Best Home Security Systems for Apartments

Apartment-living just got a whole lot safer. Most home security companies now offer total protection for apartment and condo-dwellers. Here is a list of our favorite security systems that are perfect for apartments.

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SimpliSafe Equipment Package
SimpliSafe
SecureScore™: 9.3/10
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.
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Cove Smart Home Security Package
Cove Security
SecureScore™: 9.0/10
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.
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Alder Package
Alder
SecureScore™: 7.7/10
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.
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Best Apartment
Home Security Systems For 2021

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Update SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Update

  • SimpliSafe - This alarm company builds their own high-quality DIY security equipment so it avoids high markups and passes the savings along to the consumer. That's what makes SimpliSafe a great choice along with their 60-day trial and no contract requirement.
  • Cove Security - If you live in an apartment, you want easy DIY setup, but without sacrificing modern features like smartphone controls. Thankfully, Cove’s wireless home security systems check all the boxes for apartment living.
  • Alder - Alder offers affordable, high-quality security systems that are perfect for apartment living. Simple DIY setup, modern touchscreen controls, and ultra-fast response times (3.4 seconds!) are a few of the benefits users enjoy.
  • Frontpoint - This is a wireless DIY security system you can purchase for under a $100 and have it installed in less than 30 minutes. They also offer home automation and have an outstanding customer service team. The Frontpoint security system is one of the most popular companies on our website.
  • Brinks - A well-respected company in the security industry Brinks offers a DIY home security system without any upfront equipment costs, a 30-day return policy, 24/7 monitoring, and home automation features. This affordable security system also has a Hacker Protection feature that encrypts sensor signals.
  • abode - Abode is the perfect apartment security solution because it's wireless and portable, an easy DIY tool-free installation, is fully customizable, and can be monitored from your phone for free.

If you live in an apartment and want to install a security system, you might find yourself wondering about the best home security systems for apartments in general. You might think installing a security system in a rental limits your options. And while that might be somewhat true, the security industry is evolving every day and there are a wide variety of home security systems for apartments that are every bit as good, if not better, than their wired counterparts.

So let’s take a look at security options for apartments then you can use this information to make an educated decision about which apartment security system is right for you and your particular situation.

  • 1 SimpliSafe - Best Overall for Renters

    SimpliSafe Equipment Package
    SecureScore™ 9.3
    How We Review
    Customer Service
    9.2
    Value
    9.5
    Equipment
    9.2
    Features & Technology
    8.7
    Ease Of Use
    9.7
    SecureScore™
    9.3

    SimpliSafe is known as one of the most affordable security companies in the market, but there’s much more to learn about the DIY brand. You won’t find long-term contracts, and you can use the system without paying monthly fees if you choose. The equipment is also very easy to use and great for beginners, as we discussed in our full SimpliSafe review. In addition, their equipment is high quality and the overall design is extremely durable and versatile. Here are some of the SimpliSafe pros and cons.

    • Affordable equipment and monitoring
    • No long-term contracts
    • Easy DIY wireless installation
    • 60-day money-back guarantee
    • Three-year equipment warranty
    • Indoor and outdoor cameras
    • Video doorbell options
    • Environmental disaster sensors
    • No-monthly-fee option
    • Integrations With Alexa, Google Assistant, August Locks, and Apple Watch
    • Award-winning company

    • Up-front equipment expenses
    • Control panel is push-button, not touch screen
    • Smartphone controls require a monthly fee
    • Sensors are slightly larger than average
    • Only one outdoor camera option

    SimpliSafe is a great option if you don’t want to sign a contract and it costs less than other security systems. It’s also very easy to install and the system will work whether or not you choose to add a monitoring plan. The SimpliSafe system communicates by linking to your internet connection. It’s also portable and will send you activity alerts regardless of where you put it. Additionally, even though this is a self-monitored security system, SimpliSafe does have a monitoring option if you so choose for a minimal monthly fee.

