If you're a renter and looking at getting a home security system, there are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind. Features like contract-free systems, portable equipment, and non-destructive devices can be much more important for apartment or home renters compared to homeowners. Though renter's insurance can help during the aftermath of a break-in, renters and apartment owners can get more preventative security with a security system. In this article, we take a look at our 5 top security systems for renters that provide above-average flexibility. From video doorbells to motion sensors, smart locks, and more, we're sure you'll find a system that fits your needs.
Top Home Security Systems for Renters
Home automation is limited
No contracts or cancellation fees
Need Cove Plus plan to access smartphone apps
Affordable 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup
Cove doesn't require any contracts for purchasing equipment or using its professional monitoring. There are zero cancellation fees, no security deposit, multiple ways to receive alerts, and buyers can choose to set up the equipment themselves or request professional installation. With one of the most affordable monitoring services on the market starting at 50 cents per day, Cove is perfect for any renter looking for a system that will keep watch of their home all day, every day.
Cove Security Equipment and Customer Support
1 Free and $49.50 for each additional camera
Glass break sensor
Smoke and CO detector
Cove Touch alarm panel
Using a simple questionnaire that takes less than a minute to complete, Cove creates a customized bundle based on your unique needs, including the size of home you live in, the number of windows and doors you have, and even the number and size of pets in your home.
Cove home security systems are very mobile-friendly — both for your phone and its movability. There are no heavy tools or holes required for setup and it can easily move with you whether you're continuing to rent or searching for your forever home.
Customer service is what makes this brand stand out from its competitors. Not only does Cove offer 24-hour service for every buyer, but there are also multiple alert options to choose from including RapidSOS and LiveAssist. Choosing how and when you receive alerts can be very helpful, and Cove knows that the more chances there are of getting an alert, the safer customers will feel.
If you are looking to integrate Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant with remote control of your system look to upgrade to Cove Plus for just $24.99/month
Free in-home consultation with professional installation
Expensive compared to competitor systems
24/7 professional monitoring
Limited number of third-party smart home accessories supported
Smart home and security devices remotely controlled through Vivint app
Installing a Vivint security system couldn't be easier — because they do it all for you no matter what bundle you choose! While this company does require professional installation, every device will wirelessly connect to the Vivint Smart Hub; so, even though you didn't set it up yourself, you'll have full remote control of your home security system. While there are some more permanent installation options available, renters and apartment dwellers have a plethora of indoor and outdoor cameras and smart home devices to choose from.
Vivint Plans, Security Equipment, and Customer Support
Vivint Smart Hub
Vivint Outdoor Camera/Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro
Vivint Indoor Camera
Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
Garage Door Controller
Vivint Smart Plug
Vivint Motion Sensor
Glass Break Detector
Vivint Water Sensor
Kwikset Smart Lock
Vivint Car Guard
Vivint Smart Thermostat
The starter kit for Vivint is $599 and includes the Smart Hub, two door and window sensors, one motion detector, and one leak sensor, as well as $100 to go towards other additional equipment purchases. From night vision security cameras and sensors to MyQ smart home devices and Kwikset smart locks, Vivint seemed to think of everything and more. (Not to mention a peephole camera perfect for the front door of an apartment!) While Vivint offers a multitude of add-on options to choose from, overwhelmed buyers can rest easy knowing a professional will be there to help guide their choices to what makes sense for their living situation.
Right now, Vivint is offering a deal for free installation and one month of professional monitoring services with select purchases. Serving over 1.5 million customers nationwide, Vivint services are ones you can rely on. The company offers 24/7 safety monitoring, no money down, and contact with a professional every step of the way.
3. Blue by ADT
Trusted name in the home security space
Limited amount of equipment compared to competitors
No long-term contracts with DIY installation
Cost of professional monitoring is a bit more than other companies
Choose from pre-built plans or customize for what you need
Blue by ADT offers all the coveted advantages of buying an ADT home security system without permanent installation or signing up for a long-term contract. Renters can still enjoy ADT products and protection such as high-tech equipment, video surveillance, system customization, and professional monitoring services. With products that sync with Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, ensuring your home's safety can be as simple as saying, "Hey Google, I'm leaving." Indoor and outdoor security cameras plus a doorbell camera connect via Wi-Fi so you can keep an eye on your home no matter where you go.
Blue by ADT Plans, Security Equipment, and Customer Support
Blue wireless outdoor camera
Blue indoor camera
Blue doorbell camera
Flood and temperature sensor
ADT's DIY systems start at $179.99 and include a base monitor and mobile app connection so you can survey your home on the go. (You'll also receive a month of professional monitoring for free just for signing on.) From there you can select from a multitude of security add-ons such as door and window sensors, flood and temperature sensors, motion sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, and more.
Blue by ADT offers the ability to fully automate and voice control your home security system with connected smart devices like Google Nest or Amazon's Alexa hub. Smart keys and smart door locks offer renters security beyond a simple deadbolt or lock and chain, and simple doorbell cameras easily replace the built-in bell so you can watch for oncoming visitors or keep an eye on your deliveries. Just remember that each selection comes at an additional cost to the starting price listed above.
