Alder has been making some serious waves in the home security industry. Their feature-rich DIY systems are easy to set up and simple to use. The company has the fastest response times in the industry (3.4 seconds on average), and you can control the devices with a few swipes of your smartphone. We could go on about the sleek features that Alder offers, but like any company, Alder also has some room for improvement in a couple of areas.
So we dove in and researched Alder’s equipment packages and monitoring plans. We set out to learn the different options, plans, and pricing that they bring to the table. And we really examined Alder closely to see if their systems are worth the monthly costs. So read on to see if this fast-growing company offers home protection that works for your budget and your lifestyle.
To learn about Alder’s pricing, we called in to speak with a sales representative. Thankfully, their phone number is easy to find on the Alder website.1 During our call, we were able to learn about the pricing structure, and we got a few custom quotes on equipment bundles and plans.
First off, it’s important to know that Alder doesn’t charge any upfront equipment fees, which is a huge plus. Many DIY security kits like Ring, SimpliSafe, and Abode require an upfront investment of $200-$500 or more. So we were happy to learn we could break down the costs of Alder over time. However, you will have to pay a monthly monitoring subscription on a 36-month contract. While contracts aren’t ideal, most users will keep their security system for several years, making the contract no big deal.
Tip: We sometimes recommend choosing a company that doesn’t require a contract, and instead offers month-to-month monitoring. However, you can often negotiate better terms and shorter contracts with many home security companies. So it’s worth a try with Alder!
The monitoring prices start at $35 per month, and they increase to $45, $55, and $65 per month. The $35 price point isn’t bad. In fact, we’ve tested plenty of security systems in this price range. However, the premium plans might be a touch expensive for some peoples’ budgets. Alder does offer some home automation2 and video capabilities, so that might justify spending $45 or more per month on home security, home surveillance, and smart home automation.
Most home security companies offer a few standard packages: entry-level, standard, and a premium package. And from what we’ve seen, most companies showcase their packages on their website. Well, again, Alder does things a bit differently. Since their equipment packages aren’t listed on their site, we had to call Alder to speak with a sales rep to learn about them. Keep in mind, these packages/plans can change. But here’s what we found…
Alder’s basic package includes:
If you choose the base package above, expect to pay anywhere between $40-$50 per month for the equipment plus 24/7 professional monitoring. This is just enough equipment to secure a small apartment. But don’t worry, your Alder sales rep will make this perfectly clear and give you every opportunity to upgrade (trust us). If you want a more robust system with indoor video, check out the standard package below.
Alder’s standard package includes:
The standard package is almost enough to secure a small home, but not quite. Depending on the size of your space, you’ll still need to purchase extra door/window sensors. However, you will get a nifty key fob for remote alarming/disarming, and an indoor security camera3 to keep a close eye on your castle. When all is said and done, you’ll pay about $55-$60 per month for this package. But this is pretty standard compared to the industry average price, maybe even slightly less expensive when you consider the advanced features.
Did You Know: You can use a motion detector in lieu of a door/window sensor to secure a room in your home. Just be sure you set your system to “home” instead of “away” so that your alarm doesn’t sound if/when you enter that room!
Alder is slightly more expensive than systems like Ring Alarm4 or SimpliSafe, which charge $200-$350 upfront, and $10 to $20 per month for professional monitoring. These DIY systems even come with a free self-monitoring option so you can sidestep monthly fees. But there’s always a catch…
Comparing Alder to basic systems like Ring Alarm is like comparing apples to oranges. Alder offers more advanced features and lightning-fast monitoring. Also, unlike these other brands, you won’t have to pay upfront fees with Alder. Finally, the whole point of a home security system is to secure your home — and from our experience, Alder simply does it better.
This is where Alder trumps the competition. Well, sort of. The company claims an average response time of 3.4 seconds, which is 20-25 seconds faster than most alarm companies can say for themselves. You can see just how fast their response times were when we reviewed the Alder system.
In our expert opinion, these precious seconds truly do count in a life-or-death situation. If you’re not familiar with “response times,” it’s simply the time it takes for the monitoring center to jump into action and contact you (or police, fire, EMS) when your alarm sounds. So we’ve established that Alder is faster-than-fast in this category. But… it might cost you if you go with a premium package.
Alder’s basic home protection plan costs $35 per month, without access to video or home automation capabilities. So if you’re just looking for basic home protection with super-fast response times, this might be the plan for you. If you spring for Alder’s more premium monitoring packages, then you’ll pay $45-$60+ per month, for 3 years. Remember, each of these plans require a 36-month contract.
|Alder Monitoring Plans||Basic||Standard||Premium|
|Key Features||Basic Home Protection||Basic Protection + Automation||Video + Automation|
|Price||$34.95 per month||$49.95 per month||$59.95+ per month|
We found that Alder offers a handful of accessories and add-ons. When speaking with an Alder sales rep, they will most likely mention most (if not all!) of these paid upgrades. So we recommend going into the call knowing which features you really want/need. Unfortunately, these prices aren’t listed on their site. But you can expect fairly reasonable price tags on most of these devices. Alder’s equipment options include:
Sure, Alder’s premium packages are slightly more expensive compared to other DIY home security systems. But we’ve been doing this a long time — and when it comes to home security, you typically get what you pay for. Thankfully, Alder home security systems come stacked with a lineup of great features and technology to help secure your home and family. These features include:
FYI: Alder also offers some home automation capabilities. Their systems work with Alexa, and you can integrate Z-Wave compatible devices to enjoy features like smart lighting, smart door locks, thermostats, etc. But the devices are sold separately.
Now that you’ve seen Alder’s equipment packages, monitoring plans and the costs involved, hopefully, you can make an educated decision before diving in with your wallet wide open. We do think very highly of Alder’s features and tech — especially their lightning-fast response times. After testing the products and services, we think Alder is a pretty solid DIY home security system for the price.
However, we probably wouldn’t love Alder’s super-premium packages that cost $60 per month or more. That is, not until the company improves its home automation features and integrations, and starts making their own security cameras. At that point, we would definitely consider it money well spent. As it stands, we think $35-$45 per month for their monitoring service, with a little home automation thrown in, is pretty darn fair. All in all, Alder is a safe bet for folks who want home protection with plenty of high-tech (but easy to use!) features.
Alder.com. (2020). Home Security System. https://www.alder.com/
Home Automation. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 27, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_automation
How Stuff Works. Fuller, J. (Published date unknown). How Security Cameras Work. https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/home/security-cameras.htm
Ring. (2020). Home Security System. https://ring.com/
Key fob. Webopedia. Retrieved March 27, 2020. https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/K/key_fob.html
Hill, S. (2019, November 15). 4G vs LTE: The Differences Explained. Digital Trends. https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/4g-vs-lte/
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.