    SimpliSafe’s packages are priced anywhere from $229 to $489. You can also build a SimpliSafe system from the ground up, one of many reasons we rated SimpliSafe as one of the most affordable security systems available. Learn more in our complete SimpliSafe plan and cost guide. The SimpliCam, SimpliSafe’s indoor camera, works well as part of the larger SimpliSafe system and comes free of charge with a package, though it’s regularly priced at $99. Additionally, SimpliSafe’s monitoring costs are among the lowest in the market, starting at $24.99.

    Most people also find the SimpliSafe system very easy to use and for the installation, you simply plug-in the base station, place the sensors around your apartment, then adjust the settings. In addition, the SimpliSafe system also comes with a battery backup if you ever lose power. And the best part is when you move from an apartment into a house, you can take the entire system with you.

  • 2 Cove Security - Best for Affordable Monitoring

    Cove Smart Home Security Package
    SecureScore™ 9.0
    How We Review
    Customer Service
    8.9
    Value
    9.4
    Equipment
    8.5
    Features & Technology
    8.6
    Ease Of Use
    9.4
    SecureScore™
    9.0

    Cove home security systems are surprisingly affordable and come with one of the best promises in the business: “If you don’t like it as much as your kids, return it for your money back.” Well, we tried it, and it checks out as a pretty solid option for apartment living and renters. The easy DIY setup and user-friendliness really stood out to us in our in-depth Cove review.

    • Simple DIY Installation
    • No Contracts, Month-to-Month Service
    • Smartphone Controls
    • Touch-screen Control Panel
    • 1080p HD Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
    • Alexa and Google Assistant Compatible
    • Low-Cost Monitoring
    • Lifetime Warranty Option

    • App Experience Could Be Improved
    • Limited Home Automation Features
    • No Self-Monitoring Option

    Starting at only $14.99 per month, Cove has come onto the DIY home security scene with something to prove. The costs of a Cove system are among the lowest out there, making it a top pick for affordable home security as well as for solid apartment security. We recently used the system in our home, and we were pleased with how quick and easy it was to get up-and-running. The installation took 10 minutes from start to finish, making it a great choice if you live in an apartment. And since there’s no drilling required, you can take it with you and keep the landlady happy.

    Note, however, that Cove does require a monthly monitoring fee (no self-monitoring option). That said, it’s one of the cheapest monitoring plans we’ve seen, and it’s definitely reliable. We experienced 30 second response times, and the police even showed up when they thought there was trouble brewing. We also got a lot of use out of Cove’s “Custom Actions” feature, allowing us to set smart automations in the mobile app.

  • 3 Alder - Best Touchscreen Control Panel

    Alder Package
    SecureScore™ 7.7
    How We Review
    Customer Service
    7.1
    Value
    8.3
    Equipment
    7.4
    Features & Technology
    7.2
    Ease Of Use
    8.5
    SecureScore™
    7.7

    Alder’s high-quality DIY security packages impressed us for many reasons, including great portability and equipment quality – both appealing qualities we look for in apartment security. When we reviewed Alder, the whole thing took only 15 minutes to install. And they are one of the only brands we’ve tested that offers the choice between DIY installation and free professional installation. Check out Alder’s pros and cons:

    • 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

    There’s actually a lot to like about Alder — especially if you live in an apartment. Their equipment is 100% wireless, so there’s no drilling or fussing with wires (keeps you and the landlord happy). You can install it yourself in just 10-20 minutes, from start to finish; or you can have an Alder tech install it for free. The company takes a tailor-made approach to home security, with systems that are customized to meet your exact needs.

    As far as Alder’s system pricing goes, individual equipment costs aren’t so easy to find. It’s a setup that reminds us of Vivint, one of the smartest and most effective security systems we’ve tested. Instead of visiting a brand website and choosing from different packages and plans, we connected to a helpful agent who guided us through all of Alder’s options to find the right fit.

