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Home security is important whether you rent or own your home. As a renter, you most likely need a wireless security system that won’t damage the structure of the home but can also go with you when you move.
The security systems we review here can work with various rentals and budgets to fit what you need. So whether you want the basics or something more extravagant with cameras and home automation equipment, you can learn more about your options here.
- What To Consider In A Security System
- What Are The Best Security Systems For Renters?
- Comparison Table
- How To Reduce The Risk Of Being Burglarized
Ask yourself these questions:
- How many entrances are there to my home? It’s recommended to have a door sensor on each entrance to your home (e.g., front door, back door, garage entrance, sliding glass door, etc.).
- How many windows do I want monitored? You may want to consider placing a window sensor for each or a motion sensor to cover multiple windows in one room to reduce the number of devices you purchase.
- If you’re renting an apartment, what floor is it on? For example, if you live on the tenth 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.
Think about your home’s layout and make a list of the 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 Into The Walls
Your lease may require no nails, screws, or other drilling into any of the walls, door frames, etc. in your rental. All of the security systems in this article offer wireless equipment,* which have a “peel and stick” method for installing the equipment. No need to be concerned about sensors falling off walls — for most companies, the supplied stickies are industrial grade and made to hold heavy paintings.
*ADT also offers wired equipment, so if you opt for them you’ll want to make sure you request wireless equipment.
We chose the best security systems for renters based on system prices, monitoring costs, available equipment, warranty length, third-party compatibility options, and more.
SimpliSafe has all the basic equipment needed to secure you apartment or rental home. There are preset packages for you to choose from, or you can build your own. You can also relocate the equipment easily when you move.
Sensor batteries last up to five years, and the base station has a 24-hour battery backup in case of a power outage. You can connect up to 100 sensors to your system, but you probably won’t need that many.
We chose SimpliSafe as our best overall pick because it has a reasonable monthly monitoring fee, a three-year warranty, uses cellular monitoring, and has a decent equipment lineup. It also has six 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.
|Build Your Own||The Foundation||The Essentials||The Hearth||The Knox||The Haven|
|Number of Pieces||100 maximum||4||6||9||13||14|
|Glass Break Sensor||$34.99|
|Video Doorbell Pro||$169.00|
Ring offers professional monitoring at only $10 per month, which is extremely low compared to the competition. It also has a respectable equipment lineup to choose from.
You can start with the Ring Alarm five-piece kit for, then add any additional door/window sensors, motion sensors, cameras, etc. you need. The equipment is backed by a one-year warranty.
The base station continues to work through a power outage for up to 24 hours with its battery backup. Door/window sensors and motion sensors have about a three-year battery life.
Ring uses Rapid Response for its monitoring needs, and it has two monitoring stations. Broadband is the primary form of monitoring, which we don’t consider to be as secure as cellular. However, Ring is still an excellent option for those of you who want a basic security system with a low professional monitoring fee.
Kimberly A., Safe Smart Living, has a Ring Alarm security system. Here is her experience.
There are many things I love about my Ring Alarm system. My professional monitoring is extremely affordable. The app and keypad make the system easy to arm and disarm. The equipment is discreet and sturdy. The app is user friendly.
This system would work well for renters or homeowners alike. All the sensors are peel and stick, so it doesn’t leave marks on the walls, and it’s easy to take with you when you move. Plus, there are no longterm contracts.
Ring recently came out with a 2nd generation of security equipment. Below is the pricing for it.
- Ring Alarm Security System (includes 1 base station, 1 keypad, 2 contact sensors, 1 motion detector and 1 range extender) –
- Indoor Camera | Floodlight Cam
- Spotlight Cams: Battery | Wired
- Stick Up Cams: Battery | Plug-In | Solar (3 cameras included) | Elite
- Doorbell Cameras:
- Video Doorbell Pro | Peephole Cam | Video Doorbell Elite
- Video Doorbell 3 | Video Doorbell 3 Plus
- We’ve dedicated a separate article to go more in-depth on the Ring doorbells.
- Contact Sensors (2 pack) | Motion Detector | Keypad
- Range Extender | Dome Siren | Panic Button
- Chime | Chime Pro
- Pathlight: Solar | Battery
- Floodlight: Solar | Battery | Wired
- Steplight: Solar | Battery
- Spotlight | A19 Smart LED Bulb | PAR38 Smart LED Bulb
- Smart Lighting Motion Sensor | Bridge | Transformer
- Flood & Freeze Sensor | Smoke & CO Listener
Free Basic Plus
Price Free $3/month or $30/year $10/month or $100/year
Coverage One doorbell or camera All devices at one address
Ring & Motion Alerts Live Video On Demand Warranty One year One year Extended
Video Recording Review, Share & Save Videos Professional Monitoring
Frontpoint is commonly praised for its excellent customer service. If you run into any issues with your security system, Frontpoint is great with helping you resolve the problem. Customers say representatives are friendly and knowledgable.
In the case of a power outage, your base station has a 24-hour battery backup. Door/window and motion sensors have a five-year battery life. Frontpoint also uses Rapid Response for its monitoring (same as Ring).
Frontpoint uses cellular monitoring for all plans, has a three-year warranty, and has one of the most extensive equipment lineups in this article. If you want your security system to have dependable professional monitoring, great customer service, and more equipment options than SimpliSafe, Ring, and Canary, then Frontpoint may be the best for you.
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 Name Safe Home Starter Safe Home Everyday Safe Home Select Safe Home Preferred
Price $99.00 $295.94 $383.92 $479.90
Control Panel Hub ($249.98) 1 1 1 1
Keypad ($54.99) 1 1 1 1
Door/Window Sensor ($19.99) 2 3 4 5
Motion Sensor ($29.99) 1 2 2 2
Glass Break Sensor ($44.99) 1 1
Smoke & Heat Sensor ($44.99) 1 1
Indoor Camera ($99.99) 1
Yard Sign ($3.99) 1 1 1 1
Window Decals 3-Pack ($3.99) 1 1 1 1
Door Stickers ($3.99) 1 1 1 1
- Premium Indoor Camera $199.99 | Outdoor Camera $169.99 | Doorbell Camera $149.99
- We have dedicated a separate article to go more in-depth on the Frontpoint cameras.
- Touchscreen $119.99 | Keychain Remote $24.99 | Digital Doorbell Adapter $10.99
- Garage Door Tilt Sensor $24.99 | Garage Door Controller $74.99 | Recessed Door Sensor $39.99
- Smart Light Bulb $24.99 | Wireless Light Control $49.99 | Smart Door Lock $149.99
- Smart Thermostat $199.99 is coming soon (meanwhile, any Z-Wave thermostat will also work, including the Nest Thermostat)
- CO Sensor $69.99 | Flood Sensor $24.99 | Panic Pendant $19.99
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.
Price Per Month $44.99 $49.99
Wireless & Cellular Unique User Codes Crash & Smash Protection Geolocation Services Mobile Alerts Remote Access & Control Sensor History Live Video Streaming Video & Image History Motion Triggered Alerts Night Vision Enabled Light Control Smart Lock Control
Canary is a great option for those who have studio apartments. Canary is an all-in-one security system that includes a motion-activated camera and monitors air quality, temperature and humidity. It has a 147° field of view to capture any unwanted visitors.
Canary is unique from the other security systems in this article because it doesn’t include door/window sensors or motion sensors. It operates by detecting motion, and once detected, it begins recording and notifies you.
There’s no peeling and sticking sensors for Canary, just plug the device in, set up the app and start using it. Canary is also unique in its temperature and air quality monitoring, which isn’t something other systems in this article do.
Canary has a one-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 to monitor.
|Canary Pro (All-In-One)||Canary View||Canary Flex|
|Field Of View||147°||147°||116°|
|Monitor Air Quality, Temperature & Humidity|
|Power||Plugin||Plugin||Wire-Free or Plugin|
|One Tap Access To Police, Fire & EMS|
|Operating Temperature||N/A||N/A||-4° to 113°F|
|Two Way Talk||With Premium Service||With Premium Service||With Premium Service|
|Colors||Black, White||Black, Graphite||Black, White|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
- Free Access: one-day storage of 10-second video previews for up to four devices
- Premium Service: 30-day storage of full-length videos for $9.99/month or $99/year for five devices
ADT offers various equipment bundles to fit your home’s layout. You can have a simple or intricate system to fit your preferences.
ADT also helps you when you move. It does require a full monitoring contract renewal of 36 months (24 months in California), though. You get $100 instant savings plus 25% off any additional equipment you may want for your new home.
Equipment can be hardwired or wireless, so you’ll probably want to ask for wireless unless your landlord allows hardwiring. Installation is done professionally, unlike the other companies in this article which have DIY installation.
Equipment options and monthly prices can vary depending on the ADT reseller you choose. The equipment and pricing we’ve listed below are from an authorized reseller we recommend. If you’re interested in ADT, use this link to get a custom quote for your home.
|Complete Monitoring||Premium Monitoring||Remote Monitoring with Command||Video Monitoring with Command||Video and Home Automation with Command|
|Price Per Month||$36.99||$44.99||$52.99||$58.99||$62.99|
|Free Security System|
|Door/Window & Motion Sensors Capable|
|Wireless Keychain Remote|
|Pet-Friendly Motion Detector|
|Remote Control w/ Cell Phone|
|Email & Text Alerts|
|Thermostat Control (added cost)|
|Garage Door Control (added cost)|
ADT also offers a DIY option called Blue by ADT. It has a separate equipment lineup and pricing details, which you can learn more about in our Blue by ADT review.
Best Overall: SimpliSafe Cheapest Professional Monitoring: Ring Best Customer Service: Frontpoint Studio Apartments: Canary Houses: ADT
System Price Starts at $229.96 Starts at $255.96 Free With Contract
Self-Monitoring Monthly Starting Cost N/A Free N/A Free N/A
Pro Monthly Monitoring Starting Cost $14.99 $10 $44.99 N/A $27.99
Indoor Cameras Outdoor Cameras Key Fob Motion Detector Smoke Alarm Entry Sensor Glass Break Sensor Range Extender Video Doorbell Door Lock Smart Thermostat Water Sensor Warranty 3 year 1 year 3 years 1 year Lifetime Through Quality Service Plan
Z-Wave or Zigbee Compatibility Z-Wave Z-Wave Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa & Google Home Compatibility Best Overall: SimpliSafe Cheapest Professional Monitoring: Ring Best Customer Service: Frontpoint Studio Apartments: Canary Houses: ADT
Most apartment renters want a security system that has an easy DIY installation with wireless equipment that can go with them when they move. The systems above all offer this at various price and commitment requirements. For more specific guidance on apartments, don’t miss our guide on apartment home security systems.
Keep in mind that homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be burglarized. So you’re doing the right thing by researching the best one for your home. You can read more crime statistics here.
Do you feel more comfortable making a home security decision now?
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