Best Apartment Security Systems in 2023

Installing home security systems can be tough if you live on rent. Many professional and DIY installations require drilling into the doorframes or walls, and landlords aren’t usually keen on allowing this. You’d be glad to know that there are home security options out there for renters looking for the best apartment security systems. 

To put together our list of the best home security systems for renters, we tested every major security system on the market, from professionally installed systems to DIY ones. In general, the professional systems don’t make much sense for renters because they tend to rely on permanent fixtures and sometimes come with contracts that last longer than a lease. The better picks for home security systems for a rental property are going to be cheaper, DIY products. Here are the best systems for the job.

Read more: 7 Home Security Tips for Apartment Dwellers

Best Apartment Security Systems

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Wyze

Installation DIY installationContract Required NoVoice Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantAdditional Fees 24/7 professional monitoring fee, cloud storage feeService Bundles N/A

Wyze’s home security system is ridiculously cheap — even after the price bumps many of its products saw in early 2021. The company’s home monitoring system costs about $100 and comes with two door/window sensors, a motion detector, a keypad and a base station with a built-in siren — plenty of devices for an apartment.

ring-door-view-cam-26
Chris Monroe/CNET

Installation DIY installationContract Required NoVoice Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantAdditional Fees 24/7 professional monitoring fee, recording feesService Bundles N/A

Ring has a ton of baggage, but its five-piece home security system is a solid midrange DIY security option for renters. It comes with a door/window sensor, a motion sensor, a keypad, a range extender and a base station. While it’s not as good as its Ring Alarm Pro system, many renters don’t need a new router — let alone a mesh Wi-Fi system.

simplisafe-cam
Chris Monroe/CNET

Installation DIY installationContract Required NoVoice Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantAdditional Fees 24/7 professional monitoring fee, storage feeService Bundles N/A

SimpliSafe is our favorite DIY home security system for renters for several reasons: it’s reliable, well-priced and has no significant weaknesses (that’s right, you have cell backup here, unlike the two systems above). That said, SimpliSafe does have one shortcoming for renters in particular: its video doorbell is wired-only. For many renters without doorbell wiring (or without permission to fiddle with it), that takes the video doorbell off the table.

Security systems for renters compared

Wyze Home Monitoring Ring Alarm (5-piece) SimpliSafe (8-piece)
Price $100 $150 $230
24/7 professional monitoring fees $10 $20 $18
System hardware 2 door/window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 keypad, 1 base station with built-in siren 1 door/window sensor, 1 motion sensor, 1 keypad, 1 range extender, 1 base station 1 base station, 1 keypad, 4 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 panic button
Setup DIY installation DIY installation DIY installation
Extra features 24/7 professional monitoring, remote alerts, false alarm prevention, no long-term contracts, Alexa and smart home integration Mobile notifications and remote alerts, integrates with Alexa and other Ring products Cell backup, 24/7 professional monitoring service, customizable system, Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, 24-hour battery
Review score 8.4 7.5 8.5

How we test home security systems

For each system we test, we install it ourselves just as you would at home, or we have an installer come set it up in the case of professional systems like ADT and Comcast Xfinity. Once it’s installed, we spend at least a week testing the system and all the device-by-device features. Our ranking puts a priority on value, but also takes into strong consideration the quality of hardware, service and general user experience — including how easy it was to set up and the frequency of false alarms. For more robust information on any of the recommended security systems above, please read the full reviews.

If you want to read more about our review process, check out our in-depth article on how we test home security systems and services.

Home security for renters FAQs

Can you install a security system in a rental?

You can add a home security system to your rented apartment or home, but a DIY, noninvasive system (one that does not require drilling into walls or doors, or rewiring a doorbell, for example) will often be your best bet. What’s more, professionally installed security services may come with a contract that extends past the length of your lease, further complicating your next move.

Should I put a security camera in my apartment?

An exterior camera, unless reserved to private spaces like your back patio, is generally not recommended for apartments because it will routinely capture footage of people in public spaces. Additionally, many lease agreements do not allow for the exterior installation of devices such as cameras or satellite dishes.

How can I secure my apartment?

Installing a home security system that monitors entryways and the interior of your apartment is one of the best ways to secure your dwelling, but there are other measures you can take. It’s a good idea to keep any valuables out of sight, especially from windows (where someone may see them from the outside).

 CNET’s bests for home security:

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