    Once you’re all set up, your apartment is that much safer with the fastest response times in the industry. If there’s a break-in or emergency, Alder can respond as fast as 3.4 seconds! They also offer a couple of camera options — both indoor and outdoor — and a video doorbell camera option as well (third-party devices). Now, if you’re into home automation, rest assured the equipment works with Alexa for voice control, and you can even integrate Z-Wave compatible devices. So there should be plenty of smart home options to keep you busy.

    Finally, it’s important to know that Alder operates with down-home values, and they seem to really care about their customers. This shines through in customer-friendly policies like lifetime warranties and free in-home installation. The company is even known to support local high-schools and youth sports organizations. Pretty cool!

  • 4 Frontpoint - Best Custom Features

    Frontpoint Home Security
    SecureScore™ 8.4
    How We Review
    Customer Service
    9.6
    Value
    8.2
    Equipment
    8.0
    Features & Technology
    7.8
    Ease Of Use
    8.3
    SecureScore™
    8.4

    Frontpoint is a top contender in DIY home security that lends itself well to apartment living. Its simple, no-nonsense pricing structure impressed us when we broke down Frontpoint’s costs, and its high-quality equipment proved effective in our full Frontpoint review. Frontpoint gives you more for your money than any other security company and tops it off with the best 24/7 customer service in the industry. Here are some of the Frontpoint Home Security pros and cons.

    • High-quality GE Equipment
    • Wireless Security Systems
    • Easy DIY Installation
    • LTE Cellular Monitoring
    • Home Automation
    • Indoor & Outdoor Cameras
    • Excellent App Experience
    • 30-Day, Money-Back Guarantee
    • Geofencing Feature

    • Somewhat Expensive Monitoring
    • Limited Service Hours
    • Touch-Screen Panel Sold Separately
    • Outsourced Monitoring Service
    • Limited Keypad Functionality

    Frontpoint Security is consistently rated one of the best home security companies in the country. Their costs are competitive and they provide their customers with exceptional customer service. Frontpoint is one of our favorites for several reasons. Its easy, wireless installation makes Frontpoint one of our best DIY security system picks of the year. Even the least tool-savvy person can install this system in less than 30 minutes.

    There are three monitoring plans and they all include a smoke and heat sensor. And for an additional charge, a flood sensor can be installed. These features are always important, but are especially important when you live in an apartment because you live in such close proximity to others. Which means even though you might be a responsible renter, it doesn’t mean everyone else is. So these features are just another layer of protection for you, your family, your pets, and your belongings.

    The Frontpoint contracts are either one or three-year agreements; however, if you want the package pricing, you have to sign a three-year contract. However, you can use all the Frontpoint equipment via an app on your mobile device.

    Frontpoint is considered one of the best security companies for apartments because of their high-quality, easy, wireless DIY installation, exceptional customer service, and affordable options.

    If you want quality, convenience, and a top-notch security company, Frontpoint might be just what you’ve been looking for.

  • 5 Brinks - Best DIY Setup

    Brinks Smart Security Ultimate
    SecureScore™ 8.7
    How We Review
    Customer Service
    8.3
    Value
    8.7
    Equipment
    8.8
    Features & Technology
    8.7
    Ease Of Use
    9.0
    SecureScore™
    8.7

    Brinks, another classic security company with a reliable reputation, offers a DIY home security system with high-quality equipment, a 30-day return policy, 24/7 monitoring, and home automation features. Brinks is a contract-only system, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, choosing a Brinks home security package means you’ll get all the equipment you need upfront, but you don’t have to pay it in full. Instead, Brinks lets you pay off your system over time, and after that, all you’re responsible for is Brink’s monitoring costs. The Brinks name is widely known and respected in the home security industry so you can rest assured you are dealing with a company that knows what they are doing and has a long-term history of value and affordability. Here are some of the Brinks pros and cons.

    • Rate-lock Guarantees
    • Affordable Packages
    • Reliable 24/7 Monitoring
    • Indoor and Outdoor Cameras
    • Smartphone Controls
    • 30-Day Return Policy
    • Home Automation Features
    • 2-Year Warranty

    • Most Plans Require a Contract
    • Pricey Monthly Monitoring
    • Professional Installation Only Included in Top-Tier Plan

    Brinks offers both a DIY installation and a professional installation option that comes with a lifetime equipment warranty, but if you choose the professional installation option be prepared to pay the installation fee of $199.

