LifeLock Review: Don’t Make This ID Theft Protection Mistake

Brandon King
Editor
Last Updated December 6, 2023

LifeLock has long been among the big names in the identity theft protection business and there are many reviews on its services. Until recently, most of these reviews were positive. After all, if you wanted close to impenetrable online ID protection and budget wasn’t a priority then, choosing LifeLock made sense.

But now Aura blows LifeLock clean out of the water, providing vastly superior monitoring, far better value for your money, and way more reliable customer service.

We’re also not the only ones who think that. While LifeLock’s customer reviews are mediocre at best, Aura gets stunning reviews from just about everyone who tries it.

Not to mention, if you lock in our OFF discount on Aura, they won’t increase your price next year like LifeLock.

Home Security Heroes independently tests and reviews every product. We may earn a commission when you buy through our links. Read more here.

Rather Watch? Here’s our full LifeLock Video Review

Identity Theft Monitoring

Dark web and data breach monitoring
Payday loan monitoring
Social Security number monitoring
Bank account monitoring
Sex offender and criminal registry monitoring
USPS address change monitoring
Social media insights
401(k) and investment monitoring
All three credit bureaus credit monitoring
Home title monitoring

LifeLock’s monitoring is a bit of a mixed bag. It claims to cover all of the normal things (dark web monitoring, social security number monitoring, etc.) and then some. I’ll touch more on the depths of LifeLock’s services in just a moment, though. First, let’s look at its accuracy.

On putting in my information, (name, date of birth, all that jazz) I was initially greeted with zero alerts: not a good sign.

I run a lot of testing and write a lot of reviews for identity protection services. I know some of my information is on the dark web, and better services, like Aura, found it right away.

About two weeks after initially signing up, Life Lock finally generated 6 alerts. These are all things I would have expected to see crop up, though disappointingly it wasn’t everything. The compromised name, address, and phone number Norton LifeLock found are useful information to have, but it’s also some of the easiest information to find publicly.

There are a number of data breach alerts I expected to see from various sites that simply did not pop up while testing for this review.

This tells me a few things about Norton LifeLock’s product alert system. It is very good at tracking your basic personal information via various sources, but it is very slow (perhaps on purpose, so as not to throw up false alerts?) and its data breach monitoring is extremely ineffective which makes you wonder – is LifeLock worth it?

If Norton LifeLock can’t find the alerts that LifeLock alternatives and competitors managed to find, it doesn’t seem like it’s the best choice. That said, it does offer a wide range of monitoring services. While it’s missing things like social media monitoring, which a few services include, it does provide most of the niche features, including home title monitoring.

Outside of located data breaches, many of these services did prove accurate during our review process. It’s just a shame the data breaches, and presumably dark web monitoring that goes along with it, are so lackluster.

It’s worth noting that the breadth of their monitoring is only worth it when you’re considering the Ultimate Plus Plan. While their data breach monitoring is lacking at every level of service, the addition of home title monitoring and 401(k) and investment monitoring available with the Ultimate Plus option makes LifeLock one of the top services around.

Cost & Pricing

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

ANNUALLY

  • $7.5/month Standard

  • $15/month Advantage

  • $20/month Ultimate Plus

MONTHLY

  • $9.99/month Standard

  • $17.99/month Advantage

  • $23.99/month Ultimate Plus

Couple Plan Cost

ANNUALLY

  • $12.5/month Standard

  • $24/month Advantage

  • $33/month Ultimate Plus

MONTHLY

  • $14.49/month Standard

  • $28.99/month Advantage

  • $39.99/month Ultimate Plus

Family Plan Cost

ANNUALLY

  • $18.5/month Standard

  • $30/month Advantage

  • $39/month Ultimate Plus

MONTHLY

  • $21.99/month Standard

  • $35.99/month Advantage

  • $46.99/month Ultimate Plus

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • Price increases after first year

Promo Code


LifeLock sits in a bit of a weird spot in terms of price. In absolute terms, it’s one of the most expensive services and products out there. Even when you take into account our 25% discount (off the first year), the prices are fairly hefty, as you can see below.

Additionally, that price is only for your first year, you’ll have a LifeLock 30-day free trial and then the price will jump up by a substantial 25% after your first 12 months with the service, after which you’ll be paying normal prices.

This brings us back to this review’s main question – is LifeLock worth it?

To answer that, we need to remember LifeLock has a few advantages that other, naturally cheaper options don’t, which may make this company worth your money. The first is the addition of those services mentioned above: the VPN and Norton antivirus software. Additional features like these allow you to mitigate risks while roaming the internet.

Those alone could make up the difference in price between LifeLock and another option, so if you need both anyway (and many people do) you’re actually saving money in the long term.

The second advantage: is the aptly named Advantage plan. You can save a lot of money per month by foregoing the Ultimate Plus plan, and going with Advantage.

While Ultimate Plus offers a lot, some of those features will be irrelevant for a subset of users. If you don’t own a home, you have no need for home title monitoring for example. You also might not need to cover unlimited devices (the Advantage plan still allows up to 10 Internet-connected devices).

If that’s the case, you can essentially sneak an extra 33% off the service by simply opting out of the plan that offers features you don’t need. Unfortunately, this guts Norton LifeLock’s insurance plan to a tenth of what it normally would be, $100,000 in coverage is still quite respectable, though, so if you don’t stand to lose more than that in assets the Advantage plan may be worth considering.

So while LifeLock is expensive on paper, it offers enough variety in its service plans, and it may be worth its cost in certain situations. Is LifeLock my favorite option? No. There are far more affordable services that include more worthwhile features.

Aura Identity protection service is less expensive and offers more useful tools like safe online gaming and automatic data broker removal services

Threat Resolution

LifeLock

Expertise

  • Support is terrible

US Based Support?

  • Yes and No

Customer Hours

  • 24/7/365 Support

Concierge Resolution

  • None

Lost Wallet Protection

  • Yes

When I write reviews for many identity protection services, I usually find that their threat-resolution services are perfectly adequate, and in some cases, they even manage to impress. LifeLock, however, only offers mediocre threat resolution options with its service.

For the purpose of this review, I break Norton LifeLock’s threat resolution into two primary features.

The first – and probably most important – is access to their ID restoration team and overall customer support. This customer support is available 24/7, unlike some identity theft protection services (except Aura), which vary on their hours but are typically at least closed on Sundays, and after midnight.

Access to day or night customer service is an indispensable tool when it comes to correcting the problems brought on by identity theft and fraud. For a service to be worth it, it needs to facilitate fast action, which means you should be able to reach them quickly and easily.

Connecting with Norton LifeLock isn’t particularly easy despite their 24/7 availability. When I did (finally) connect with someone, we found the ‘expertise’ of their threat resolution care people vague and we had more questions than answers after the call.

Furthermore, although they claim to offer US-based support, this is only half true. Norton LifeLock’s threat resolution team is U.S.-based but their general customer service line is not.

Customer reviews from TrustPilot confirm that LifeLock’s customer service needs work. So, unfortunately, I don’t think my experience was a one-off. The second feature I focused on for this portion of the review was Norton LifeLock’s credit threat resolution features. LifeLock offers a variety of credit freeze and credit lock options, which you can use to either preemptively head off any potential problems stemming from identity theft, or reactively “staunch the bleeding” by preventing criminals from actually doing anything with your information, like opening new credit cards, credit report, online banking, shopping, taking out loans, and so on.

While credit freezes are an almost universal feature offered by the best fraud protection, and allow you to shut down the opening of new lines of credit through a fairly cumbersome process (you need access to a separate website for it), credit locks are simpler to manage.

LifeLock offers an Identity Lock service that lets you lock down your TransUnion credit monitoring score credit reports with a single click, and unlock it the same way. You’ll still need to freeze your Experian and Equifax files on your own for prevention, but it makes things easier and gives you peace of mind.

Theft Insurance

LifeLock

Theft Insurance Score

Theft Insurance 

  • Maximum $1M Theft Insurance  only on Advantage plan

Compared to other reviews I’ve done, LifeLock’s insurance is unusual. Most services have a flat $1 million insurance plan; this covers both stolen wealth and expenses like lost wages.

LifeLock, on the other hand, varies the insurance by the level of your plan. Is LifeLock worth it from this perspective? Well, that very much depends on which plan level you choose.

All three Norton LifeLock plans to offer up to $1 million in coverage for the fees required to hire lawyers and experts. However, only their highest tier plan (Ultimate Plus) offers this for stolen funds or other expenses (the aforementioned lost wages, as well as things like childcare services you wouldn’t normally need).

The lower tier services, Standard and Advantage, offer $25,000 and $100,000 respectively in stolen fund reimbursement and expense compensation.

Ease of Use

When I review a service I look for a user experience that’s modern and streamlined, with little to no learning curve.

LifeLock provides a competent website. It’s not the best out there, but it lacks any glaring flaws as well. 

A quick look at the dashboard:

LifeLock dashboard

The information is laid out well enough, though you have to scroll to see everything on the dashboard. For other services I’ve written reviews for using the width of the screen a bit better.

Other than that, however, everything about Norton LifeLock’s user experience is good. Each of the tabs is clearly labeled, and navigating between the features is quick and easy. Everything transitions quickly after initial loading, with no apparent processing time on transferring between tabs.

You get a lot of relevant information up front and absolutely no fluff. All of this is information you’ll want to be able to immediately lay an eye on things like your credit score, monitoring and alerts, and financial tools.

Basically, while there’s room for improvement in Norton LifeLock’s presentation, there’s nothing that’s really wrong with the site either. Good stuff.

I can’t say the same thing about the desktop and mobile apps, unfortunately. Neither are unusable or anything, but they’re just kind of clunky and redundant overall. This goes especially for the desktop app, which exists mainly to control the Norton 360 security package, and has little to do with the monitoring service at all except to link back to the main website.

Additional Services

LifeLock

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

This is where LifeLock truly shines, and I think it’s their main focus.

In addition to protection against identity theft protection benefits, LifeLock comes equipped with the full Norton 360 security suite, the control panel for which is shown below.

control panel

Norton 360 is a well-known and loved product. You can find glowing reviews for it all over the place. That’s probably because it offers a number of services, some of which are very useful and valuable for keeping your devices private and protecting your identity online, and some of which are less so.

As a quick rundown, Norton 360 security offers:

  • Norton antivirus software
  • A secure VPN service
  • Cloud data backup
  • Password manager
  • PC optimization services

Of these, the VPN and antivirus software are the most valuable, while the others are of limited usefulness. VPNs and antivirus protection both cost money, and can add up over time to quite a bit in monthly fees. Norton’s options are competent and, importantly, included in the price of the service without hiking it up much.

This inflates the value of LifeLock quite a bit over what other services offer on its own.

The other options? They’re fluff, mostly. Everything there is available for free via some other means, such as their “PC optimization” tool is a much slower, less comprehensive version of something like CCleaner, or is otherwise only minimally useful (like the parental controls).

So, is LifeLock worth it if you value additional services more than straightforward identity protection? Probably. There’s no doubt you’ll feel safer while web browsing or downloading images, videos, and documents. But let’s remember, Norton LifeLock advertises as an identity protection service, not antivirus software and a VPN with ID tools thrown in.

LifeLock Family Pricing Plans

LifeLock’s family plan pricing is worth discussing as a separate entity.

First off, The pricing here is a little odd. There are standard rates, which you’ll see in the table above, and then there are rates for LifeLock’s enhanced plans, which include Norton antivirus software and a VPN. 

Regardless of whether you want a standard or enhanced plan, you’ll first notice that LifeLock gives heavy incentives to purchase annually rather than month-to-month. Looking at the top-tier Ultimate Plus plan, you can save close to $100 by paying for a year upfront. 

In terms of coverage, family plans offer the same monitoring options. And they come with the same privacy tools, plus a few extra features geared towards kids, like parental controls and child credit file detection. 

LifeLock’s family plans also don’t restrict what a household is, so you can cover your whole family – even if they live in multiple locations. Of course, once your child is 18, they’re on their own. If you’re already covering your spouse, you can’t cover your children through college the way you could with Aura (which allows for five adults and unlimited children)

So, is LifeLock a good choice for families?

Let’s take a look

For 2 adults

Family Plans Insurance
plan insurance for 2 adults

For 2 adults and 5 kids

plan insurance for 2 and 5 adults
family plan 2 adults

Given its inclusions for families, it certainly looks great at first glance. Issues with their services aside, $40.99 per month when paid annually for an enhanced top-tier plan isn’t bad – especially when you consider that it includes identity protection, parental controls, theft insurance, a VPN, and antivirus software, among other features. 

However, as with all LifeLock plans, the family plan price jumps after the first year. This jump isn’t small, either. If you opt for that Ultimate Plan I’ve been referencing at $40.99 per month, the price will jump to $68.33 per month in year two

That increase in price upon renewal makes LifeLock one of the most expensive identity theft options for families, even with all of its inclusions. If you’re looking for a comprehensive family plan that doesn’t increase in price, there’s a better choice. Aura is less expensive from the start and includes more features, like safe gaming, automatic data broker removal services, and streamlined child credit freezes.

LifeLock provides wide-ranging credit and identity monitoring and alerts. BUT, we still recommend Aura over LifeLock by far, and we’re not alone. Reviews from customers everywhere from TrustPilot to Reddit agree that LifeLock isn’t the way to go.

Aura is cheaper, and the price is locked in for life. It also offers superior monitoring power, better customer service, fantastic reviews across the Internet, and it provides more theft insurance standards, especially if you have a family.

60 Day Money Back Guarantee
Here’s who should get Aura:
Here’s who should get LifeLock:
  • You want an excellent one-stop-shop digital solution to maximize your online safety.
  • You want guaranteed access to white glove threat resolution specialists on all plans so you know you’ll always have excellent assistance on stand-by when something goes wrong.
  • You want elite dark web monitoring so you can strike down threats before they happen.
  • 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • You’re mainly interested in Norton’s antivirus protection and only want barebones identity theft protection coverage.
  • You don’t mind upgrading to Lifelock’s most expensive plan to ensure access to white glove support
  • You already use another service for dark web monitoring to supplement this weak point of Lifelock.

FAQ

I’d love to say that LifeLock can be trusted, but the truth is, this product has a murky history. In January of 2023, they had to send alerts to users because hackers successfully breached their password manager software. And, that wasn’t the first time – the company experienced a similar issue in 2020.

LifeLock took steps to mitigate damage and protect their customer accounts, but the fact remains…this is a service that’s supposed to protect your identity, and instead it could have facilitated identity theft. 

LifeLock, or Norton LifeLock, is an identity protection service. It monitors your personal information online and alerts you if something leaks to the dark web – at least in theory. In practice, it’s monitoring didn’t work very well.

It also provides identity restoration services. So, if your identity is stolen, they’ll help you recover it. With that comes identity theft insurance which helps cover stolen funds and expenses related to the restoration process. 

LifeLock plans for couples come in three tiers and are available with or without Norton’s antivirus software and VPN.

At the lowest level plan, without Norton antivirus protection or a VPN, couples can expect to pay $12.49 per month for an annual plan or $23.99 when paid monthly.  At the highest tier, the price for LifeLock jumps to $34.99 per month for an annual plan or $69.99 per month when paid monthly.

It’s crucial to note that LifeLock’s prices also increase significantly after the first year of service, regardless of which plan you pick. 

LifeLock’s cost for a month varies significantly based on the plan you choose. Plans start as low as $7.50 per month for individuals who pay annually, but those plans don’t include very much.

At the high-end, LifeLock can cost well over $35 per month when paid annually.

It’s important to understand that LifeLock’s prices always increase after the first year or service too (which is probably why they push annual plans with automatic renewals so heavily).

Yes, there is a better option than LifeLock. After testing many services, I recommend Aura for identity protection and digital security because it offers everything LifeLock includes, but better.

Aura offers better monitoring services, better customer service, and better family plan options. It’s app is actually usable, it’s never had a data breach, and it comes with more security features like automatic data broker removal and an email alias tool.

Plus, when you use our discount code you can get it for a much lower rate – one that doesn’t increase after the first year.

Final Verdict

norton lifelock

In this Norton LifeLock review, as with all my reviews, I did my best to be fair. It’s hard to look past some of LifeLock’s glaring flaws.

Is LifeLock right for everyone?

Clearly, that’s a no, but in certain situations, it might make sense. LifeLock is a fairly good identity theft protection service offering a wide variety of different tools and services that promote identity theft protection, some of these tools can be quite costly per month on their own.

As I said, though, it’s hard to look past LifeLock’s flaws.

Is LifeLock the best for monitoring the dark web?

Absolutely not. The data breach protection in particular is a massive disappointment, as it seems to lack the depth and accuracy of competitors.

The cost if you want decent coverage doesn’t earn you any points either.

Let’s Compare LifeLock ratings:

Citations:

1. https://www.cnbc.com/select/what-are-the-three-credit-bureaus/

2. https://blog.avast.com/avast-nortonlifelock-merge

3. https://www.zdnet.com/article/nortonlifelock-sees-second-straight-quarter-of-double-digit-growth/

4. https://www.slu.edu/human-resources/benefits/pdfs/lifelock-fact-sheet.pdf

5. https://www.entrepreneur.com/business-news/nortonlifelock-developments-in-avast-merger-and-improved/429464

3.5

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