notch service with features that rival NortonLifeLock, albeit with a similar price tag. We’ve broken down Identity Guard’s pricing and service plans, but for quick reference, here’s a chart of the highlights for each of their service tiers: Value, Total, and Ultra.
Identity Guard Plans
|Identity Guard Service||Value||Total||Ultra|
|Bank Account Monitoring||No||Yes||Yes|
|Credit and Debit Card Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|401k and Investment Account Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|Criminal and Sex Offense Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|Address Change Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|1-Bureau Monthly Credit Score||No||Yes||Yes|
|3-Bureau Credit Monitoring||No||Yes||Yes|
|3-Bureau Annual Credit Report||No||No||Yes|
Pretty exhaustive, right? What you’re not going to get with Identity Guard is some of the more tertiary benefits offered by NortonLifeLock such as their VPN, their virus protection, or their cloud storage. But to be completely honest — while those are nice perks — they aren’t super important to us.
What is important, however, are key features like triple-bureau credit monitoring, triple-bureau credit reports, and bank account monitoring. When we tested and reviewed Identity Guard, we found this is what they do really well. Worth noting, though, you’ll only get triple-bureau protection if you go with Ultra protection — their most expensive plan. Well worth it for the peace of mind that you’ll be provided knowing all three credit bureaus are being monitored for discrepancies rather than just one.
One of the really cool things about Identity Guard is their gamified approach to identity protection. After entering answers about our personal lives and behaviors that they refer to as “Threat Questions,” we were presented with a dashboard that provided us with a “Risk Management Score,” a dynamic feature that shows how vulnerable we are over time and makes suggestions on how to improve. This is a really unique feature; one that NortonLifeLock doesn’t offer.
Another thing about Identity Guard we found really helpful was the Safe Browsing plug-in contained in the Ultra package. This is a comprehensive protection for your browser that protects against unwanted ads, HTTPS files, phishing and spam emails, and even unauthorized cryptocurrency mining. While NortonLifeLock offers its own take on safe browsing, it’s nowhere near as comprehensive as Identity Guard. That’s why Identity Guard ranks so high on our list of best identity theft services.
So that’s our number one choice as an alternative to NortonLifeLock. While it’s a little pricey, we found it to be the most comprehensive service out there. The user experience is second to none, and the attention to detail certainly made an impression on us. Well worth the price, and well worth your consideration.
Next up we have IdentityForce, another perennial favorite of ours.
We were really happy with our findings after using IdentityForce’s latest suite of services. They offer one of the best desktop experiences we’ve seen, along with extremely detailed reports and actionable notifications. The overall design of the service and the number of resources they offer really inspire confidence that you’re in good hands.
You can choose between two tiers of service here, UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. As always, we recommend going with the latter, as the protections are more complete. We’ve broken them down in our IdentityForce service and pricing guide, but we’ve also provided the highlights here.
|Advanced Fraud Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Dark Web Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Social Media Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|3 Bureau Credit Monitoring||No||Yes|
|3 Bureau Credit Reports||No||Yes|
|Credit Score Tracker||No||Yes|
|Price||$17.99 per month||$23.99 per month|
One of the first things that impressed us in writing our hands-on IdentityForce review was the company’s attention to detail and how granular they get with data. Some services skimp on this, but in our credit report alone, we were able to see everything — and we do mean everything — that was impacting our scores. Not only that, IdentityForce explains why they report on specific data. Keep in mind this is quite rare for the industry, and it’s not something we experienced with NortonLifeLock.
In our review of their services, we said IdentityForce’s credit reporting, monitoring, and analysis was the gold standard, and we stick to that statement.
Did You Know: It’s perfectly normal for your credit score to slightly vary across the different credit reporting bureaus. What you need to pay attention to is sudden, dramatic declines at one or all bureaus.
We also got loads of use out of the Credit Score Simulator offered by IdentityForce. There are a few other services on the market that dabble with these, but IdentityForce’s is the most complete we’ve found. Using this tool, you can simulate what would happen if you changed certain behaviors or if certain financial situations were to occur. It’s a really helpful tool for anyone looking to improve their score or recover from financial hardship. And again, it’s not something that NortonLifeLock brings to the table.
You can see the IdentityForce Credit Score Simulator below. It definitely won’t win any design awards, but trust us when we say it’s ultra-useful.
Finally, we’d like to point out the attention to detail IdentityForce pays in its alerts. Some services will tell you — hey — your email address shows up on the Dark Web, but IdentityForce takes it a step further. It tells you where the breach originated, what type of breach it was, when the breach occurred, and a summary of what steps you should take to protect yourself. Really helpful stuff here!
