I’m accustomed to security product lines that start with an antivirus and build up to two or more tiers of security suite products. The company behind Aura seems to have decided that all their customers should have the maximum security they can muster—a noble goal. You get antivirus and VPN protection, a password manager, and a collection of identity and credit protection tools, and you can use Aura on your Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. The identity and credit tools proved impressive, but the more mundane security components didn’t do so well in testing.
How Much Does Aura Cost?
Aura emphasizes personal protection, and its pricing scheme reflects that emphasis. You pay $144 per year to protect just yourself, $264 for a Couple subscription (two licenses), or $444 per year for a family of up to five members. Initially I was shocked by these prices, until I scanned the fine print. You get to install antivirus and VPN protection for up to 10 devices per adult member. The prices I’ve listed aren’t for one, two, and five devices—they’re for 10, 20, and 50. These are all list prices, billed annually.
Looking at other cross-platform suites that offer 10-license subscriptions, I find Aura’s pricing right in the middle. Trend Micro, F-Secure, and McAfee cost from five to 20 dollars less at the 10-device level. Kaspersky costs a little more, $149.99 for 10 licenses, Norton 360 With LifeLock (which, like Aura, includes identity protection) goes for $249.99 at the 10-license tier, and Panda Dome Premium tops the list at $274.9 per year.
Not many security products offer 20-license subscriptions, but there are a few that go up to 50. ZoneAlarm’s commercial antivirus product costs $399.95 per year for 50 licenses, less than Aura’s $444 but offering quite a bit less. And with ZoneAlarm Extreme Security NextGen you pay $549.95 for 50 licenses. ESET Smart Security Premium’s pricing simply goes up by $10 for each added license. At the 50-license mark it’s just a few cents different from ZoneAlarm and well above Aura’s price.
When you hit 50 devices, that’s not so different from unlimited licenses. In truth, competing products with unlimited licensing significantly undercut Aura’s 50-license price. McAfee Total Protection charges $159.99 for a subscription that lets you protect every device in your household. Pay $334.99 per year and you can install Panda Dome Premium on all your devices. And Norton’s Ultimate tier, which costs $349.99, gives you the maximum in LifeLock identity protection along with the option to install security and VPN protection on unlimited devices.
Price per device isn’t the only consideration here, of course. Of the products discussed here, only Norton and McAfee offer identity protection at the level Aura does. And neither includes the couple or family protection levels. You can get a discount buying Norton or McAfee protection for additional family members, but you’ll almost certainly pay more than you do protecting multiple identities with Aura.
No Scores From Independent Antivirus Labs
When you go to buy a new refrigerator, you probably check consumer websites to see which ones exhibit the best performance. In the antivirus world, I look to four independent testing labs around the world for reports on just how well the many antivirus choices do their jobs. Aura doesn’t appear in reports from any of these labs, alas.
I learned from my company contact that Aura licenses another company’s antivirus technology, but isn’t allowed to say which. Digging into the files that make up the antivirus, I found many references to Avira, suggesting that Avira is the source. On the one hand, Avira gets excellent lab scores. On the other, the labs very clearly state that test results for a product apply solely to that product, not to any licensed versions.
All four labs include Avira in their latest reports; AV-Test Institute(Opens in a new window) and SE Labs give it perfect scores. It earns good scores from AV Comparatives. In the pair of tough tests from MRG-Effitas, Avira passed one and failed one.
Over the years I’ve developed an algorithm to map the various lab scores onto a 10-point scale and create an aggregate score. Avira’s aggregate of 9.4 is quite good, but others have done better. Also tested by four labs, Norton and Avast One scored 9.7, and Kaspersky holds the high-score crown with 9.9.
Mediocre Antivirus Protection
As noted, Aura’s antivirus component is licensed—and almost certainly from Avira—but it bears little resemblance to competing products. The main window has a plain white background, with panels for Antivirus and Online Security across the bottom. A narrow left-rail menu offers alternate access to Antivirus and Online Security, as well as icons for Settings and for returning Home. The rest of the main window is mostly whitespace around a color-coded security status icon.
As with any new antivirus, you should perform a full scan after installing Aura. The scan window displays its progress, but not in a useful way. On my clean test system, it reached 93% in about 20 seconds, and got to 99% after 10-12 minutes. Then it continued grinding away, still displaying 99%, for what seemed like ages. The scan eventually finished after two hours and six minutes of scanning, nearly twice the current average.
Apparently, it performed some optimization during that scan, as a second scan took half as long. That’s not an impressive improvement. Bitdefender, Kaspersky, K7 Ultimate Security, and Total Defense cut the second scan’s time by 90% or more.
When I exposed Aura to folders containing my collection of malware samples, it started quarantining all those that it recognized, eventually eliminating 46% of the samples on sight. Not all antivirus utilities scan files as soon as they’re displayed by Windows Explorer, but among those that do, Aura’s detection rate is low. ZoneAlarm wiped out 97% of these samples on sight, while Total Defense Ultimate Internet Security, and Norton managed 95%.
To continue the test, I launched all the remaining samples. Aura detected many of them, most before they could even launch, but some got past its defenses. One way or another, it detected 90% of the samples and scored 8.9 of 10 possible points, a mediocre showing. It’s true that Bitdefender Total Security scored precisely the same in this test, but Bitdefender has the virtue of multiple excellent lab scores to back it up, while Aura has none.
Tested against this same set of samples, Norton achieved 100% detection and scored 9.9. ZoneAlarm scored 9.8, while McAfee and Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete managed 9.7
It takes weeks for me to gather and analyze a new set of samples, so I necessarily use the same collection for up to a year. For a view on how each antivirus handles the freshest in-the-wild malware, I start with a feed of malware-hosting websites supplied by testing lab MRG-Effitas(Opens in a new window). In a virtual machine, I launch each URL and note whether the antivirus prevents access to the site entirely, eliminates the malware payload, or fails to react at all. I keep at it until I have 100 data points.
Aura blocked all access to 32% of the sites, reporting them “classified as malicious.” The page that replaces a dangerous site doesn’t have Aura’s name on it anywhere, which surprised me a bit. Most antivirus tools make sure to get credit for their work. For the handful of malware-hosting HTTPS pages, I didn’t even see that warning page, just an error message. If I hadn’t noticed the notification pop up on a nearby Aura-equipped iPad, I wouldn’t have known that the “error” represented Aura hard at work. Aura’s real-time protection caught another 53%, ending most of the detected malware downloads almost the moment they began.
Aura’s total score of 85% puts it in the bottom third of current products. By contrast, McAfee, Norton, Sophos Home Premium, and ZoneAlarm all detected and prevented 100% of the dangerous downloads. ZoneAlarm has the distinction of detecting every single one during the download process, rather than blocking access to the URL.
Where most antivirus utilities rely on a browser extension to steer users away from dangerous sites, Aura handles this task at the VPN level. (I’ll discuss the VPN component below.) On the one hand, that means it protects any browser and any internet-aware application. On the other hand, VPN-based filtering works at the domain level, not page by page. If hackers have subverted pages in an otherwise-clean domain for spreading malware, they can elude domain-based detection.
So-So Phishing Protection
I mentioned hackers subverting pages in clean domains to distribute malware. That’s not an easy task, nor is writing malware in the first place. You know what is easy? Fooling people into giving away their secret login credentials! Phishing fraudsters create websites that perfectly mimic bank sites, or email sites, or any kind of sensitive site. Yes, you can detect these phishing fakes if you’re alert, but if you unwittingly log in to the fake site the perpetrators totally own your account.
To test a product’s ability to detect and deflect phishing frauds, I start by collecting recent reports from websites that track phishing. I make sure to include both verified fakes and URLs that are too new to have been blacklisted. I line up four browsers, one protected by the product under test and the other three relying on phishing protection built into Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Then I simply run through my list of suspect URLs, launching each simultaneously in all four browsers. If any browser can’t load a URL, I drop it. I also drop any that don’t visibly try to steal login credentials.
During my testing, I noticed a couple things. Every page that Aura replaced with a warning had an old-fashioned HTTP address. And in quite a few other cases, the three browsers blocked an HTTPS page while the browser protected by Aura simply displayed an error message. Indeed, Aura’s VPN-level filtering means it can’t swap in a warning page when it blocks access to an HTTPS address. The same was true in my malware-hosting URL test, but there are vastly more HTTPS phishing pages. As in the other test, I kept an eye out for notifications from the Aura app on my test iPad.
Aura detected 80% of the verified phishing pages, just a tad below this test’s median of 82%. That’s actually better than I expected. Most antivirus products handle phishing protection using a browser extension, which has full access to each web page’s content. That lets them go beyond blacklists and identify the newest frauds by real-time analysis. Filtering at the VPN level, Aura has no content access for HTTPS sites and limited access for HTTP sites. It necessarily relies strongly on blacklisting.
