Best Home Security Systems for Apartments in 2020

Landlords keep their homes safe, but so do the tenants. They are the ones who live in the apartment, after all. When it comes to this type of housing, there are certain special features to take into account. Keep on reading this guide to find out more about the best security systems for apartments.

Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter - Editorial Staff

Updated: February 20, 2020

What We Did to Find the Best

To write down this guide, we gauged each provider that had a good reputation on the web. These systems made for apartments can be with or without a contract. After this, we tried each of them to see how they worked. Let’s take a look at some of the metrics we used below. We also took into account a 10 balls system and an average score to rate the best ones.

  • Features

    0-10

    monitoring period, 24/7 alerts, disaster protection etc.

  • Support

    0-10

    telephone, email, chat, and other channels

  • Price

    0-10

    monthly fee, money-back, trial period

  • Ease of Use

    0-10

    installation, maintenance, service support

  • Trust Score

    0-10

    BBB.org and Trustpilot (positive, negative reviews)

1. Vivint: Live Safe and Sound

Total Score 9.6/10

Vivint Main
Vivint Camera
Vivint Device Control
  • Features & Equipment10/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score9/10
BBB Rating B+
Best for Simplicity

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

NO

Vivint has a complete catalog with all the latest technology. It includes doorbell cameras, outdoor and indoor cams, smart locks, thermostats, and even garage door control. This is coupled with 24/7 video recording and monitoring. So, with all of this, the house is sure to be safe from most dangers. What is more, some of its packages also include pro setup, which can be of great help for those who are not very handy with technology.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Amazon’s Alexa
  • Supports Google Home
  • Powerful app with a wide range
  • Complete hub
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Pro installation available
  • Complete catalog

Cons:

  • No DIY installation
  • Needs a technician
  • A bit pricey

Keeping an eye on the house with Vivint is easy. It offers three ways to see the videos and set up and change the settings of the system. The first one is the most popular app: the smartphone one. They take pride in this one in particular, as it has a rating of 4.5 stars. This means that users find it friendly, easy to use, and complete. Then, the second monitoring tool the hub. It is installed in one part of the house, and from there, the users can change all the aspects that they consider necessary at the same time as they get a live feed of all the cams.

Finally, those who want simplicity will also be happy to know that Vivint’s equipment is fully compatible with Google Home and Alexa. In this way, they will be able to control everything just with their voices.


2. SimpliSafe: Taking Care of Security for Decades

Total Score 9.5/10

SimpliSafe Main
SimpliSafe Camera
SimpliSafe Security Camera
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Self-Sufficient Families

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

The SimpliSafe system focuses on the safety of homes. The idea behind the company is for the monitor to be simple. So, any user will be able to set up the alarm camera on their own. Plus, their premise is “no contracts”. They charge a monthly fee for the wireless system. But clients are not obliged to pay for it for a fixed period of time. Also, each online review counts to understand the user experience of each client, even if they are not professional. All in all, SimpliSafe works with a great video technology that allows anyone to just keep an eye on video footage for as long as they want.

Pros:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Police dispatch included
  • New and safer keypad
  • HD view
  • Power outage protection
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • Wireless connection for infrared devices

Cons:

  • Equipment is pricey
  • Premium packs are not included
  • Add-ons are hard to find

All in all, Simplisafe includes a lot of perks within the package. For example, clients will not only receive a camera but a safe keypad with direct police contact. If thieves attempt to remove the pad from the wall, they will get an immediate ping. Plus, it not only protects the apartment from intruders. It also prevents damage from fires and floods.

The backlit keys are great for those who come back home at night. They won’t have to use a flashlight to see what they are doing. And the entry devices are very hard to spot. So, if intruders try to break into one’s house, they will never notice the system. All in all, SimpliSafe has personalized alarms. With just one click, people can get the pings that they want for free.


3. Brinks: Flexible and Complete

Total Score 9.2/10

Brinks Main
Brinks Do-It-Yourself
Brinks Home Security
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score9.5/10
BBB Rating A
Best for Power users

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Brinks is an alarm monitoring system that offers protection 24/7 together with smart home features to make life easier. Their team assesses the situation every time something triggers the alarm. If necessary, they will get in touch with emergencies. And if it was a false alarm, they will notify the client so that he can have peace of mind. This system is totally flexible, as it can either be installed by a pro or by the user.

Pros:

  • 24/7 monitoring
  • 2 years warranty
  • 30 days money-back guarantee
  • Pro installation available
  • Long-lasting batteries
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Complete catalog

Cons:

  • Customer care available for limited hours
  • No email option available
  • They may be slow to answer correspondence

To give their clients some peace of mind, the people at Brinks took two main measures. First, they offer a 2 years warranty. This means that they will fix or replace any product that breaks during that time. Then, they also promise to give back the money if the client is not satisfied with the service for any reason during the first 30 days.

