Best Apartment Security Systems For Renters

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Best Overall
SimpliSafe logo
Cheapest Pro Monitoring
Ring logo
Best Customer Service
Frontpoint logo small
Studio Apartments
Canary logo
Compare All Products

Renting an apartment or house doesn’t mean you have to skimp on security. While a professionally installed home security system doesn’t make sense for renters, you have many affordable and portable DIY options.

These security systems are painless to install and require minimal to no structural changes to your rental. Another plus — you can take your new security system with you when you move.

DIY systems are also easy to expand as your needs or budget change. So, if you only have a modest amount of money to put toward a security system, you can get the base model and then add more sensors down the road.

Article Overview

What To Consider For Your Apartment Security System

Think about the areas that you want monitored. Do you have two entrances? How many windows do you have? Are you on the first floor? These are all things you’ll want to consider so you know what type of equipment you’ll need.

For instance, if you live on the fifth floor, you may choose to forego window sensors (sensors that go on doors or windows are also called contact sensors) since the windows are less accessible. Additionally, if you have a studio apartment, a couple of motion sensors may do the job instead of installing sensors on every window.

There are also instances where you could purchase one sensor instead of a handful. For example, if you have 3 windows in your living room, you could buy one motion sensor instead of placing a contact sensor on each window. This can cut down on the expense of your security system.

Think about your home’s layout and make a list of what equipment you want and how many of each sensor. As always, if you need help deciding what to look for, drop us a comment, and we can help you come up with a list of needs. 

No Drilling Required

If you’re renting, you may want to avoid drilling holes in the walls. None of the security systems in this article require any drilling. All the sensors are “peel and stick.” You don’t need to be concerned about sensors falling off walls — the supplied stickies are, for most companies, industrial grade and made to hold heavy paintings.

Best Security Systems For Renters

We chose the best security systems for renters based on system prices, monitoring costs, available equipment, warranty length, third-party compatibility options and more.

Best Overall: SimpliSafe Review

SimpliSafeVisit Website | 888-910-1458

SimpliSafe is simple to customize to fit your apartment or rental home. It has preset packages for you to choose from, or you can build your own. You can move the equipment around easily and take it with you when you move.

The sensors’ lithium batteries last up to 5 years, and the base station has a 24-hour battery backup in case the power goes out. Your system can support up to 100 sensors, but you probably won’t need that many.

SimpliSafe is our #1 pick because it has a reasonable monthly monitoring fee, a decent selection of equipment options, a 3-year warranty and uses cellular monitoring. It also has 6 monitoring stations through COPS, which should give you extra peace of mind knowing that if one monitoring station goes down, several other stations can answer your distress call.

Did You Know?

We consider cellular monitoring the most secure form of monitoring because it’s the most difficult communication signal to break.

Pros

Cons

  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • Equipment costs are higher than competitors
  • Website and app do not indicate low battery alert
  • No outdoor security cameras

Price

Below is a sampling of SimpliSafe’s packages. Visit SimpliSafe’s website to see all packages available. SimpliSafe also has a Build Your Own option, which you can learn more about here.

 The FoundationThe EssentialsThe OakstoneThe HearthThe BarringtonThe KeepThe Stonefort
Price$229$259$359$374$388$443$484
Number of Pieces4612981117
Base Station1111111
Wireless Keypad1111111
Keychain Remote11111
Entry Sensor1383259
Motion Sensor1111122
SimpliCam11
Glass Break Sensor
Panic Button11
Smoke Detector1
CO Detector
Freeze Sensor
Water Sensor
Siren11
Video Doorbell

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best offer from SimpliSafe and to get started.

Read Our In-Depth SimpliSafe Review

Cheapest Professional Monitoring: Ring Review

Ring AlarmView on Amazon | Visit Website |800-656-1918

Ring offers a decent equipment lineup, and professional monthly monitoring starts at only $10 per month. This is extremely low compared to competitors, which is why it easily took this award.

To get started, you can purchase the Ring Alarm 5-piece kit for Price - $199.00 , then add on any additional contact and motion sensors you need. The equipment is reasonably priced and has a 1-year warranty.