Bitdefender, F-Secure Safe, McAfee, Norton, and ZoneAlarm all detected 100% of the frauds in their own latest phishing protection tests.
VPN for Dummies
You won’t find a menu option or link to VPN protection in Aura. Its designers didn’t want to scare off users by mentioning a techie topic like VPN. But, spelled out or no, VPN technology is present. That Online Security panel that gets equal space with the Antivirus panel on the main window represents Aura’s VPN component.
This component relies on the technology and server network of Hotspot Shield VPN. As far as I can tell, Aura owns Hotspot Shield, but when I asked for confirmation, my contact begged off, noting that “there are a lot of moving parts.” There’s a relationship, but apparently “it’s complicated.” My confusion only increased when I encountered legal language using the phrase, “Intersections, Inc., also known as Aura.”
In any case, familiarity with Hotspot Shield won’t help you understand this app. All you can do with Online Security is turn it on or off. There’s no choice of server—you just get a US-based server chosen at random. The split-tunneling feature that lets Hotspot Shield route some traffic outside the encrypted VPN connection is absent.
The Online Security page reports the location of the server you’re using. It also reports on the security of your connection to the internet. You can set Aura to turn on Online Security any time you’re on an insecure Wi-Fi connection, but that’s not a useful setting. You need to keep Online Security turned on all the time else you won’t have any protection against malicious and fraudulent web pages. My colleague Max Eddy, maven of all things VPN, points out that you’ll wind up losing that protection when you do things that aren’t compatible with a VPN connection, such as accessing certain websites, streaming content, and playing games.
Perhaps this is a good way to handle VPN protection for the masses. Figuring out which server in Timbuktu has the lowest latency isn’t something most users want to deal with. When Online Security is turned on, your internet traffic is encrypted, protected from any outside snooping. Your IP address is hidden, replaced by the IP address of the VPN server. You don’t have the option to spoof a particular location, perhaps to watch region-locked streaming content. But maybe you didn’t want to do that?
Very Simple Password Manager
You manage downloading Aura’s password manager through the My Aura online console. If you don’t jump right into installing password management, the console will remind you to set it up. Aura’s password manager has apps for iOS and Android as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Safari on the Mac is marked “coming soon”.
When you first signed up for Aura, you created a password for your account. Did you make that password long, strong, and unguessable? If not, you should change it now, because it’s also the master password that unlocks the password manager. When you install Aura on your mobile devices (discussed below), be sure to enable fingerprint activation; otherwise, you’ll be typing that long, strong password every time Aura logs you out due to inactivity.
During the process of activating password management, Aura has you fill in credentials to create your first saved password. After that, though, you should be better off letting the browser extension capture your passwords as you log in. I say “should” advisedly; in testing, credential capture was spotty. When it does work, you simply confirm saving the captured credentials, or tell Aura not to save them.
There’s no option to tag the entry, put it in a folder, or give it a friendly name the way you can with LastPass, AgileBits 1Password, and many others. Since you don’t have to make such decisions, you might as well turn on Auto-Save, which goes straight to saving the captured credentials (unless you click Undo before the timer runs out).
A typical pairing for automated credential capture is automated filling of saved credentials. Aura doesn’t promise that; it states you can “Easily access your login details whenever you need them.” When you come back to a password entry page, you click the Aura icon to bring up your password list, select the desired entry, and copy/paste the username and password manually.
Aura doesn’t have the detailed security report that you get with LastPass, Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault, and some others, but it does mark any passwords it considers weak. You can click a link to have Aura help you change your password to a new one that it auto-generates for you. By observation, Aura generates random passwords of 12 characters including small letters, capital letters, digits, and punctuation. I found no settings for the password generator; you can’t adjust the length or character sets used.
That’s it for the password manager. Unlike RoboForm and most standalone password managers, Aura doesn’t try to fill web forms for you. It doesn’t import passwords from your browser, or from other password manager utilities. There’s no built-in secure password sharing, nor any ability to deal with inheritance of passwords in the event of your death. Multi-factor authentication double-secures the best password managers; Aura doesn’t have it.
A modern password manager needs to work across all your devices. It’s especially nice when you can set up your lengthy passwords on a desktop computer and then easily use them on your phone. Aura’s browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox let you use it on Windows or macOS—even, I suppose, on Linux. The iOS app includes password management, but the password component is absent on Android.
This password manager offers only the most basic features. It doesn’t even automatically fill in your saved passwords. You’ll do better choosing an excellent free password manager and leaving Aura’s password component alone.
Small Performance Impact
In days of yore, some security suites gained a well-deserved reputation as resource hogs, to the point where users would turn off security to regain performance. Those days are gone, fortunately. Most modern suites have little or even no effect on performance. I still run some simple hands-on tests to make sure the bad old days don’t return.
Installing a security suite means you’re adding protective processes that need to launch at startup, which could slow the boot process. To check this, I run a set of scripts that launch at boot and check CPU usage once per second. When 10 seconds elapse with no more than 5% CPU usage, I declare the system is ready for use. Subtracting the timestamp from when the boot process began yields the boot time. And averaging numerous tests before and after installing the suite lets me measure its impact on boot time.
Aura slowed the boot process by just 1%, which is great. However, fully half of recent products had zero impact, or even speeded up the boot time (which I count as zero slowdown).
Another test measures the time required to move and copy a large set of varied files between drives, and the final test repeatedly zips and unzips that same file collection. The move and copy test ran just 2% longer under Aura’s monitoring, but the zip and unzip test ran 18% longer. Aura’s average impact of 7% isn’t something you’ll notice.
Even so, other products have totally aced this test. K7 and Webroot are the no-impact winners here, while ESET Smart Security Premium’s impact was low enough that it averaged out to zero.
Limited, Awkward macOS Antivirus
Installed on a Mac, Aura looks almost the same as on Windows, but there isn’t as much to it. There’s no icon for Settings, for starters. And your scanning options are limited to Quick and Custom; there’s no full scan. Nor does the Mac edition offer real-time protection, called Auto-scan in the Windows version.
When they’re available, I report on independent lab test results for macOS antivirus products—two of the four labs I follow extend their testing to the Mac platform. As with the Windows product, there are no lab test results for Aura on macOS. Avast and Bitdefender are the only two macOS antivirus products with perfect scores in the latest reports from both AV-Test Institute(Opens in a new window) and AV-Comparatives.
In testing, I found that clicking the Antivirus panel or menu item resulted in a spinning icon and the message “Enabling Antivirus.” Several times this process went on for so long that Aura logged out, forcing me to re-enter my credentials. The existence of that timeout is an oddity itself. It makes sense for a website to log you out after inactivity, but it’s not a behavior I expect in a local Mac or Windows antivirus.
Normally I would time a full scan and compare results with other Mac antivirus products, but, as noted, full scan is not an option. The quick scan finished after about 10 seconds.
My antivirus expertise and my collection of testing programs are all focused on Windows. I don’t have the skills to duplicate that environment under macOS. However, most Mac antivirus tools attempt to wipe out any Windows malware they encounter, so as not to somehow serve as a carrier. To test this capability, I copied my Windows malware collection to a USB drive and mounted it on my test Mac. Aura didn’t react when I opened the folder containing the samples, so I launched a custom scan of the drive. Or rather, I tried to. It took me the better part of an hour to get past the “Enabling Antivirus” problem.
When I did manage to scan the USB drive, Aura reported that it found nothing. And yet, after the scan 46% of the samples were gone. I didn’t find any way to view quarantined files. The experience left me somewhat mystified. In any case, 46% is one of the lowest scores in this small and simple test. Webroot and Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus for Mac both wiped out 97% of the Windows-centered malware samples.
Since both the Windows and macOS products rely on Online Security to handle dangerous and fraudulent websites, I expected my phishing test to come out the same. I expected wrong. On the Mac, Aura detected only 38% of the phishing URLs, where the Windows edition caught 80%. By observation, it seems the VPN-based filter simply let through all HTTPS URLs, fraudulent and otherwise.
Several times when I returned after the Mac went to sleep, I got a big error display indicating that Aura had crashed. It fired right up again when I clicked Reopen, but the repeated crashes didn’t fill me with confidence. This app isn’t sold separately as a macOS antivirus, but if it were, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Android users get two separate Aura apps. One manages Aura’s identity and privacy features (which I’ll describe below), while the other is a simple antivirus. Be sure to install both.
The main window of the antivirus utility is black, with a big button to launch an antivirus scan. Across the bottom, a banner shows the time of the last scan, the number of threats found, and a row of icons representing programs that were found to be safe. Tapping the settings gear reveals a totally minimalist Settings page. Here you can (and should) turn on the Safe Browsing feature, which promises to block malicious websites from stealing your data in Chrome. You can also view a list of ignored threats. That’s it for settings.
Most Android security products combine antivirus with anti-theft; Aura omits anti-theft. Other common features include analyzing your apps for privacy problems, checking to make sure the Android device is configured properly for security, and alerting you if someone changes out the SIM card. Aura’s simple Android antivirus boasts exactly none of these features.
The Online Security VPN feature is managed through the main Aura app, and works just as on other platforms, blocking all access to dangerous and fraudulent websites. I should say, rather, that it works as it does on macOS. By observation, it doesn’t filter bad sites that use a secure HTTPS connection, as many phishing sites do. I tested this feature with and without Safe Browsing and found that HTTPS pages just sailed on through.
As for Aura installation on iOS, there’s no separate antivirus app. That makes sense; many cross-platform suites skip iOS antivirus because the platform’s intrinsic security makes it hard for both antivirus tools and malware to operate. The Aura app for iOS surfaces all the privacy and identity features described in the next section. You can access the VPN and password manager components. And hey! The password manager works with AutoFill on iOS, something you don’t get on the desktop.
Identity and Privacy Protection
Antivirus, VPN, and phishing protection are local security issues, protecting what you do on your devices. Aura has another side, just as important, that’s reached either online or on your mobile devices. The My Aura dashboard contains seven panels: Transactions, Credit, Passwords, Identity, Antivirus, Online Security, and Account Members. In a wide browser window, you see the panels in rows of three. On mobile, or a narrower window, you see two columns, or just one. Aura’s cross-platform user interface is well implemented. Wherever you access My Aura, it looks about the same.
Three of the panels just offer an overview of features on your devices. The Antivirus panel shows the very latest malware scans; clicking it brings up a full report of recent scans. Likewise, the Online Security panel lists recent connections. From either of these panels, you can view protected devices or add protection to another device. And by clicking the Passwords panel you get a list of saved passwords, with the option to add or edit password entries.
If you’ve opted for the Couple or Family edition, you use the Account Members panel to add adults or children. Adults get a full account, with protection for 10 devices and their own credit and identity management—the same protection you get for yourself. If you add a child, you remain in charge of the account, and you receive any alerts.
Managing Your Credit
These days it’s tough to function without using credit. Trying to buy a plane ticket without a credit card may get you pulled aside for questioning. If your credit isn’t good, that card will cost you more in interest and fees, as will things like auto loans. Aura checks your credit with Experian every month and displays your current score prominently, along with a button to quickly invoke Experian CreditLock. Activating CreditLock quickly locks down access to your Experian credit file. It also provides links to freeze your reports from Equifax and Transunion. If you suspect misuse of your information, freezing your reports can head off problems.
Opening the Credit panel brings up a bigger display of your credit score along with a color-coded legend (from Very poor to Excellent) and a graph of your score over time. Want to improve that score? The report summarizes factors that drive your score down (or up), with the option to dig in for details, and for advice on improving your overall score.
You don’t need help to request your credit report from the big three agencies, but Aura certainly makes it easy. Click a button, verify your intention, and you’re done. Do note that by doing so you authorize Aura (or, as it’s called in the legalese, Intersections) to get that information on a recurring basis.
Monitoring Your Transactions
These days, banks and credit card companies do a decent job of detecting anomalous transactions and checking them with you, but that’s not their primary task. Aura’s transaction monitoring actively tracks the banks and credit cards that you connect, warns you of any oddities it detects, and lets you see all your accounts in one place.
Aura uses a service called Plaid to connect with your accounts. I was already a bit nervous about giving Aura access to my data for this review because of the lack of clarity over company ownership. Adding a third party to the mix didn’t calm my nerves at all. But I soldiered on. To connect with my bank, I had to supply my online banking username and password, as well as a security code sent to my phone.
You can set Aura to alert you to transactions greater than a certain threshold, and configure thresholds separately for bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments. Before you dig into adding accounts, fire up your password manager and make sure you have the correct login credentials for each institution’s online presence.
Protecting Your Identity
As part of the onboarding process, you give Aura your name, address, phone number, birthdate, and SSN. It immediately starts watching out for misuse of that information. I noticed that with no effort on my part it found my previous address, based on public records of property ownership.
Aura does prompt you to dig in and manually add more info for tracking. You can add:
Note that the accounts you added earlier for transaction monitoring don’t show up automatically in this list; you must enter them here as well. The list of personal items for tracking is very similar to what you get with Norton’s Dark Web monitoring (which is available even without LifeLock). McAfee and IDX Privacy are among others that offer a very similar service.
