Best Home Security Systems for Apartments in 2024

Most home security companies now offer total protection for apartment and condo dwellers. Here is a list of our favorite options we’ve personally tested.

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SimpliSafe Image
SimpliSafe
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
If you want a self-monitored DIY security system for your apartment, look no further than SimpliSafe. It’s affordable, easy to setup, easy to use and easy to pack up and take with you to your next place.
Get SimpliSafe
ADT Image
ADT
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
The oldest security system provider in the U.S. is now more apartment-friendly than ever. With wireless equipment, cellular-based monitoring, and more affordable pricing than before, ADT has become a top choice for apartment dwellers who want nothing but top-notch protection.
877-959-7762
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Alder Image
Alder
SecureScore™: 8.8/10
Looking for DIY apartment security? Alder has the best kits to secure apartments and condos. Setup only takes a few minutes, and you’ll enjoy smartphone controls, a touchscreen panel, and other great features.
Get Alder
  • SimpliSafe Product Image
    SimpliSafe
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    If you want a self-monitored DIY security system for your apartment, look no further than SimpliSafe. It’s affordable, easy to setup, easy to use and easy to pack up and take with you to your next place.
    Get SimpliSafe
  • ADT Product Image
    ADT
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    The oldest security system provider in the U.S. is now more apartment-friendly than ever. With wireless equipment, cellular-based monitoring, and more affordable pricing than before, ADT has become a top choice for apartment dwellers who want nothing but top-notch protection.
    View Packages
  • Alder Product Image
    Alder
    SecureScore™: 8.8/10
    Looking for DIY apartment security? Alder has the best kits to secure apartments and condos. Setup only takes a few minutes, and you’ll enjoy smartphone controls, a touchscreen panel, and other great features.
    Get Alder
  • Frontpoint Product Image
    Frontpoint
    SecureScore™: 8.7/10
    Frontpoint security systems are a top choice for securing apartments. The base station hub is well-designed, and Frontpoint offers DIY installation as well as 24/7 monitoring to keep you and your belongings safe and sound.
    Get Frontpoint
  • Cove Security Product Image
    Cove Security
    SecureScore™: 8.8/10
    Cove’s wireless alarm systems are a cinch to set up (and take down!). There’s no drilling holes or wiring required, so it’s a smart choice for apartment-dwellers. Once installed, you’ll enjoy Cove’s touchscreen controls, mobile functionality, and reliable 24/7 monitoring.
    Get Cove Security
  • Brinks Product Image
    Brinks
    SecureScore™: 8.7/10
    Get Brinks Home Security

We’re apartment dwellers, so we get it. Living in an apartment is a unique experience. You have to pay attention to how much noise you make, you’re not supposed to damage the walls, and it seems like everyone always knows what everyone else is up to. But, hey, you don’t have to mow the lawn.

Apartment life is unique, and it comes with a unique set of security needs. You don’t want a permanent system — something that’s bolted in. You never know when you may find a better apartment across town. And if you live on the fourth floor, you probably don’t need a bunch of glass-break sensors protecting your windows.

This list is just for you. We have a complete rundown of all the best security systems for apartments. For each entry, we’ll let you know what the installation process is like, what kind of monitoring you can get, and, of course, what you’ll pay. We’ll also let you know about our experience testing the systems. Let’s not waste any time. We’ve got security systems to talk about.

Best Home Security Systems for Apartments

SimpliSafe Essentials Kit

SimpliSafe Essentials Kit

  • 1 SimpliSafe - Most Options

    SimpliSafe Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    9.0
    Value
    9.4
    Equipment
    9.0
    Features & Technology
    9.2
    Ease Of Use
    9.2
    SecureScore™
    9.2

    Our Experience Testing SimpliSafe

    SimpliSafe offers several equipment packages or you can build your own, so we got exactly what we needed and nothing we didn’t. We live on the third floor and there’s no balcony, so we didn’t bother with glass-break sensors and we passed on SimpliSafe’s outdoor cameras. Our Video Doorbell Pro, on the other hand, was instrumental in helping identify whose dog was wandering the hallways in the afternoons.

