The Best Apartment Security Systems of 2022

The best apartment security systems will help you keep an eye on your home without permanently damaging a rented space.

By Erika Rawes | Updated Sep 12, 2022 12:13 PM

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The Best Apartment Security Systems Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

A security system can make you feel much safer when you live in an apartment building, especially a non-secure one. Security products like alarms, keypads, indoor cameras, video doorbells, and sensors let you know what’s happening in or around your home at all times. But shopping for a home security system for an apartment is slightly different than shopping for a single-family home security system. While single-family home dwellers often look for products that cover their exterior property and the perimeter of their home, apartment dwellers typically look for products that emphasize indoor security. Additionally, apartment renters may want to look for products that will minimally damage walls and ceilings. We’ve scoured the market to find the best apartment security systems, and we’ve outlined everything you need to know.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Abode
  2. RUNNER-UP: SimpliSafe
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ring
  4. BEST PRO MONITORING: Cove
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Frontpoint
The Best Apartment Security Systems Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Apartment Security Systems

Apartment home security systems can provide extra protection and peace of mind. When choosing the right home security system for an apartment, shoppers should look for a system that provides the protection they need without breaking the bank or requiring complicated installation. Here are some other factors for apartment dwellers to consider.

Pricing and Fees

There are two main prices to consider when purchasing a home security system for an apartment: the up-front cost of the equipment and the monthly fee for any professional monitoring or subscription-based services. Shoppers should know that they can’t use some security systems without a monthly paid plan. If they consider one of those services, they should be sure that they’re comfortable paying the minimum monthly fee again and again.

Installation and Equipment

Does the equipment require professional installation, or can a renter do the installation? Is there any cost for installation if a renter has to have the equipment professionally installed? How much damage will the equipment do to an apartment? Wireless and battery-operated products often create less damage than wired products. And as a bonus, intruders can’t cut the power to a wireless camera.

Trial Period and Warranty

Most home security systems offer a trial period, which lets a user try out the system for a certain period without committing. If a renter is uncertain whether or not they’ll be happy with the system long-term, they might want to look for a company that offers a longer trial period.

Warranty length is another important consideration, as it can be an indicator of how confident a brand is in its products and their longevity. Although most products will last long beyond the warranty period, brands that offer lengthy warranty time frames display confidence in the quality of their products.

Monitoring

Professional monitoring means a team of professionals is on standby 24/7 if an alarm goes off and a renter needs the authorities to come to their apartment. With a self-monitored home security system, the renter listens for the alarm and calls the authorities if needed. There’s almost always an associated monthly cost with professional monitoring, and renters must decide whether the benefits of professional monitoring outweigh that monthly monetary cost.

Even with self-monitoring, a renter might experience a small monthly subscription fee that unlocks more product features. Often, that fee covers video recording and storage. Without paying the fee, renters may not be able to access video recordings from days or weeks ago. These old recordings could come in handy if a renter needs to show the authorities a package thief or a prowler on their property. On the plus side, most self-monitoring subscription fees are relatively affordable, typically starting at only around $3 per month. Some companies even offer free self-monitoring, although free services are often limited in how the equipment can be used.

Smart-Home Compatibility

Suppose renters use a specific smart-home assistant, like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. In that case, they’ll want to make sure the security system they buy is compatible with their existing devices and voice assistants. One of the big benefits of a home security system is integrating it with the home’s smart ecosystem so users can more easily monitor their home’s security or control the system with their voices.

Our Top Picks

We looked at dozens of home security brands on the market and found the best options for those who live in an apartment.

Best Overall

The Best Apartment Security System Option: Abode
Photo: goabode.com

Why It Made the Cut: With reasonable pricing, no-contract options, and broad compatibility with smart-home devices and voice assistants, Abode offers a great deal of flexibility.

Abode offers prepackaged home security kits, but it also lets customers build a custom system that works for their specific needs. Most systems cost under $300, and Abode has products like indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, door sensors, light bulbs, and a keypad in addition to its wireless gateway and key fob. A standout feature is that users won’t need to use any screws or hardware to mount the equipment, so renters don’t need to worry about their security deposits. Abode is compatible with more than 160 smart-home devices and Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. However, voice assistant compatibility is only available with a paid plan.

Users can opt for self-monitoring or professional monitoring. Self-monitoring has two options: free or $6 per month for features like video storage and notifications. With professional monitoring, which starts at around $20 a month, users get a rapid emergency response if the alarm sounds and cellular backup in case Wi-Fi goes down. With professional monitoring, users could also benefit from discounts on their renters insurance. Abode offers a 30-day trial period and a 1-year warranty.

Specs

  • Base cost: $229
  • Monthly cost: Free or $6 for self-monitoring; $19.80 for professional
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Monitoring: Professional and self-monitoring

Pros

  • Screws or hardware not necessary for mounting
  • Flexible free and paid monitoring options
  • Systems are compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
  • System is compatible with 160 other smart-home devices

Cons

  • Voice assistant compatibility is only available with a paid plan

Runner-Up

The Best Apartment Security System Option: SimpliSafe
Photo: simplisafe.com

Why It Made the Cut: SimpliSafe offers a variety of products with long-lasting battery life, easy installation, and no-contract options.

SimpliSafe is a respected home security name with moderate equipment and monitoring prices. SimpliSafe’s standard monitoring service costs $14.99 per month, and it provides all-day monitoring and police dispatch, fire monitoring dispatch, and medical response dispatch. Self-monitoring comes with unlimited camera recording and costs $9.99 per month. SimpliSafe doesn’t have an option for free self-monitoring, and the self-monitoring option is somewhat limited.

SimpliSafe offers preselected or custom equipment packages, and the base cost is $229 for the equipment. SimpliSafe has a variety of components, including entry, motion, and glass-break sensors; panic buttons; and indoor and outdoor cameras. The batteries in all the wireless equipment last for up to a decade, and the equipment is easy to install and creates minimal damage. SimpliSafe has a 60-day trial period and a 3-year warranty.

Specs

  • Base cost: $229
  • Monthly cost: $9.99 for self-monitoring; $14.99 for professional
  • Trial period: 60 days
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Monitoring: Professional and self-monitoring

Pros

  • Easy-to-install wireless cameras
  • Batteries last for up to a decade
  • Add-ons include entry, motion, and glass-break sensors; panic button; and indoor and outdoor cameras

Cons

  • No option for free self-monitoring

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Apartment Security System Option: Ring
Photo: ring.com

Why It Made the Cut: Ring is known for its doorbell cameras, and its equipment and monitoring prices make it an affordable yet reliable pick.

Ring provides options for just about everyone. Self-monitoring is free, $3, or $10 per month; the full professional monitoring service is $20 per month. These pricing tiers mean there’s a security option for every budget. The $3 Basic plan offers video recording of one doorbell or camera. The $10 Plus plan provides video recording for all devices. The $20 Pro plan offers video recording and professional monitoring for Ring Alarm. If a user subscribes to the Pro plan, they may also qualify for a discount on their renters insurance.

Ring is probably best known for its doorbell cameras. The company has a selection of security cameras; however, its equipment suite is relatively limited compared to other brands on the market. Renters can choose from product bundles or build their own system. Ring products are often on sale on its own site or Amazon, so it’s easy for shoppers to save even more money. Ring users can also access the Neighbors app, which delivers crime and safety alerts in the area directly to a user’s smartphone. Ring has a 30-day trial period and a 1-year warranty.

