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KnowBe4 Alternatives: 18 Options We Tested For Small Businesses

The top KnowBe4 alternatives we evaluated are:

  • Guardey
  • Safetitan
  • Hook Security
  • ESET
  • Proofpoint
  • Phinsec
  • Usecure
  • Breach secure Now
  • Awaretrain
  • Hoxhunt
  • Infoseq IQ
  • Metacompliance Security Awareness Training
  • Phishing Box
  • Proofpoint Security Awareness Training
  • Immersive Labs
  • Arctic Wolf

If you’re looking for an alternative to KnowBe4 that’s engaging and accessible for smaller companies (who don’t need 25+ seats), we recommend Guardey. Below, we’ll explain exactly why.

What real users say about KnowBe4

Before we get into alternatives for KnowBe4, let’s first discover what its users think. We went to well-known comparison sites and popular subreddits often visited by IT professionals.

On G2, KnowBe4 gets a good average rating with 4,5 out of 5 stars:

KnowBe4's score on G2.

However, there are quite a few reviews from users who seem less happy with KnowBe4. The user from the screenshot below, mentions that the trainings are “boring and don’t excite users”. Also, the amount of time it takes to complete one training is too long, according to the user:

Review of KnowBe4 by a user on G2

Another user, although they do reward KnowBe4 with four stars, mentions that the training is easy for KnowBe4 users to finish without actually having to learn anything:

Another review about KnowBe4 on G2

On Reddit, there are multiple Subreddits with IT professional having discussions about alternatives to KnowBe4. There are multiple complaints about Knowbe4 ‘stealing’ customers. Here’s an example:

A review about KnowBe4 on a subreddit

According to this IT-professional at Reddit, KnowBe4 is also reaching out to their customer’s clients directly.

A review of a KnowBe4 user complaining about the company going after his clients.

Why we believe Guardey is the best KnowBe4 alternative

After doing thorough research, we have concluded that the team at KnowBe4 has built a valuable product that may help your team become more aware of cyberthreats.

However, many users of KnowBe4 call the training content long-winded, boring, and easy to ‘fake finish’ — possibly leading to bad knowledge retention. Also, you can only start a Knowbe4 security awareness training plan with a minimum number of 25 users. This is not an option for smaller businesses.

Guardey is a cyber awareness game built on gamification. Its pricing is transparent and includes many features that KnowBe4 neglects. Guardey helps you to keep your team engaged in weekly challenges and has proven to significantly decrease cyber risks.

What are the main differences between KnowBe4 and Guardey?

Guardey offers security awareness training that’s:

  • Recurring
  • Bite-sized
  • Up-to-date
  • Based on gamification
  • Accessible for companies that don’t need 25 seats

Let’s take a closer look at how Guardey is different from KnowBe4 and why it’s an alternative you should trust:

1. You don’t need a minimum number of seats with Guardey

After taking a look at KnowBe4’s pricing plans, you can see that you need a minimum number of 25 seats to use their security awareness training solution.

KnowBe4's pricing plan which shows that you need at least 25 users to use their Security Awareness Training solution.

This is obviously not an issue for larger businesses, but simply not an option for smaller businesses that don’t need that many users.

There is no minimum seat rule at Guardey.

2. Guardey encourages internal competition 🏆

Guardey is cyber awareness training built on gamification. And an essential part to any game is the ability to win or lose. In the game, every Guardey user starts their own fictional company. When they win a challenge, they make money for that fictional company and improve their public image. If they lose a challenge, they lose money and their image is hurt.


In the leaderboard, Guardey users can see how well they’re doing compared to their colleagues. This adds an element of competition, which you can even amplify by offering prizes. Admins can easily see how users are performing and which topics may need more attention.

In KnowBe4, there is no leaderboard, which means there is no competitive element. Only admins can see how users are doing.

3. Guardey offers fresh training content 52 times a year 🔄

Guardey offers weekly challenges that take 3 minutes to finish. The challenges are put together with cyber security professionals every week, and contain the most relevant information about modern cyber threats. Cyber criminals are developing new tactics fast, which means your employees need regular and up-to-date training.

Guardey’s weekly challenges help teams to build up their knowledge slowly and actually retain information. Research has shown that regular training (even if it’s as short as 3 minutes) builds up more knowledge over time than yearly or even quarterly trainings that take hours.

Learning curve Guardey

According to this user, KnowBe4 offers the opposite of short trainings, which could possibly lead to subpar knowledge retention:

A review on G2 from a KnowBe4 user who complains about "boring content"

4. Guardey offers lightning-fast onboarding and friendly UX 👩‍💻

To start using Guardey, you only need to create a free trial account. Within 3 minutes, you’ll be able to test the game and invite your colleagues to do the same. Its UX is accessible and friendly, especially compared to the usually greyish and boring cyber security landscape.

The page you see when you answer a question correctly

The bottom line: KnowBe4 isn’t your only option

Human error is at the root of 95% of all company data breaches, and cyber security awareness training plays an important role in helping companies turn employees into their most important firewall. However, most training solutions do not offer the gamification features necessary to get employees truly engaged.

KnowBe4 may provide useful learning materials, but it lacks gamification features that make it actually fun to play the game. Safeguard your data with the only security awareness solution that is fully built on gamification: Guardey.

Keep your data safe from cyber criminals. Try Guardey free for 14 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a firewall, do I still need Guardey?

Relying solely on a firewall for cyber security leaves your organization vulnerable to evolving and sophisticated threats. Cyber attacks target multiple vectors, including vulnerabilities in software, employee endpoints and web applications. Guardey works in conjunction with the firewall.

Firewalls keep out up to 80% of online risks. With Guardey, it is transparent which online risks did make it through the firewall. In addition, human errors are still too often made, so also train employees to work responsibly online.

I already have a VPN, do I still need Guardey?

It’s good that you are already using a VPN. This makes you invisible to malicious people, but at the end of the day, employees can still be vulnerable by bringing in the wrong orders or wrong websites.

Guardey is more than a business VPN. Guardey also provides monitoring in the VPN tunnel. This detects online risks and allows a quick response.

We are too busy for weekly gamification. Why should I play the gamification?

These days we are all busy, we recognise that 😉 All the more important is employee awareness. Make sure employees don’t accidentally make mistakes due to pressure. After all, that only creates extra work.

That’s why our challenges are only a maximum of 5 minutes and can be done quickly in between. A new challenge becomes available every week. As an organisation, do you want to play these challenges every week, every two weeks or every month? Of course, that’s no problem either.

Can I also play just the gamification?

Short answer: yes! It is possible to play just the gamification.

Have you already taken sufficient cyber security measures for your employees in the office and outside the office? But can awareness still be worked on? Then you can also play just the gamification. This can already be done very easily in just the browser. Check out our game only package here.

Is Guardey effective against phishing attempts?

Phishing is especially dangerous when you don’t know you’re dealing with phishing. That’s why our cyber awarness game is the first step against phishing. Make people aware of the dangers and make sure they have the right knowledge so they don’t click on anything.

Further Guardey plays a crucial role in detecting suspicious online activities. For instance, if a member of your organization interacts with a website known for hosting phishing content, Guardey will promptly alert you about the potential risk. By providing this proactive alert system, Guardey aids in preventing users within your organization from falling prey to phishing scams.

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Anouk ter Harmsel

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