Since the 1950s, home security systems have become more accessible. Some might even say they are a necessity. There are various options available; two options are ADT and Alder Home Security.
ADT is a security giant with a global presence and almost 150 years in the business. ADT is known for providing professional monitoring services and offers some of the best home security systems in the industry. Alder is almost the opposite, with around a decade of experience and DIY installation. Let's break it down to see which security system is best.
ADT vs Alder Home Security: What do they have in common?
- Professional installation: Professional installation is on offer regardless of which system you choose.
- Hardware: There is a significant overlap between security equipment and hardware. For example, ADT and Alder offer flood and freeze sensors, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in damage.
- Mobile app: You'll have access to a comprehensive mobile app that you can use to control and view some of your equipment, such as video doorbells.
- Third-party smart home capabilities: ADT and Alder have similar offerings in this category, with basic but reliable integrations, including Amazon's Alexa.
- Monthly monitoring: Professional monitoring is an option regardless of your provider.
ADT vs Alder Home Security: What are the differences?
- Response time: If you choose to have a monitored alarm system with Alder, you'll find that the response time is much faster than ADT's, with a 3.4-second response. On the other hand, ADT has a 30-45 second response time.
- Installation: DIY installation is only available via Alder.
- Installation coverage: Alder can only offer professional installation in some areas; ADT only offers professional installation
- Reputation: Alder is very new compared to ADT.
- Dedicated integrations: While third-party integrations are similar, ADT has more of its integration tools, such as smart locks and lights.
- Deceptive sales practices: Alder has been sued several times for deceptive sales practices, while ADT retains a clean track record.
Alder - What you need to know
Alder is a new security provider offering lightning-fast response times and DIY installation. Let's take a look at the key offerings.
Your Alder system will require a simple installation - they're marketed to DIY installers. But if you want a professional, then the professional installation is included in your three or five-year contract (or for an additional fee).
Alder offers a variety of equipment; the packages offered (with a three-year contract) are as follows:
Alder's basic package includes:
- Two window/door sensors
- Motion detectors
- Base station hub
- Touch screen panel
Alder's standard package includes:
- Three window/door sensors
- Two motion sensors
- Touchscreen control panel
- Camera (indoor)
- Key fob
There are optional extras available such as:
- Extra door/window sensors
- Smart smoke alarms
- CO detector
- Additional motion detectors
- Kami outdoor camera with AI
- Yi indoor camera with two-way talk
- Key fob for remote arming/disarming
- Flood and freeze detectors
- Medical alert pendant
The service runs via a cellular connection - meaning you won't need WiFi or a landline. You can purchase a package and add extras individually.
Alder isn't the complete smart home provider, with only older equipment (such as the GC2 range) offering Z-wave compatibility. Alder could improve in this area.
The doorbell cameras are an outstanding feature with two-way talk, a convenient way to communicate with a friend or delivery person. ADT offers more home automation options.
Alder's costs are challenging to work out, and it took some effort to compile them, but pricing seems to be as follows:
- Activation fee: Many providers forgo an activation fee, but you'll pay $49 for activation with Alder.
- Monthly fees: Monthly monitoring fees vary from $34.99 to $65 per month.
- Installation costs: You don't directly pay for installation if you have a 3 or 5-year contract or if you DIY install.
- Equipment costs: You won't pay for the basic packages; they're included in the contract. Costs are low with the basic package, but you can upgrade to a standard package for $55 a month.
Hostage code: In the event of a home invasion, if you're held hostage and asked to disarm your security system, you can discreetly enter a hostage code and alert emergency services.
Moneyback guarantee: The long-term contracts are negative, but you will have a 30-day warranty that allows for penalty-free cancelation.
Professional installation: Installation is offered for no upfront cost.
Response time: Alder Security has the fastest response time in the industry, with a 3.4-second response time.
Long-term contract: The 36-month contract is burdensome and could cost you thousands.
Smart home integrations: Alder isn't for you if you want a high-tech smart home due to its limited offerings.
ADT: What you need to know
ADT provides worldwide services and is a household name. The familiar yellow and blue logo is a common sight everywhere; with more than 7 million customers, you know you can trust ADT's reputation. But that name comes at a price. With ADT being the most expensive in the industry, let's look at what they offer.
Unlike Alder, ADT doesn't offer DIY installation. A professional from ADT will visit you to walk you through your new system and complete the installation. Professional installation costs at least $99.
The basic system is as follows:
- Window sensors
- Door sensors
- Motion detectors
- Key fob
- Yard signs
- Push-button keypad for landline monitoring
You can also buy additional video cameras on an a la carte basis, and other add-ons include:
- Freeze detectors
- Flood detectors
- Glass break sensors
- Touchscreen control system (monitoring through cellular service)
- Outdoor cameras
- Smart door locks
- Light control
- Window sensors
- Garage control
- Automated plugs and switches
- Indoor cameras
Unlike Alder, most of your ADT equipment is compatible with Z-wave and If This Then That (IFTTT) equipment such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest thermostat, etc. ADT also has a dedicated range of smart locks, lights, and automated plugs.
Here are the costs you'll need to consider if you purchase an ADT system:
- Equipment costs: The equipment costs are incorporated into the contract costs, meaning you don't pay anything upfront.
- Installation costs: Installation costs begin at $99 and could reach $299, depending on your system.
- Monthly fees: Monthly fees range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.
- Reputation: ADT is a global giant with 7 million customers; you know you can trust them.
- Easy installation: ADT professionals can complete the installation and walk you through your new system in a complimentary at-home consultation.
- Customer service inconsistencies: ADT was known for excellent customer service for years, but ADT has begun outsourcing to third-party companies, which offer variable customer services.
- Add-on extras: The base packages for ADT are affordable, but extras can add up quickly.
- Mobile app issues: The mobile app is very disappointing for such a large company. Customers have reported losing connectivity or seeing delays with the app from time to time, which can become an annoying issue.
Alder or ADT?
Alder and ADT are two reliable home security companies offering high-quality security systems with video monitoring. If you're looking for DIY home security with the fastest response time, you should choose Alder, but in almost every other way, ADT is superior, with nearly 150 years in the home security industry and trusted security services.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.