Best Home Security Systems for Renters

We tested, mystery shopped, did extensive research, and grilled security brand reps to select the top five security systems for renters.
Best overall
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
$14.99/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contract required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Base equipment: $229
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Limited home automation
High-end pick
Frontpoint
Frontpoint
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$44.99/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contract required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Base equipment: $319*
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Great home automation
Best for apartments
Cove
Cove
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$15/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No contract required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Base equipment: $229
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Limited home automation

*or $0 due up-front with consumer financing

Of all the renter-friendly home security systems we looked at, SimpliSafe had all the amenities we wanted.?

SimpliSafe is low cost, low commitment, and won’t put any holes in your wall. The apartment security system is expandable and easy to take with you when your lease is up too. And with devices like indoor cameras, smart doorbells, and environmental sensors, even your landlord will be on board.

Compare home security for apartments

Best overall High-end pick Best for apartments Budget pick Best home automation
Brand
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
FrontpointFrontpoint
CoveCove
RingRing
AbodeAbode
Professional monitoring starting at

$14.99

$44.99

$15.00

$10.00

$20.00

Lowest equipment price

$229.00

$319.00*

$229.00

$199.00?

$229.00

Financing available
Icon No  Light

No

Icon Yes  Light

Yes

Icon Yes  Light

Yes

Icon Yes  Light

Yes

Icon Yes  Light

Yes

Self-monitoring option
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Learn more

*or $0 due up-front with consumer financing. Amazon.com prices as of 2/11/2021, 4:44 p.m. MST. See full disclaimer.

Like renters, security systems have to move around sometimes—all of our picks are free of contracts and can move with you whenever your lease is up next. These DIY systems cost under $50 per month, and many have flexible up-front equipment purchasing options so they can fit your budget.

Light Bulb
Pay up front or finance?

Is the security system you want a little pricey? No need to resort to a ramen-based budget.

Security companies can finance your equipment for $0 down through in-house or third-party platforms. But you may be subject to higher monitoring fees or a contract.

It’s a worthy deal if you need a home security system for a large rental pronto. But it could leave you with hefty fees if you cancel early.

Apartment home security reviews

1. SimpliSafe: Best overall

Best Overall
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • SimpliSafe
  • Starts at $14.99/mo
  • Pros
    Mobile app w/upgrade
  • Pros
    Indoor & doorbell cameras
  • Pros
    Alexa & Google Assistant compatibility

SimpliSafe is a great fit for renters because it’s affordable, low commitment, and flexible. Professional monitoring costs less than a large pizza and won’t tie you down with contracts (you already have a lease to deal with). Its customizable equipment packages let you add and subtract equipment as you move from rental to rental. And its DIY installation makes it easy to set up every time.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No long-term contracts
Pro Bullet Low monthly monitoring fee
Pro Bullet Subtle, stylish equipment
Pro Bullet Custom package options
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited home automation
Con Bullet No outdoor cameras

SimpliSafe also has a month-to-month, cancel-anytime monitoring policy. Contracts aren’t necessary for this service and you can monitor your system from your phone alongside the pros with the higher tier monitoring plan. SimpliSafe’s two monitoring options cost around $15 or $25 a month.

For many renters, moving day is just part of the circle of life. So you’ll want a security system that works with every new home. SimpliSafe lets you customize your system or swap out devices in equipment packages.?

So if you move into a new place with a sliding glass door, you can add a door and window sensor to pair it. Found a cute rental home and want to add a doorbell camera or smart lock? No problem. SimpliSafe can morph to fit your new apartment building, condo, townhouse, or home with simple installation each time.?

Read more in our SimpliSafe review about the company’s pricing, equipment, and policies.

2. Frontpoint: High-end pick

High-end pick
Frontpoint
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Starts at $44.99/mo
  • Pros
    Mobile app w/base plan
  • Pros
    Indoor, outdoor, & doorbell cameras
  • Pros
    Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave, proprietary smart home

Frontpoint combines home security with home automation seamlessly. These goodies make up for its steep price: a free mobile app, solid HD camera options, pre-programmed software, and broad compatibility with tech you already have like Amazon Echo or Google Home.?

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet $0-down option
Pro Bullet No-contract option
Pro Bullet Smart home devices available
Pro Bullet Mobile app in all plans
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High monthly monitoring fees

Unlike SimpliSafe, Frontpoint includes its mobile app with the price of monthly monitoring. Your apartment security system will send you alerts if it senses something wrong, and you can check the home security camera feed directly from your phone (anywhere that there’s a cell signal).?

Cameras and smart home

Frontpoint’s equipment packages have all the DIY home security hits like motion detectors, door and window sensors, and a smart hub to connect it all together.?