ADT knows what most apartments may need to feel as safe as possible, so it also offers its best security systems and professional monitoring service in suggested bundles such as the Starter System ($219.99), Starter Plus System ($299.99), and the Premium System ($419.99) to fit the needs of different homes. These DIY systems also come with standard customer support such as setup videos on their support center webpage, answers to frequently asked questions, troubleshooting false alarms, and a customer support line that is readily available to support your DIY installation.
Simple DIY setup
High priced professional monitoring ($49.99/month)
Great app and customer service
Limited features available without professional monitoring
No contract required and 30-day money back guarantee
Equipment price is more affordable than most competitors
Frontpoint Security is all about usability. Meaning the company has created a system that's easy to set up, easy to understand, and easy to self-monitor from the app on your phone. The mobile app includes access to the control panel, every device, as well as full automation preferences with one-touch control so you can change your whole house from its "at home" settings to "out of the house" all at once. In addition to home security, Frontpoint offers free ID protection partnered with Allstate Insurance so you can protect your safety as well as your home.
Frontpoint Plans, Security Equipment, and Customer Support
Premium indoor camera
Glass break sensor
Smoke and heat sensor
Smart door lock
Wireless lighting control unit
Smart LED bulb
Frontpoint's customized plan starts as low as $7.38 per month for a home security system that includes the central hub and corresponding keypad. It offers all the expected additions like a control panel, motion sensors, indoor and outdoor security cameras, etc. But unlike some competitors, Frontpoint wanted to make sure your home stayed safe from more than just burglary. Hazard sensors like smoke, carbon monoxide, heat, and flood warnings help Frontpoint customers feel a new level of safety and security in their homes.
To help turn your safe home into an even smarter home, FrontPoint offers multiple home automation products like smart locks and smart plugs. Every additional item is added to the overall monthly fee instead of paying separately. Other pre-made equipment packages include the Safehouse bundle which starts at $99 down, the Bunker which costs $15.34 per month and the Fortress which costs $19.31 per month.
Unlike most companies, Frontpoint offers its customers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Decide this isn't the right security system for you and Frontpoint will cover the cost of shipping to send your equipment back to them. Customer support hours run weekdays, 8:00 am to 11:00 pm EST, and weekends from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm EST. Frontpoint has been known to have some issues when trying to cancel monitoring services but other than that they are a well-reviewed, trustworthy home security company.
Large selection of security equipment
Cloud video storage and certain advanced features require monitoring plan
Easy DIY setup with in-app guide
Free and paid professional monitoring options
Complete mobile access to home security system via mobile app
Known for its integrations with many other smart home devices on the market, Abode is one of the top competitors for the best DIY home security systems. The company's three-step process keeps things simple and easy so buyers don't have to feel stressed over purchasing such an important product.
Abode Plans, Security Equipment, and Customer Support
Abode Cam 2
Wireless Video Doorbell
Mini Door/Window Sensor
Vibration Glass Break Sensor
Wide Angle Motion Camera
Water Leak Sensor
Smoke Alarm Monitor
Color Bulb (2 Pack)
Smart Home Power Switch
Abode plans always include three things: gateways, accessories, and the Abode mobile app. There are two gateways—or what they refer to as the central hub—to choose from, including the iota all-in-one security kit and the larger gateway security system. The iota Security Kit starts at $279, and for an apartment renter, it might be self-sufficient enough to cover your entire home. It's also capable of connecting over 160 smart applications to it if you find your home needs a little extra protection.
The main built-in features of the Iota hub are a motion detector camera with a privacy mode, two-way audio, an 88-decibel siren, a temperature and light sensor, and a rechargeable battery—and the Gateway offers even more features. Using Z-Wave and Zigbee controlling, the hub can wirelessly connect to an endless number of security devices like both indoor and outdoor security cameras, sensors, alarm systems, and more.
One thing that makes Abode unique is its price matching program. Send the company a quote from any of their competitors at a better rate, and it'll do its best to match that price. There are often discount codes available at certain times, as well as holiday sales and special packages available on their website. The website support page offers assistance for everything from getting started to orders and purchases, as well as problem-fixing and frequently asked questions. The phone line is available during working hours to customers and non-customers alike.
Can you Put a Home Security System in an Apartment?
Installing an apartment alarm system is a generally a good idea, but it's best to check with the rental property owner first before making any semi-permanent changes to your home. Most of the best home security systems we've covered won't require anything more than a few cosmetic changes, so there won't be any heavy rewiring work or permanent modifications involved.
Are Home Security Systems Really Worth it?
It's been shown that apartments are at a far higher risk for burglary than single homes, and a security system is a great tool for deterring any unwanted behavior. Though choosing a good security system for renters can seem difficult, avoiding long-term contracts and invasive equipment can help you make the best decision.