Their catalog includes all the latest products in the market, from smart locks to thermostats, cams, and lights. In this way, not only can one feel safe, but they can also make life at home easier thanks to the automation. Then, these products can be controlled from far away thanks to the many apps that Brinks is compatible with, like Alexa and Google Home.


4. Abode: Premium and Worth It

Total Score 9.2/10

Abode Main
Abode Security Device
Abode Cameras
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.5/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
BBB Rating B+
Best for Self-Monitoring

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

Abode is a home security system that stands out for its flexibility in terms of plan and pricing. Each of them has different characteristics that suit varied audiences. All of their packages include all-day monitoring together with an app to control what goes on at the house. Some of their items are also related to automating daily chores, like controlling the thermostat or locking the doors. It is also compatible with third-party apps, like FTT, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.

Pros:

  • All-day Wireless monitoring
  • Custom alerts for mobile devices
  • Excellent reviews online
  • Garage door compatibility
  • Away arming and disarming
  • The on-demand short term monitoring
  • Smart home professional integration

Cons:

  • Good customer support is only available to premium plans
  • Lifetime warranty only for top plans
  • Limited 4g cellular backup

This system is among the best for those who are willing to pay the premium plan. Though their monitoring team is available 24/7, this is not so for their customer care. The ones who want to get answers to their questions and problems fast should pay for the priciest plan. The same happens with many of their top features, like 4g monitoring and the lifetime warranty.

Yet, the good thing is that all of them include some type of warranty. And if customers want to upgrade their package, they can do so instantly. The same happens if they want to change their current plan for a cheaper one. All of the options also give the possibility to arm and disarm the alarm from far away. This comes really in handy for those who want to get into their house quick.


5. Frontpoint: Safe Apartments for a Low Cost

Total Score 9.2/10

FrontPoint Main
FrontPoint Safe Home Everyday
FrontPoint Safe Home Select
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.5/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score9.5/10
BBB Rating B
Best for Home Monitoring

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

Frontpoint’s main feature is that it contains no wires. This is very convenient for tenants. And for every person who is not very sure of how to set up their system. So, any buyer who is not tech-savvy will be able to use the system anyway. The door sensor, for example, has a magnet. In this way, the client just needs to unpack and place the device on the door. That’s it to have it running in a very short time.

Pros:

  • Completely Wireless
  • Waterproof for best protection
  • No tools required to install
  • No complicated manuals
  • Top support team
  • New night view for video incorporated
  • The professional range for and open width

Cons:

  • Pricey service
  • No info about their warranty
  • The battery runs out quickly

Frontpoint is a camera created to function well. To ensure its quality, many specialists have tested its quality. In addition, checkups by the tech team occur all the time. At least once a day, employees will make sure the device is working as it should. Also, most of the clients are happy with the support they got. They claim that the customer care team always answer in time. And they give advice on the best products to buy.

Those who don’t have the time to monitor what is going on in their property on their own should not worry. They can make use of the monitoring that the service offers. It can last for a day, night, or even for 24 hours straight. It will all come down to the budget the client has and how much they want to spend.


6. ADT: More Than 100 Years of Experience

Total Score 9.2/10

ADT Main
ADT Features
ADT Features
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score8.5/10
BBB Rating C+
Best for Сommon Security

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

From home automation to emergency alarms, ADT has services for anyone in need. Something that makes ADT different from other cams is their health protection. For example, carbon detectors will take care of people using heating or gas stoves. Also, their 6-month guarantee covers not only the equipment but also the monitoring and set-up of the products. Though the warranty is a bit short and limited, it is convenient in other terms.

Pros:

  • Custom alerts
  • Z-technology
  • Recordings for 24 hours
  • Live footage
  • Service for indoors and outdoors
  • Smoke detector
  • Flood protection

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Limited guarantee
  • Slow customer support

Another thing that will leave owners at ease is the live stream spec. Clients should know that security devices can connect with tablets or mobile phones if necessary. Then, the person can take a look at everything that is happening in their property using the phone. And those who want to get custom alerts can do so.

Apart from thefts and intruders, ADT can protect apartments and houses from natural disasters. For example, floods and fires will not be issues anymore when hiring this provider. One of the negative points is the installation, though. The product will only work if professionals install them. So, maybe tenants will need to speak to the landlords before buying this equipment.


