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LifeLock and Experian are two of the biggest names in the identity theft protection industry, but which service is your best bet to protect you from ID theft — and to help you recover if you become a victim of fraud.
We put these services head to head to see how they compare for the most crucial factors you need to consider for ID theft protection: ID and credit monitoring, customer and resolution support, pricing and other benefits.
LifeLock has been a leading ID theft protection company since launching in 2005. In late 2016, cybersecurity giant Symantec acquired LifeLock (you get Symantec’s popular Norton antivirus protection with every LifeLock subscription). LifeLock was named in the 2016 Online Trust Honor Roll for excellent consumer protection and data security.
Experian IdentityWorks has one advantage over other ID theft services that include credit monitoring. Why? Experian is one of the 3 major credit bureaus in the U.S., but this level of crediting clout doesn’t necessarily translate to comprehensive identity theft monitoring.
Both services offer some of the best coverage on the market and monitor everything from your personal information, court records, bank accounts, credit cards, credit bureaus and even the sex offender registry in your area.
LifeLock has an edge by keeping an eye on your investment account activity and driver’s license number. On the other hand, Experian gives you your credit scores and reports from the 3 credit bureaus every 90 days, while LifeLock only provides these annually.
LifeLock is the clear winner of this category. It stands out for its exceptional U.S.-based customer support and provides 24/7 access to ID theft specialists as well as general member services. LifeLock also has an impressive knowledge base on its website about all things identity theft.
Experian is another story. After researching customer feedback for this company, our takeaway is: its customer service is way below par, not only compared to LifeLock but also many other identity theft protection services.
Experian support complaints run the gamut, from not being able to get anyone on the phone (although they advertise support hours) to uninformed and rude service representatives.
LifeLock provides full recovery services and 24/7 access to fraud specialists. The great thing about this service is that its team of experts takes care of most of the recovery process for you, including contacting your financial institutions and handling paperwork and all the details to restore your identity.
Experian claims on its website that it has dedicated fraud resolution support, but it’s unclear what this service includes. Based on customer feedback, Experian doesn’t appear to offer much in terms of recovery services (on top of poor customer support).
Both LifeLock and Experian provide up to $1 million in reimbursement insurance, and LifeLock also provides up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement (Experian does not).
Both Experian IdentityWorks and LifeLock have mobile apps with overall decent reviews and ratings from Google Play and iTunes. However, LifeLock’s mobile apps give you a bit more functionality for your identity theft needs. Experian’s apps mainly focus on credit monitoring.
Experian’s family plans are among the most affordable on the market. LifeLock only offers a child add-on option ($5.99/month per child) that’s expensive compared to many LifeLock competitors.
With Experian, you can cover two adults and two children (up to 10 kids) for $29.99 per month. To get the same level of coverage for a family of four with LifeLock, you’ll end up spending more than $70 per month.
How do Experian IdentityWorks plans and LifeLock plans compare? You’re going to save more with Experian — a lot more, especially if you’re a couple or have children. Let’s look at each company’s highest-tiered plans, which are the most comparable for coverage and features. At $29.99/month, LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus plan is much higher than average, while Experian’s Premium Plan costs $19.99/month.
And when you take pricing for a couple and children into consideration for each company’s highest-tiered plan, LifeLock will run you nearly $60/month for 2 adults (kids are an additional $5.99 each/month). For only $29.99/month with Experian, you can protect 2 adults and up to 10 kids.
Detailed Plan Comparison
The pricing for each plan below is for one adult. Experian gives you a 17% discount if you pay annually. LifeLock offers a 60-day money back guarantee with an annual subscription, but it kicks up your monthly cost by $3-$5 after your first year of service.
|IdentityWorks Plus||IdentityWorks Premium||Standard||Advantage||Ultimate Plus|
|Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website|
|Price Per Month||$9.99/month||$19.99/month||$9.99/month||$19.99/month||$29.99/month
|Free Trial||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|U.S.-Based Agents 24/7|
|Full Identity Recovery Support|
|Driver's License Monitoring|
|Credit Card Monitoring & Activity Alerts|
|Bank Account Monitoring & Activity Alerts|
|Address Change Verification||USPS Address Change Verification||USPS Address Change Verification||USPS Address Change Verification|
|Lost Wallet Assistance|
|Alerts for New Account Attempts|
|Dark Web Monitoring|
|File Sharing Network Searches|
|PC Antivirus Software|
|Payday Loan Monitoring|
|Investment Account Activity Alerts|
|Court Records Scanning|
|Sex Offender Registry Reports|
|Fictitious Identity Monitoring|
|3-Bureau Credit Monitoring||1 Credit Bureau|
|Receive Credit Reports and Scores||3 Credit Bureaus (Quarterly)||1 Credit Bureau (Annually)||3 Credit Bureau (Annually)|
|FICO Score Alerts|
|Stolen Funds Replacement||Up to $25,000||Up to $100,000||Up to $1 million|
|Personal Expense Reimbursement Insurance||Up to $500,000||Up to $1 million||Up to $25,000||Up to $100,000||Up to $1 million|
|Coverage for Lawyers & Experts||Included in Reimbursement Insurance||Included in Reimbursement Insurance||Up to $1 million||Up to $1 million||Up to $1 million|
Experian Family Plans
|IdentityWorks Plus||IdentityWorks Premium|
|One Adult And Up To 10 Children||$14.99||$24.99|
|Two Adults And Up To 10 Children||$19.99||$29.99|
LifeLock comes out on top for its superb identity theft protection and recovery services, but this doesn’t come cheap. Is LifeLock worth it? Yes, if your budget affords it. LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus plan offers some of the most comprehensive monitoring and recovery services available.
Experian IdentityWorks could be a decent option if your primary concern is your budget, especially if you have more than one family member you want to cover. But Experian falls short on its overall identity theft services compared to LifeLock.
We’re also troubled by all the complaints about their customer support and seeming lack of recovery assistance. If you’re more concerned about credit monitoring, Experian deserves serious consideration — especially because it’s one of the 3 main credit bureaus in the U.S.
Want to learn more about LifeLock? Take a look at our in-depth LifeLock review for more information on this company.
Before deciding on an ID theft protection service, we encourage you to check out our comprehensive reviews of a dozen identity theft protection services. See how Experian and LifeLock stack up to the competition. If you’re more concerned about your credit, be sure to read our best credit monitoring service reviews.
What has been your biggest identity theft scare?
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