    There is a contract requirement with Brinks, which is three years with most of their plans. But what makes the Brinks option so attractive is that it works with a wide variety of smart home devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant, etc, whereas most other home security equipment isn’t as flexible. Another thing to keep in mind is that cameras are not included in the basic package. If you want indoor cameras, you will have to subscribe to the upper tier monitoring plan.

    Overall, you really can’t go wrong with Brinks, especially now that they have merged with Livewatch and Moni. This gives them an edge over the competition because of their flexibility and versatility when it comes to overall equipment and monitoring options many of which can be used with third-party home automation features. Not to mention their affordable plan options that span a fairly wide budget spectrum so they have something for just about everyone.

    For much more insight and considerations on Brinks, visit our full Brinks security system review.

  • 6 abode - Best Equipment Design

    Abode Product Selection
    SecureScore™ 8.0
    How We Review
    Customer Service
    7.3
    Value
    8.3
    Equipment
    8.2
    Features & Technology
    8.3
    Ease Of Use
    8.0
    SecureScore™
    8.0

    Living in an apartment can sometimes pose challenges when it comes to installing a home security system. So if you are looking for the best apartment security systems for your needs—look no further. Abode home security might be just what you’ve been looking for and it can be easily integrated with a variety of third-party smart home automation features as well. Additionally, there are no contracts to sign, it’s affordable, and they offer a surprising number of add-ons from which you can choose.

    • Competitive Equipment Costs
    • No Long-Term Contracts
    • Fast DIY Wireless Installation
    • 30-Day Equipment Trial Period
    • 1-Year Equipment Warranty
    • Hub With Built-In HD Camera
    • CUE Home Automation Platform
    • Environmental Disaster Sensors
    • No Monthly-Fee Option
    • Low Monthly Monitoring Rates
    • Integrates With Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Z-Wave Compatible Devices

    • Setup Could Be More Intuitive
    • Limited Equipment in Starter Kits
    • No Touch-Screen Panels
    • Customer Service Could Be Improved

    Abode was founded in 2014, so they are a relative newcomer to the home security landscape. However, they are quickly becoming one of the top contenders in the industry. In fact, Abode has an 8.3 out of 10 customer rating on Trustpilot based on more than 1756 reviews!

    Abode is also a popular option for those who live in an apartment because they don’t require a long-term contract, their equipment is affordable, customizable, and compatible with a variety of third-party devices. All of which offers apartment dwellers the flexibility they need in a security system.

    In our full abode analysis, the system allowed for self-monitoring, which meant we could opt out of professional monitoring.

    It’s no wonder we’ve named abode one of the best no monthly fee systems, as well as one of the best systems for self-monitoring, in this super-competitive industry.

    Abode also has on-demand monitoring and what seems like an endless number of add-ons from which you can choose. If that weren’t enough, the Abode equipment is an extremely easy, no tools required, DIY installation that’s portable which is an important feature when you live in an apartment.

    What makes Abode stand out most of all when it comes to being one of the best apartment security systems is that it’s wireless. So the equipment can be easily moved from place to place. Every component is attached using an adhesive strip, which is included with your purchase. So all you have to do is remove the adhesive, take down the equipment, and re-install it using a new adhesive strip when you move-in to your new apartment. Additionally, all your devices will remain paired with your system. That means they can be easily connected once you get to your new home.

Home Security Systems for Apartments

Renters

If you rent your apartment, some of the best brands out there have features tailor-made for renters. Our list of the best security systems for renters is a great resource to help you choose the system that fits your space. Generally, renters tend to prefer equipment they can move around easily, and many of them are on a budget, too. You will first need to contact your landlord and find out what their policy is regarding security systems. In addition, if you are renting, it’s always smart to ask your property manager or landlord if you’re allowed to hardwire a security system (visit our best hardwired security systems for some excellent options) or is wireless the only option? Do they allow you to display security decals or stickers on your windows? It’s best to get all of those answers in writing before choosing a home security system.