#7. Ring: Get True Professional Support

Total Score 8.9/10

Ring Main
Ring Alarm Protection
Ring For Apartments
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use9.010
  • Trust Score9.0/10
ring-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating A
Best for Lifetime protection

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

The setup process is even simpler than for other products. Customers just have to plug the device in, and it will start running! The ones who want to can also buy the Stick up cam, a versatile camera that can fit anywhere. And the best part is that it won’t be seen by intruders. The system also includes outdoor devices with lights. People who come home from work at night will see their way.

Pros:

  • Lights for outdoor cams
  • Live-view
  • Motion detection with heat
  • Two-way talk feature
  • Very affordable fees
  • Connection with phone or tablet
  • Easy integration with Alexa

Cons:

  • Hardwires are necessary
  • Not weatherproof
  • Only premium recordings

Ring’s two-way talk allows owners to speak to other people present in the apartment. With pushing a simple button, this perk is enabled. The lifetime theft warranty is great for anyone at risk. Such a thing means that, if the cam gets stolen, the company will give back a new device for free.

What is more, 24/7 monitoring is very cheap. For only $3 per month, clients can access footage and keep it there for more than 60 days. Finally, the ones who want can connect it to Alexa. This way, they can control the system from anywhere they are and keep their home secure.


8. Blink: Forget About False Positives

Total Score 8.8/10

Blink Main
Blink Camera
Blink Mobile App
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support8.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
blink-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating B+
Best for Environmental Protection

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

The Blink camera can work inside or outside if necessary. It includes many perks for clients that range from simple cameras to audio and cloud storage. It’s great for anxious people who want to monitor everything that happens at all times. On top of this, the set-up process is very easy, and clients do not need any special tools. And customers will get to choose the alerts they want to get. This way, no false positives will occur.

Pros:

  • Cloud Storage
  • 2- way audio
  • 2-year warranty
  • Cheap add-on for customers
  • Day and night cover
  • 1080 HD

Cons:

  • Limited Wireless system
  • No add-ons
  • Customer support is slow

The 2-way audio perk is also very useful for the people who need to talk to other family members. For example, it might be the case that children come back home from school, and parents need to say something to them before they enter the house. That is possible by using the Blink system.

Also, the lack of contracts is a great perk for the ones who don’t need it. Or if they cannot afford it. And if any client wants to monitor or protect their balcony, they can place the Blink camera on the outside. This device has protection against bad weather, like rain or snow.


9. Scout: Monitor with a Pro

Total Score 8.7/10

Scout Main
Scout Door Panel
Scout Alarm
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score8.5/10
scout-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating B-
Best for Travelers

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This system requires no commitment, as there are no contracts, and the equipment installed superficially. This is to say that it is not hardwired into the house. What is more, it gives clients complete freedom regarding where to use the system. This is in the sense that it can be controlled and self-monitored from anywhere in the world. Also, not only does it have its own app, but it is also compatible with third parties, like Alexa, IFTTT, Google Assistant.

Pros:

  • Automation available
  • Compatible with other apps
  • Has an app of its own
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Easy setup
  • No contract
  • Arming and disarming is simple

Cons:

  • Slow customer support
  • Rather pricey plans
  • No 24/7 monitoring for the basic plan

Scout offers a wide catalog of devices. The most important of all is the hub. It is the brains of the equipment, as from there users control the whole system. It has to be plugged into the Internet to work well. But once this is done, it will connect seamlessly with the app and the system.

Speaking of which, the detectors can be placed in many entries, making it easy to keep an eye on the areas that products usually have problems reaching. They work together with the door panel. This tool allows users to activate and deactivate the alarm every time they go into the house and leave it. Then, the access items are the ones that are going to help users watch who gets close to home. Any window or door can be monitored with this piece of equipment.


10. Wink: Do It Yourself Philosophy

Total Score 8.7/10

Wink Main
Wink Smarter Home
Wink Door Lock
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support8.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.0/10
  • Trust Score8.5/10
BBB Rating B+
Best for Self-starters

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This security system is quite innovative in the area of home automation. Most of the brands tend to create devices and apps that work only with other products that belong to the same ecosystem. But this is not the case. They want to integrate the best items from each company. So, one can use the LED lights by Philips and a thermostat by Nest, all from the same app. Of course, automation is not all that there is. Wink also offers one of the top surveillance equipment in the market.

Pros:

  • Works with many brands
  • DIY installation
  • Includes a freehub for better control
  • In-built sirens
  • Well-designed app
  • Saving tool for batteries
  • No hidden fees

Cons:

  • No pro setup available
  • No cams
  • Could offer more equipment

As Wink integrates a lot of other brands’ equipment, its own is a bit lacking. They have entry sensors and a top-notch hub with all the latest features. Connectivity and safety will not be a problem. Yet, they have no cameras to offer. This may be so because it is possible to use the ones made by other providers. Yet, it would be nice to have a native option that was designed specifically for this system, especially since that is such an important part of the whole.

One of the features that make this provider stand out is its saving tool. It works by keeping an eye on how much one spends in heating and electricity through the devices that are connected to the system. In this way, one can save more on bills.


Best Home Security Systems for Apartments (Pricing & Features)

So, all the cameras mentioned above have their pros and cons. Benefits outweigh the cons, but below, readers can find a table of comparison that will help them make an important decision for their safety.

Provider Total Score Monthly Price BBB Rating DIY instal Trial Period Warranty Upfront cost Type of sensors Keypad 24/7 monitoring Add-ons Installation Batteries Base Station Cloud Storage HD Filming Works with Alexa Best for
1. Vivint 9.6/10 Custom B+ No No No Custom Entry and Motion Yes Yes Yes Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Those who like it simple
2. SimpliSafe 9.5/10 $14.99 A+ Yes No 3 years $266 Entry and Motion Yes Yes Yes DIY Included Included No Yes No Self-Sufficient families
3. Brinks 9.2/10 Custom A Yes 30 days 2 years Custom Entry and Motion No Yes Yes DIY and Pro Included No No Yes Yes Power users
4. Abode 9.2/10 $3.33 B+ Yes No Lifetime $179 Entry and Motion No Yes Yes DIY Included No Yes Yes Yes Those with a large budget
5. Frontpoint 9.2/10 Custom B Yes No 1 year $99 Motion and infrared Yes Yes Yes DIY Included No No Yes Yes Families who want to film with detail.
6. ADT 9.2/10 Custom C+ Yes No 6 months $90 Motion and infrared Yes Yes Yes Pro and DIY Included No No Yes No Traditional people
7. Ring 8.9/10 $3 A Yes No Lifetime for theft $199 Motion No Yes Yes DIY Not included No Yes No Yes Those who need 24-hour protection
8. Blink 8.8/10 No B+ Yes No 2 years $75 Motion No No No DIY Not included No Yes Yes Yes Lifetime protection
9. Scout 8.7/10 $9.99 B- Yes No No Custom Entry and motion Yes Yes Yes DIY Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Travelers
10. Wink 8.7/10 No B+ Yes No No Custom Door/Window Sensor, Motion Sensor No No Yes DIY Yes Yes No No Yes Self-starters

Responsibility of Renters and Owners

At times, it’s hard to find security systems for apartments. Most of them are in the market for houses with yards and garages. Let’s examine below the results for both renters and owners.

For Renters

The first thing these clients have to find out is the building’s policy. Do they allow for equipment inside the premises? Do they need to contact other renters for permission? Once they are sure about this, the next step is deciding on the product. The wise choice is to look for a cam that does not need tools or hard set-up.

For Owners

While this is about home security systems for renters, owners also have their job to do. For example, they have to make sure they are not liable for any issue or error their tenant makes. The only way to do this is to speak to a lawyer or a friend who knows a lot about these topics

Best Features of Apartment Home Security Systems to Help You Choose

As stated above, there are many specs that are important to consider. An apartment security system needs to be set up and installed to function well. Let’s see a list of each feature to get how they work in detail.

DIY: Install Them Without Help

Having to call a tech is an issue most of the time. Owners will need to stay at their place and wait for them to come. On top of that, devices that do not require tools or specialists are great for apartments. No drills or annoying sounds will pop up.

Entryway Sensors: to Keep Doors Safe

Any person who lives in a first floor knows it’s a bit dangerous. So, the entryway sensors are great for security. People can simply put them indoors or windows without much effort. If any thug appears in one’s place, then the alarm will be set. And the high pitch of the sound will scare them off.

Remote Control: for More Comfort

One can control the whole security without standing up. Anyone can take advantage of these hand-free perks using a remote control. For example, people can turn on or off the alarms, so they ring when an intruder appears using the control’s buttons.

Wireless Connections: Safety from Afar

Today, everyone has a smartphone with them at all times. Such a thing allows to be connected and control other devices from a distance. Plus, there are many landlords who do not want wires in their property. So, tenants will find devices with WiFi connection an asset.

Mobile Alerts: Be Connected at All Times

Another perk that functions with WiFi. Mobile alerts let owners monitor their property anytime and anywhere they are. They will get pings and alerts when, for example, an unexpected person enters their apartment. Or if fire consumes the place. It all comes down to the settings they decide on.

24/7 Monitoring: Don’t Miss a Thing

It’s true that buyers may decide to monitor what is going on by themselves. Meaning they do not use any help by pros. Yet, most common people have to work or have other duties. To prevent strange things from happening, they can hire companies to do it for them.

Motion Detectors: Behind Every Movement

Those who own a large house with children and pets will benefit from motion detectors. Especially the ones that make a difference between pets and persons. Why? Because, if not, they will get false positives all the time. So, this type of sensor will detect whenever a human being is moving and inform the owner.

Expandable: Add More Devices

Most of the devices mentioned in this review allow for add-ons. What does this mean? That, if the perks included in the systems they bought are not enough, buyers can always add more. This ranges from cameras to sensors, remote controls, and more cloud storage.

Panic Buttons & Pendants for the Most Needy

Apart from traditional devices, these systems also include some extras. Those include panic buttons to talk to the police in a direct way. As soon as the person pushes the button, the police are alerted and take action. On the other hand, pendants have to do with health emergencies.

Decide on the Best Home Security Systems for Apartments: Not so Easy as it Seems

As seen before, choosing good security systems for apartments is not as easy as it seems. There are many factors to consider. These range from price and specs to contract, batteries, and reviews online. Let’s take a look at some of the most important features that can help any client choose right.

1. Equipment

The major part of any system. One should ask him or herself questions about how many cams they need, for example. Is it necessary to have doorbell sensors? Keypads? Base stations? Good sound and mics? WiFi connection and recording? With that info in mind, it’s then possible to decide on the best product for one’s needs.

2. Contracts’ Details

Another key aspect. Some providers, for instance, only ask for a fee paid monthly. Such a thing means that clients only pay for the services they use. Others ask for long-term contracts that range from months to years. Be careful when buying.

3. Reviews

Online reviews are precious to any future buyer. Reading those texts is crucial to understand how the product or service works truly. Distrust those companies that only show positive reviews. That’s not real, as any business, no matter how good, is prone to having some issues. Clients should use those comments in their favor.

4. Customer Service

A crucial element to consider when one has an issue with the product or service. But customer care teams are not only related to problems. Instead, these employees also take care of any doubts or questions that may pop up before the purchase. Efficient teams, then, always make a difference. Users will give them a good review.

5. Affordable Pricing

Last but not least, money is always important when it comes to buying items. A camera can be great, but if the pricing is too high, one’s pocket won’t be able to afford it. As seen above, there are plenty of options in the market. Buyers do not need to lose all their savings to buy a security system, then.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can You Put a Security System in an Apartment?

    Yes, any person can do it as long as they are inside the place. It is not legal to put cameras in common spaces. If that’s the case, people have to ask for permission, not only of the owner. But also of all the rest of the persons living within the building. Still, those who want to protect their homes from the inside and review it can do so by putting cameras or sensors wherever they prefer.

  • Can a Tenant Install a Security Camera Inside?

    Yes, as long as the cams do not break the walls or ruin the building. If that is the case, then tenants have to ask landlords for their permission to install a product. Yet, today there are a lot of products that do not need tools or difficult processes to start working. Some are the examples above. The only thing people have to do when they leave is to take the cam with themselves.

  • Does ADT Work for Apartments?

    Yes, the company is very big and has plenty of options, according to the reviews. From great doorbells to top-notch motion sensors and easy to set up cameras, ADT has it all. On the grey side, the cost is quite high. Clients will have to pay not only for the equipment but also for a monthly fee. Still, the service is top-notch, and buyers are paying for good quality.

  • Is it Illegal to Put Cameras in Apartments?

    Not really. But it is true that renters have to reach an agreement with the owners of the apartments before taking measures. So, the best security systems for apartment renters are the ones with an easy set-up process. These people will not have to use tools or modify the building in any way.

  • How Can I Secure My Apartment?

    There are many ways to do this: the reviews say. From installing bars to hiring private security, the options are endless. Yet, the most convenient and the least expensive one is buying security systems for apartments. Putting bars in windows, for example, requires permission, tools, and a lot of time. Instead, using a camera with magnets and batteries require very little investment, effort, and money.

Choose the Best Option for Your Apartment

The most appropriate home security systems for renters are here on this list. From very big brands to smaller but great all the same, clients have it all. They can choose, depending on many factors. Some of them are related to the price, but other things are also crucial. For example, the type of setup, the devices included, and more. No matter which one they prefer, it is clear that every system is worth the time, effort, and money.


Jerry Carter

Editorial Staff

Jerry Carter is an experienced writer and has a passion for content development for varied projects. Jerry had been studying law at university when he realized that only writing could satisfy his adventurist spirit and his desire for knowledge. As a person with many unusual hobbies, he is also interested in security and modern technology.


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