2023 Best Home Security for Renters

Home2023 Best Home Security for Renters

We tested, mystery shopped, did extensive research, and grilled security brand reps to select the top security systems for renters. SimpliSafe is the best overall choice for renters and apartment security.

Best overall



Professional monitoring starts at$19.99/mo.

Month-to-month monitoring
Efficient dispatch tech.
50% offView Packages

Most experienced brand

ADT Self Setup


Professional monitoring starts at$24.99/mo.

Self-monitoring option
Reliability of ADTView Packages

Best for apartments



Professional monitoring starts at$21.99/mo.

Best home automation
Simple setupView Packages

Data as of post date.


Cathy Habas

Dec 17, 2023

17 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review. We may earn money when you buy through our links.

We crowned SimpliSafe the best home security for renters after testing every wireless, no-contract system on the market. But it was a really close race, so we’ll explain why you might want to consider other options instead. 
In short, SimpliSafe’s got the most affordable equipment and the flexibility of canceling your monthly subscription. But ADT Self Setup’s is a good idea if you want the best professional monitoring in the business ,and Abode’s the winner for small spaces like apartments or studios. Plus, it’s the only system that works with the Apple Homekit.
This week’s renter security deals🔥 SimpliSafe is offering a free siren and 50% off when you sign up for Fast Protect™ monitoring.🔥 Abode’s flash sale gets you up to 50% off accessories.Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Here are the best security systems for rentersSimpliSafe: Best optional subscriptionADT Self Setup: Most experienced brandAbode: Best apartment securityCove: Best customer rating

Also in this article:

More brands to consider or avoidFrequently asked questionsSafeWise survey: What do renters worry about?

Compare the best security for an apartment or rental property
BrandBest forProfessional monitoring starting atLowest equipment priceFinancing availableSelf-monitoring optionLearn moreSimpliSafeBest optional subscription


YesView PackagesADT Self SetupMost experienced brand$24.99/mo.$194.98
YesView PackagesAbodeBest apartment security


YesView PackagesCoveBest customer experience$17.99/mo.$229.00


NoView PackagesData as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Full ADT disclaimer.

Yes, renters need security systems
Home security is a good idea for renters because they are nearly twice as likely as homeowners to experience a burglary.1 But security systems have traditionally catered to homeowners with credit checks, long-term contracts, hardwired equipment, and even “you must be a homeowner” clauses. 
Fortunately, that baloney is now the exception rather than the rule.
Like renters, security systems have to move around sometimes—all of our picks are wireless, free of contracts, and can move with you whenever your lease is up. Each DIY security system costs under $50 per month, and many have flexible up-front equipment purchasing options so they can fit your budget while protecting your personal property.

Video: Best Security Systems for Renters and Apartments
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Renter home security reviews

1. SimpliSafe: Best overall

Best for optional subscription



Starts at$19.99/mo

Mobile app with all plans
Indoor, outdoor, & doorbell cameras
Alexa & Google Assistant compatibility

View Packages

There’s one thing you can’t do with Cove: monitor the system yourself free of charge. If an optional subscription is important to you, try SimpliSafe. This DIY security giant recently (finally) improved their self-monitoring plan, meaning after your first month of professional monitoring, you can switch to self-monitoring if you choose. This makes it a great fit for renters who want to avoid a monthly payment.


No long-term contracts

Low monthly monitoring fee

Subtle, stylish equipment

Custom package options


Limited home automation

What you can do with the SimpliSafe Unmonitored plan

Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

Whereas SimpliSafe’s free Unmonitored plan used to be nothing more than a local siren, it now includes some app functionality. You can arm or disarm the system, control the SimpliSafe Smart Lock, view a seven-day event history, and get push notifications when there’s an alarm, camera notification, or system error—all without paying a dime.
Of course, you miss out on some nice-to-have things like emergency dispatch, cellular backup, and video recording by choosing the unmonitored security plan. But at least you don’t have to sacrifice your the security of your home when you go into penny-pinching mode to make rent. Plus, it’s easy to cancel SimpliSafe and restart its $18 or $28 professional monitoring plans if your budget changes.

SimpliSafe also gives you a moving package

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

SimpliSafe sends its customers a free moving package with extra adhesives, wall stickers, and boxes made to fit each door and window sensor and accessory. Call SimpliSafe’s customer service line to request a moving package.
SimpliSafe also makes it easy to leave the entire system—or just a few components—behind for the next tenant. While we appreciate this flexibility, there’s not much in it for you—no discount for swapping out equipment, for example. 

SimpliSafe is easy to install, but not the easiest

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

We’ll be brief here because we go into way more detail in our SimpliSafe installation guide: it’s easy to set up SimpliSafe, but not quite as easy as Cove. Cove pairs each accessory with the smart hub before shipping. 
Otherwise, you can expect the standard peel-and-stick DIY installation process with SimpliSafe. But, if you’re over the DIY of it all, you can opt for pro installa tion from SimpliSafe—starting at $99.99

SimpliSafe might be too simple
SimpliSafe gives you a basic security system and nothing more. Don’t expect many cool smart home gadgets or third-party compatibility. Who says renters don’t want smart homes too? When it comes to smart home integration, we wish SimpliSafe’s offerings were more robust.

Read more about our SimpliSafe testing experience
We’ve tested SimpliSafe over and over in multiple staff members’ homes. Get a summary of our opinions—good and bad—in our full SimpliSafe review. Or check out our SimpliSafe FAQ page and our head-to-head Cove vs. SimpliSafe review.

