Alder delivers standard DIY home security, but it’s the personal touch that makes this security brand stand out.
Unlike most DIY security companies that leave you on your own to figure out what type of security system you need, Alder provides free expert advice to every customer.
And Alder is committed to its relationship with you—its most common contract is a whopping 60 months. That can seem scary at first, but most security customers stick with their system for five to seven years anyway.
Because Alder guides you through the purchasing process, odds are you’ll come out with a custom security system that will meet all of your needs for the duration of that long contract.
Quick response times
Free mobile app
No up-front equipment cost
Medical alert pendant
Pricey monthly fees
Non-transparent price structure
How we reviewed Alder
We met with Alder to learn about its security system offerings, professional monitoring, and customer service practices. We got our hands on Alder’s equipment and bombarded Alder’s representatives with an exhaustive stream of questions. We also did extensive online research—digging into expert and customer reviews as well as news coverage and reports from consumer advocacy agencies like the BBB.
Finally, we compared Alder to other home security systems to see how it stands up. Some of the primary points of comparison included:
Info current as of 05/29/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Alder equipment lineup
One thing we like about Alder’s pricing is that a lot of basics are included in every package. You’re not charged extra for two-way voice, mobile app control, or video monitoring. You get the app no matter what and, if you add a camera to your setup, video monitoring is always included.
Once you get your quote, your price includes everything you need to take full advantage of your Alder alarm system. Other companies like ADTand SimpliSafe charge more if you want remote access through a mobile app, and it’s common practice for companies to upcharge for video monitoring.
The only way to find out if you can get the system you want for a price you like is to either call or submit an online request for a quote. That means you have to give Alder personal information before you can find out about pricing.
The expert guidance is especially helpful for people who want a little help identifying security vulnerabilities around the house. But we don’t like the barrier to price information.
To end on a high note—Alder has done away with credit checks. So you don’t need to worry about a hit to your credit report or missing out on security because of a lower score.
The good news is you don’t have to pay anything upfront to get Frontpoint in your home. With $0 down, you can enroll in an Affirm consumer financing plan that allows you to pay for your Frontpoint equipment monthly over the course of three months, six months, or 12 months, though you have to get a credit check to qualify. While the payment plans require small contracts, they don’t renew automatically and you can pay them off early.
If you decide to take the plunge and pay for all your equipment in one go, you can enjoy the monitoring service contract-free.
Alder tech and equipment
Alder’s home security equipment is fairly standard. That said, the company’s offerings aren’t skimpy.
Unlike other stripped-down DIY systems like Ring, Alder includes a bunch of extras like a medical pendant, flood monitor, and smart smoke detector to help you protect both the valuables and the lives inside your home.
Of course, the more equipment you add to your package, the more you’ll pay each month. Alder assigns points to its equipment to calculate the cost per contract. Your monthly fees will include the value of points for your equipment and the cost of monthly monitoring.
All equipment is wireless, which means you don’t have to put holes in the walls. That’s good news if you rent or plan to move sometime during your three– to five–year contract. Alder also boasts that its DIY installation can be completed in 20 minutes or less
This 7″ panel features a touchscreen and two-way talk. It’s like mission control for your Alder security system and lets you talk directly to the monitoring center.
The entry keypad offers another way to arm and disarm your system without having to access the app.
Door and window sensor
This adhesive contact sensor uses magnets to create a circuit that triggers an alert every time a door or window is opened or closed.
Alder motion sensors use infrared technology to detect movement within 45 feet. A motion detector is a great substitute for multiple contact sensors in high traffic areas.
Smart smoke detector
Alder’s fire detector is designed to communicate with the rest of your security system. That means the minute smoke or heat is detected, you’ll get an alert.
This little sensor detects standing water. You’ll get an alert when as little as 1/16th of an inch of water touches the sensor.
You can wear or carry this pendant that sends a signal directly to the monitoring center when you press the button.
YI indoor camera
Alder uses YI wireless security cameras for coverage inside your home. This security cam features 1080p resolution, two-way audio, night vision, and advanced motion detection.
Arlo video doorbell
You’ll get the Arlo doorbell system if you opt for a doorbell camera with Alder. This video doorbell is weather-resistant and works with your existing doorbell chime.
Kami outdoor camera
The Kami outdoor security camera includes AI-based facial recognition, real-time alerts, night vision, and two-way audio. When you add it to your Alder system, you also get free cloud storage.