    SimpliSafe equipment

    SimpliSafe equipment

    We also invested in one of SimpliSafe’s new wireless indoor cameras. It works with the company’s new Fast Protect monitoring service. Our apartment building is pretty safe — other than the occasional wandering dog — but we liked knowing that not only would SimpliSafe respond if our cameras picked up activity, but also that monitors would engage any home intruders and try to resolve the situation peacefully.

    SimpliSafe also offers self-monitoring if you prefer to handle your security on your own. We always prefer professional monitoring, because there are times when we’re just not available to check system alerts. SimpliSafe may be a little overpriced. It costs $10 more than we paid for the same service from Ring. SimpliSafe charges $30 per month, which is still well under what you’d pay for monitoring from ADT and Vivint.

    Read our full SimpliSafe review to find out more.

    • Affordable, easy-to-use equipment
    • Installation is a breeze
    • System is extremely responsive
    • App is well designed and intuitive
    • New monitoring is a major security bonus

    • Keypad is a little finicky
    • Mounting system could use some work
    • Some pieces of equipment are a little bulky

    Installation

    SimpliSafe installation is entirely DIY. Don’t let that deter you though. It’s easy enough. Once you plug in the base station and download the app, the app guides you step by step. It took us around half an hour. If you live in an apartment, you’ll probably prefer DIY installation anyway. DIY typically is easier to take down if you need to move to a new place.

    While testing SimpliSafe, we found the installation to be among the easiest of all the brands we’ve used. It matches Cove’s ease of setup, and it’s much easier than more premium systems, such as Frontpoint.

    Monitoring

    SimpliSafe offers several monitoring options. The safest bet is to sign up for professional monitoring so you know you have someone watching your house 24/7, even when you’re out of town or taking a nap. If you want to self-monitor, SimpliSafe has options. You can get live alerts and access to video feeds for free, or you can add video recording for $10 per month.

    >> Compare: SimpliSafe vs. ADT

    Pricing

    SimpliSafe offers equipment packages to suit every budget, from the four-piece Foundation system for $250 to the 10-piece Beacon for $710. You can also build your own system and add cameras for as little as $100. You can self-monitor for free if you’re willing to take that burden on your shoulders. Add video storage to your self-monitoring plan for $10 per month, or invest in one of SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring plans for $30 per month.

    FYI: SimpliSafe is almost always running some type of sale, with discounts on packages of up to 60 percent in some cases. Right now all equipment is 20 percent off, and the company will throw in a free outdoor camera and a month of its Fast Protect monitoring service.

    Monitoring Options Self or professional
    Installation DIY or professional
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $249.96
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $19.99
    Contract Length Month-to-month
  • 2 ADT - Best security monitoring

    ADT Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    8.6
    Value
    8.7
    Equipment
    9.5
    Features & Technology
    9.6
    Ease Of Use
    9.6
    SecureScore™
    9.2

    Our Experience Testing ADT

    ADT Control Panel

    ADT Control Panel

    ADT probably isn’t the first brand you think of for apartment security because it requires professional installation and professional monitoring with a contract to match. Those are still true, but our recent testing of ADT shows that it has come a long way since its non-renter-friendly days. Today, ADT offers wireless equipment paired with wireless monitoring via internet and cellular signals.

    The ADT system we reviewed consisted of fully wireless sensors, a wire-free (battery-powered) outdoor camera, a plug-in indoor camera that didn’t need drilling to install, and a battery-powered video doorbell. We also had smoke alarms and a couple of gas leak sensors installed. As you can see, we could have installed those ourselves. The equipment was just as apartment-friendly as SimpliSafe.

    As for monitoring, ADT required us to sign a contract. That was one part where they could have accommodated us better, because a three-year contract isn’t the most ideal for renters like ourselves who only signed a one year lease on our apartment. The ADT contract we signed clearly states that we’d have to renew it if we move and want to set up an ADT system in our new place or pay a hefty cancellation fee if we want to change providers. But other than that, we thought ADT’s current security system can work for apartments, especially if you just moved in.