The company also has four impressive home security cameras that stream in HD. So you can keep an eye on your pets (and mini fridge) while you’re away. If you have a condo or small rental house, you can opt for the outdoor cam or doorbell camera that is easy to install without professional help.?

Frontpoint also integrates with tons of home automation security products:

  • Smart bulbs
  • Smart plugs
  • Smart locks
  • Amazon Echo integration
  • Google Home integration
  • Z-Wave devices

Frontpoint pricing and financing

But all these bells and whistles don’t come cheap. Equipment prices start just above $300 with DIY system monitoring prices beginning at $44.99 per month (or $50 if you want video). You can finance the system for $0, but you’ll need to sign a contract to complete the deal.?

Learn more about monitoring plans and equipment in our full Frontpoint review.

3. Cove: Best for apartments

Best for apartments
Cove
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Starts at $15/mo
  • Pros
    Mobile app w/upgrade
  • Pros
    Indoor camera
  • Pros
    Alexa & Google Assistant compatibility

Just like apartments, there are no two Cove systems that are exactly alike. Cove’s systems are tailor-made to fit uniquely shaped rentals or small spaces so you can keep an eye on your pets (and stuff) while you’re away.?

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Monitoring starts at $15/mo.
Pro Bullet Custom systems
Pro Bullet Flexible payment options
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited home automation

To create your system, Cove gives you a quick quiz to figure out what devices work best for you. None of the sensors are expensive, but they are priced individually, so it’s best for smaller apartments and studios. Once you get your results, the site gives you the option to add and subtract devices too.?

Light Bulb
Building a system

As a renter myself, I was curious about Cove’s custom quiz to build a system. In lieu of any standard packages, Cove’s website paired me with all this for $413.00:?

  • Cove Touch Alarm Panel
  • 1 Door and window sensor
  • 1 Motion detector
  • 1 Carbon monoxide detector
  • 1 Smoke alarm
  • 1 Security remote
  • 1 Yi indoor camera

Price reflects results from a custom quiz taken on 11/24/2020.

Along with the building blocks of a home security system like a control panel, door sensor, and motion detector, Cove offers hazard detectors for dangers like smoke and carbon monoxide.?

You can pay a lump sum up front for all your equipment and get a discounted monthly monitoring rate. Or you can skip the equipment payment and pay a little more for monitoring each month. Either way, you can cancel anytime—free of penalty.

Cove has a good range of alarm system equipment; we just wish they had some better home automation options. Check out our full Cove review to learn more about the security system.

4. Ring: Budget pick

Budget pick
Ring
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
  • Starts at $10/mo
  • Pros
    Mobile app w/free plan
  • Pros
    Indoor, outdoor, & doorbell cameras
  • Pros
    Alexa, Z-Wave, & proprietary smart home compatibility

You won’t need three months’ salary for this ring. Starting under $200 for equipment and $10 per month, Ring Alarm is one of the cheapest home security systems out there.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Professional monitoring starts at $10/mo.
Pro Bullet Battery-powered video doorbells
Pro Bullet Alexa compatibility
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Confusing keypad
Con Bullet Controversy with Neighbors App

Ring equipment options

The 5 five-piece alarm kit comes with standard sensors, a base station, and range extender. You can also add sensors for homes with multiple entrances like sliding glass doors or ground floor windows.

Ring has a lot of stand-alone equipment to offer too. If you rent a house with a shed, consider adding one of the Ring floodlight cameras to catch activity in the dark. Ring is also known for its suite of video doorbells.?

Ring optional pro monitoring

At $10 a month or $100 a year, Ring’s no-contract professional monitoring is one of the most affordable monitoring options out there. But if it’s hard to swing a monthly expense, you can switch monitoring on and off as needed.

Ring installation

For the most part, Ring is an easy system to use and install. But during our testing, we ran into some confusion with the keypad. And if you’re leaving your Ring Alarm for the next tenant, you’ll need to factory-reset all your devices (we found out the hard way).?

We have more about this home security system in our Ring Alarm review. We also feature it as a top pick in our cheap home security review.??

Bell
Ring Neighbors App controversy

The Ring Neighbors app was designed as a virtual neighborhood-watch tool.

But it comes with some concerns over too much police surveillance and magnifying users' implicit bias.

Check out our video on YouTube to learn more about Ring, Privacy, and the Police. We also have a Ring FAQ page.?

We have more about this home security system in our Ring Alarm review. We also feature it as a top pick in our cheap home security review.??

5. Abode: Best home automation

Best home automation
Abode
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • Starts at $20/mo
  • Pros
    Mobile app w/free plan
  • Pros
    Indoor & outdoor cameras
  • Pros
    Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, Z-Wave, Zigbee, & proprietary smart home compatibility

Abode makes home automation more accessible for renters. It works with a handful of third-party smart products like ecobee, Kwikset, Yale, and Z-Wave devices. And in addition to being compatible with Google Home and Amazon Echo, Apple Homekit users can work with Abode too.?