The Alder mobile app
Alder’s mobile app is included alongside every security system. The app allows you to keep tabs on your home from anywhere, and it functions as a control center for your Alder alarm system.
Alder’s mobile app also works with smart home devices, so you can control locks, lights, and the thermostat all from one central app. Some home security systems don’t integrate as smoothly as Alder’s, and you end up using one app for your alarm system and another one (or more) to control smart home gadgets.
Here’s a rundown of what you can do with the Alder mobile app.
Remotely arm and disarm.
Watch live video streaming.
View motion-activated event recordings.
Receive push notifications in real-time.
Control home automation devices.
Integrate voice control with Amazon Alexa.
Customers give mixed reviews of the Alder mobile app. Both Android and iOS users report glitches related to logging in, getting push notifications, and controlling smart thermostats. It looks like a recent update added more bugs than it fixed.
For folks who get the app to work consistently, reviews are glowing. Unfortunately, as of April 2020, the app comes in under three stars in both the App Store and Google Play.
Smart Home features and compatibility
Alder doesn’t offer its own home automation equipment, but the system is compatible with many third-party smart home devices.
Alder integrates with smart locks, smart thermostats, smart light bulbs, and voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
We like that the Alder app has the capability to serve as the single control for all of your smart home devices, but reports of issues within the app are disappointing.
We also found reports that the app only works with Amazon for voice control, leaving no option for people who rely on Google Assistant. Plus, we haven’t been able to find any plans for Alder to work with Apple HomeKit.
The company told us they have plans to release a Z-Wave hub this year, which means Alder will be able to work with any other smart gadget that uses Z-Wave.
Alder gets mixed reviews for customer service. On one hand, the up-front guidance when you’re putting together your Alder home security system is helpful and uncommon for DIY systems.
But on the other hand, the lack of transparency for pricing and persistent complaints about tech follow-up for existing customers give us pause.
This is an area that Alder has assured us it’s working on. Alder launched Trustpilot in 2019 to help make the customer experience more transparent. Its 30-day money-back guarantee is one example of a recent change made in direct response to customer input.
We like it when companies listen to customer feedback and work to make things right. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how those efforts pay off in future customer reviews.
30-Day risk-free trial
Alder gets it right with its free trial period. If, for any reason, you don’t want to keep your Alder home security system, you have 30 days from the day you ordered it to cancel and return it for a full refund of any payments you already made.
It’s important to note that your 30-day countdown starts the minute you place your order—not when you receive the system. If you miss the trial period window, you’re on the hook for 90% of the total contract if you still want to cancel.
Lifetime premium service plan
You can upgrade to this service plan if you want lifetime protection for your Alder security equipment. It costs an extra $3 per month, but you won’t have to worry about replacing any defective equipment for the lifetime of your contract with Alder.
Email and phone support
Alder has phone support available between 6:00 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. (MST) and on-call tech support 24/7. There’s no live chat option on its website, but you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Alder provides multiple online resources to help customers install equipment, add new devices, bypass a sensor, add new users, and just about anything else you may want to do with your security system.
Most resources include step-by-step videos, and there is written documentation provided as well.
How Alder home security stacks up with the competition
Info current as of 05/29/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *$0 due up-front with consumer financing.
Alder provides customized home security systems that are a good match for people who want the extra reassurance you get with the help of a security expert. Its wireless equipment is ideal for renters or anyone who doesn’t want to put holes in the wall or deal with wiring.
And even though Alder offers some of the longest contracts in the industry, you don’t have to come up with a big up-front payment before you add the protection of a security system to your home.
If you’re not afraid of a little commitment, and you want an expert to curate the perfect security system for your home, it’s worth it to give Alder a call.
Do I need a credit check to get Alder home security?
No. In order to make home security accessible to as many people as possible, Alder doesn’t run credit checks on potential customers
How do I cancel my Alder home security contract?
You have to call Alder to cancel your contract. Although the standard cancellation policy requires you to pay 90% of your remaining contract, Alder is willing to consider cancellation requests on a case-by-case basis.
This is another area where Alder is trying to make changes based on customer feedback. One option is to transfer your contract to another person. That way no one is penalized and the system can still be used to help protect someone’s home for the remainder of time left
What was ADT’s lawsuit against Alder?
Alder was in the news in recent years due to allegations of deceptive sales tactics. ADT sued Alder, claiming that the company was switching ADT customers over to Alder contracts. In June 2019, Alder was ordered to pay ADT four million dollars in damages.
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more