Identity Guard vs. Experian IdentityWorks: Which Is Better?

August 2, 2023


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    Identity Guard vs. Experian: Which Should You Choose?

    More than five million Americans were victims of identity theft and fraud last year with losses of over $8.8 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [*].

    Even worse, based on a survey from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) [*]:

    Over half of all identity theft incidents go unresolved — leaving victims to pick up the pieces on their own.

    That’s why millions of Americans sign up for identity theft protection each year — with Identity Guard and Experian IdentityWorks being two of the best identity theft protection services available.  

    But, while both providers can help prevent identity theft and support you through the identity restoration process with insurance coverage and expert help, there are key differences that can determine which one is best for you

    In this guide, we’ll compare Identity Guard and Experian IdentityWorks, and examine their pros and cons to help you decide which one is right for you and your family.

    What’s the Difference Between Identity Guard and Experian?

    Identity Guard and Experian IdentityWorks both offer similar features and protection — including comprehensive identity and three-bureau credit monitoring, online safety tools, and identity theft insurance.

    However, each service has unique differences that you should know about before making a decision.

    Identity Guard offers more protection, especially for families. Identity Guard’s award-winning protection can provide coverage for up to five adults (in different households) and unlimited children — making it a great option if you have multiple loved ones to protect.

    IdentityWorks offers slightly more when it comes to credit monitoring. As one of the main credit bureaus, it makes sense that Experian would offer more when it comes to credit protection and monitoring. 

    For the most even analysis, we’re going to compare the companies’ highest-priced plans — Identity Guard Ultra and Experian IdentityWorks Premium:

    Identity Guard Ultra
    Experian IdentityWorks
    Identity monitoring
    #1-rated identity theft monitoring and alerts; includes Dark Web, social media, home title, and more
    Comprehensive identity theft monitoring and alerts
    Credit monitoring and protection
    Three-bureau credit monitoring, including:
    • Monthly credit scores
    • One-click Experian credit lock
    • Fraud alerts in near real-time
    Three-bureau credit monitoring, including:
    • Daily Experian FICO scores
    • Experian CreditLock
    Online safety
    Safe Browsing tools and a secure password manager
    Social network monitoring but no antivirus or online safety tools
    Family protection
    Covers five adults and unlimited children
    Covers two adults and 10 kids (identity monitoring only for children)
    Identity theft insurance
    Up to $1 million
    Up to $1 million
    $19.99/month for the Ultra individual plan (using this special link)
    $24.99/month for Premium individual plan
    Customer support
    White Glove Fraud Resolution Specialists are available 8am – 11pm (EST) during the week
    Dedicated fraud resolution specialists available during limited hours
    4.6 stars on Trustpilot [*]
    3.8 stars on Trustpilot [*]

    The bottom line: Identity Guard provides award-winning identity theft protection, online safety tools, and more protection for families than Experian. Secure your identity (and finances) with Identity Guard today and receive 33% off your membership.

    Identity Guard Overview: What’s Included and Pros & Cons

    Identity Guard is one of the most established and trusted identity theft protection providers available. Since launching more than 25 years ago, Identity Guard has helped more than 47 million customers protect their identities and stay safe online. 

    Recently, Identity Guard joined forces with Aura to provide the most modern identity theft protection to more Americans. 

    Here’s how Identity Guard keeps you safe:

    • Award-winning identity theft monitoring and alerts. Identity Guard monitors your most sensitive personal information — including your name, phone number, and Social Security number (SSN) — online, across the Dark Web, and in public records. You’ll receive alerts in near real-time if your data is leaked in a data breach, if someone uses your identity during a crime, or if scammers try to change your home title or address. Identity Guard was rated the Best Identity Theft Protection Service of 2022 by Forbes Advisor
    • Three-bureau credit monitoring and comprehensive financial monitoring. Identity Guard also monitors your credit files at all three bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), bank and investment accounts, and debit and credit cards. You’ll get notified about any suspicious transactions or fraudulent activity that could be a sign of identity theft.
    • One-click Experian credit lock. To protect your credit from scammers trying to open new accounts or take out payday loans in your name, you can lock and unlock your Experian credit file with a single tap from the Identity Guard app. You’ll also get a monthly credit score and annual credit reports with the three major credit bureaus to help you keep on top of your credit score.
    • Digital security tools to protect your online accounts. Identity Guard includes tools to proactively safeguard you from hackers. Every Identity Guard account includes Safe Browsing tools that warn you if you’re entering fake or dangerous websites, as well as a secure password manager to keep your logins safe. These tools can even monitor your social media accounts for signs of fraud
    • $1 million insurance policy on every plan. Even if the worst happens, Identity Guard has you covered for up to $1 million in eligible losses due to identity theft. This includes stolen funds, legal fees, childcare, and more. 
    • Easy-to-use identity dashboard and web app. All of Identity Guard’s features are easy to access and use from a simple web dashboard on your computer or mobile device.
    Identity Guard Pros
    Identity Guard Cons
    Award-winning ID theft protection and fast fraud alerts
    Credit protection is only offered with higher-tier packages
    Comprehensive financial account monitoring of:
    • Bank and accounts numbers
    • Debit and credit cards
    • 401k
    • Investment accounts
    Only basic online security tools are included (no VPN)
    Comprehensive identity theft protection for individuals and families
    White Glove Fraud Resolution support only offered at the highest pricing tier
    Three-bureau credit monitoring with Experian credit lock
    No free trial, but a 60-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans
    Up to $1 million in fraud insurance coverage available to all members

    Who Should Choose Identity Guard?

    You should choose Identity Guard if:

    • You want award-winning identity theft protection. Identity Guard was ranked as the #1 identity theft protection solution by Forbes Advisor in 2022 — thanks to its comprehensive monitoring and near real-time alerts.
    • You’re looking after your family or elderly family members. Not only does Identity Guard cover unlimited children — it also provides coverage for up to five adults in different households. 
    • You want to protect your online accounts and passwords. Identity Guard offers a secure password manager that can help you better manage your online accounts and keep them safe.
    • You want flexible plan options. Identity Guard has three different plan options for individuals and families. You have the ability to pay monthly for the service, or save 40% by opting to be billed annually instead.

    How Much Does Identity Guard Cost?

    Identity Guard offers three pricing tiers for individuals, as well as three protection plan options for families. Discounts apply for annual memberships, so you can save 40% if you choose to pay annually instead of monthly. This discount applies beyond the first year so you can keep saving.

    These are Identity Guard’s pricing plans as of April 2023 (annual plans billed monthly):

    • Value Plan: $5.39/month (individual) and $8.99/month (family)
    • Total Plan: $11.99/month (individual) and $17.99/month (family)
    • Ultra Plan: $17.99/month (individual) and $23.99/month (family)

    Not only will you save money by paying annually instead of monthly  — Identity Guard also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on these plans.

    💡 Bonus offer: Take 33% off your Identity Guard membership today. 

    Is Identity Guard a Reputable Company?

    Identity Guard is a reputable company that has been in business for over 25 years and has been trusted by 47 million people to guard their identities. To date, Identity Guard has resolved over 140,000 identity theft cases.

    Here’s what customers on Trustpilot (a third-party review site) have said about Identity Guard [*]:

    • Customer support that goes above and beyond: “By the end of the call, we felt like the weight of the world was off our shoulders.”
    • Saved me thousands of dollars: [My Identity Guard rep] got Bank of America's fraud group on the phone and within minutes they put the stolen money ($4,880.36) back into my account. If it were not for this intervention, who knows how long I would have been waiting for!”
    • Step-by-step fraud resolution: “Identity guard emailed me about a suspicious account. After discussion we contacted the institution to report the fraud and Identity Guard walked me through all I would need to do to protect my identity and credit. This process was made easy by giving me step-by-step instructions on how to contact various institutions and law enforcement.”

    Experian IdentityWorks Overview: What’s Included and Pros & Cons

    IdentityWorks is an identity protection and credit monitoring service offered by the credit bureau Experian. 

    It can quickly alert you of any changes to your credit reports, and you’ll also get daily FICO scores. This is especially helpful if you’re working on building your score or applying for new credit in the near future.

    However, IdentityWorks only offers a single premium plan option for individuals. There is a free basic plan, but this provides limited identity theft monitoring. The family plan option only covers two adults and up to 10 children.

    Experian IdentityWorks Pros
    Experian IdentityWorks Cons
    Free plan option for Experian credit report and FICO score monitoring
    Free plan is limited and provides little protection against identity theft
    Daily FICO credit report and scores
    More expensive premium service
    30-day free trial for both Premium and Family plans
    Customer support isn’t available 24/7

    Who Should Choose Experian IdentityWorks?

    If you’re looking for an identity protection provider that focuses primarily on securing your credit reports and tracking your score, Experian IdentityWorks is the service for you.

    You should choose IdentityWorks if:

    • You want more credit tracking and simulator tools. Since Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus, credit is its strong suit. This makes it a good option if you’re mainly interested in keeping tabs on your FICO credit score.
    • You want more credit protection. Experian can place a fraud alert on your account to notify lenders and creditors that you may have been a victim of identity theft (you can also do this yourself for free). They also provide access to bureau-trained Fraud Resolution Specialists in the event of fraud.
    • You’re not sure of the exact features you need in an identity protection service. Since Experian offers a 30-day free trial with all IdentityWorks plans, it’s an excellent option if you’re not ready to fully commit yet. (Identity Guard also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans.)

    How Much Does Experian Cost?

    Experian IdentityWorks offers a free plan for basic credit monitoring, as well as premium individual and family plans that offer more features.

    Here are IdentityWorks’ pricing tiers as of April 2023:

    • Basic (includes Experian credit monitoring only): Free
    • Premium (for individuals): $24.99 per month
    • Family (for two adults and up to 10 children): $34.99 per month

    While Experian IdentityWorks starts at a higher price point than many other identity protection providers, it does offer a free 30-day trial for both its premium and family plans.

    💡 Related: The Best Identity Guard Alternatives of 2023

    What About LifeLock?

    LifeLock is an identity theft protection service that provides monitoring across multiple devices — such as your phone, tablet, and computer. It also integrates with Norton 360 for online safety and digital security.

    Lifelock is a trusted household name that’s been around since 2005, so it makes sense that many people are interested in considering it as an alternative to Identity Guard or Experian IdentityWorks. However, Lifelock is a more expensive option with complicated plan choices. 

    In addition, LifeLock has faced significant criticism in recent years due to a handful of public issues.

    • In January 2023, LifeLock disclosed that it was part of a data breach, and sensitive information from thousands of customers — including information from customer password managers — was breached [*].
    • LifeLock services pair with Norton; and in 2022, Norton faced criticism for installing a cryptocurrency mining software on users’ computers without their knowledge [*].
    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed two lawsuits against LifeLock. In 2010, they proved that LifeLock made deceptive claims in its online advertising [*]. In 2015, the FTC filed a second suit accusing LifeLock of failing to secure user data, resulting in LifeLock paying over $100 million in fines [*].

    The bottom line: LifeLock is a solid product overall, but its plans and options might be too complex for your needs. And, the company has been involved in public issues that don’t instill confidence in prospective customers. Identity Guard provides more value and protection with less expensive, user-friendly plans.

    💡 Read more: Identity Guard vs. LifeLock: 2023 Comparison

    How To Choose Between Identity Guard and Experian IdentityWorks

    The choice you make will depend on your individual needs, but consider these factors before choosing between Identity Guard and Experian IdentityWorks:

    Monitoring and Alerts

    Identity theft protection services monitor your most sensitive data across the internet, public records, the Dark Web, and more. The more pieces of information that you can monitor (and the more locations monitored), the better.

    If anything suspicious is found, these providers will notify you via alerts.

