While they might not have the same name recognition as some of the more prominent home security systems out there, you’ll be glad you checked out Alder.
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?
Don’t worry — we’ll answer that for you here. We spent weeks researching Alder’s equipment packages and monitoring plans to see what they bring to the table, weigh them against the competition, and see if their systems and equipment are worth it at the end of the day. And then we purchased the system and tested it in our home. Before we unpack all of that, though, let’s take a look at the highlights that really jumped out.
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 cost of $200 or more. With Alder, though, we could break everything up over time. That said, you will need to pay for monthly monitoring for at least a 36-month contract.
We don’t love having a contract, but if you’re planning on staying in your palace for several years, it’s not a dealbreaker.
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 pretty interesting home automation and video monitoring capabilities, but you’re probably going to be paying a little upwards of $50 per month if these are features you’re looking for. As far as costs in the industry go, this is pretty much par for the course, but do note that you won’t be forced to pay for anything you don’t need.
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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.
Tip: While on the subject of apartments, SafeHome has conducted a full rundown of what we believe are the best security systems for apartments in 2023, just in case you’re not completely sold on Alder.
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 pretty small place, this package will likely get you what you need. You might need a few more sensors here or there — maybe an additional camera or two2, but your sales rep should be able to help you price all of this out. If you go with this size package, you’re probably going to be paying around $50 per month 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 Alarm3 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.
Hopefully this information gives you a little more perspective on the ins and outs of going with an Alder home security system. Overall, we would say Alder’s features and tech are worth the money — particularly their super-fast response times and AI-driven alert capacities. We’re confident in saying that Alder is a 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/
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