Even if you don’t own a home, you still have things to protect. From your belongings to your family to yourself, it’s important that you look out for what matters. The best apartment home security systems give you flexibility in equipment, monitoring, and commitment. Additionally, the best options fall within your apartment’s guidelines and are easy to remove in case you ever move to a new apartment or house.
The 4 Best Home Security Systems for Renters
- SimpliSafe — Best for self-installation
- Ring — Best for Cameras
- Brinks — Best for Professionally Installed
- Blue by ADT — Best for Monitoring
|Provider||Requires Contract?||Upfront Costs||Monthly Monitoring Starting Price||Installation Costs||Smart Home Compatibility||Camera||Warranty|
|SimpliSafe||No||Starting at $206||$15|| Self: Free|
|Ring||No||Starting at $120||$3||Varies by device||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Brinks||Yes||Starting at $199||$39|| Self: Free|
|Blue by ADT||No||Starting at $160||$20||Self-install only||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Information accurate as of 10/21/2020.
How Did We Choose the Best Home Security Systems for Renters?
Here at Reviews.com, it’s our mission to evaluate consumer services and recommend the best ones for our readers. We do the research and hard work so choosing the service that’s right for you is as easy as possible. When we evaluate home security systems we look for companies with a good reputation, quality equipment, and competitive pricing. To choose our top renters’ security systems providers, we use a formula that considers monthly pricing, equipment costs, ease of installation, the flexibility of the contracts, and customer satisfaction.
SimpliSafe: Best for Self-Installation
SimpliSafe has been exploding in popularity as of late as a simple way to do home security. What’s great about the product is that you can install it yourself, you can choose whether you want monitoring or not, and it’s quite affordable. And you can take your system with you when you go, making this a top pick for the best apartment security systems.
- Easy self-installation
- Take it with you when you go
- Relatively low prices with no contract requirement
- Alert siren not as loud as other options
- Requires good WiFi connection
With SimpliSafe, you get to pick what equipment you want, as well as what monitoring plan you want (if any). Our pick for equipment is the Knox Plan, and for monitoring, we like the company’s recommended Interactive plan. Additionally, keep in mind that SimpliSafe offers refurbished units, allowing you to save a few extra dollars on your upfront costs.
- 1 Base Station
- 1 Keypad
- 1 Key Fob
- 6 Entry Sensors
- 2 Motion Sensors
- 1 105dB Siren
- 1 Smoke Detector
Other Plans Available
- Standard Plan: Comes with 24/7 monitoring, dispatch, built-in cellular connection, 24/7 fire monitoring and dispatch
Check out our full review: SimpliSafe review
Ring: Best for Camera Monitoring
Made quite famous for the high-quality and easy-to-use cameras and doorbell monitors, Ring is a great option for people looking for a do-it-yourself apartment monitoring system. The system comes with a ton of customization options, integrates with Google Home, and has very affordable monitoring service options. Additionally, the doorbell unit can integrate with Ring Neighbors, which allows you to see what’s going on with other security incidents in your immediate area. Thanks to these features, Ring is one of the best security systems for renters.
- Integrates with Google Home
- Extensive options to customize equipment
- Connects with Ring App
- Some camera settings may use a lot of data
- No live monitoring with the basic plan
As is the case with many do-it-yourself alarm systems for renters, you can choose an equipment package and a monitoring package. We recommend the 10-Piece, 2nd Generation Alarm Security Kit and the $10 per month Plus monitoring plan.
- Base Station
- 5 Contact Sensors
- 2 Motion Detectors
- Range Extender
Other Plans Available
- Basic Plan: Motion-activated notifications, real-time video, and two-way talk available
Check out our full review: Ring review
Brinks: Best for Professionally Installed
Ranking No. 1 in customer satisfaction through J.D. Power, Brinks is a household name when it comes to all levels of security, including security systems for renters. While the system does come with a monitoring contract, you get a lot of great flexibility through the mobile app integration.
- The app lets you control locks, cameras, lights, and thermostats from anywhere
- Currently utilized by over 1 million people
- Higher starting price with less equipment than other options
- No dedicated window sensors (can use door sensors)
- Requires a 36-month contract
The plan we recommend with Brinks is the Smart Security Ultimate plan. It comes with all the bells and whistles and even free professional installation.
