Best Home Security Systems for Renters of 2024

Our experts hand-tested the best security systems for renters to find your top options when you can’t drill holes for installation.

Page Hero Image
SimpliSafe Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
As the originator of apartment-based security systems, SimpliSafe now offers the best monitoring with video verification for renters thanks to its new Fast Protect live guard monitoring.
Get SimpliSafe
ADT Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
With a six-month trial period, ADT lets you fully test out your system before you commit. The money-back guarantee might even take you to the end of your lease.
View Packages
Frontpoint Image
SecureScore™: 8.7/10
If you live in an apartment with spotty Wi-Fi or power, Frontpoint is the answer. It uses cellular as its main form of communication with Wi-Fi for backup on top of a 24-hour battery backup.
Get Frontpoint
  • SimpliSafe Product Image
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    As the originator of apartment-based security systems, SimpliSafe now offers the best monitoring with video verification for renters thanks to its new Fast Protect live guard monitoring.
    Get SimpliSafe
  • ADT Product Image
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    With a six-month trial period, ADT lets you fully test out your system before you commit. The money-back guarantee might even take you to the end of your lease.
    View Packages
  • Frontpoint Product Image
    SecureScore™: 8.7/10
    If you live in an apartment with spotty Wi-Fi or power, Frontpoint is the answer. It uses cellular as its main form of communication with Wi-Fi for backup on top of a 24-hour battery backup.
    Get Frontpoint
  • Alder Product Image
    SecureScore™: 8.8/10
    Get Alder

Whether it’s a noisy neighbor upstairs or a nosy landlord, renting can definitely come with its own set of challenges. But, your security should not be one of those concerns. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own, everyone deserves a place they can put their guard down. Understanding the ins and outs of a home security system isn’t always easy though, especially when you rent your home or apartment.

That’s what we’re here to help you with. We’ve tested over 60 different security systems to find the best home security system for rented homes and apartments. Just because you can’t make permanent alterations to where you live doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your security. So, these systems feature an easy installation process that avoids any permanent damage while still keeping your space safe.

What to Look For in a Home Security System for Renters

  • Professional monitoring: While a robust monitoring infrastructure is great, renters should also prioritize response times since break-ins tend to happen quickly when criminals target rental properties.
  • Ease of installation: Generally, easy-to-install home security systems do not require any permanent damage such as drilling holes or rerouting electrical wiring. This is an absolute must for renters.
  • Video doorbell: Although it’s nice to have for rental homes too, this one is more for apartment dwellers. When you only have one entrance, a video doorbell becomes your main form of exterior surveillance.
  • Moving fees: As a renter, you’re probably not sure how much longer you’re going to stay in the same place. I know I didn’t when I was renting. So, make sure to avoid any company with moving fees since moving isn’t always your decision.
  • Equipment pricing: You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on equipment. Even if you can bring the equipment with you to your next spot, you’ll probably need to change a couple components. Look for a system with low enough pricing to let you do just that.
  • Reputable company: Of course, you want a company you can count on. Whether you’re using your money-back guarantee or sending out a piece of equipment for warranty repairs, a company with a good reputation makes each step of the way a whole lot easier.

Comparison of the Best Home Security Systems for Renters

System SimpliSafe ADT Frontpoint Alder
Ranking 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Rating 9.2/10 9.2/10 8.7/10 8.8/10
Contract length Monthly 36 months or monthly with Self Setup Monthly or 36 months 36 months
Installation type DIY or professional DIY or professional DIY DIY or professional
Professional monitoring cost Starting at $19.99 per month Starting at $24.99 per month Starting at $49 per month Starting at $39.99 per month
Equipment cost Packages starting at $249.96 Packages starting at $194.98 Packages starting at $79 Free with 3-year contract
Video doorbell 1080p hardwired 1080p battery-powered 1080p hardwired or 720p battery-powered None
Review SimpliSafe review ADT review Frontpoint review Alder review

Summary of the Best Home Security Systems for Renters

SimpliSafe Essentials Kit

SimpliSafe Essentials Kit

  • SimpliSafe - Best Monitoring with Video Verification
  • ADT - Best Money-Back Guarantee
  • Frontpoint - Best Cellular Backup
  • Alder - Best Touch-Screen Controls
  • 1 SimpliSafe - Best Monitoring with Video Verification

    SimpliSafe Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Way back in 2006, security systems only focused on businesses and homeowners. They didn’t offer any systems for renters. That is, until SimpliSafe came around. SimpliSafe started security systems for renters. Well, for apartments more specifically. And to this day, we still consider them the best choice for renters thanks to their new video verification monitoring service called Fast Protect.