Owners

If you are the owner of rental property, you might consider developing a set criterion that includes what your renters can and can’t do when it comes to installing a security system then have them sign it. This will help reduce your liability should someone install a security camera improperly or in a prohibited area.

Additionally, if you own rental property, buying and installing security cameras could be a good crime deterrent and provide you with video proof of a crime should it occur. A security system will not only help you protect your investment, but it could also help protect your residents to some extent as well. However, with that being said, there are some very specific state and federal laws concerning audio and video recording. And sometimes those laws can even vary from city to city. Therefore, it’s imperative you seek legal advice on how to proceed before installing a security system on your rental property. For lots more tips and benefits, take a look at our in-depth security system buyers guide.

Features of Apartment Home Security Systems

Purchasing a security system when you live in an apartment carries a different set of criteria than it would if you owned a single-family dwelling. Therefore, consider taking some time to research the best home security systems for apartments so you can make an educated decision about which one is right for you. Here is a list of features to consider before making any final decisions.

DIY

DIY is the apartment-dwellers dream. These security systems are up-and-running in a flash, with practically no tools, and zero wiring or holes to drill. Sure, there are more robust systems on the market, but those require professional install (not to mention a stranger in your apartment). Also, you take it with you when you move. There’s lots to love about apartment security systems.

Entryway Sensors

Home security systems for apartments use Entryway Sensors to secure the perimeter. Especially important for first floor units, you simply mount the magnetic sensors on doors, windows, and other entry points. When the alarm is set, the sensors will sound the alarm when the magnets are separated — which will most likely cause the bad guys to tuck tail and run.

Remote Control

Renters are all about convenient automation. That’s why Remote Control is a top feature for apartment-dwellers. Take total control of your home security system with a keychain fob and a sleek mobile app. The hands-free capabilities are quite impressive. Depending on your system and technology, you can remotely arm and disarm the system, and control a number of other automation features.

Wireless

Wireless home security systems for apartments are all the rage for a reason. We touched on the ease-of-installation, but there’s more to it. Many landlords don’t even allow hardwired systems, as the drilling and wiring can be quite invasive to their property. With a wireless system, everyone’s happy. You’ll have to think of other more creative ways to annoy your landlord.

Mobile Alerts

Mobile Alerts is fantastic feature that most home security systems for apartments offer. This lets you access, monitor, and control your system from your smartphone or other device. If and when the system senses activity, you’ll be the first to know. The helpful and timely alerts are typically sent via text, email, and even by phone. Secure your apartment, from anywhere, anytime.

24/7 Monitoring

Some choose to “self-monitor” their apartment security system. Others choose to bring in the big guns with 24/7 Monitoring. Around-the-clock professional monitoring is available for many (but not all!) DIY wireless systems. While this feature can certainly be helpful, if you self-monitor using mobile alerts, you’ll save some cash. Also, 24/7 monitoring might require a contract.

Motion Detectors

This feature is especially helpful in 3+ bedroom apartments, to monitor less-trafficked areas. The devices themselves are straightforward: if they sense motion, they sound the alarm, and you receive an alert. To reduce false alarms, some motion detectors can tell apart your pup from a perpetrator. Although not always necessary, motion detectors are a helpful component for a more robust apartment security system.

Expandable

You never know when you might want to expand your system. Thankfully, many home security systems for apartments allow you to add loads of additional features. Live-stream video cameras, home automation controls, and a host of other options will keep things interesting. And the best part — many of these upgrades are wireless, DIY install. So take it with you when you move.

Panic Buttons & Pendants

Caught in a sticky situation? Feel threatened? Need help? Simply press the panic button on your control panel or mobile pendant to summon assistance. This is a great feature for apartment-dwellers, no matter their age. Many of these devices also boast two-way voice so you can communicate directly with the monitoring center without having to find a phone and dial the number.

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Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and 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 the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.

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