The base station has 24-hour battery backup to protect you if your power is out. The contact and motion sensors have about a 3-year battery life.

We like that Ring has 2 monitoring stations through Rapid Response. It uses broadband as its primary form of monitoring, which we don’t consider as secure as cellular. However, Ring is an affordable option for those of you who want basic security equipment with a low monitoring fee.

Pros

Cons

  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • Attractive equipment design
  • If your equipment is stolen, Ring will replace it for free
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • 30-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Cannot add emergency contacts
  • Limited equipment reduces system’s capabilities
  • Not BBB accredited, C rating

Price

Ring Alarm Security System – Price - $199.00

Includes:

  • 1 base station
  • 1 keypad
  • 1 contact sensor
  • 1 motion detector
  • 1 range extender

Optional Add-Ons

Monitoring

 FreeBasicPlus
PriceFree$3/month or $30/year$10/month or $100/year
Coverage1 doorbell or cameraAll devices at one address
Ring & Motion AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Live Video On DemandCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Warranty1 year1 yearExtended
Video RecordingCheckmarkCheckmark
Review, Share & Save VideosCheckmarkCheckmark
Professional MonitoringCheckmark

Coupon Code

Ring products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Read Our In-Depth Ring Alarm Review

Best Customer Service: Frontpoint Review

Visit Website | 833-654-0225

Frontpoint is an easy pick for best customer service. If you run into an issue with your security system, Frontpoint is your best option with speaking to a friendly and knowledgable person to get your issue resolved.

The base station has 24-hour battery backup to protect you if your power is out. The contact and motion sensors have about a 5-year battery life. Frontpoint uses the same company as Ring for its monitoring needs (Rapid Response).

We love that Frontpoint uses cellular monitoring for all of its plans, has a 3-year warranty and has the most extensive list of equipment options in this article. If you want great customer service, dependable professional monitoring and more equipment options (e.g., key fobs, smart thermostat, smart door lock, etc.), then Frontpoint is an excellent choice.

Pros

Cons

  • Has 2 monitoring stations
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Known for its superior customer service
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • BBB accredited with an A+ rating
  • Higher monitoring fees

Price

Below are the packages Frontpoint offers. You can also purchase additional sensors for an extra fee, which you’ll see listed next to the device. There is also a Build Your Own option, which is à la carte style. Add up the total of your selected equipment and that’s your equipment fee.

Package NameSafe Home StarterSafe Home EverydaySafe Home PlusSafe Home SelectSafe Home Preferred
Price$255.96$295.94$319.94$383.92$479.90
Control Panel Hub ($199.99 each)11111
Keypad ($49.99 each)11111
Door/Window Sensor ($19.99 each)23345
Motion Sensor ($29.99 each)1222
Glass Break Sensor ($44.99 each)211
Smoke & Heat Sensor ($44.99 each)11
Indoor Camera ($99.99 each)1
Premium Indoor Camera ($193.99 each)
Outdoor Camera ($167.50 each)
Doorbell Camera ($149.99 each)
Digital Doorbell Adapter ($10.99 each)
Yard Sign ($3.99 each)11111
Window Decals - set of 5 ($3.99 each)11111
Door Stickers ($3.99 each)11111
Garage Door Tilt Sensor ($22.99 each)
CO Sensor ($69.99 each)
Flood Sensor ($24.99 each)
Smart Light Bulb ($9.99 each)
Wireless Light Control ($49.99 each)
Garage Door Controller ($74.99 each)
Smart Door Lock ($149.99 each)
Panic Pendant ($19.99 each)
Keychain Remote ($19.99 each)
Recessed Door Sensor ($39.99 each)
Smart Thermostat ($199.99 each) COMING SOON

If you are interested in integrating a thermostat with your system, any Z-wave thermostat will work as well as the Nest Thermostat. Frontpoint is also coming out with a smart thermostat, but there is no release date currently.

Did You Know…

Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol used for home automation equipment. Companies that support Z-Wave are able to expand their product lines to support many third-party devices, giving you access to more equipment options.

