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Protect America vs. Alder Home Security

We did an analysis on Protect America & Alder and determined that your best choice is Protect America.

Read on for more details, or click here to view plans.

Our Score: 7.8/10
$41.99 - $54.99
No Contract
Our Score: 7.2/10
No Contract


Our Analysis

Protect America and Alder may not be as large as other national alarm companies like ADT and Frontpoint, but these two companies are strong contenders that offer strong home security features. If you're unsure which of the two companies is best for you, this comparison guide will help you make the right decision.

Protect America Pros & Cons

Pros

  • DIY Installation
  • Lifetime Equipment Warranty
  • Price Match Guarantee

Cons

  • Lengthy 36-Month Contracts
  • Landline Monitoring is Limited, But Cellular is More Expensive
  • Pricy Cancellation Fee

Protect America is One of our Top Picks for 2019

14-Day Risk-Free Trial · Available Nationwide · Price Match Guarantee

Alder Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All-Inclusive Monitoring For Burglary, Fire, & Medical Emergency
  • Average Response Time Exceeds Industry Standard
  • Lifetime Equipment Warranty

Cons

  • Three to Five-Year Contracts That Auto-Renews
  • Limited Smart Home Offer
  • History of Misleading Sales Tactics

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Ultra-Fast Response Time · Available Nationwide · Lifetime Warranty

Their Similarities

  • DIY Installation
  • Free Sales Consultation
  • Wireless Equipment
  • Limited Cameras
  • Smartphone Access

Their Differences

  • Installation — Alder provides optional pro-installation. Protect America is DIY installed.
  • Communication — Alder uses cellular signal for communication. Protect America uses both landline and cellular monitoring.
  • Sales Process — Protect America is available for purchase online. Alder requires over-the-phone or in-home consultations.
  • Home Automation — Protect America offers rich home automation features. Alder's home automation offer relies on third-party integrations.
  • Cameras — Alder works with Arlo Pro and Yi Home cameras. Protect America is limited to indoor cameras.

Sales & Pricing Comparison

Sales Process

Protect America is available both online or through one of their sales reps. If you decide to go the online road, you can only buy a limited number of products and set up cellular monitoring, which is more expensive than Protect America's landline monitoring packages. If you set up service with the help of a sales rep, you can access a broader selection of products as well as use landline monitoring. With Alder, there is only one way to set up service, and that is by speaking to a sales rep to get a quote and eventually buy a security system.

Winner: Protect America

Pricing

Protect America is known for their extremely low introductory rates. Protect America's monitoring packages start at $19.99 per month. However, this rate only applies to landline monitoring plans. Cellular monitoring plans, which are more reliable, have a $41.99 per month starting rate. With Alder, prices vary per location, but we estimate that their average entry-level price is somewhere around $35 per month.

Winner: Protect America

Equipment Purchase

With Protect America, the equipment is included in the monitoring package for free. In fact, your monthly rate is decided by how much "free" equipment you want. The entry-level monitoring package includes a five-device system, the mid-level an 11-device system, and the highest tier a 16-device system. The free equipment only includes three types of products, however — a control panel, and a number of motion sensors and door/window sensors. If you want additional devices, you can buy them separately. With Alder, the equipment is not free. You will be guided by a sales rep in building a security system best suited for your needs, and then they will give you a final quote. They may offer you discounts or free devices depending on their current promotions, but the main security system isn't free.

Winner: Protect America

Installation

With regards to installation, Protect America and Alder are the same. Both companies offer DIY installed security systems. However, if you prefer pro-installation by a trained technician, only Alder providers optional professional installation. Keep in mind that pro-installation will most likely cost you an installation fee.

Winner: Alder

Key Features & Tech

Standard Equipment

All security systems from Protect America have the same types of devices— a control panel, a motion sensor, and door/window sensor. The control panel included is a Qolsys IQ Panel 2, which is one of the most popular and best control panels in the alarm industry. It has a touchscreen interface, a built-in camera to capture whoever tries to disarm your system, and a built-in glass break sensor. Alder's standard equipment also includes a touchscreen control panel. It's a tablet-like device with two-way speakers, battery-backup, and physical buttons for arming and disarming as well as initiating a direct line to the monitoring center.