    • Siren is loud enough to scare away burglars
    • The equipment is actually very well-made
    • Customer service went the extra mile (kudos to Patty and Ian)
    • The system is professionally installed
    • Paid hardly any money upfront
    • ADT now partners with Google Nest for security cameras and smart home equipment
    • Trusted brand with 150+ years of experience in security

    • No “silent arming” option from control panel
    • I spent hours troubleshooting their outdoor camera
    • Requires a monthly monitoring fee
    • Requires long-term contract
    • No DIY installation option
    • Installation tech left old equipment in our home

    Installation

    Being a more traditional system, ADT required us to hire an installer of theirs to set up our security system. We expected it to be a long and winding process, but it was surprisingly quick. A window opened up the next day after our consultation and ADT wasted no time setting us up with a system.

    The installer arrived on time. We did tell him that we would like to avoid drilling as much as possible, and he complied. Rather than mounting the indoor camera, he set it on the top shelf of our bookcase. Really the only thing we used a drill on was the control panel so that it wouldn’t fall off the wall. He used the magnetic mount for the battery-powered outdoor camera and peel-and-stick adhesive for the sensors.

    We should also mention that ADT now has a DIY option, called ADT Self Setup, that supports most of the same equipment as the original ADT. After we tested and reviewed ADT Self Setup, we decided we still preferred the original, but it’s nice to know we have the option of a DIY installation if needed.

    FYI: The battery-powered outdoor camera from ADT is the Google Nest Cam (battery) we reviewed. See it in action in our Nest Cam review.

    ADT Entryway Sensors

    A look at ADT Entryway Sensors

    Monitoring

    ADT shines the brightest when it comes to professional monitoring. Sure, it requires a monitoring contract that isn’t ideal for renters, but the overall quality of the service stands out. ADT boasts nine monitoring facilities across the country, each equipped with its own backup generators and servers. With that kind of redundant redundancy (redundant, right?), it’s almost impossible for the ADT’s monitoring service to go offline.

    ADT’s monitoring plans also weren’t over-the-top expensive. The monthly fee starts at $24.99. It’s a little higher than SimpliSafe’s most basic plan, but only by $5. That’s not so bad when you consider the monitoring infrastructure that ADT has invested in. But with the equipment we bought, we paid $34.99 per month for monitoring. That included access to all our cameras’ video history, video verification, and some home automation features. Considering that Vivint, one of ADT’s closest rivals, charges about $39 for similar features, we can say that ADT is affordable.

    Pricing

    Speaking of affordable, ADT’s pricing is divided into three parts: Equipment, monitoring, and installation.

    The equipment fee starts at $499 for the base package, but the total cost really depends on your final system. Ours cost a little over a thousand dollars because we bought security cameras and a video doorbell. You can opt to pay the full price up-front or pay via financing over two to five years.

    The monitoring fee is somewhere between $25 to $35, again, depending on your final system. The ceiling price is for systems that include cameras.

    Lastly, the installation fee is a one-time payment of $99. This covers the installation service, which also comes with a six-month money-back guarantee. That should take you at least halfway through your lease in case you decide you need to move too.

    >> Learn More: ADT Contract and Policies

    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Installation Professional or DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $499.99
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $24.99
    Contract Length Three years
  • 3 Alder - Best Touch-Screen Panel

    Alder Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.8
    Customer Service
    8.9
    Value
    9.1
    Equipment
    8.6
    Features & Technology
    8.7
    Ease Of Use
    8.9
    SecureScore™
    8.8

    Our Experience Testing Alder

    Alder doesn’t manufacture its own cameras; instead it offers Eufy cameras. All three models — indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell — are 100 percent wireless, though, which made them super easy to install. We didn’t have to worry about positioning them near outlets, which allowed us to place them where they could see as much of a room as possible. Better visual coverage means a safer home.

    Alder security equipment

    Alder security equipment

    All of Alder’s cameras connect back to a central touch-screen tablet, which, in keeping with Alder’s overall aesthetic, is sleek and modern. It’s also easy to use, with an intuitive interface that features large, clear buttons. Making adjustments to the system was a breeze. We didn’t have to go through a bunch of screens on the way out the door. We tapped the Away button to let the system know we were leaving and we were out the door. No fuss, no muss.

    Alder’s equipment also works with both Alexa and Google Home, which gave us voice control. We woke up in the middle of the night while we were testing the system and thought we’d heard a noise. We didn’t even have to get out of bed to check our video feed. We asked Google to pull up the Alder app on our phone and quickly realized it must have just been a bad dream.

    • Affordable Systems
    • 7-Inch Touch-Screen Control Panel
    • Easy DIY Setup
    • 4G LTE Cellular Monitoring
    • Smartphone Controls
    • Silent Exit Feature
    • Key Fob Controls
    • Alexa and Z-Wave Compatibility
    • Environmental Sensors

    • Slightly Expensive Monitoring
    • Somewhat Limited Security Camera Integrations
    • Somewhat Limited Home Automation
    • Must Call to Purchase System
    • Mobile App Is a Bit Buggy

    Installation

    We self-installed our system, and it was super-easy. Get this though: You can get professional installation, and it’s totally free. We prefer it when people aren’t tramping through our home, and we know security systems well enough to know exactly where to place cameras.

    If you’re a little unsure about the best setup, you have mobility issues, or you just want to kick back and watch other people do the work, free installation is a remarkable deal. It can cost upwards of $125 with Vivint.

    Monitoring

    Alder offers only professional monitoring. That’s what we prefer and what we recommend. If you’re looking for self-monitoring options, you may want to consider a company from our list of the best unmonitored home security systems.

    One bonus with Alder is that the company has the fastest response times in the industry. From the moment a monitor picks up a problem at your home, you can expect someone to contact you in around 34 seconds. That’s fast. It means you may not have enough time to turn off a false alarm, but there’s no question that faster is safer.

    Pricing

    We can’t tell you exactly what you’ll pay for an Alder system. One of our chief complaints about the company is that you have to go through the process of getting a quote in order to know what the system will cost. Alder also doesn’t let you purchase equipment up front. Instead it factors the equipment price in with your monthly monitoring charges, so you get only one bill each month. That can be handy if you don’t have a lot of money to put down on a system, but it’s not a pricing approach everyone will like.

    Bottom line: Our research suggests that a basic Alder system will cost around $40 per month. You can add automation features for $45 per month. If you want access to video, though, you’re looking at around $55 per month.

    Monitoring Options 24/7 professional only
    Installation Professional or DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost $0
    Monthly Monitoring Cost $35
    Contract Length 36 months
  • 4 Frontpoint - Best Custom Features

    Frontpoint Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.7
    Customer Service
    9.1
    Value
    8.8
    Equipment
    8.3
    Features & Technology
    8.9
    Ease Of Use
    8.6
    SecureScore™
    8.7

    Our Experience Testing Frontpoint

    The thing that struck us most about Frontpoint was the system’s AI features. Cameras can tell the difference, for example, among people, pets, and packages, which definitely cut down on the number of false alarms we had to deal with. We may have mentioned this, but someone’s dog has been roaming our building’s hallways, and it can be frustrating getting constant alerts about Fido.

    Frontpoint equipment

    Frontpoint equipment

    Frontpoint offers tripwire alerts, as well, which let you create a virtual fence around your property. You know the moment someone breaches the perimeter, but you don’t have to worry about passing cars triggering alarms. The system’s hub comes with built-in smash-and-grab protection. Basically, if anyone tampers with the device, the system sends an alert to the Frontpoint monitoring center. We dropped it on the floor during setup, and we can tell you definitively that the feature works. We got a nice call from a monitor named Bill to make sure all was well.

    That’s one of the other great things about Frontpoint: The company offers the best customer service in the business. We didn’t have much trouble getting our system set up on our own. The DIY instructions were pretty clear. As we discovered during our conversation with Bill, it’s easy to get help when you need it and the customer-service agents don’t get testy — even when you’ve done something silly like drop the hub on the kitchen floor.

    • High-quality GE equipment
    • Easy DIY installation
    • LTE cellular monitoring
    • Home automation
    • Geofencing feature

    • Somewhat expensive monitoring
    • Limited service hours
    • Touch-screen panel sold separately
    • Outsourced monitoring service
    • Limited keypad functionality

    Installation

    Frontpoint’s equipment isn’t the sleekest or subtlest. Anyone who happens by your apartment is going to know you have a home security system. That’s not always a bad thing though. Frontpoint’s installation was straightforward. You have to do it all yourself, but the company provides great instructions through its app. Once you’ve plugged in the equipment, the app guides you through the rest. We had the whole thing up and running in less than an hour, and that includes the time it took us to mount cameras. No surprise, then, that Frontpoint is on our list of best DIY systems.

    >> Dig Deeper: Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe

    Monitoring

    Like Alder, Frontpoint offers only professional monitoring, something you should be aware of if you’re looking to self-monitor. Unlike Alder, though, all of Frontpoint’s monitoring plans include home automation. That means you can take advantage of tons of smart features, such as voice control, no matter what size system you’ve purchased. It seemed a little unfair that we had to pay the same price for a system with no cameras as we would have paid if we outfitted our home with a dozen cameras. We didn’t have to agonize over whether to pay an extra fee to get integration with Alexa and Google Home though.

    Pricing

    Monitoring is a little pricey with Frontpoint: around $50 per month. There aren’t any other options, so you’re locked into that price. ADT monitoring can be expensive, too, but you can get a plan for around $45 per month if you don’t need all the bells and whistles. With Frontpoint, it’s all the features or nothing. Equipment packages, however, are significantly less expensive than with other full-service companies, such as ADT and Vivint.

    Keep in mind that Frontpoint’s cheapest system costs around $300, which is about half what you’d pay for ADT’s cheapest system. That’s before you take into account sale prices, such as Frontpoint’s annual Black Friday offerings.

    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Installation DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $219.99
    Monthly Monitoring Cost $50
    Contract Length 1-36 months
  • 5 Cove Security - Easiest Setup

    Cove Security Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.8
    Customer Service
    8.9
    Value
    8.8
    Equipment
    9.2
    Features & Technology
    8.6
    Ease Of Use
    8.4
    SecureScore™
    8.8

    Our Experience Testing Cove

    There’s easy DIY setup, and then there’s Cove setup. Our Cove package arrived on a Thursday evening. We had a busy Friday and didn’t want to set up a security system over the weekend, so we went home during lunch to see if we could get a head start on it. We had our entire Cove system up and running and still got back to work with 10 minutes to spare. Cove makes use of 3M adhesives, so getting everything up was a matter of peeling off the backing. Cove went to the trouble of preprogramming all the equipment for us, so it was all plug and play. Literally. Great for apartment dwellers.

    Cove equipment

    Cove equipment

    We should have realized that Cove is committed to making customers’ lives more convenient. We got another lesson in that when we started playing with the Custom Actions feature on the Cove app. We were able to create Scenes — basically routines — to automate many of the system’s functions. For instance, we set our system to turn on at 7 a.m. every day when we leave for the gym. Don’t worry: It was no problem to shut it off with an Alexa voice command on all the days we couldn’t drag ourselves out of bed.

    We had to sign up for Cove’s most expensive monitoring plan — the Plus plan — to access the extra features. There’s also no free plan, so Cove probably isn’t for you if you’re into self-monitoring. At $27.99 per month, though, the Plus plan is $3 a month less than SimpliSafe’s top monitoring plan. For what you get, we think it’s totally worth the money.

    See our complete Cove review for more information.

    • No contracts, month-to-month service
    • Smartphone controls
    • Touch-screen control panel
    • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible
    • Low-cost monitoring

    • App experience could be improved
    • Limited home automation features
    • No self-monitoring option

    Installation

    Installation took about 20 minutes. The equipment comes preprogrammed, and there’s no drilling involved whatsoever — even if you want to hang cameras in the corners of rooms. Everything was peel and stick. That was perfect, since we’d like to get our deposit back when we move out.

    Monitoring

    Cove offers only professional monitoring, and there are two levels to choose from. The Basic level gives you lots of great features, such as cellular backup and hourly system checks. The Plus plan offers a bit more, including app controls and Alexa and Google Home integration. There’s no self-monitoring option, but Cove monitoring plans are month to month, so you’re not locked into anything.

    Pro Tip: You can save money by self-monitoring your system, but consider signing up for a single month of professional monitoring when you have to be away from home for any length of time.

    Pricing

    Cove is so user-friendly that it’s easy to overlook the system’s other great feature: its price. In terms of equipment, Cove is one of the most affordable options on the market. You can pick up an indoor camera for just $60, and entry sensors cost $15. That’s around $5 cheaper than Ring, and Ring’s prices are pretty cheap. Monitoring is a little pricier. The Basic plan costs $17.99, while the fully loaded Plus plan costs $27.99. That’s still $3 less than SimpliSafe though.