Monitoring Plans

 InteractiveUltimate
Price Per Month$44.99$49.99
Wireless & CellularCheckmarkCheckmark
Unique User CodesCheckmarkCheckmark
Crash & Smash ProtectionCheckmarkCheckmark
Geo-location ServicesCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile AlertsCheckmarkCheckmark
Remote Access & ControlCheckmarkCheckmark
Sensor HistoryCheckmarkCheckmark
Live Video StreamingCheckmark
Video & Image HistoryCheckmark
Motion Triggered AlertsCheckmark
Night Vision EnabledCheckmark
Light ControlCheckmark
Smart Lock ControlCheckmark

Coupon

Click here to get the best deal we can offer from Frontpoint.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of Frontpoint

Best For Studio Apartments: Canary Review

Canary All In OneView on Amazon | Visit Website | 844-294-4163

If you have a studio apartment, Canary may be your best option. Canary is an all-in-one device that includes a motion-activated camera. It monitors air quality, temperature and humidity to give you stats on your living space. It has a wide 147° field of view to capture any unwanted visitors.

Unlike our top picks, Canary is different from a typical security system. It lacks motion or contact sensors. Instead, the device monitors for motion, and if detected, it begins recording and sends you a notification.

No peeling and sticking of sensors for this one. Just plug it in, set up the app and you’re all set. Canary All-In-One also monitors temperature and air quality, which is something no other system in this article does.

Canary has a 1-year warranty, 1080p HD quality video and night vision. It also has outdoor options in case you have a patio or outside entrance you want monitored.

Pros

Cons

  • Great customer service, according to online reviews we’ve read
  • 100% self-monitoring
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • No professional monitoring option
  • Can only connect up to 4 devices on the free Canary Cloud membership plan
  • Not BBB accredited, F rating

Price

  • Canary All-In-One:  Price - $49.00
  • Canary All-In-One (2 pack): Price - $271.78
  • Canary View:  Price - $54.00
  • Canary Flex: Price - $129.00
  • Free shipping
  • Canary Cloud
    • Free Access: 1-day storage of 10-second video previews for up to 4 devices
    • Membership: 30-day storage of full-length videos for $9.99/month or $99/year for unlimited devices

Coupon Code

Canary products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Read Our In-Depth Canary Review

Comparison Table

 Best Overall: SimpliSafeCheapest Professional Monitoring: RingBest Customer Service: FrontpointStudio Apartments: CanaryNest SecureScout Alarm
Best Overall: SimpliSafeCheapest Professional Monitoring: RingBest Customer Service: FrontpointStudio Apartments: CanaryNest SecureScout Alarm
System PriceStarts at $229.96 Price - $199.00 Starts at $255.96 Price - $49.00 $399 Check Amazon for availability.
Self-Monitoring Monthly Starting CostN/AFreeN/AFreeFree$9.99
Pro Monthly Monitoring Starting Cost$14.99$10$44.99N/A$19$19.99
Indoor CamerasCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor CamerasCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Key FobCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Motion DetectorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Smoke AlarmCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Entry SensorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Glass Break SensorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Range ExtenderCheckmarkCheckmark
Video DoorbellCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Door LockCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Smart ThermostatCheckmarkCheckmark
Water SensorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Warranty3 year1 year3 years1 year2 years1 year
Z-wave or Zigbee CompatibilityCheckmarkZ-waveZ-waveCheckmark
Amazon Alexa or Google Home CompatibilityCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark

Read More About Z-Wave & Zigbee Compatibility Options

Other Companies To Consider

Although these companies didn’t make our top picks, they may be an excellent option for your home.

Nest Secure | Scout Alarm

Nest Secure ReviewNest Secure

View at Best Buy | 855-224-6378

Nest is known for its cameras and smart thermostat. It now offers a bare-bones security system. If all you’re looking for is a base station, key fob, motion sensors and contact sensors, Nest has it for you. The equipment is modern looking and comes with a 2-year warranty.

It’s important to know that Nest’s contact sensors double as motion sensors, which can be overlooked easily since it’s not as clear on the website as we’d like it to be. Nest Guard (base station) has a motion sensor built into it as well.

Unlike other security systems in this article, Nest has a 3-year contract option, which would save you $10 per month for monitoring. You may see this as a pro or con, depending on how long you plan to live in your current residence.