Winner: Protect America

Home Automation

Protect America offers a variety of smart home products, including smart locks, smart lights, and smart thermostats. The Protect America app provides a way to access and control these devices remotely, even allowing you to create schedules and scenes. Alder, on the other hand, doesn't offer any home automation products, but their system works with Alexa and Yale smart locks.

Winner: Protect America

Cameras

Protect America and Alder both have limited camera offers. Protect America's only camera is an indoor camera and a video doorbell, which you can get by adding $7 per month for each camera or $10 per month for an indoor camera and video doorbell combo. Alder also has two camera offers, but both are from third-party brands. The first camera is a Yi Home indoor camera and the second is a weatherproof indoor/outdoor camera called Arlo Pro. They don't have a video doorbell, but they support the Arlo Audio Doorbell. Instead of a video feed, it transmits an audio feed to your smartphone when someone rings your doorbell.

Winner: Alder

Smartphone Access

Both companies also have smartphone apps that you can use to control, access, and monitor your security system. With Protect America, you need a cellular monitoring plan to use the app. The app has improved so much over the years and is now an easy-to-use, intuitive app. With Alder, you can access the app no matter which monitoring plan you're on. However, the app is still a little shaky and a lot of customers are still left wanting for better features.

Winner: Protect America

Monitoring Method

Protect America offers two types of monitoring service. They have landline monitoring, which is cheaper but not as reliable as cellular monitoring, the second type of monitoring they offer. The difference is that landline wires can be cut from outside, thus disabling your security system's ability to send alerts. Cellular monitoring is wireless and it doesn't rely on your landline connection. Alder is a one-trick-pony in this regard. They only offer cellular monitoring with Wi-Fi backup, but then again, cellular monitoring is much more reliable than any other monitoring method. Also, Alder's cellular monitoring plan rates are lower than Protect America's cellular plan rates.

Winner: Alder

Customer Service Experience

Contracts

Both companies require contracts, which means you can't just cancel service if you no longer need it. The contract tells you how long you're required to use their service. While a three-year contract is standard with both companies, Alder occasionally makes customers sign a four-year or five-year contract. With Protect America, all customers get a three-year contract.

Winner: Protect America

Early Termination Penalty

If you have to cancel service while the contract is still active, there will be a hefty cancellation penalty. Protect America and Alder both require a contract buyout, in which you're obligated to pay a penalty equivalent to the total amount left in your contract. For example, if you have six more months in your contract, the penalty is equivalent to six monthly fees paid at once. Essentially, it's like paying for service you're not going to use. That said, we highly recommend that you consider the contract term length before signing anything.

Winner: Tie

Return Policy

Fortunately, with Protect America, you have 15 days to cancel service after signing the contract. If you do so, you will not be charged a penalty and you get to return your security system for a refund. If you cancel within the first three days, you will even get a refund of your first monthly fee payment. Beyond the three first days, however, only the security system will be refunded. With Alder, there is no formal return policy. Your only choice is the three-day Right of Rescission as provisioned by the U.S. federal law.

Winner: Protect America

The Bottom Line: Who Wins?

After comparing their pricing, sales process, features, and customer service, we've determined that Protect America is better than Alder. After all, Protect America has more experience. However, we won't go as far as tell you to stay away from Alder. In fact, Alder is one of our top-picks alongside Protect America and several other alarm companies.

If you wish to learn more, you can check out our Protect America review.

Protect America Plans

PlanPricePromo PriceContract Length
Copper$41.99/mo--
Silver$49.99/mo--
Platinum$54.99/mo--


Comparison Summary

Protect America logo
Alder logo
Protect AmericaAlder
Customer Service7.56.5
Equipment87.8
Features & Technolgy8.38
Ease of Use88
Value7.87.2
Monitoring TypeProfessionalProfessional
Installation TypeDIYDIY
IntegrationsAlexa, zwave-
CoverageNationwideNationwide


Protect America is One of our Top Picks for 2019

14-Day Risk-Free Trial · Available Nationwide · Price Match Guarantee