Frontpoint and Alder have a couple of things in common — both companies are young, being established only more than a decade ago, but have proven themselves worthy of being among the top alarm companies in the country. Despite that, Frontpoint and Alder are very different on the inside. Frontpoint focuses on home security infused with smart home tech. Alder, on the other hand, have their sights on providing high quality customer service with basic security features. Which one of the two is best for you?
Frontpoint Pros & Cons
- High-Quality Customer Service
- Best In Class Technology
- Comprehensive Smart Home Solutions
- No Landline/Broadband Monitoring
- Frequent Pricing/Deals Changes
Alder Pros & Cons
- All-Inclusive Monitoring For Burglary, Fire, & Medical Emergency
- Average Response Time Exceeds Industry Standard
- Lifetime Equipment Warranty
- Three to Five-Year Contracts That Auto-Renews
- Limited Smart Home Offer
- History of Misleading Sales Tactics
- Nationwide Availability
- Long-Term Contract
- All-Inclusive Monitoring
- Wireless Equipment
- DIY Installation
- Contract — Both companies typically require a three-year contract, but Frontpoint has a one-year contract option while Alder can extend your contracts to up to five years.
- Return Period — Frontpoint gives customers a 30-day return period during which the contract can be cancelled without penalties. Alder has no mention of such rules.
- Home Automation — Frontpoint has an extensive home automation offer, while Alder's home automation platform is limited.
- Cameras — Frontpoint offers video doorbells, indoor cameras, and outdoor cameras. Alder only integrates with third-party indoor and outdoor cameras.
- Early Termination Policy — Frontpoint charges 80% of the remaining contract balance for early terminations. Alder charges 100%.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
One thing that makes Frontpoint great is their transparency and flexibility. Customers can set up service the traditional way — by calling Frontpoint's sales line — or by browsing packages online and buying directly from their website. Alder is not as transparent. Their pricing plans and equipment packages are not clearly stated on their website and the only way to set up service is by consulting with a sales rep over the phone or via in-home visits.
While Alder doesn't provide any pricing information on their website, we were able to get an estimate. Alder's pricing plans start at $35 per month, but prices may vary depending on your location. On the other hand, Frontpoint has a three-tiered pricing plan — Protection Plan at $34.99 per month, Interactive Plan at $44.99 per month, and Ultimate Plan for $49.99 per month.
Frontpoint offers equipment packages, starter kits that are pre-customized and include several sensors and accessories. The basic package costs $399, but you can get it for $99 so long as you're willing to sign a three-year monitoring agreement. If you need additional devices, Frontpoint sells them at the regular price. Alder prefers customizing each and every security system to every customer. They may offer you a starter kit, but the inclusion might still vary depending on several factors such as your living situation.
Both systems are designed for DIY installation. Upon receiving your security system, it's up to you to install it in your home. Of course, if you're uncomfortable installing the system yourself, you can hire a third-party technician to help you. Alder offers the extra option to send a technician into your house to perform the installation, but it will cost you a small installation fee.
Key Features & Tech
Unlike most traditional alarm companies, Frontpoint uses a screen-less hub as the main brain of the system. The Frontpoint Hub connects wirelessly to sensors and accessories, allowing it to transmit alarm signals to the monitoring center and you to control your security system using the Frontpoint App. The hub is also assisted by a wireless keypad. Alder's standard equipment also includes sensors and security accessories, but instead of a hub, they have a touchscreen control panel. The panel is the main device, functioning similarly to a hub.
Frontpoint has a pretty extensive home automation portfolio that includes smart locks, smart lights, smart thermostats, and a bunch of other smart home products. This is made possible by Frontpoint's integration with Z-Wave as well as the Frontpoint app that is loaded with useful home automation features. Unfortunately, Alder is not as well-integrated. Their systems integrate with Alexa and several Yale smart locks, but that's all.
Frontpoint offers several security cameras, including an indoor camera, outdoor camera, and a smart camera, all of which are made by Alarm.com. They also have doorbell cameras from SkyBell. What sets Frontpoint apart is their standalone Camera Plan. For $15 per month, you can buy yourself Frontpoint cameras and gain access to a remote cloud storage even if you don't have a standing monitoring plan from Frontpoint. You don't even need to have a security system. Alder, on the other hand, doesn't have as many cameras. The system works with Arlo Pro, an indoor/outdoor cord-free cameras, as well as Xiaomi Yi, an indoor camera.
Frontpoint's app, available for Android and iOS users as well as Fire Tablet users, is well-rated on all three platforms. However, not all customers can access the app. You have to be on the Interactive or Ultimate plan to use it. Alder's app is also well-rated, but it's only available for Android and iOS users. All customers can access the app, even those who are on the entry-level monitoring plan.
Both Frontpoint and Alder use cellular monitoring as the primary monitoring method with Wi-Fi backup in case the control panel or hub loses cellular signal. These two methods are widely considered as the most reliable and secure monitoring method, especially cellular monitoring. The addition of Wi-Fi backup makes the systems even less prone to signal disruptions.
Customer Service Experience
Frontpoint requires a standard three-year contracts from customers, but you actually have the choice to reduce that to one year. The only catch is that you'll lose the $300+ discount on the equipment package. Alder also requires long-term contracts. A three-year contract is standard, but they might ask you to sign a five-year contract if you avail special promotions or if your credit score is low.
Early Termination Policy
Once you sign a contract, you're legally obligated by it to use the company's service for the duration of the term. However, you can cancel early provided that you're willing to pay a penalty. With Frontpoint, the penalty is 80% of the remaining contract balance. The contract balance is the accumulative amount you would have paid if you finished the contract. With Alder, the penalty is 100% of the balance.
Fortunately, all customers are given several days to try the system. During this period, you can return the equipment and cancel service without penalty. For Frontpoint customers, the return period is 30 days. For Alder users, customers may use their three-day Right of Rescission to cancel.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
Based on different factors regarding the price, features, and customer service, it's clear that Frontpoint is better than Alder. However, that doesn't mean that Alder is not worthy of our recommendation. Both companies are good and both have our seal of approval. Frontpoint may have come out on top, but Alder is still a fast-growing company with a lot to offer. You can learn more about Frontpoint in our Frontpoint review or read more about Alder in our Alder review.
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|Protection Plan||$34.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Interactive Plan||$44.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Ultimate Plan||$49.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Features & Technolgy||9||8|
|Ease of Use||9||8|
|Integrations||zwave, Alexa, IFTTT||-|