A comprehensive approach to identity theft prevention for a reasonable price
Editor's Note: In September 2022, Aura added features that aim to proactively protect customers online. The features include anti-tracking, email masking, enhanced safe browsing, and ad blocking, which are all added to the Aura browser extension that all Aura customers have access to.
Let’s say you want to protect your home from burglars. Do you just lock your front door, shrug your shoulders, and mutter “good enough” to yourself?
Why would you approach identity theft protection any differently?
That’s one of the reasons we like Aura. They cover multiple facets of identity protection, use features that proactively protect customers’ identities, safeguard the entire family, and cast a wide net to detect potential signs of identity theft.
Aura isn’t your typical identity protection service. Yes, they offer features similar to what most other companies offer, like triple-bureau credit monitoring and multi-factor identity alerts, but they also offer strong digital protections to stop — or at least reduce the chances — of their customers’ identities being stolen. These digital protections include a password manager and antivirus security.
Aura has also included a VPN in their packages, and just recently, they added Circle Parental Controls to their offerings. We will explain more about this addition a bit later.
This 360-degree posture helps Aura protect consumers from a more diverse range of threats; plus, the price is pretty reasonable, to boot.
Before we get into that, though, let’s take a look at some of Aura’s best features.
If that short list has you interested, definitely head over to our Aura review. It will cover the setup process, various features, and pros and cons. If you first want to get an idea of how much all this is going to cost, though, keep reading.
In the most basic terms, all Aura packages are the same in terms of features. The only difference is the number of individuals they cover. The Individual plan covers one adult individual, the Couple plan protects two adults, and the Family plan is for families with up to five adult members and any number of children.
The plan that has a few extras tacked on is the family plan. In addition to receiving all of the benefits offered from an Individual or Couple plan, it also includes child social security number monitoring and parental controls on digital devices. These days, such protections for children are a necessity.
The final cost will depend on which payment plan you choose: monthly or annual. The monthly plans cost more, but they’re more flexible since you pay as you go. On the other hand, the annual plans are relatively cheaper, but you’ll have to pay for a whole year upfront. Here’s how it all breaks down:
|Plan||Monthly Plan||Annual Plan|
|Individual||$15||$144 ($12 per month)|
|Couple||$29||$264 ($22 per month)|
|Family||$50||$444 ($37 per month)|
Another great thing about Aura is the customer friendly policies. Here are a few:
Assuming you like Aura, we recommend getting a yearly plan because even though they cost more upfront, you’ll end up saving money in the long run. On top of that, the yearly plans come with a super generous 60-day money-back guarantee. You get extra time to decide if Aura is for you, and if you change your mind and cancel, you’ll get a full refund as long as you’re still within the 60-day period. You don’t get the same guarantee with the monthly plans.
|Personal Information and SSN Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Spam Call, Junk Mail, and Search Site Removal||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Identity Verification Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Child SSN Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|Antivirus Software||10 devices||20 devices||50 devices|
|VPN||10 devices||20 devices||50 devices|
|Safe Browsing||10 devices||20 devices||50 devices|
|Bank Account Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Financial Transaction Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Home Title Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Criminal Record Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Investment Account Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Annual Credit Report||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Monthly Credit Scores||Yes||Yes||Yes|
So which Aura plan is the best? That depends on whether you’re a single adult living independently, have a spouse, partner, or a roommate, or you have a family that you want to protect. Let’s break down the plans.
Aura’s Individual plan is as comprehensive as it gets, as far as identity and credit monitoring goes. It will monitor if your online accounts, personal information, Social Security Number, bank account details, investment accounts, and home titles ever get stolen. The only thing missing from this plan is Child SSN Monitoring, which is understandable given that its target audiences are single individuals looking to protect their identities and credits.
In addition to the usual identity and credit monitoring features, the Individual plan also extends its features to device protections. That includes their anti-malware software, virtual private network (VPN), password manager, and malware site blocking. The anti-malware, VPN, and malware site blocking can be used on up to 10 devices with the Individual plan.
Aura offers so many features, you will feel like a kid in a candy store when you get started. One that got us excited is their Email Alias feature, which generates aliases to hide your email address so that you can reduce both unwanted emails and exposure in data breaches.
Now, for its price, we think this is a solid identity protection plan for individuals. We’ve seen services charge upwards of $20 per month for the same protections, so $15 a month or $144 yearly is pretty reasonable.
Now, take everything there is in the Individual plan and double it — that’s the Couple plan. It caters to two adult persons; you don’t exactly have to be a couple to use this plan, so roommates, siblings living together, or close friends are welcome. You’re practically getting two Individual accounts, which you will manage separately, so it’s safe to share a subscription with someone you don’t have close familial ties with.
Now, when it comes to features, like we said, just double everything in the Individual plan. That includes device protections, so both you and your co-subscriber get access to the VPN, antivirus software, and safe browsing tool for 10 devices each. Similarly, the insurance coverage applies to each member. In case both you and your co-subscriber both fall victim to identity theft, you won’t have to share the $1,000,000 insurance limit.
At $29 per month if you pay monthly or $22 per month if you pay yearly, the Couple plan provides much value to adults living together. Rather than buying two Individual plans separately, the Couple plan will save you up to $120 yearly.
The best-value plan from Aura is the Family plan, that is, if you have a family to protect. The concept is almost the same as the Couple plan, only the Family plan provides protection to up to five adults. Each adult member still gets device protection for up to 10 devices, $1,000,000 in insurance coverage, and all the identity and credit monitoring features.
The only difference between the Family plan and the Couple and Individual plans has to do with child monitoring. As opposed to identity monitoring for adults, child monitoring only protects children’s Social Security Numbers, notifying you if your child’s SSN is used to take out loans or for other nefarious activities.
However, new to Aura’s Family plan are parental online controls powered by Circle. This feature allows parents to block and filter websites and apps, manage screen time limits, and track internet usage. It is a great addition for families.
One thing to note here, is that you can add as many children as you want to your Family plan. That’s because the five-member limit applies only to adults. Children are covered, albeit limitedly as we mentioned above. Children will also have to share device protections with adult members. If your child has a smartphone, for example, and they use the VPN and antivirus on it, that will count against the device limit of one of the adult members. The same applies to the insurance coverage.
We think the Family plan is a great identity protection plan for families, especially compared to most services that cover only two adults and a certain number of children. With Aura, if you have grown-up kids living with you and your spouse, you can still add them to your family protection. And at $50 per month at most, this plan is much cheaper than getting five Individual plans. Not to mention, the Circle parental controls make it all the more worth it.
Aura hasn’t been around for too long, but they’re already making waves in the industry with their unique approach to identity theft protection. They’re a service that understands identity theft is an ever-changing threat, and that complete protection requires a multifaceted approach.
FYI: Not convinced Aura is right for you? Not to worry because we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best identity theft protection services of the year. There you’ll find something for every need and every budget.
This is a little less concrete, but we also like the way Aura is designed. It’s minimalist, sleek, and functional. A lot of the identity theft services we’ve reviewed in the past feel a little outdated, but Aura has a distinctly modern … well… aura about them. There’s something to be said for prioritizing design, and Aura really nails it.
That said, Aura isn’t just a sleek veneer. Their core protections and functions are rock-solid, and we feel comfortable recommending their protection to anyone. While they might be a little more expensive than their counterparts, we think the extra cost is well worth it.
Hacking is a broad term and can refer to any number of threatening activities, but Aura can prevent you from falling victim to many of these threats by providing you with malware protection and a virtual private network.
Yes, Aura keeps an eye on dark web marketplaces and forums for your personally identifying information and log-in credentials.
Yes, Aura looks for suspicious changes in your credit files at Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Aura is one of the more expensive identity theft protection solutions on the market, but they are the only one we’ve found that also couples malware protection and a virtual private network.
While they are a little pricey, we think Aura’s bonus cybersecurity features make them well worth the cost.
With a decade of experience as a journalist, Derek Prall has been covering cybersecurity for seven years. He has spent more than 1,000 hours researching digital privacy and has covered almost 100 topics related to VPN and identity theft protection. Previously, Derek has covered tech issues at American City & County magazine, where he won numerous national awards for his cybersecurity coverage. His areas of expertise included network security, big data analytics, and AI applications in public safety. Derek graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from Furman University and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two cats.