Pros

Cons

  • Stylish design
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Not BBB accredited, C- rating
  • Not compatible with as many devices as competitors
  • Only 1 monitoring station (run by Brinks)
  • Contract required for lower professional monitoring fee
  • If you have a contract, you must pay 100% of it even if you cancel

Price

  • $399.99 for:
    • 1 Nest Guard (Base Station)
    • 2 Nest Detect (Door/Window Sensor and Motion Sensor)
    • 2 Nest Tag (Key Fob)

Purchase additional equipment:

Monitoring Plans

Brinks Home Security provides Nest’s monitoring. Brinks is best-known for its armored trucks that securely transport large amounts of cash. In 2010, it merged with Tyco, the parent company of ADT, and began offering home security. Brinks monitoring is broadband with cellular backup.

  • 1st month: free
  • 3-year agreement: $19/month
  • Month-to-month: $29/month

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Nest Secure.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of Nest Secure

Scout Alarm Review

Scout AlarmView on Amazon | Visit Website | 844-287-2688

Scout has a comprehensive lineup of equipment ranging from the basics — like motion sensors — all the way to more unique options — like water sensors. You can build your own system, so you aren’t stuck paying for any equipment you don’t plan on using. The equipment has a simple, sleek look to it and is available in black or white.

The downside is that Scout charges $9.99 per month for you to monitor your own system, similar to SimpliSafe. Some competitors let you do this free of charge. Additionally, if you opt for a camera, you’ll pay an extra $2.99 per month per camera for cloud storage. Scout is a good option if you don’t mind the additional fees.

Pros

Cons

  • Has 6 monitoring stations
  • 60-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • Batteries only last about 9 months
  • Door panel sensors are large and conspicuous
  • No outdoor security cameras
  • Only 12-hour battery backup (competitors average 24 hours)
  • The hub doesn’t have 2-way voice
  • Not BBB accredited, not rated

Price

  • Scout Small Pack (8 Pieces) – $229
  • Scout Large Pack (12 Pieces) – $319
  • Scout Elements Pack (12 Pieces) – $349
  • Scout Hub (1 required) – $120
  • Door Panel (each comes with 1 RFID sticker and 2 key fobs) – $50
  • Access Sensor – $20
  • Motion Sensor – $30
  • Indoor Camera – $99
  • Smoke & CO Detector – $50
  • Glass Break Sensor – $50
  • Water Sensor – $30
  • Door Lock – $229
  • Key Fob – $4.99
  • Video Doorbell – $99
  • View all packages and products

Monitoring

  • Always On – $9.99/month self-monitoring
  • Always On+ – $19.99/month professional monitoring

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Scout Alarm.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of Scout

9 Ways To Burglar Proof An Apartment

Installing a security system inside your apartment is just the beginning of burglar proofing. To help keep your valuables safe, consider the following.

  1. Always lock your doors and windows
  2. Close the curtains/blinds, so no one can peek inside
  3. Get a deadbolt installed if your door doesn’t have one
  4. Avoid posting on social media about being out of town (share vacation photos after you’ve returned home)
  5. Use a door jammer or stopper on your doors and windows (like this one on Amazon)
  6. Use outlet timers on lamps to give the illusion that you are home (check out these on Amazon)
  7. Purchase renter’s insurance in case of a break-in
  8. Install outdoor lights (learn more in our best outdoor security lights article)
  9. Place your valuables and personal documents in a safe (learn more in our best home safes article)

Burglary Statistics

Did you know homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized? However, only 17% of homes have home security systems. That means it’s time for you to get a security system installed in your home and cover all access points to your home, not just the front door. You can read more crime statistics here.

Do you have any other tips for renters?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert, and has been researching and writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what's happening behind the scenes.

In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Shindiggidy
I’m looking to get the door jammer that was featured on Shark Tank. I don’t suppose you guys know which one that is? It wasn’t so much a bar as it was a plate that goes underneath. Supposedly very effective and should prevent burglars from kicking the door down.
Sadie Cornelius (Admin)
We have researched the best door jammers to keep intruders out of apartments (and any home). Check out our recommended picks in that article, they are all very effective to prevent your door from being kicked in by burglars.