    Monitoring Options Professional or DIY
    Installation DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $87
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $17.99
    Contract Length 1 month
  • 6 Brinks - Best DIY Setup

    Brinks Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.7
    Customer Service
    8.3
    Value
    8.7
    Equipment
    8.8
    Features & Technology
    8.7
    Ease Of Use
    9.0
    SecureScore™
    8.7

    Our Experience Testing Brinks

    Brinks has been around for a long time. Like, over-a-century-and-almost-as-old-as-ADT long. That means it’s had enough time to refine its home security model and get things right. No surprise, then, that we found Brinks to be a very customer-centric company. It offers professional installation (don’t worry, you can DIY it if you want to save a little money), and our service tech was knowledgeable and friendly. Equipment was intuitive and easy to operate, like the Home Touch hub, which comes with its own forward-facing camera.

    Brinks equipment

    Brinks equipment

    Brinks equipment isn’t quite as solid as competitors such as ADT and Vivint. The company doesn’t offer its own video doorbell, for example, and the SkyBell Slim Line it offers comes with only 720p HD resolution — well below the 1080p HD that has become the industry standard. We were similarly disappointed with the indoor camera and its relatively small 116-degree field of view. Our apartment has a couple of hallways and the layout isn’t especially open, so we had to purchase an extra indoor camera to cover all the angles.

    What Brinks has is a lot of smart-home integration. Beyond security equipment basics such as entry sensors and cameras, you can also purchase thermostats, smart plugs, and door locks. Everything works through the Alarm.com app, and there’s full integration with both Alexa and Google Home. We thought we heard a noise at our front door during dinner last week, but one word to Alexa and we verified that our door lock was fully engaged.

    See our Brinks review for even more great information about the system.

    • Rate-lock guarantees
    • Affordable packages
    • Reliable 24/7 monitoring
    • Smartphone controls
    • Home automation features

    • Most plans require a contract
    • Pricey monthly monitoring
    • Professional installation only included in top-tier plan

    Installation

    It’s nice to have a choice when it comes to installation. Brinks offers both professional and DIY options. The professional route can be a little expensive, at $199, but it comes with a lifetime guarantee and the company frequently waives the fee for customers who purchase the Ultimate package. DIY isn’t quite as easy as Cove, which may be a reason to try the professional option. Even so, we had the whole system up and running in just 30 minutes.

    Monitoring

    This is another company that requires you to purchase a professional monitoring plan. You also get the best features, such as smart-home integration, only if you invest in one of the higher tiers. At between $40 and $50 per month, Brinks’ monitoring isn’t the cheapest. Still, you know how we feel about monitoring: It’s always best left to the professionals. Both monitoring plans include cellular backup, so you never have to worry about your system going down because your Wi-Fi is on the fritz.

    Pricing

    Brinks is a full-service home security system, and that comes with full-service pricing. Door and window sensors, for example, are roughly twice the price of Cove’s. The good news, though, is that pricing is cheaper than both Vivint and ADT, and that’s true across the board. If you live in an apartment, you probably don’t need a whole lot of devices. Brinks’ cheapest package is just $200, a third of the cost of ADT’s cheapest package. Brinks’ most expensive monitoring plan is about $10 less per month than ADT’s.

    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Installation DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $199
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $39
    Contract Length 36 months

Our Methodology

We’re big fans of transparency. We want to know exactly what we’re buying when we purchase home security products and exactly what it’s going to cost us. It’s only right to be transparent about our process as well.

With that in mind, here’s a brief rundown of our methodology.

When we look at home security systems, we’re generally interested in three primary features:

  • Equipment: What kinds of equipment does a system offer, and what can that equipment do? Are outdoor devices hardy enough to withstand severe weather events? Can we get smart locks that work smoothly with entry sensors and thermostats? Do the components work with Alexa and Google Home?
  • Monitoring: What type of monitoring does the company offer? Can we get full-service 24/7 professional monitoring if we want it? Is there a choice to self-monitor, and, if so, what kind of access do we get to our system?
  • Price: The bottom line, of course, is how much a system costs. We recognize that you get what you pay for, so we’re not necessarily turned off by an expensive system as long as it delivers quality for the price.

This list is about the best home security systems for apartments, so we had to add a few more criteria to our list.

  • Installation: We prefer DIY installation, but we want the process to be simple and easy. Because we’re talking about apartments, we don’t want any sort of installation that will damage our walls or other aspects of our home. Bonus points if it’s easy to pack up everything and move it to a new place.
  • Easy moving: While we’re on the subject of moving, the best systems for apartment-dwellers let you move from one location to another with no fuss. Some companies — we’re looking at you, Vivint — actually charge a moving fee. If you want to make it on to this list, that’s a definite no-no.
  • Equipment options: Anyone who lives in an apartment wants flexibility when it comes to choosing equipment packages. You may not need an outdoor camera, for instance, and you may have only one entryway to worry about. You don’t want to pay extra for a lot of devices you simply don’t need, so we look for systems that offer a wide range of packages. We’re even happier when companies let us build our own systems.

Tips for Apartment Security

We said it in the very beginning: Living in an apartment is a unique experience. Thinking about security for an apartment is different from thinking about security for a house in the suburbs. So we thought we’d put together a few tips for keeping your family safe if you’re an apartment-dweller.

  • Before you commit to an apartment, do a thorough security walkthrough. Pay attention to where doors and windows are located. Think about whether outside vegetation helps or harms your overall security. Research any incidents that may have happened in the neighborhood and the building itself.
  • Don’t double up on your security. Many apartment complexes provide their own security. If there are cameras in the hallways and door sensors on all the doors, you may not need to worry as much about purchasing your own equipment.
  • Don’t secure aspects of your apartment that are already secure. If you live on an upper floor and there are no trees next to the building and no balconies, you probably don’t need to purchase an outdoor camera or glass-break sensors to protect yourself. If there’s only one door into your home, you only need one entry sensor.
  • By the same token, though, don’t leave any gaps in your security. Don’t take it for granted, for instance, that your landlord has secured the building. Plenty of apartment complexes try to save money by putting up dummy cameras. If the complex isn’t actually recording activity in your building, it’s up to you to invest in a system that can do the job.
  • Get to know your neighbors. You always want to get to know the people living around you, but that’s especially true if you live in an apartment complex. The more everyone in the community is looking out for one another, the safer you’ll all be.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of great home security systems out there tailor-made for people who live in apartments. Now you know which ones are the best.

If you take away nothing else from this guide, know this: In this day and age, we all need home security. Living in an apartment is no excuse for leaving your home vulnerable to floods, fires, and home invasion.

FAQs

Want to know even more about the best home security systems for apartments? Check out our FAQs below.

  • What is the best home security system for an apartment?

    The best home security system for an apartment is SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe lets you choose from several packages or even build your own system, so you don’t have to worry about buying equipment you don’t need. The equipment is all peel and stick, so installation won’t do any damage to the property.

  • Why do you need a home security system if you live in an apartment?

    You need a home security system in your apartment to protect you from fire, flood, and home invasion. Every homeowner needs a home security system to ensure their safety. Because apartment dwellers live in such close proximity to their neighbors and where it’s relatively easy for strangers to gain entry, they are at an increased risk of theft.

  • Can you put your own home security system in an apartment?

    Yes, you can put your own home security system in an apartment. You should always check with your landlord before beginning any installations, but many systems feature DIY installation that does no damage to the property.

  • Is Vivint a good security system for apartments?

    Generally speaking, Vivint is not a good security system for apartments. Vivint manufactures a quality system and offers 24/7 monitoring, but components must be professionally installed and that typically does damage to the apartment structure. In addition, if you move, you must have Vivint remove the system and reinstall it in your new location, all of which requires additional fees.

  • Is self-monitoring better than professional monitoring?

    Professional monitoring is better than self-monitoring. Self-monitoring can save you some money, but it requires you to keep up with system alerts 24/7, something few of us have the time and energy to do. With a professionally monitored system, trained monitors keep an eye on your property at all times. You’re still alerted in case of an emergency, but monitors can also contact local emergency services and get them on scene.

Rob Gabriele
Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As a home security expert and Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles related to home security. His expertise is in smart home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in Indianapolis, IN.