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Strong home automation capabilities
Pro Bullet Affordable professional monitoring
Pro Bullet Compatible with third-party products
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Fee for self-monitoring
Con Bullet Limited app ability

Abode smart home options

Abode’s CUE program connects with so many devices that we had to write an entirely new article to list them all. If you have other smart products like light bulbs or smart plugs, you can link them to your Abode system.?

You can create chain reactions to turn on the lights when the door opens or activate video if the security camera senses activity from the motion detector. Like any smart home system, the possibilities are limited only by the products you have and your creativity.?

Monitoring your Abode system

Abode offers an option for self-monitoring for $6 per month. But we recommend the professional monitoring for $20 per month. The price is half that of top systems like Frontpoint but with the same quick response for emergencies.

Abode security equipment

Abode has two affordable systems for renters and owners alike. We’re personally fans of the Iota system that has a multi-talented base station. The Iota station comes with a built-in security camera and motion detector, perfect for renters with limited space.?

Both the Iota and the Smart Security package come with a contact sensor for your front door or main window (your choice), and you can add sensors with your package at checkout if you need more.?

Our full Abode review goes into more details about the system.?

More brands we considered

Scout

More options
Scout
Scout
Starts at
$19.99
/mo
Pro Bullet Mobile app w/base plan
Pro Bullet Indoor & doorbell cameras
Pro Bullet Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, & Z-Wave, Zigbee smart home

For its price and the equipment you get, Scout is a good choice for small rentals like apartments and condos. The basic plan includes motion sensors, a smart hub, and key fobs.?

It misses the mark on home automation features like smart doorbells, but it’s the only system we encountered with RFID stickers to keep track of valuables.

At just over $200, Scout’s equipment package aligns with other apartment security systems like SimpliSafe. But professional monitoring from Scout costs $20/month. Or you can opt for self monitoring at $10.?

Our Scout review has more details.?

Wyze

More options
WYZE
Wyze
Pro Bullet Mobile app included
Pro Bullet Indoor, outdoor, & doorbell cameras
Pro Bullet Alexa, Google Assistant, & proprietary smart home compatibility
Con Bullet No professional monitoring

For those tiny apartments, single-room renters, or dorm-dwellers, Wyze is a great camera-only option. Wyze’s standalone devices can keep snooping roommates out of your stuff or solve the mystery of “who stole the last piece of pizza.” There’s no monthly fee—just $25 for a security camera.?

Wyze Sense was previously the company’s system but isn’t available anymore. But we predict that they have some improvements to announce next year. Its site announces professional monitoring coming in 2021.?

Final word: SimpliSafe is for renters of all types

SimpliSafe checks all the boxes for us by offering quality home security basics without high-stakes commitment. Whatever type of rental you’re in, there’s an equipment package for your home.

Not sold on SimpliSafe? Our other picks are also contract-free:

  • Frontpoint makes high-end equipment and smart home integration accessible for renters who don’t want to leave a permanent mark.
  • Cove’s custom systems mean you buy only what you need for your home.
  • Ring is inexpensive and has tons of camera options to keep an eye on things while you’re away.
  • Abode marries smart home and DIY home security for nearly unlimited scenarios.

FAQ

How can I protect my rental on a budget?

Apartment security for renters doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Work with your landlord to install deadbolts or change the locks. And renters insurance can reimburse you if something happens to your property while renting for under $20 per month.?

Security systems can be cheap too. Even if you rent a single room and have roommates, standalone equipment from companies like Kangaroo or Wyze can keep your rental safe without the extra fees.?

Can I get a discount on my renters insurance for having a security system?

Yes! It depends on your insurance company, but some like?Farmer’s?and?Allstate?offer up to 15% off for having security or safety devices in your rental.1

Do I need to sign a contract for a security system?

While there are systems with contracts, a handful of great systems don’t require any long-term commitment. Alarm systems like SimpliSafe and Cove, for example, let you pay month to month for professional monitoring.

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

Because the structures are different, an apartment security system doesn’t need as many outdoor devices like outdoor cameras or lights.?

For homes, make sure your ground floor is covered. The main entrance and any windows or doors at street level will need sensors to watch for threats.?

Our approach

The best home security system for renters should be affordable, portable, and non-invasive. We looked for DIY home security systems that cost under $50 per month with security features and devices you can take with you. Good news: all the systems on our list meet this criteria.

Monthly monitoring fees and equipment packages were part of the equation too. And for apartment dwellers, we focused on indoor equipment rather than outdoor cameras and video doorbells. (though we still included systems with these devices.)

Check out our methodology page to learn more about how we approached this and all our reviews on home security systems.?


Disclaimer

Amazon.com list price as of 2/11/2021 4:44 p.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy.