Rob Gabriele https://www.safehome.org/author/rob-gabriele/

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Vivint vs. Alder Comparison: A Lesser-Known and a Long-Standing Brand in the Home Security Industry: Where Do Each Stand?

Alder Security Equipment

Alder Security Equipment

It’s easy to assume that the most widely known home security provider also equates to the market’s finest; however, that’s not always the case. Brands in the limelight are there for a reason, of course. But don’t pass over the underdogs who might very well give those industry superstars a run for their money.

Vivint Smart Home Equipment

Vivint Smart Home Equipment

Up-and-comers like Alder are proving to be contenders when it comes to quality home monitoring security services. They not only stand out specifically for their alert response time, but also in how they make sure to provide the proper personnel dispatches in the event of an emergency.

It goes without saying that the one and only Vivint is no slouch in this regard. The longstanding front-runner has proven to be both practical and reliable; yet how do they compare with their younger and fast-growing rival? Well, we decided to investigate for ourselves just how closely these two compare. You’ll be surprised at what we found.

Similarities Between Vivint and Alder

Vivint and Alder each provide quality home security monitoring services to homeowners across the country, easily earning top spots in our ranking of the best home security systems. Vivint — thanks in part to adequate lawn signage — is more broadly familiar overall, while Alder is still finding its way. And though each are different and individually excel in certain areas over others, similarities were also uncovered that we didn’t expect.

Did You Know: Vivint has been in business since the late ‘90s, but in the past few years they’ve really scooped up quite the market share. This is due largely in part to their high-quality equipment and smart home integrations.

Home Automation

First off, both companies understand that the core reason for technology’s existence is to make our lives easier, and one such technological advancement has taken the home security industry by storm: smart home automation. Vivint and Alder each use home automation in conjunction with their home security service, so that you can easily access your system when away. Vivint’s home automation options include perks like smart door locks and smart thermostats (and so much more), while Alder is more limited but does offer automation integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Vivint Smart Lock Options

Vivint Smart Lock Options

As an added bonus, both Vivint’s and Alder’s home security systems are wireless and their mobile apps allow you to access your security cameras to see what’s happening in real-time.

Environmental Hazard Detection

As big proponents of smoke alarms and CO monitors, we were excited to find that both Vivint and Alder offer features related to environmental hazard detection — which can be lifesaving. You’ll not only be protected in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak, but also alerted to air quality issues that can impact your health.

Vivint Smart CO/Smoke Detectors

Vivint Smart CO/Smoke Detectors

Contracts

Unfortunately, both Vivint and Alder are home security providers that require those pesky long-term contracts (unless you pay for the equipment up front). Alder provides a variety of contract options, but they encourage homeowners to invest in the five-year term. Vivint expects no less than a 42-month term, but contracts can go as long as a 60-month term (yikes). A saving grace: One benefit to a Vivint contract is that you can opt-out should you decide to pay for the equipment outright.

FYI: If long-term commitments aren’t really your thing, you may want to check out one of the top contract-free home security systems instead.

Installation

You can have a sense of peace when a company professionally installs equipment for you, especially something you really don’t want to mess up. With a home security system, any mistakes you make with a DIY installation could very well lead to an intrusion (or worse).

Thankfully, Vivint and Alder each have professionals to take on the install for you. An added fee may be slung onto your bill, but hey, at least you get to sit back and enjoy watching others do the heavy lifting for a change.

If you’re on a budget, or simply like to get your “hands dirty,” note that Alder also offers DIY installation if preferred. When we set up our Alder system, it only took 20-30 minutes to get
up and running.

Did You Know: You can either quickly install the Alder home security yourself (no tools required) or have the pros do it for you. Vivint, though, requires professional installation.

Equipment Faceoff: Vivint vs. Alder

Now, for our favorite part: Let’s talk features and tech! Overall, both Alder and Vivint matched up pretty well, with each offering equipment warranties, state-of-the-art components, and elements of home automation. However, Vivint definitely has a leg up when it comes to smart options and a more complete basic plan. Also, the Vivint equipment has superior construction.