    SimpliSafe equipment

    SimpliSafe equipment

    • Offers no-monthly-fee self-monitoring
    • Stylish wireless equipment
    • Allows DIY setup but offers professional installation
    • Equipment packages start at $250
    • Live Guard Protection feature for the Smart Alarm indoor camera

    • Missing a few types of equipment, like garage door sensors
    • Offers only a battery-powered option for outdoor video security
    • Monitoring price increased twice in the past three years
    • No touch screen keypad

    SimpliSafe Installation

    Having started out as a DIY security system for apartments, SimpliSafe’s experience here really shows. All in all, we were able to get our entire system up and running in about 20 minutes. And that’s after we had an issue with our reading comprehension.

    You see, SimpliSafe specifically says to press the adhesive backing on their equipment against the wall for 30 seconds. We decided to go rogue and let go after 10 seconds only for the motion sensor to come crashing down moments later. For a two-bedroom apartment, getting the entire system set up shouldn’t take any longer than 15 minutes so long as you follow the directions.

    >> Learn More: How to Install a Home Security System: It’s Easier Than You Think

    SimpliSafe Professional Monitoring

    With the new Fast Protect monitoring that SimpliSafe rolled out recently, you can’t get much better professional monitoring. Although ADT’s six monitoring centers give a bit more redundancy, the video verification feature in SimpliSafe’s premium monitoring solution comes in handy. As a premium option, it does bring up the monthly cost of your SimpliSafe system though.

    For instance, we had our friend check in on our houseplants while on vacation. Since we were on vacation, we weren’t near our phones and didn’t see the alert. But, thanks to SimpliSafe Fast Protect monitoring, they used the two-way audio in our indoor camera to ask our friend what they were doing in our house. Well, we gave them the safe word we set up while installing our SimpliSafe system. They could then confirm they were just there to water our plants — all without us needing to rush for our phones while on vacation.

    Fast Protect monitoring isn’t the only subscription plan SimpliSafe offers though. They also offer a basic professional monitoring plan, a DIY monitoring plan. Here’s an overview of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans and their costs:

    Features Free Self-Monitoring Professional Monitoring Fast Protect Monitoring
    Cloud storage for 30 days of recordings No Yes No Yes
    Smart platform compatibility No Yes No Yes
    Cellular backup No Yes No Yes
    24/7 professional monitoring No No Yes Yes
    Video verification and live guard No No Yes Yes
    Equipment warranty 1-year 3-year 3-year Lifetime
    Price Free $9.99 per month $19.99 per month $29.99 per month

    SimpliSafe Video Doorbell

    This is where SimpliSafe falls a bit short. Unfortunately, they only sell a hardwired video doorbell. There are no battery-powered ones. That means you’ll need to remove your current doorbell and replace it with a SimpliSafe video doorbell. Then, before you leave your rental, you’ll need to reinstall that old doorbell.

    We know, it’s a bit of a pain. But, we must say that when we tested the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro, it worked really well after we installed it. We really liked how we could set the sensitivity of the motion sensor. This enabled us to avoid alarms every time someone walked past our door as they left our apartment building. But, we’d still get a notification when someone was standing there knocking. This is why SimpliSafe topped our list of the best security systems with video doorbells despite only offering one option that’s hardwired.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $249.96
    Monitoring options Professional or DIY
    Monitoring cost From $19.99
    Contract length Monthly
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart platform integration Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Watch
  • 2 ADT - Best Money-Back Guarantee

    ADT Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    While SimpliSafe has niche experience in the renter market, ADT brings a whopping 150 years of overall home security experience to the table. Their focus on professionally installed packages can feel a bit daunting for renters. But, ADT recently released a whole new lineup of DIY security systems they call ADT Self Setup. We’ve tested ADT Self Setup and their professionally installed line-up, so we can tell you that most renters should go with Self Setup.

    ADT Control Panel

    ADT Control Panel

    • Intuitive and easy-to-use app
    • 24/7 professional monitoring with nine monitoring centers
    • Cellular backup
    • SMART Monitoring technology for faster response times
    • 150 years of experience
    • Offers Google Nest Cams
    • Now offers DIY components via ADT Self Setup

    • Requires a contract; 36 months minimum
    • Installation fee costs $99 minimum
    • Limited touch-screen control panel features
    • Equipment costs more than the DIY competition

    ADT Installation

    Whether you opt for a professionally installed ADT system or ADT Self Setup, you should be in for a pretty smooth installation experience. Since we’ve done both, we’ll tell you what you’ll be in for either way. For a professionally installed system, all we had to do was schedule our appointment with one of ADT’s technicians after we received the components of our security system. Then, the tech showed up right on time, to our surprise, and got to work. They installed the entire system without us lifting a finger.

    As for ADT Self Setup, we were pretty surprised how easy the system was to set up. That’s largely thanks to the fact that ADT now sells Google Nest cameras, which are designed to be DIY-installed. The ADT-brand equipment was just as easy though with adhesive strips almost identical to the SimpliSafe ones. We liked that the Google Nest Doorbell we tested was battery-powered so it was easier to install than the SimpliSafe wired video doorbell.

    ADT Professional Monitoring

    We used to say that ADT’s professional monitoring was exceptionally reliable, but you paid heavily for that reliability. Well, you pay a lot for ADT in general. For some reason, ADT woke up one day and decided to cut their monitoring prices significantly. We’re talking almost in half. Now, you can get that same six-center reliability for a fraction of the price. Here’s a quick overview of ADT’s two monitoring plans:

    Features Essential Essential + Video
    24/7 professional monitoring Yes Yes
    Support for security cameras No Yes
    Free Google Nest Cam and Doorbell No Yes
    Price $24.99 per month $34.99 per month

    ADT Video Doorbell

    Like we mentioned, ADT now sells Google security cameras and their video doorbell is no exception. So, you only get one doorbell camera to choose from, but that’s typical of most home security companies aside from Ring which has eight different video doorbells. Don’t worry, we compared the Ring and the Ring Plus Video Doorbells.

    >> Compare: ADT vs Ring Comparison – Which Security System is Best?

    As for the Google Nest Doorbell, it’s battery-powered as previously mentioned, which makes installation a breeze. We really liked the familiar face detection on it though. This lets the camera automatically start to recognize people. Then, we could attach names to the faces it started to recognize to make our alerts smarter. So, by the end of our time with the Google Nest Doorbell, we got alerts that said “Alex is at the front door” instead of “Someone is at the front door” when our friend would stop by.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $194.98
    Monitoring options Professional
    Monitoring cost Starting at $24.99 per month
    Contract length Starting at 36 months
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart platform integration Alexa and Google Home
  • 3 Frontpoint - Best Cellular Backup

    Frontpoint Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.7
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    We’ll be the first to admit that Frontpoint had a rocky start. When we tested the early versions of their security system, we were not impressed. We struggled to get help from their customer support, the equipment was mediocre at best, and the monitoring was just not worth the price.

    Somehow, Frontpoint turned all of this around and has now become one of our favorite security systems to test. That’s why the last time we tested them, we spent over 100 hours checking every component and feature we could find.

    Frontpoint equipment

    Frontpoint equipment

    • High-quality wireless equipment
    • DIY installation with professional install option
    • Fully cellular communication
    • Customizable automations
    • Outstanding app

    • Expensive monitoring
    • No touch-screen control panel included in basic packages
    • Outsourced monitoring
    • Limited keypad functionality; more app reliant

    Frontpoint Installation

    Unfortunately, Frontpoint does not offer any professional installation help. All of their systems are designed for DIY installation. That doesn’t mean you can’t hire a third-party installer to put your system in your rental if you want, though. Your landlord might feel more comfortable with a professional installer as well.

    FYI: You can always hire a third-party contractor to install your DIY home security systems. Even if the security system offers a professional installation option like SimpliSafe, you can still opt for a third-party installer. However, we typically recommend going with the provided professional installation since the technicians will be specifically trained on the system you buy.

    But, if you decide to take on Frontpoint’s DIY installation, it’s a pretty straightforward process. In fact, it was one of our favorite DIY home security systems because the installation was so easy. It even took us less time than installing SimpliSafe’s system. And thankfully, the new customer support team is really helpful. So, when we called to ask about the best spot to put our motion sensor, they rightfully told us to put it in the corner of the room somewhere between five feet and seven feet high.

    Frontpoint Professional Monitoring

    Unlike ADT and SimpliSafe, Frontpoint only has one plan for monitoring. It’s a flat $49.99 per month no matter how many sensors or cameras you buy. This is why we think Frontpoint has no-nonsense pricing. That makes it a great choice if you’re renting a larger home and want a fully equipped security system.

    As for the actual quality of the monitoring, it beat the average system but didn’t impress us a ton either. We measured a 25-second response time which is better than the 30 to 40-second response times that most security systems have. However, it didn’t quite compete with the fastest home security response times we’ve seen with Vivint’s text alerts that arrived in under 10 seconds. Still, for a flat $49.99, Frontpoint’s professional monitoring didn’t give us much to complain about. It also came with cellular backup.

    Frontpoint Video Doorbell

    Finally, a system with some options for our doorbell. Don’t get too excited though; it’s just picking between a wired and a wireless video doorbell. Aesthetics wise, we have to say we like the wired video doorbell a lot more. But, the convenient installation of wireless is too good to pass up for us. A great thing about the wired doorbell though is that it works in temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you’re way up north, like Alaska or the Canadian-border, that might come in handy. Here’s an overview of Frontpoint’s two video doorbells:

    Features Wired Video Doorbell Wireless Video Doorbell
    Smart notifications Yes Yes
    Two-way audio Yes Yes
    Resolution 1080p 1080p
    Infrared night vision Yes Yes
    Requires removal of current doorbell Yes No
    Battery life N/A About 6 months
    Operating temperatures 122 to -58 degrees Fahrenheit 122 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit
    Price $299.98 $199.99

    FYI:Frontpoint constantly runs sales, bringing down the price of the Wired Video Doorbell down to $199.98 and the price of the Wireless Video Doorbell down to $129.99.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $79
    Monitoring options Professional
    Monitoring cost Starting at $49 per month
    Contract lengths Monthly or 36 months
    Installation options DIY
    Smart platform integrations Google Home, Alexa, and Siri
  • 4 Alder - Best Touch-Screen Controls

    Alder Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.8
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    When you want security cameras in your rental, you really can’t go wrong with Alder. They sell some top-tier indoor and outdoor security cameras. It was our favorite part of the Alder system we tested, apart from the easy install. But, Alder’s pricing is a lot different than most security systems. Instead of paying for equipment, you pay a monthly fee for monitoring and for your equipment over the course of 36 months. You can’t choose to buy your equipment upfront.

    Alder security equipment

    Alder security equipment

    • Stylish touch-screen control panel
    • 4 G LTE cellular monitoring
    • Smartphone controls
    • Silent exit feature
    • Fast response (20 to 45 seconds)

    • Pricey monitoring plans
    • Lacks pricing transparency
    • Limited home automation
    • Buggy mobile app
    • No online buying option

    Alder Installation

    Okay, we’re calling Alder out here. They say installation only takes 10 minutes, but it took us over half an hour. Yeah, we know, half an hour to install an entire security system isn’t bad. But, when you’re told it’s only going to take 10 minutes, you only set aside 10 minutes to install the system. That’s why we had to leave halfway through our installation to go get our hair cut and then finish the installation when we got back.

    With that out of the way, the actual installation was pretty straightforward. Thankfully, we didn’t need to take out any tools. It used the same adhesive backing as most other DIY systems these days. So, it went up quickly once we had enough time to set everything up.

    Alder Professional Monitoring

    Again, Alder makes some pretty bold claims here that it failed to live up to in our hands-on tests. But, that doesn’t mean its monitoring is bad. In Alder’s marketing material, it claims a response time of just 3.4 seconds. In our experience, response times like those are nothing short of miraculous. So, let’s bring Alder back down to reality.

    We got a response time of 30 seconds, which is right on par with the industry standard, if not a bit better. Just like with the installation, Alder’s actual stats are generally considered good even though it doesn’t live up to its marketing.

    Alder Video Doorbell

    Somehow, a video doorbell has left Alder’s product lineup. It used to offer two different types of video doorbells. We even tested the Skybell Video Doorbell they used to sell. And it was a pretty big hit in our home. It featured industry-standard features like 1080p HD resolution and smart home integrations on top of some premium features like 180-degree field-of-view. That field-of-view really came in handy for apartments since it lets you see all the way down both ends of a hallway or balcony. Unfortunately, you can no longer get one of these video doorbells with an Alder system.

    Pro Tip: While you can’t get a video doorbell, Alder’s outdoor security cameras are surprisingly good with 2K resolution that lets you easily identify faces or see license plates, just like you could with a video doorbell. They even give Vivint a run for their money. See how their cameras stack up in our Alder vs Vivint comparison.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $360
    Monitoring options Professional
    Monitoring cost Starting at $35 per month
    Contract length 36 months
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home

Can I Get Professional Installation for a Home Security System in My Apartment?

In our experience, most apartment complexes prefer professional installation over DIY installation. When you bring in the professionals, your landlord gets a level of assurance that the system will get installed without any collateral damage. With a DIY install, landlords and property managers worry about holes in the wall that are difficult to patch. As a tenant, messing with the wiring in a doorbell is a whole other level of concern for landlords.

>> Read About: Best Professionally Monitored and Installed Home Security Systems of 2024

That said, there’s nothing wrong with an easy DIY security system, like ADT Self Setup. You don’t need to change any wiring or even pick up a tool from your toolbox. Everything is peel-and-stick adhesives, just like putting up a command strip. That’s why it made our list of the best DIY home security systems.

Is Professional Monitoring Worth It for Renters?

Let’s face it, when you rent a home or apartment, you may not have as much in your home to steal and don’t really care that much about vandalism. That’s a problem for your property manager to deal with. So, should you even bother with professional monitoring for your rental’s security system? Well, here are a few reasons you might want to consider professional monitoring:

  • You own expensive jewelry and store it in your apartment.
  • Going out of town is a regular part of your life, so you won’t be able to check alerts.
  • You like being able to leave your phone behind.
  • You’re a huge true-crime fan and regularly get anxious about intruders.

Okay, that last one is a bit of a joke, but it’s true for me. There are plenty of reasons a renter could benefit from professional monitoring. And there are tons of pros and cons to self-monitoring your home security system as well.

Are Tenants Allowed to Install a Security System?

Generally speaking, tenants can install a security system at the place they rent. However, you won’t be able to put outdoor security cameras up anywhere outside of the space you rent. We always recommend checking with your landlord to see what areas you can install equipment.

Also, check through your lease before buying anything. Make sure there are no clauses against video recording equipment. While recording in your own apartment should never be an issue, if one of your indoor cameras can see through a window into someone else's apartment, it could become one. Basically, just use common sense and always ask your landlord first to avoid any potential fees taken off your security deposit when you leave.

>> Learn About: Can Tenants Install Security Cameras?

Our Methodology

So, why should you trust our opinion on what the best home security system for renters are? Well, first of all, we have hands-on experience with every security system we write about. Every story and anecdote we share really happened to us. Whether it’s our dog triggering our motion detector or the Google Nest Cams we tested recognizing our friends’ faces, we install these security systems in our own homes and test them for days, if not weeks.

All that hands-on experience doesn’t mean anything without a standardized way to assess each system. Otherwise, we could just be falling for the company’s marketing materials. That’s why we give you our opinions, but also cold hard facts, like the response time of a monitoring service.

Then, based on our assessment, we rank each system on a variety of factors. Using these rankings, we determine the best security system for a specific purpose, like for renters. That way we can stand by our recommendations with numbers and personal experience to back them up.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, which security system is best for you really depends on the property or apartment you’re renting. In some spots, changing out the current doorbell with SimpliSafe’s Video Doorbell Pro won’t be an issue. Your maintenance guy might even help you with the replacement. Other landlords and property managers will entirely deny your request to make even the smallest modifications.

No matter what though, you deserve to be safe in your own home, whether that’s an apartment, condo, or rental home. And if that means installing a home security system, there are always solutions out there that will still comply with your lease.


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 renters?

    All in all, we like SimpliSafe the most. But, we’d recommend ADT or Frontpoint if you can’t replace your current doorbell with SimpliSafe’s video doorbell. And if you want to pay for your equipment through a monthly fee, go with Alder.

  • Will I lose my deposit if I install a home security system?

    As long as you don’t cause any damage while installing your home security system, it shouldn’t cause an issue with your deposit. Just remember to make any necessary fixes before leaving after taking down your equipment.

  • Should I enter a long-term contract for home security as a tenant?

    It’s always a bit riskier signing up for a long-term home security contract as a tenant instead of a homeowner. That’s one of the reasons SimpliSafe is our favorite for renters. But, signing a long-term contract isn’t always bad and you can usually move your system with you for a fee of $100 to $200 for most systems.

  • Do you recommend Vivint for renters?

    Even though we really like Vivint as a home security system, we don’t recommend it for renters. Between its contracts that start at 42 months and the hefty relocation fee, Vivint is made more for people who have hunkered down and plan to live the next 10 to 20 years in the same home.

  • Can my landlord prevent me from installing a home security system?

    When you don’t own the place, unfortunately, landlords can generally put rules in place that would prevent you from installing a security system. In practice, most would rather their tenants have a security system. So, it shouldn’t be an issue, but you should still check your lease before buying a system.

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

As a home security expert and Managing Editor for, 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.