We live in a world where changing your passwords once a quarter simply doesn’t cut it any longer. So more people are becoming increasingly concerned about protecting their identity. Our readers are definitely on this list, but with so many services out there to choose from, committing to a cybersecurity provider can be time-consuming and complex.
OneRep is here to paint a clearer picture for you and help you pare down your choices. In this review, we’re going to compare two identity theft protection titans: IDShield (LegalShield’s identity theft protection product) and LifeLock (from Norton). If you want to dive deeper, we’ve made separate reviews on each of these services. Check out our NortonLifelock and ID Shield reviews here and here, and read on to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Before we dive into the detailed comparison, it’s important to remember that you should be looking out for the features that best support your unique circumstances. Each of the services we selected for this comparison is strong in their own right, but some will be more relevant to your identity theft protection needs than others. That’s just something to keep in your back pocket as we continue.
As you can see, there are a bunch of trade-offs to unpack here. For starters, it’s hard to ignore IDShield’s family plans. IDSheild’s top-tier family plan ($32.95/mo) comes with a three-bureau credit check and protects you from inflating costs as you add more dependents.
Sure, IDShield doesn’t come with Norton 360 antivirus protection for your devices, but from an identity theft perspective (including all of those features listed out in Table 2), you really can’t go wrong with IDShield’s family plans. The price jump from IDShield’s lower-tier family plan to its higher-tier is only seven dollars – a small price to pay given the more robust credit checking.
IDShield vs LifeLock – Primary BenefitsHere’s a short summary of their primary benefits:
IDShield: Family Plan and Identity Theft RemediationIDShield offers family plans (spouse/partner and up to 10-children), whereas LifeLock requires extra payments for each additional family member. IDShield also provides 24/7 access to a licensed private investigator – definitely a unique feature across the entire cybersecurity industry.
LifeLock and Norton Bundle: Extended Money-back Period and All-in-One ProtectionOn the flipside, LifeLock offers an extremely generous 60-day money-back guarantee (for annual plan subscribers), which gives you ample time to explore everything they have to offer with minimal commitment. And speaking of things to explore, LifeLock subscriptions come included with Norton Security for up to five of your Wi-Fi connected devices. LifeLock also comes with unrivaled personal expense compensation plans of up to one million dollars – a comfortable safety net in almost any identity theft emergency. Keep some of those primary features in mind as we unpack both services further.
LifeLock and ID Shield Parent Companies – Zooming OutIDShield is one of the many services offered in the LegalShield identity theft lineup, a company that specializes in protecting its customers from overpaying when working with attorneys and other legal counsel. Instead of paying for legal services by the hour (which we all know can get extremely pricey, extremely fast), you’ll receive unlimited consultation time with your LegalShield identity theft subscription. And they’re not exaggerating when they say unlimited – their legal services are like “having an attorney by your side day and night” without the costly hourly charges. And it doesn’t stop there: LegalShield identity theft services stretch across all aspects of your personal and professional life. That’s right. We’re talking about real estate, family law, divorce, traffic violations and accidents, estate planning, consumer finance issues, and even starting your very own business. If you’re wondering whether LegalShield identity theft services can help address a specific legal concern, chances are, they can. Switching gears: let’s talk about NortonLifeLock, which takes a different approach than LegalShield identity theft services emphasis. Norton focuses more on cybersecurity rather than affordable legal services, including:
- Device Security
- Identity Theft Protection
- Online Privacy
- Home & Family Network Protection
IDShield vs LifeLock – Cybersecurity ServicesOkay, it’s time to lay it all out on the table – let’s talk pricing.
LifeLock and ID Shield: General PricingAs you can see in the table below, price comparisons between the services start at similar price-points for their basic service subscriptions. So, if you’re someone looking for a basic subscription at this point in your cybersecurity search, then it’s important to refer back to some of the key differences in primary offerings listed in the Quick Overview above. To recap, IDShield focuses more on family plans and offers more robust customer services (24/7 private investigators). On the other hand, LifeLock comes with Norton Security for up to five of your devices, discounts for annual payments, and a more flexible money-back trial period (60 days). However, if you’re someone looking for a robust cybersecurity package regardless of price, allow me to direct your attention to ID Shield’s 3-Bureau Credit Reporting row in Table 1. While both companies offer 3-Bureau reporting, IDShield’s individual package isn’t nearly as expensive as LifeLock’s ($17.95/mo versus $29.99/mo, respectively). Keep in mind that LifeLock’s packages really hone in on identity theft monitoring services, which limits its credit monitoring reach. Table 1: Pricing Breakdown for LifeLock vs ID Shield
|LifeLock Review||IDShield Review|
|Membership Fee||Between $11.99/mo|
|Identity Theft Insurance||$1 million||$1 million|
|3-Bureau Credit Reporting||Yes – $29.99/mo for indvs||Yes – $17.95/mo for indvs
$32.95/mo for fams
|Discount for Annual Payments||Yes – service plans all rise between|
$2/mo and $5/mo
after the first year
LifeLock and ID Shield: Feature OfferingFurthermore, if we switch gears to Table 2 for an exhaustive feature comparison, it’s plain to see that LifeLock offers a clear advantage for potential customers looking for device security in addition to identity theft protection. Why is that? Well, LifeLock comes equipped with Norton Antivirus, a highly regarded product at the forefront of device privacy and protection. So far, one thing is crystal clear: there’s plenty to consider when making your decision between LifeLock vs ID Shield, but hopefully you’re beginning to get a clearer idea of which product is the right fit for you. Take a few minutes to comb through the list of features in Table 2 before continuing on.
Feature Comparison for LifeLock vs ID ShieldTable 2: Side-by-side comparison of features: LifeLock vs ID Shield
|Features||LifeLock Review||IDShield Review|
|Monthly Credit Score Reports||Yes (Up to 3 bureaus)||Yes (Up to 3 bureaus)|
|Bank Account Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Daily Credit Report||No||No|
|24/7 Live Support||Yes||Yes – Licensed Private Investigator|
|Stolen Wallet Protection||Yes||Yes|
|Dark Web Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile App||Yes – free LifeLock app||Yes – free IDShield app|
|Trial Period||60 day refund||30 day free|
|Social Security Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Daily Credit Score||No||No|
|Medical Record Protection||No||Yes|
|Data Breach Notifications||Yes||No|
|Fictitious Identity Monitoring||Yes||No|
|VPN||Yes (Unlimited Personal Devices)||No|
|Wi-Fi Enabled Camera Security||Yes (SafeCam)||No|
|Device Protection and Security (Viruses, Malware, Data Breaches)||Yes (starts w/ 5 devices)||No|
IDShield vs LifeLock – Stand-Out FeaturesWe’ve already covered some of the prominent features from both services, but there are a few others you should be aware of as you near your final decision.
Pricing ModelsThis first feature isn’t necessarily a feature as much as it’s an observation about LifeLock’s pricing model. While LifeLock’s annual subscription plans do come at a discounted rate during the first year (with an extremely generous 60-day money-back guarantee), they’ll increase by a sizable percentage going into year two. With IDShield, you can choose to pay monthly or annually but don’t get discounted rates at the beginning or a 60-day trial period (it’s 30 days free for IDShield). See in the table below for how plan pricing shifts entering the second year of your subscription.
Perks & Customer ServiceAnother can’t-miss feature is IDShield’s 24/7 licensed private investigator. If there’s one thing we all can agree on here, speaking to a real person on the phone is far superior to jumping on the line with a customer service bot. Access to qualified professionals during a real emergency is hard to pass up on, especially if your specific situation is time-sensitive and urgent. For what it’s worth, many consumer LifeLock reviews concerning customer service mention that it can occasionally be lackluster and frustrating, especially if you’re calling to sign-up immediately in response to a recent identity theft issue.
Price Comparison for LifeLock and ID ShieldTable 3: Plan Price Comparison After First Year of Subscription
|LifeLock Review||IDShield Review
(No Changes to Price)
|Price of Annual Subscription Entering Second Year||$9.99/mo > $14.99/mo|
(1-Bureau Individual Plan)
$19.99/mo > $24.99/mo
(1-Bureau Individual Plan)
$29.99/mo > $34.99/mo
(3-Bureau Individual Plan)
(1-Bureau Individual Plan)
(1-Bureau Family Plan)
(3-Bureau Individual Plan)
$32.95/mo (3-Bureau Family Plan)
IDShield vs LifeLock – Credit Monitoring BreakdownWhen comparing LifeLock and ID Shield, both offer low-tier plans with one credit bureau check – Lifelock Standard and Norton 360 with LifeLock Select or One Bureau Individual and One Bureau Family from IDShield; as well as high-tier plans with three credit bureau checks – LifeLock Ultimate Plus with or without Norton and IDShield’s 3 Bureau Individual or Family plans. The difference between the two services? Well, there are a few we can look at.
Credit Bureaus Included in LifeLock vs ID Shield PackagesThe first difference in their credit monitoring offerings is the bureau they start with at the lower tiers. For instance, IDShield uses TransUnion at its lowest tier and moves up to using all three at higher tiers (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax), whereas LifeLock Standard and Norton 360 with Lifelock Select, the low tear plans of NortonLifelock start with Equifax. One thing you should know about Equifax being LifeLock’s lower-tier credit bureau is the giant data breach of 2017. Long story short, the personal data (license numbers, social security numbers, and credit cards) of 147 million people was breached, exposed, and compromised in the Summer of 2017. And the reason this is so noteworthy, other than the astronomical number of people affected, was the way in which Equifax reportedly handled the situation. First, they waited six weeks to tell consumers about the breach, and then didn’t offer avenues for reimbursement. Not exactly a recipe for consumer trust, but hopefully, they’ve shifted some of their policies around emergency communications to account for the missed opportunities of 2017. Should that be a contributing factor to your decision? That’s up to you – the more information at your disposal, the better.
Credit Monitoring Options At-a-GlanceThe other differences between their credit monitoring services relate to plans and pricing. We’ll compare the credit monitoring offers of LifeLock vs ID Shield next: Table 4: Credit Monitoring: LifeLock vs ID Shield
|LifeLock Review||IDShield Review|
|Plans w/ One-Bureau Check||$9.99/mo (Norton 360 w/ Select Plan)|
$19.99/mo (Norton 360 w/ Advantage Plan)
$25.95/mo (Family – Spouse/Partner plus up to 10 dependent children)
|Plans w/ Three-Bureau Check||$29.99/mo (Norton 360 w/ Ultimate Plus Plan)||$17.95/mo (Individual)
$32.95/mo (Family – Spouse/Partner plus up to 10 dependent children)
IDShield vs LifeLock – Insurance and Identity Theft ReimbursementNow, let’s take a look at how the insurance and identity theft reimbursement offerings stack up between these services. As you can see in the table below, LifeLock’s highest plan offers slightly more comprehensive coverage and reimbursement opportunities overall, but it’s lower and mid-tiers are comparable to ID Shield’s. Seeing that the prices entering the second year for each subscription (as we saw in the earlier price comparison table) aren’t too far off from one another, it’s important to decide if family or individual coverage is most relevant to you. If it’s family, then ID Shield is best; if it’s individual, then LifeLock might be right for you.
|LifeLock Review||IDShield Review|
|Identity Theft Reimbursement||Up to $25,000 (Norton 360 w/ Select Plan)|
Up to $100,000 (Norton 360 w/ Advantage Plan)
Up to $1 million (Norton 360 w/ Ultimate Plus Plan)
|Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance for individuals (w/ Individual Plan)
Up to $2 million for families (w/ Family plan)
|Insurance Includes||Up to $1 million reimbursed for stolen funds.|
Up to $1 million reimbursed for personal expenses.
Up to $1 million reimbursed for lawyers and experts.
|$25,000 for personal expense reimbursement
$25,000 for stolen funds reimbursement
Up to $1 million for related expenses like attorneys fees.
IDShield vs LifeLock – What About Customer Service?Don’t worry. We didn’t forget about customer service – the essential ingredient for any high-quality product. And after combing through hundreds of LifeLock vs IDShield reviews and working hands-on with the programs, there’s a lot to say about what these services have to offer.
IDShield Offers Serviceable Customer ServiceFirst and foremost, IDShield puts you in touch with a licensed private investigator at no extra cost (we really can’t stress this feature enough) which is a bright spot in many of IDShield reviews, citing how simple it is to get an investigator on the phone and how quickly matters are settled after that initial phone call. What if you want to cancel IDShield? Unfortunately, unlike trying to cancel LifeLock, it’s a bit tedious. Basically, you can’t just cancel IDShield subscriptions by phone or email – there’s a required written process that you have to go through.
LifeLock Struggles with Efficient Customer ServiceLifeLock advertises a 24/7 consultation service as well, but many first-hand LifeLock reviews talk about poor customer service experiences, including being put in touch with automated lines. I can vouch for this. I ran into a couple of issues signing up, and I also had a question about the tool after purchasing it, and the customer service wasn’t very efficient or helpful. Many LifeLock reviews also express their frustration with missed alerts and difficulty upgrading plans to include Norton 360 antivirus protection. When the time comes to cancel LifeLock, it’s a lot easier than trying to cancel IDShield. There’s no need to contact anyone by phone or email – you can just click “cancel LifeLock” on the subscription management page.
IDShield vs LifeLock – The Final Wrap-UpOkay, we’re nearing the end – do you feel closer to making an informed decision yet? We’ve put plenty of information in front of you, so let’s recap the good stuff:
- IDShield offers family plans (up to a 10-children plan), whereas LifeLock requires additional payments for each additional family member.
- IDShield provides 24/7 access to a licensed private investigator – this feature significantly improves your customer service experience and ease of use.
- LifeLock offers an extremely generous 60-day money-back guarantee (for annual plan subscribers), which gives you ample time to explore everything they have to offer with minimal commitment.
- LifeLock only offers annual subscriptions (that increase in price after the first year) as compared to IDShield, which offers both monthly and annual subscriptions that don’t increase in price over time.
- LifeLock subscriptions come included with Norton Security for up to five of your Wi-Fi connected devices.
- LifeLock comes with personal expense compensation plans of up to one million dollars.
IDShield is Great for Protecting FamiliesAll-in-all, if you have a family, you may want to go with IDShield – with their superior customer service and inclusive family plans, you really can’t go wrong.
LifeLock is Great for Individuals Who Want In-Depth ProtectionIf you’re looking for an individualized plan and/or spend a significant amount of time online (personally or professionally), then give LifeLock a try – it offers a more comprehensive identity theft alert system and comes with Norton 360 antivirus, which makes LifeLock’s identity theft services a fantastic deal.
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