Specs

  • Base cost: $199.99
  • Monthly cost: Free, $3, or $10 for self-monitoring; $20 for professional
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Monitoring: Professional and self-monitoring

Pros

  • Relatively affordable monthly cost
  • Flexible free and paid monitoring options
  • Local crime and security updates provided via the Neighbors app

Cons

  • Limited number of equipment pieces available

Best Pro Monitoring

The Best Apartment Security System Option: Cove
Photo: covesmart.com

Why It Made the Cut: Cove’s innovative RapidSOS system ensures help gets to a home fast. Plus, with a lifetime warranty and a 60-day trial period, it’s clear Cove has confidence in its home security products.

Cove’s base package costs $249, and it comes with an interactive monitoring center. The sleek hub lets users arm the system and monitor any alerts from one convenient location. The monitor also has two-way audio built in. Cove’s standout security feature is RapidSOS, which directly sends data to the 911 dispatch center in an emergency. This streamlines the process and ensures emergency services get where they need to go as quickly as possible.

Users can choose between two professional monitoring options. The Basic monitoring plan costs around $15 per month, and it includes 24/7 live monitoring, battery backup, and several other perks like an hourly automated system check. Plus protection costs around $25 per month, and it adds on camera integration, smartphone control, and voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant. However, Cove doesn’t integrate with other smart-home devices as well as other brands, and there’s no option for self-monitoring.

Cove offers customers a generous 60-day trial period and a lifetime warranty on its products. Customers can feel sure that they’re receiving quality products and services.

Specs

  • Base cost: $249
  • Monthly cost: $14.99 or $24.99
  • Trial period: 60 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Monitoring: Professional monitoring

Pros

  • Generous 60-day trial period and lifetime warranty
  • RapidSOS system sends data directly to 911 dispatch center
  • Interactive monitoring center with two-way audio included in base package

Cons

  • No self-monitoring option
  • Limited smart-home integration

Also Consider

The Best Apartment Security System Option: Frontpoint
Photo: frontpointsecurity.com

Why It Made the Cut: Frontpoint offers industry-leading professional monitoring as well as DIY installation, making it a great choice for an apartment dweller looking for easy installation and reliable home security.

Frontpoint is a solid choice for the renter looking for professional monitoring; the company doesn’t offer any self-monitoring options. Customers can build their own equipment packages or opt for one of the preselected ones. Frontpoint not only provides home security from intruders or burglars, but it also works to protect a renter’s identity and sensitive information from online threats. One downside of Frontpoint is that it’s not the most budget-friendly option at $49.99 per month for monitoring.

Frontpoint’s equipment is compatible with components from other brands. If a renter already has a doorbell camera from another brand, they don’t need to throw it out and replace it. The system also automatically runs hourly checks to ensure it’s always functioning. Frontpoint offers a 30-day trial period and a 3-year warranty.

Specs

  • Base cost: $326.96
  • Monthly cost: $49.99
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Monitoring: Professional monitoring

Pros

  • Compatible with security devices from other companies
  • Wide selection of preselected packages or build-your-own options
  • Hourly automatic system checks

Cons

  • Monthly cost tends to be higher than that of other DIY home security systems
  • No self-monitoring option

Our Verdict

Abode is our top choice because of its moderate cost, flexible self-monitoring and professional options, and smart-home device and assistant compatibility. The components do not need to be screwed in, which is a great feature for renters who can’t or don’t want to make holes in their walls.

SimpliSafe is the runner-up because of its wide array of devices and moderate cost, but there’s no option for free self-monitoring, meaning that users have to pay at least $9.99 a month to use the system. However, professional monitoring is more affordable than other options on the list.

How We Chose the Best Apartment Security Systems

When evaluating the best apartment security systems, we looked at dozens of different brands to determine which offered the best value, warranties, and product offerings. We also considered additional factors like ease of installation, how much damage each individual home security product would cause during installation, and how easy each system was to transfer to another residence. We considered up-front versus monthly costs, what each brand offered for its monthly fee, and factors like privacy and security. We looked to find which brands offered the best balance between affordability, monitoring quality, privacy, ease of installation and transfer, and longevity.

