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An affordable home security system with modern components
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Although you might not have heard of them, you’re going to be glad you checked Alder out.
Why? Because this company offers some seriously powerful home security equipment. Their offerings are feature rich, DIY-friendly, and easy to work with day to day.. They have some of the fastest response times in the industry — just 3.4 seconds on average — and their equipment is all well designed and non-obtrusive. But when it comes to bangs for bucks, does Alder pass muster?
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.
So unfortunately, Alder’s price structure is a little inaccessible. You’re going to need to head over to their website and give them a ring to get a personalized quote.1 We were able to get a few just for comparison’s sake, and we recommend you do the same.
While we can’t give you exact dollars and cents, there are a few things to know, though, about Alder’s pricing.
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!
When it comes to monitoring, we found Alder’s costs to be pretty reasonable. Packages start at $39.99 per month and can go up to about $55 per month. That might be a tad expensive for some people’s tastes, but right now it’s pretty much industry standard.
Alder also offers some home automation2 and video capabilities, so if you’re in the market for these types of features, you’re probably going to be looking at north of $45 per month. Reasonable for some, but others might want to pass.
Most home security companies will offer some standard packages of equipment and monitoring — something like essentials, plus, and premium. From what we’ve seen, these packages and costs are usually pretty easy to find on the company’s website, but you might have to do some digging.
Not so with Alder. Again, you’ll have to talk to a sales rep to learn more about the packages they offer — all of which are highly flexible and customizable. Here’s what we found:
Alder’s basic package includes:
If you go with a standard package like the one described above, you’re probably going to be paying about $40 to $50 per month for the equipment and monitoring. We wouldn’t recommend using this to protect a single family home, but if you live in an apartment or condo, this is about the right size.
Don’t worry though, Alder sales reps make it abundantly clear when you have opportunities to upgrade, so if you want a more robust system with video capacities, you can go with something like the package below.
Alder’s standard package includes:
If you live in a small home, this will likely get you where you need to be. You might require a few more sensors here and there, or maybe an additional indoor security camera3 but again, your sales rep will help you price all that out. If this is about the size of the package you select, you should probably expect to pay around $45 to $50 when all is said and done.
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 to $350 upfront, and around $10 to $30 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||About $40 per month||About $45 per month||About $55 per month|
When we spoke with the Alder representative, we were told about all of the accessories and add ons that were available to our package. It’s helpful to go into the call knowing what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know specifically what type of equipment you’ll need. If you tell the rep something like “I have a big back yard and want to make sure no one’s going through it at night,” they’ll likely recommend cameras, motion detectors, and floodlights, for example. To help you out, though, here’s a full list of Alder’s equipment options:
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 up to $55 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 $40 to $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, 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