McAfee Undercuts LifeLock with New ID Protection Service

McAfee took a big leap into the identity-protection and security-router markets at the CES 2018 consumer-electronics show in Las Vegas today (Jan. 8), joining two already-crowded fields.

The D-Link DIR0-2680 home Wi-Fi router comes with McAfee security software. Credit: D-Link

(Image credit: The D-Link DIR0-2680 home Wi-Fi router comes with McAfee security software. Credit: D-Link)

McAfee Identity Protection will be available in the first quarter of this year, with three service tiers competitively priced at $90, $175 and $265 per year.

In the second quarter, D-Link will introduce the DIR-2680, a $250 dual-band AC2600-rated router that comes with McAfee's Secure Home Platform to protect all of a smart home's connected devices.

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McAfee Identity Protection offers "always-on identity monitoring, 24/7 dedicated agent support and varying levels of identity theft financial coverage, including reimbursement for stolen funds," according to a McAfee press release.

The service also includes credit monitoring and reporting and tracing of Social Security number theft. Some features will be provided by CSID, a consumer-protection division of credit-reporting giant Experian.

From what we know now, McAfee's identity-protection service sounds similar to well-known offerings from LifeLock, Identity Guard and others. But its cheapest plan comes to $7.50 per month, undercutting most of the competition. We'll have more information about McAfee Identity Protection when it gets closer to launch.

As for the D-Link DIR-2680 Wi-Fi router, it's an industrial-looking black cube that resembles a rugged Bluetooth speaker. Like most new high-end routers, it features dual-band connections with MU-MIMO technology that makes multiple connections to compatible devices for the fastest possible speeds. It's also got an Intel WAV500 Wi-Fi chipset that D-Link says can connect to up to 128 different devices at once.

The router comes with McAfee Secure Home Platform software that's meant to protect smart-home and other IoT devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, as well as provide parental controls that manage or even pause internet access for designated computers, tablets and smartphones.

The Secure Home Platform will work hand-in-hand with McAfee antivirus software on compatible devices. But we've yet to find out whether the price of the router includes a year's worth of antivirus software for all a user's devices, as is the case with the Bitdefender Box, F-Secure Sense and Norton Core.

Stay tuned for more information on the D-Link DIR-2680 as it becomes available, and for our review of the security router.

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Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. He has also been a dishwasher, fry cook, long-haul driver, code monkey and video editor. He's been rooting around in the information-security space for more than 15 years at FoxNews.com, SecurityNewsDaily, TechNewsDaily and Tom's Guide, has presented talks at the ShmooCon, DerbyCon and BSides Las Vegas hacker conferences, shown up in random TV news spots and even moderated a panel discussion at the CEDIA home-technology conference. You can follow his rants on Twitter at @snd_wagenseil.