Features

A major selling point for Vivint is their capability of full home automation for homeowner convenience, including features like Vivint door locks and smart thermostats. Additional options for their home security system include the following:

Vivint Door/Window Sensor

Vivint Door/Window Sensor

  • A customized remote for the system
  • Motion sensors
  • Garage door switches
  • Entry sensors
  • Indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Environmental detection
  • Doorbell video with two-way communication

Did You Know: Vivint is into home automation for those who would like to complement their smart home with thermostat and door-lock features. Alder is still catching up with home automation features, but isn’t too far behind.

Alder Security Cameras

Alder Security Camera Options

Unfortunately, Alder doesn’t quite have home automation bragging rights (yet). During our recent review of Alder, however, we did find features that could partially automate your home (like Alexa and Google Home compatibility), so it may only be a matter of time until they catch up. The home security equipment provided by Alder was not as extensive, but did include:

Alder Panel

Alder Panel

  • Entry sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Video surveillance
  • Environmental detection
  • Doorbell with video and two-way communication

Customer Service Showdown

Good customer support is vital (to every company really), and poor service can sometimes reflect pretty badly on the provider. In our own experience, Vivint has the upper hand in this regard. With Alder, we were put on hold for a whopping 30 minutes, but thankfully we had friendly and helpful support in the end.

FYI: In terms of customer service, Alder sometimes gets poor reviews for their support system. Vivint, on the other hand, has a customer service team that will bend over backwards for you (just don’t try to get out of your contract early!).

Package Pricing: Vivint vs. Alder

Sometimes, companies don’t like to give blanket price quotes without seeing the home first and determining the specific homeowner’s needs. Alas, Alder is one such provider and forced us to take our investigation one step further… by making a phone call. Although we could only garner a price range (which, of course, is subject to change), we were at least able to uncover an estimate of what you can expect to spend on an Alder security package.

A basic package costs around $40-$50 per month for the equipment and 24/7 professional monitoring. If you’re able to purchase the equipment up front, however, the monitoring will only cost $24.99 and you won’t have to sign a contract. For specific pricing, we recommend chatting with Alder directly. This way, you can find a customized equipment package tailored to you.

With Vivint’s pricing and packages, we ran into no such hurdles. Their basic plan is $30 per month, plus the equipment fee. Now, Vivint’s equipment is more expensive than Alder’s, but you do get what you pay for. Note that you can also get an advanced package for between $40-$60 per month that includes home automation and video. As with Alder, if you’re able to pay for Vivint’s equipment up front (we’re talking $700-$1800), you’ll save some money in the long run and avoid a lengthy contract requirement.

Emergency Connections for Vivint and Alder

Probably one of the most important aspects of any home security system is their response time when receiving an alert. Otherwise, a home security setup is pretty pointless. Luckily, neither Alder nor Vivint were found lacking when it came to emergency connectivity.

Both feature cellular capabilities, although Vivint also has landline connections (which is convenient for those in more rural areas). As far as good response plans go, Alder is the standout.

In fact, Alder has made a name for themselves in the home security industry for how they react to alerts. They immediately notify you and anyone on your contact list if an alert is triggered. To top things off, Alder will not only notify the authorities in the event of an emergency, but they will also make sure the teams dispatch.

Did You Know: Alder has earned a reputation in the home security industry for its rapid response to alerts. Vivint doesn’t lapse in this category by any means, but Alder outshines much of the competition.

Vivint will also notify you immediately should an intrusion occur and will alert the proper authorities as needed. While testing Vivint, we experienced response times that were around 30 seconds on average. Alder was just slightly faster.

Vivint vs. Alder: Who Wins the Day?

Vivint and Alder are both comparable home security providers; however, Vivint has the edge due to smart home equipment and overall design. Vivint is also more advanced with their technology and equipment, while still being easy to use.

Alder isn’t too far behind, though! They are working their way to offering full home automation and are beginning to increase their equipment offerings. Also, they are quickly gaining recognition for having a quick and reliable response time to alerts, and that’s a big deal.

Our verdict: Vivint, hands down. Read our full Vivint review.

Still need help with your decision? Check out our handy Home Security Comparison Tool which will refine results based on your specific needs.