Aura scrapes the Dark Web for any evidence that your personal information has been leaked. It also looks for new accounts opened using your details, a common crime by identity thieves. And it warns if your information turns up in public records of criminal activity.
Aura also automates the process of officially ordering data broker websites to remove your data from their collections. Abine DeleteMe was a pioneer in this space, offering data broker removal since 2011, but this type of service is becoming more popular. In the last year I’ve evaluated several other data broker cleanup services.
Some of these services offer other privacy related features. IDX Privacy, for example, gives you a full suite of privacy services including Dark Web monitoring, a VPN, and insurance to handle identity theft remediation. Privacy Bee comes with a browser extension to actively block ad trackers and other trackers.
Aura manages opting you out from 28 data brokers, about half of them well-known enough that several of the other services I track cover them. But 28 isn’t very many. IDX Privacy looks for your info on 100 sites, Editors’ Choice Optery tracks 193, and PrivacyBee scans 232 for your data. Optery has the added virtue that finding your captured data is free—you only pay if you want the service to manage opt-outs for you.
Without any effort on your part, Aura acts as your proxy to remove your data from a couple dozen data brokers. It’s a useful service, but it doesn’t compare to the best dedicated removal services.
White Glove Fraud Resolution
Aura will notify you if your data turns up on the Dark Web, or if someone makes a big charge on your credit card. Alerting you of these and other threats to your identity is great, but what do you do about it? Like Norton, IDX Privacy, McAfee, and a few others, Aura’s service includes remediation of any fallout from identity theft. And as with the others, I can’t really test that service, just report on it.
Aura’s website calls the company’s identity theft service White Glove Fraud Resolution. It states, “A dedicated Aura case manager will work with you to craft a mitigation and remediation plan to help prevent and recuperate existing losses or damages. They’ll work with you hand-in-hand to navigate credit bureaus and federal institutions.”
But hand-holding isn’t all you get. Aura’s documentation does promise serious financial support for identity theft remediation, too. The company will spend up to a million dollars (which seems to be standard) on legal fees, notary fees, replacement identity cards, and the like. Other elements within that million-dollar guarantee have their own specific limits:
Lost Wages: $2,000 per week, for 5 weeks maximum
Travel Expenses: $1,000 per policy period
Elder Care, Spousal Care, and Child Care: $2,000 per policy period
Certified Public Accountant Costs: $1,000 per policy period
Your case manager will guide you to make use of Aura’s protective features such as establishing a credit freeze. Like Norton and McAfee, the company promises help dealing with the fallout of a lost wallet. It sounds like it’ll do the job.
The More Things Change…
During this review, I noticed some changes in the contents of the My Aura dashboard. At one point it offered a Social Media protection panel, marked with the tag “New” but also with “Not included in your subscription.” That one vanished before I could get a screenshot.
Another change was the appearance of a panel for the Circle parental control app. We’ve reviewed the Circle Home Plus hardware device and associated parental app, but this offer is just the standalone app, for both iOS and Android. It’s not part of Aura, just a benefit of your subscription.
I also had occasional trouble with some components of the console just not showing up. Off and on, I saw a blank panel for Passwords. And the explanations for factors going into my credit score sometimes came up blank. I’d be more confident in a dashboard that displayed important data consistently.
Big, Not Best
Aura is a great, big collection of security components and services to protect your devices, your privacy, and your identity. You get password management and VPN-based privacy for your Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices, as well as antivirus for all but iOS. However, the VPN is seriously feature-limited, the antivirus fared poorly in hands-on testing, and the password manager offers only the most basic features.
Where Aura shines is in its collection of services to protect your privacy and identity. You can set it to flag too-large transactions on your bank accounts or cards. It watches for misuse of your data on the Dark Web and elsewhere. And if you suffer identity theft, you’ll get a case manager to help you recover, along with up to a million dollars for related costs.
The thing is, you really have to trust a company before you hand over things like the ability to access your bank and credit accounts, and you have to believe that if you need identity theft help, it’ll be there. Aura is relatively new to the scene, and the elements of the suite that can be tested fail to impress. Norton 360 With LifeLock Select, on the other hand, combines an Editor’s Choice cross-platform security suite with identity theft remediation from the company that practically invented the concept.
If you want a cross-platform security suite partnered with identity protection for yourself, Norton is a better choice. When it comes to identity protection for your family, though, Aura’s pricing may be tempting.
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