- IQ 2.0 Control Panel
- SkyBell Slim Line Video Doorbell
- 2 Wireless Motion Sensors
- 3 Wireless Door Sensors
- Brinks Home Outdoor Camera
- Yard Sign & Stickers
- Professional Installation
Other Plans Available
- Smart Security Essential: Entry-level plan with two sensors and a motion detector
- Smart Security Complete: Middle-of-the-road plan with an added camera, motion detector and three total door sensors
Check out our full review: Brinks revew
Blue by ADT: Best for Monitoring
Blue by ADT is the company’s DIY solution for home security, which makes it a great option for home security for apartments. While you’ll be doing everything yourself, the product and service still come backed by the company’s 145 years of expertise.
- Three types of cameras to choose from — doorbell, indoor, and outdoor
- Over 6.2 million customers using the service
- Set up in less than an hour
- Limited items in the starter pack
- More expensive monitoring plans
Our recommendation for the best apartment security plan with Blue by ADT is the Starter Plus System. Yes, it’s the most expensive plan, but it’s the first level where you start to get a meaningful level of equipment. Do keep in mind that to get a camera, you will need to add that on for a higher upfront cost.
- Smart home hub with integrated keypad
- 4 door/window sensors
- 2 Motion sensors
- Mobile app
- Yard sign
- 4 Window stickers
- Free month of pro monitoring
Other Plans Available
- Starter System: Comes with the hub and access to the mobile app; can add additional pieces
Check out our full review: Blue by ADT review
Guide to Buying Home Security Systems for Renters
When you’re looking to purchase an apartment security system, there are different things to consider than when you’re purchasing for your home. One of the biggest differences is knowing what’s involved with installation and whether or not you can take the system with you when you move. Here are some of the factors that make up the best security systems for apartments.
- Less-invasive installs — While it can look cleaner to have home security for renters fully built into your dwelling, it can create some issues when you go to move. Because you don’t own the property, you may need to patch up anything altered during the install. For this reason, apartment alarm systems that are less invasive are generally better.
- Less-sensitive detectors — In an apartment, you generally share walls with other people. If you have a neighbor who slams their doors or bangs into shared walls, it could falsely trigger an alarm system that’s too sensitive.
- Apartment compliant — Something important to check before getting a home security system for renters is what your apartment complex allows. There may be things in your lease or bylaws that only allow certain types of alarms or don’t allow personal alarms at all.
- Customizable systems — Not all apartments are created equal, which means you are going to want the option to build out the system that works best for you. You’ll want to avoid overpaying for unneeded equipment, and make sure you don’t have gaps in protection.
- Movable plans and contracts — If you select an apartment security system that has a contractual obligation, you’ll want to make sure that service can be transferred to a new address. Otherwise, if you end up moving, you may be paying for service for the tenant. If the service can’t be moved, make sure you are planning on staying in your apartment long enough to enjoy all of the benefits.
- Movable equipment — Make sure you select an alarm system for apartment renters that is easily removable. Why? That way, you can take your system with you to a new apartment or house if you move.
- Affordable — Cheap security systems for apartments used to lack quality. However, as technology advances, many of these less expensive options have improved sinificantly.
The best security system for an apartment is one that is minimally invasive, easy to install, and has no contract or a contract that allows you to move service to a new address. The four best options currently are SimpliSafe, Ring, Brinks, and Blue by ADT.
Whether or not you’re allowed to have an alarm system in your apartment depends on what your complex allows. If there’s nothing in your rental contract or the apartment’s guidelines against it, then you should have no problem installing an apartment security system. Do consider how invasive the system is, as there may be clauses in your agreement about altering structural components (even though it doesn’t say alarm system specifically).
The costs of a home security system are in two parts — the initial equipment and the monitoring service. The initial equipment costs usually range from around $100 up to several hundred dollars, depending on how much security you want and need. For monitoring, most options allow you to skip monitoring if you want at no cost. But if you do want the system monitored, that can range anywhere from a few dollars per month up to $50 per month.