Employees today are logging into more and more applications from a variety of devices and locations. This can create challenges for IT departments for security and efficiency reasons.

This all makes IAM solutions critical to any modern business, and two popular options in that category are Okta and Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory).

Okta vs. Microsoft Entra ID: Comparison

Okta is an IAM cloud-based solution used to manage single sign-on web applications. As one of the pioneers in the IAM industry, the maturity of their product shows in its easy to use interface and streamlined implementation.

Formerly known as Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID is a Windows-centric IAM that’s more suited for an enterprise environment where access to various network or company assets needs to be managed by a central IT department.

Microsoft Entra ID
User self-service portal
Built-in integrations
User SSO app
Security reporting
Passwordless sign-on options

Okta and Microsoft Entra ID pricing

Both Okta and Microsoft Entra ID have various plans depending on your business’ needs. For Okta, you can customize your plan according to what type of Single Sign-on or Multi-factor authentication you require.

Below is a breakdown of its plans and some of its included features:

Single Sign-on (SSO)Adaptive SSO
$2 per user, per month$5 per user, per month
  • Okta Integration network.
  • Custom org URLs.
  • SIEM integration.
    • All SSO features.
    • Location, device, network contextual access management.
    • Risk-based Authentication.
    Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)Adaptive MFA
    $3 per user, per month$6 per user, per month
    • Security questions.
    • Okta Verify OTP.
    • Windows Hello and Apple TouchID.
    • All MFA features.
    • Location, device, network contextual access management.
    • Network anonymizers.

    Microsoft Entra ID divides its plans into four: Entra ID Free, P1, P2 and Governance.

    Here is an overview of Microsoft Entra ID’s subscriptions and some of their included features:

    Entra ID FreeEntra ID P1Entra ID P2Entra ID Governance
    Free$6.00 per user, per month$9 per user, per month$7 per user, per month
    • SSO unlimited.
    • Cloud authentication.
    • Customizable user sign-in page.
    • Partial MFA and conditional access.
    • All Free features.
    • Group assignment to apps.
    • Cloud app discovery.
    • Full MFA and conditional access.
    • All P2 features.
    • Identity protection.
    • Full end user self service.
    Identity governance.

    Feature comparison: Okta vs. Microsoft Entra ID

    Contextual access for multi-factor authentication

    Okta and Microsoft Entra ID both have the ability to set contextual or conditional multi-factor authorization. This allows for different settings when new devices, IPs or other conditions are met upon login and trigger multi-factor required login.

    For Okta, this is a built-in feature. With Microsoft Entra ID, this feature is only available in the premium pricing tier, so it’s not a default option.

    Both Okta and Microsoft Entra ID offer deep customization in this area, with the ability to set multiple authorization levels for different organizational and app levels.

    User self-service portal

    Both Okta and Microsoft Entra ID offer a way for users to manage their own logins. With Microsoft Entra ID, it’s via the Microsoft Windows Azure portal or the Windows My Apps portal. Microsoft Entra ID is very integrated with the existing Microsoft ecosystem and expects users to be familiar with the network.

    Okta’s user portal is stand-alone and not tied to other internal services. Many users also report that it is more customizable and user-friendly than the Microsoft Entra ID version. Okta has a standalone app to manage logins on the go, so in this regard, the Okta version is more flexible, especially for those not already in the Microsoft Azure ecosystem.

    Security reports

    Security reports are a key element of any IAM tool. These can be used to track vulnerabilities before they are exploited. Both Okta and Microsoft Entra ID offer detailed security reports, but as with other options, Microsoft Entra ID only offers these in their premium packages. Basic packages are limited to only reports showing risky sign-ins, without the ability to drill down further.

    These two tools are comparable, but if you are running a Security Operations Center, you’ll need the advanced version of Microsoft Entra ID reporting to take full advantage of the resource.

    Support packages

    Setting up either Okta or Microsoft Entra ID can be quite different depending on your existing infrastructure.

    With Microsoft Entra ID, unless your organization is already heavily invested in the Entra infrastructure, you’ll almost certainly require a dedicated support plan in addition to Microsoft Entra ID in order to fully get things up and running.

    On the other hand, Okta can be implemented by most organizations without needing additional support beyond standard offerings. This may be a key difference for some organizations, depending on their size and the ability of their IT staff.

    Okta pros and cons

    Pros of Okta

    • Built-in contextual access for MFA.
    • Customizable user portal.
    • Multiple integrations with third-party applications.

    Cons of Okta

    • Can be buggy at times.
    • May not work well with Microsoft apps.

    Microsoft Entra ID pros and cons

    Pros of Microsoft Entra ID

    • Integrates well with other Microsoft products.
    • Geared towards enterprise use.
    • Simple to understand subscriptions.

    Cons of Microsoft Entra ID

    • Contextual access to MFA only available on premium tier.
    • No User SSO application.


    Both Okta and Microsoft Entra ID were assessed in terms of their IAM capabilities. In particular, we looked at how both handled account verification, role and privilege assignment, access control, threat detection and reporting or auditing.

    We then supplemented our findings with user reviews and testimonials from Gartner, G2 and TrustRadius to gauge how each solution fared in terms of user interface and overall user experience. Finally, we assessed its feature set in relation to its pricing and how these IAM solutions integrated with different types of organizations.

    Should your organization use Okta or Microsoft Entra ID?

    Both Okta and Microsoft Entra ID are very capable and robust IAM tools for SSO and user access management. The difference really comes down to your needs and existing network infrastructure.

    For businesses looking for a streamlined and customizable SSO tool to manage their team’s web logins, Okta is likely the best fit. Its platform agnostic approach, built-in integrations and ease of use make it a great option. Despite being the easier of the two to implement, it still boasts deep features like contextual multi-factor authorizations and comprehensive security reports. Combine this with its pricing structure, and it makes for a great value product as well.

    Microsoft Entra ID is for enterprises already all-in with Entra ID and Microsoft. Microsoft Entra ID goes beyond Okta when it comes to needs beyond just web login management, such as complex developer environments where access to different services and assets is required. For this, Microsoft Entra ID does a much better job as it allows for increased granular control of access.

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    Subscribe to the Cloud Insider Newsletter

    This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays