Guard ID Vault


My first impressions of the Guard ID Vault were good; it looks like what it is supposed to do. Lock up your personal user information in a unit that looks like a lock. The unit plugs into a free USB port on your computer and stores your user names and passwords, so that it is not necessary to reenter this information each time you visit that particular web site.

In order to use this piece of equipment you must first install some software on your computer. This software then takes you through the set up of the device itself. It first asks you to select a personal identification number. Next the software generates a serial number for you to use in case you forget your personal identification number. It then asks you to name your ID vault. Once these steps have been completed you then begin setting up the secure favorites that allow you to access secure web sites. The software installation was straightforward and easy. However the process of entering the information for each web site can be time-consuming.

The ID vault separates your financial information web sites from general web sites and at intervals asks for your PIN number. If you fail to enter your PIN number correctly 3 times it will then ask for the serial number that it generated in the set-up and if that is entered incorrectly 3 times then the unit will disable itself forever and be completely useless. Someone else getting their hands on this unit has a very limited window to hack into the information it contains before it becomes un-useable.

It also has several other unique features that I found useful, such as verifying the web site address with a database maintained by the manufacturer for the purpose of blocking phishing attempts. While this is a great feature, there is a gotcha. ID Vault verifies the over 5000 IP addresses for the banks, credit unions and brokerage accounts every day. The daily updating service is free for the first year, after the first year the fee is $19.99 per year.

Another useful feature was the use of an onscreen keyboard in order to keep your keystrokes private. This is a thoughtful feature. The software also allows you to make a backup of the data in one unit and store it in a second unit. This was a feature that I was most pleased with. Any one that uses computers daily knows how important it is to have a backup. The cost of a second unit becomes minor when you think of the time invested in reentering all of the information and setting up from scratch a replacement unit.

Overall I think this is a very useful thing to own. With a price in the $40-$50 range, it is a reasonable investment. In closing the only thing that I might change about the unit itself is the bright pink color. I would just like to have something holding financial information be more low-key in appearance.


Product Information

Manufacturer:Guard ID Systems
Retailer:Guard ID Systems
  • Windows XP Home or Windows XP Pro
  • Internet Explorer
  • Stores website usernames and passwords
  • Protects against phishing websites
  • Entering website info can be tedious
  • Presently only compatible with Windows
  • Presently only compatible with IE
  • Subscription cost of $19.99 per year after the first year
Posted in: Gear, Miscellaneous
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Julie February 17, 2007, 2:38 am

    Post your comments on the Guard ID Vault review.

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • ripardi February 17, 2007, 12:31 pm

    It would be interesting to know what actually happens when ID vault gets disabled after incorrect PIN and serial number are entered. I doubt it explodes or gets otherwise physically disabled 🙂 So what if one should plug the locked ID vault into the USB port of a system running Linux or Mac OS, for example? Could you read the memory or would it still appear locked? Anyways, I don’t necessarily want you to try this out and thanks for the review! 🙂

  • Smitty February 18, 2007, 8:54 pm

    Yeah, I’d like to know what this looks like on another platform. The fact that it’s a security device and is running on demonstrably the least secure OS in distribution (XP and Internet Explorer) would make me wonder if it’s truly secure, especially if you move out of that mainstream.

    And that pink color gives me the Hello Kitty willies.

  • Hootgib February 20, 2007, 4:42 am

    The ID Vault appears to work well as advertised. Big main concern is that every time I use it, it immediately updates it’s database. So I have to wonder why? My secure favorites work or otherwise my ID and password would be stored in the device. I can see where if I was attempting to establish a new favorite site, updating would be needed at that time to detect if a website address had changed. But not every time I use the thing. So this leaves me to wonder if I’m sending back information to Guard ID on my recent transmission that I would prefer not be sent out. Anyone have any thoughts to relieve my concerns here?

  • senor.ravi March 9, 2007, 5:41 pm

    I have had no problems with my device, in fact I purchased additional ones for my parents and a few friends. Frankly anything that can store the sites I visit AND my usernames while preventing online theft is a bargain in my world. It took me a little while to get used to the pop-up every time i went to a new site, but i don’t even notice it anymore.

  • mimosamom October 2, 2007, 4:57 am

    I have had ID Vault for about 8 months and can’t do anything with it because it does not work with Mozilla Firefox like they say it does. Only works if you have Internet Explorer. Tried to get help 3 times and three time were ignored. Still can’t use it bought 3 of them. Worst money I ever spent and Support Sucks they just pass the buck to someone else and no one cares if the thing works for you or not cause let’s face it they have there money now and they are happy. Who cares if the customer is dissatisfied. Apparently not ID Vault cause they don’t even respond. Would never recommend to anyone who doesn’t have explorer.

  • John Sellers October 8, 2007, 8:18 am

    A few points:

    First You have to buy a subscription each year to keep the vault going. That is in order to be kept current for the correct connection for the sites you have in your vault.

    Second, the internet interaction seen when using the vault is the vault checking to see the the account you are logging into has changed its way of login…this information is kept up for financial and shopping sites.

    Third, they have added credit card information, to the latest version of the software, but I am not completely happy how it is accessed. I am not able to enter the credit card information in all cases.

    Fourth, it can be a bit annoying when it continually prompts you to ask you if you want to set up a new site with the vault. I wish this prompting would only happen when the Vault is connected instead of all of the time.

  • CHIA February 21, 2009, 4:52 am

    JUNK – do NOT buy! NO returns – bad service!

    This piece of junk did not even work right with Citibank. Come on, seriously. That is one of the largest banks. If it does not work right with their website then what is it going to work on? The box says “60 day money back guarantee” but you are out of luck on that for sure. It took me 3 weeks to get someone to even respond about an RMA. Then, they actually gave me a BAD address. UPS attempted to get a correct package from them and got no response either and had to return my package. I have contacted them multiple times now with NO RESPONSE. Save your money and do NOT buy Guard ID systems – ID Vault.

  • Steven Ward March 23, 2009, 7:30 pm

    Id Vault is horrible. My first USB device went bad, so I lost all of the passwords since you can’t export your information out to a file.
    I just recently re-installed hoping it had gotten better over the last 11 months. It has not. Will not work on BofA, and today would not work at

    If you know of something that REALLY works, please let me know.

  • gina April 2, 2009, 8:42 pm

    I would not buy it , I got one for my and after 6 months of using it like 3 times a month it dosent work anymore and they say they can not replace it becuse they can not find him in there system.

  • Eric The MadMan May 6, 2009, 7:57 pm

    Horrible product! Has not worked right since day 1. Constantly in contact with customer support (hard to get anyone there that knows anything) dealing with login issues at different sites. Never got my mail in rebate. Now they want more money to renew the “subscription”!! Hah, fat chance. I feel a class action lawsuit brewing!

  • Tella July 30, 2009, 12:25 pm

    What an expensive piece of junk! It has issues with Internet Explorer 8. Customer Service told me to downgrade to IE 7 for ID Vault to operate correctly. There are other unresolved issues, too.

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