Before You Install One of the Best Apartment Security Systems

A user must follow any rules and regulations set forth by a building manager or landlord. If a renter isn’t sure if they can install a security system, they should check with the property owner or manager. Although many options on this list offer drill-free installation options, renters should check their leases before installing any permanent fixtures like a keypad on the wall.

Hacking is a growing concern with home security systems. While wireless systems are more popular for renters, they’re also more prone to getting hacked. System owners should take precautions like using secure passwords, enabling encryption, updating firmware, and disabling any features that aren’t in use. Signs of hacking include noises coming from camera speakers or cameras moving unexpectedly. A user may also get an alert that their account was accessed from an unknown device or their password stops working when they haven’t changed it.

Cost of Using One of the Best Apartment Security Systems

When choosing a security system, there are two cost factors: the up-front cost and the recurring costs. The up-front cost is what a customer has to pay just to buy the equipment. These costs can be under $100 for a doorbell camera or a few indoor cameras, but many apartment security systems have a base cost of $200 to $300. Recurring costs are any ongoing (usually monthly) fees to operate the security system. Self-monitoring is less expensive than professional monitoring, and some companies offer free self-monitoring. Paid self-monitoring options are generally $10 a month or less. Professional monitoring usually costs about $20 per month, but some companies charge up to $40 a month. Before choosing a monitoring option, customers should compare what each option offers to ensure they’re getting what they need.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Apartment Security Systems

If a renter opts for one of the best apartment security systems, they get to feel that sense of safety, knowing an alarm will sound if an intruder enters the dwelling. If a renter has professional monitoring, they have the extra security in knowing the authorities will come to their home if the alarm sounds. Additional benefits of apartment home alarm systems include:

  • Apartment home security systems focus primarily on the indoors rather than the outdoors, saving money on the equipment’s cost.
  • Renters can take the system components with them when they move.
  • There is minimal or no damage to the apartment.

FAQs

The following questions are things that people commonly ask about apartment home security systems. Check out the questions and answers below.

Q. Do I need to sign a contract for an apartment security system?

It depends. Some companies require a contract, while others don’t need a long-term agreement. If not having a long-term agreement is important to you, check out the contract requirements before choosing between home security companies.

Q. What’s the difference between an apartment security system and a security system for a house?

Apartment home security systems are designed to monitor an interior space, while security systems for homes often monitor indoors and their outdoor property. Additionally, apartment home security systems are typically protecting a smaller space, and most apartment renters look to find a wireless security system they can install without leaving any damage behind.

Q. Can I install a security system in a rental?

Yes, as long as you choose a system that doesn’t require any drilling and obtain permission from your building owner or landlord for any products that require drilling or modifications to the property.

Q. How much do security systems for renters cost?

Home security systems for renters cost the same price as the best home security systems for homeowners. However, you might be able to get your system for cheaper if you opt for less equipment or a stand-alone camera in place of a full home security system with cameras.

Q. Does an apartment security system record movement all day and night?

If your system features motion detection, it can track movement all day and night. You can typically adjust the motion settings on your cameras if you want to, however, making it so your cameras only track movement during certain times.

Q. Can my apartment security system be hacked?

Any home security system can be hacked if you don’t take proper security measures, such as setting a secure password, turning on two-factor authentication, and securing your Wi-Fi network properly.

Q. What do I get with an apartment security system?

Most brands offer starter kits, where you can get the most basic equipment for a low price. Starter kits usually include a hub, keypad, and sensors. You can also build your own system to choose which components you want.

Q. Will an apartment security system notify me about any movement?

Yes, if you have motion detection sensors or a security system with cameras with motion detection.

Q. Can I turn off an apartment security system manually?

Just as with any other home security system, you can turn the alarm off manually. However, if you have professional monitoring, you may receive a call from the company. At this time, you’ll typically have to recite a predetermined code word or phrase to indicate you’re not in distress.