If you're looking for a new home security system, you'll have a lot of options to consider. Vivint and Alder are two great names you'll want to think about. There are many similarities, such as the fact they both cover all 50 states and offer comprehensive security systems, but there are key differences, too. Vivint offers more smart home options and better security equipment, but Alder enjoys a much faster response time, with additional safety measures such as a hostage code feature. Today we'll be looking at the pros and cons offered by each security provider.
Vivint vs. Alder Home Security: What are the similarities?
- Lengthy contracts: At a minimum, you'll need a 36-month contract before using the services offered by either company. There are no upfront costs associated.
- Professional installation: You can access professional installation.
- Activation fee: You can expect to pay $49+ for service activation.
- Mobile app: Alder and Vivint both have mobile apps that allow for comprehensive monitoring, push notifications, and remote arm/disarming of your alarm system. With that said, Alder's is rated worse than Vivint's.
- Cellular backup: Cellular backup is crucial because it leaves you less vulnerable to tampering and power outages.
Vivint vs. Alder Home Security: What are the differences?
- Customer support: Vivint's customer service is much better than Alder's. Hundreds of negative reviews mar Alder's online presence.
- Smart home automation: Vivint allows you to access a comprehensive smart home ecosystem (including Google Home, Nest thermostat, etc.), but Alder only reliably offers compatibility with Amazon's Alexa.
- DIY installation: While professional installation is offered, Alder also allows DIY installation.
- Moneyback guarantee: Vivint only offers a 3-day moneyback guarantee, but Alder can provide you with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.
- Lifetime warranty: Vivint equipment all comes with a lifetime warranty.
Vivint: What you need to know
A qualified Vivint representative will visit your house to complete your installation, but beware of upselling. Vivint technicians may be paid a commission based on what you buy. With that said, technicians can walk you through your new security system, including the mobile app and its functionalities.
Vivint offers multiple pre-set equipment packages, but you can also purchase extras:
- Outdoor cameras
- Entry sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Smart home devices
- Carbon monoxide sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Carbon monoxide sensors
- Secondary keypad
- Panic button
- Doorbell camera
- Security cameras
- Tilt sensor
- Garage door controller
- Medical alert pendant
One of the best parts of your new Vivint system is the smart home automation on offer; your new system is compatible with Z-wave products such as Nest, Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Home, and more. Vivint also offers dedicated home automation features, including smart door locks, video doorbells, and garage door sensors.
- Equipment costs: Equipment costs are paid monthly with nothing to pay upfront; your costs will drop once the equipment is paid off. With that said, a basic equipment bundle comprising motion detectors, a smart hub, and yard signs will set you back at $599 (or $9.99 a month). You should contact Vivint for an accurate quote.
- Installation costs: Vivint told our SecurityNerd that the installation fee is $100, though promotions are occasionally run for free installation. Ensure you check for active promotions.
- Monthly costs: Professional monitoring is available, and monthly monitoring costs are $39.99 to $59.99 per month, depending on the number of cameras and whether video monitoring is included.
- Customization: With the help of a Vivint professional, you can customize your system, but be mindful of upselling.
- Smart home options: You'll have an array of smart home options, from smart locks to smart thermostats and more, with Z-wave compatibility increasing the integrations available.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a moneyback guarantee, but Vivint only offers a three-day return window, which may not be sufficient to understand how it works.
Alder: What you need to know
Alder systems are designed with DIY installation in mind, and reviewers state that they're easy to install. With that said, professional installation is available for a fee. This is included in a three or five-year contract.
Alder offers you a basic security package with a contract:
Alder's Basic package includes:
- Touch screen control panel
- Two door/window sensors
- Motion sensor
- Base station hub and keypad
Alder's Standard package includes:
- Three door/window sensors
- Two motion detectors
- Touchscreen control panel
- Indoor camera
- Key fob
You can add additional equipment on an a la carte basis, and you won't need WiFi or landline as it runs on a cellular connection.
Only older Alder equipment (such as GC2 touchscreen control panels) are compatible with Z-wave technology; they have gone backward as newer equipment isn't Z-wave compatible. The video doorbells are a handy extra, though.
You can give instructions to a delivery person, communicate with a friend who's dropped by, or otherwise make it seem like you're at home - even when you aren't.
Alder's costs can be confusing, but the prices seem to be as follows:
- Activation fee: You'll pay $49 with Alder for activation.
- Monthly fees: Your monthly monitoring plan will set you back at least $34.99 but could be as high as $65 per month.
- Installation costs: Your installation fees are absorbed into your contract costs, meaning you don't directly pay upfront for installation.
- Equipment costs: You don't pay anything upfront for the basic package, as included in the contract. Costs are affordable if you sign up with the cheapest package, but you can upgrade to the standard package ($55+ a month).
- Hostage code: You can set a hostage code with the control panel; if you're asked to disarm the system in a hostage situation, you can enter the hostage code and alert Alder to discreetly dispatch emergency services.
- Moneyback guarantee: You can cancel without penalty in the first 30-days.
- Professional installation: Installation is offered with no additional costs if you sign up for a long-term contract.
- Response time: Alder security monitoring centers boast a 3.4-second response time, believed to be the fastest in the industry.
- Long-term contract: The 36-month contract is a negative that could cost you thousands in the end.
- Home automation: Due to their basic offerings in this area, Alder probably isn't for you if you want a complete smart home ecosystem. Vivint would be a better alternative.
Vivint or Alder?
If you want the security company with the fastest response time, you should consider Alder. Alder also allows you to install on a DIY basis, which may be a plus for you. However, if you're looking for a home security company that offers the best smart home options, you should consider Vivint home security. According to our SecurityNerd, Vivint reps are also more knowledgable and reliable than Alder reps.
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.