    Here’s how Identity Guard and IdentityWorks compare when it comes to monitoring:

    Identity Guard
    Experian IdentityWorks
    Identity monitoring includes:
    • Data breach notifications
    • Dark Web monitoring
    • High-risk transaction monitoring
    • Bank account monitoring
    • SSN monitoring
    • Social media monitoring
    • Home title monitoring
    • Criminal and sex offender list monitoring
    • USPS address change monitoring
    • Driver’s license monitoring
    Identity monitoring includes:
    • Monthly privacy scans
    • Financial account takeover alerts
    • Dark Web surveillance
    • SSN trace alerts
    • Court records monitoring
    • Change of address monitoring
    • Non-credit loan monitoring
    • Social network monitoring
    Credit monitoring includes:
    • Three-bureau credit monitoring
    • Monthly credit score
    • Annual three-bureau credit report
    • Experian CreditLock with alerts
    • 401K and investment account monitoring
    Credit monitoring includes:
    • Three-bureau credit monitoring
    • Experian CreditLock
    • Daily one-bureau credit score
    • Quarterly credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
    • FICO score tracker

    ✅ Our pick: Tie. While Identity Guard’s identity theft monitoring has been rated #1 by publications like Forbes Advisor, IdentityWorks offers a wider range of credit monitoring options including FICO scores. 

    Insurance Coverage

    Identity Guard and Experian IdentityWorks both offer the same insurance coverage in the event of fraud. If you fall victim to identity theft, both of these companies offer up to $1 million in insurance coverage, which includes stolen funds reimbursement and hardship compensation.

    This coverage is included in all of Identity Guard’s plans, and all of Experian’s plans except its basic free plan, which has no insurance coverage.

    ✅ Our pick: Identity Guard. While both companies offer identical insurance coverage, Identity Guard has a leg up on IdentityWorks by offering coverage on all of its plans.

    Support and Resolution

    Identity Guard doesn’t offer 24/7 support, but a unique feature of its customer support is the use of case managers. If you become a victim of identity theft, you’ll be connected with a dedicated representative who helps resolve your case.

    IdentityWorks, also, doesn’t offer round-the-clock support, but its U.S.-based Fraud Resolution Specialists are specifically trained by the bureau to assist identity theft victims.

    ✅ Our pick: Identity Guard. Neither Identity Guard nor IdentityWorks offers 24/7 support, but Identity Guard uses dedicated case managers to help resolve fraud cases more quickly.

    Ease of Use

    In terms of usability, Identity Guard is extremely simple and easy to set up. All you need to do is select a service plan, download the mobile app (or log in to the website), and your identity protection will begin immediately.

    Experian IdentityWorks is also relatively simple to set up, but you’ll be required to input your credit card information even if you decide to start with the 30-day free trial. Identity monitoring will begin within 48 hours of enrollment.

    ✅ Our pick: Identity Guard. Both Identity Guard and IdentityWorks are relatively easy to set up, but Identity Guard’s user-friendly dashboard gives it a slight edge.


    Both services offer similar plan pricing with regular discounts to help make them more affordable. Identity Guard offers three tiers of plans starting at $8.99/month for individuals and $14.99/month for families. Identity Guard also offers a 40% discount if you opt for an annual subscription.

    Experian offers only one plan for individuals and one plan for families, along with a 30-day free trial. There’s also a basic free plan, but it’s extremely limited in features.

    ✅ Our pick: Identity Guard. While Identity Guard doesn’t have a free trial, it more than makes up for it with its flexible plan options and annual discount. Plus, you can take 33% off your Identity Guard membership today.

    The Bottom Line: Protect Your Identity With Identity Guard

    The risk of identity theft is rising. One of the best ways to avoid being a victim is to invest in a reliable identity protection service.

    Identity Guard is a comprehensive solution for your needs. With award-winning identity monitoring and protection, Safe Browsing tools, and credit monitoring, you can shield yourself and your loved ones against cybercriminals and identity thieves.

    Keep your identity (and finances) safe. Get 33% off your Identity Guard membership

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    1. Financial identity theft and fraud
    2. Medical identity theft
    3. Child identity theft
    4. Elder fraud and estate identity theft
    5. “Friendly” or familial identity theft
    6. Employment identity theft
    7. Criminal identity theft
    8. Tax identity theft
    9. Unemployment and government benefits identity theft
    10. Synthetic identity theft
    11. Identity cloning
    12. Account takeovers (social media, email, etc.)
    13. Social Security number identity theft
    14. Biometric ID theft
    15. Crypto account takeovers