IdentityForce also pays special attention to Social Media, something NortonLifeLock doesn’t really do. The ‘Force will monitor your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube accounts for a wide variety of nefarious and untoward activity including account hacking, malware, and inappropriate behaviors.
So while you’ll get a lot of frills with NortonLifeLock, you get rock-solid, highly detailed core functionality with IdentityForce. It’s a matter of preference, for sure, but the credit monitoring functionality alone makes IdentityForce one of our favorites, which is why we gave it our Best Service recognition this year.
With that said, let’s move on to our final pick — ID Watchdog.
3. ID Watchdog
If you’ll pardon the obvious pun, ID Watchdog is a bit of an underdog here, but they’re still worth recognizing for their credit locking ability, the scope of their protection, and their intuitive user experience — all for a really reasonable price. We think ID Watchdog is a great alternative to NortonLifeLock, especially for those who are looking for something a little more utilitarian.
There are two tiers of service with ID Watchdog, Plus and Platinum. As always, we’ve broken these down in detail in our ID Watchdog pricing page, but we’ve also provided a quick punch list below.
ID Watchdog Plans
|ID Watchdog Service||Plus||Platinum|
|Credit Report Monitoring||Single-bureau||Triple- bureaus|
|Credit Report Lock||Single-bureau||Multi-bureau|
|Subprime Loan Block||No||Yes|
|Financial Accounts Monitoring||No||Yes|
|401K/HSA Reimbursement||No||Up to $500k|
|ID Theft Restoration||Yes||Yes|
|ID Theft Insurance||Up to $1 million||Up to $1 million|
|Price||$14.95 per month||$19.95 per month|
Immediately worth pointing out is ID Watchdog’s 401k/HSA Reimbursement in their Platinum plan. Unlike NortonLifeLock, ID Watchdog places retirement and health savings accounts in it’s own special category. Good news if you’re of retirement age or have been in a traditional career for a long time.
Did You Know: Just like your checking or savings account, 401k accounts are also vulnerable to identity thieves. In fact, we’d argue they’re more vulnerable, as they aren’t checked in on nearly as often.
We also loved that we were able to lock our TransUnion and Equifax credit reports at the push of a button, and were given handy information on how to do the same with Experian. Credit locks are one of the best things you can do to protect your identity, as it makes it so no one can take out a new line of credit or establish a loan in your name. Very few people take advantage of this service or even know it’s available to them. We were happy to find when we reviewed ID Watchdog, though, they make it quick and easy.
Another thing we’d like to point out is ID Watchdog’s dashboard. It has a very “command center” feel, and everything you need is at the tips of your fingers. Set up was super intuitive, and we were given detailed information on how to set up all of our protections, and why they were necessary. As a bonus point, their resources aren’t buried somewhere in a help section — everything is right there, available to you when you need it. While NortonLifeLock’s dashboard definitely feels more modern, we still appreciate the standard-issue utility offered by ID Watchdog.
ID Watchdog also takes identity protection very seriously. Their dark web scan is super robust, and they also offer an identity profile report where you can examine records of personal information located in public and the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Worth noting, a lot of records are going to show up here. Don’t be alarmed. True to form, ID Watchdog does a great job explaining where the records came from, and if action should be taken.
Finally, ID Watchdog also offers a great Solicitation Reduction feature where you’re able to register for the National Do Not Call List and decrease the amount of junk mail and pre-screened credit card offers you receive. It took about a month for us to notice a difference, but it actually was pretty significant. A nice little add-on there!
Did You Know: Junk Mail has a tremendous environmental impact. An estimated 42 percent of timber harvested in the U.S. becomes pulpwood for paper, and approximately 100 million trees are destroyed each year only to become junk mail.
Three Great LifeLock Alternatives, One Decision
All said, while NortonLifeLock is a top-rated service, there are plenty of other options out there. In our experience, Identity Guard, IdentityForce, and ID Watchdog are all worth taking a hard look at when picking out identity theft protection. Identity Guard would be our pick, but that’s based on a myriad of financial and personal factors.
There are a lot of considerations when shopping around. You shouldn’t always go with the one that has the most name recognition or the longest list of features. To find the service that’s right for your situation and lifestyle, head over to our identity theft protection services buyers guide.
We’d say Identity Guard. The number and types of features are comparable, and the price is the same.
We really like Identity Guard’s core protections like triple-bureau credit monitoring, but we also think their Risk Profile and their Safe Browsing plug-in were especially noteworthy.
We recommend Identity Guard’s Ultra plan. It’s the only one that covers all three credit-monitoring bureaus and offers the most additional features. It costs $29.99 per month.
Yes, but only at Experian and TransUnion. You’ll have to contact Equifax to have their report frozen.
Yes, but only under the UltraSecure+Credit plan. It costs $23.99 per month.