2. ADT Self Setup: Most experienced security brand

Best professional monitoring

ADT Self Setup


Starts at$24.99/mo

No contract
Self-monitoring option
Reliability of ADT
Many equipment and camera options
Glitchy mobile app
Bulky equipment

View Packages Read Review

ADT Self Setup combines a no-contract system with ADT’s industry-leading monitoring services. It’s a great choice if you wish you could get ADT but have been blocked by their homeowner-only policy. Plus, you get that professional monitoring for an incredible price: $24.99/mo. or about a third of what it can cost to monitor a full-blown ADT system.
ADT Self Setup’s product line isn’t super fancy, but it includes everything you need for a basic security system. ADT Self Setup’s equipment costs more than competitors like Wyze and Ring, so the main reason to get it is for that sweet ADT monitoring deal. 
Read more in our ADT Self Setup review or ADT vs. ADT Self Setup match-up.
Image credit: ADT Self Setup
Standout feature: Big system under $300
ADT Self Setup carries an enormous 15-piece system for just under $300. It includes an indoor camera and a gaggle of door and window sensors and motion detectors. It’s hard to beat this price for what you get.

Learn more about our ADT Self Setup testing experience

ADT Self Setup Equipment and Compatibility
ADT Self Setup Outdoor Wireless Camera Review
YouTube: How does ADT’s DIY Security Brand Stack Up?

3. Abode: Best for apartments

Best for apartments and studios



Starts at$21.99/mo

Mobile app with free plan
Indoor & outdoor cameras
Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, Z-Wave, Zigbee, & proprietary smart home compatibility

View Packages

For apartment renters short on space, Abode sells a unique system called the Iota All-in-One Security Kit. We’ve tested the Iota—which houses a base unit, siren, speaker, motion sensor, and camera in a single tower—multiple times over the years, and we’re always impressed by how much it can do from a single tabletop vantage point. No fuss, no muss—and certainly no screw holes or chipped paint.


Strong home automation capabilities

Affordable professional monitoring

Compatible with third-party products

Free self-monitoring option


Limited app ability

So-so camera quality

Abode (probably) works with your landlord’s equipment

Image: Celeste Tholen, SafeWise

Some security brands (looking at you, SimpliSafe and Cove) don’t let their equipment mix and mingle with other brands. Abode has no such qualms. For renters, this means you might be able to integrate the Abode system with equipment provided by your landlord—devices including a smart door lock on your front door, or smoke alarm in your bedroom. 

Just check out our Abode compatibility guide before you buy—it integrates with a lot of devices, but still doesn’t work with everything.

Abode’s flexible no-contract monitoring saves you money

Image: Cathy Habas, SafeWise

We know renting isn’t cheap, so it’s nice to save money whenever possible—including with professional monitoring. Abode is the only security company that lets you pay for professional monitoring a few days at a time. 
Going on an “unplugged” vacation? Turn on monitoring for about 66 cents per day. Working from home all week? Self-monitor for free. 

Add third-party camera brands for outdoor surveillance
When we say Abode’s best for apartment security, we’re not only talking about the size and layout of your rental, but also the fact that you probably only need indoor security. Abode’s outdoor camera—the Cam 2—didn’t work well for any of us when we passed it around for testing. 
But the good news is that Abode connects to some excellent third-party cameras like Arlo and Blink. If you want to use Abode for a rental home with outdoor surveillance needs, save yourself a headache and skip the Cam 2. Everything else works great.

Learn more about our Abode testing experience
Get the full scoop on what it’s like to set up and use this system in our full Abode review, or read our Abode FAQs.

4. Cove Security: Best customer experience

Best customer experience



Starts at$17.99/mo

Mobile app with upgrade
Indoor and outdoor cameras
Alexa & Google Assistant compatibility

View Packages

Founded around 2018, Cove is an industry newcomer focusing on customer satisfaction. Every time we chatted with Cove customer service during our system tests, we experienced short wait times and friendly service. When we met with Cove in October ’21, they told us about their unique “do it with me” installation option and a neat $5/month upgrade credit that rolls over each month, which is perfect for renters needing different equipment after a move. 


DIY installation

60-day free trial

Flexible payment options


Limited home automation

Cove’s security equipment is incredibly affordable . . .
You can head straight to the online shop or take a custom quiz to let Cove pair you with the equipment you need based on the number of doors and windows in your rental (among other factors). Here’s what the quiz suggested for us:

Image: SafeWise

Cove Touch Alarm Panel
2 door sensors
3 window sensors
1 motion detector
1 smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector
1 key remote
1 Cove indoor camera

We did some extra mystery shopping and math to put these prices into context: Cove sells the most affordable equipment in the industry. You’d spend an extra $100 to $300 to get the same equipment from other top security brands. 

. . . but its monitoring price is average

Image: SafeWise

Here’s one of the most important things to know about Cove: their $18/month monitoring plan isn’t as attractive as it seems. Cove pulls the same trick that SimpliSafe finally corrected: its app is restricted to the $28/month Cove Plus plan.
So, for about $18 per month, the Cove Basic plan gets you professional alarm monitoring and little else—no camera recordings and no smartphone control. 

Some renters ineligible for Cove’s payment plan
If you live in an apartment or townhome with a unit number, you’re not eligible for Cove’s “economy payment” plan, which allows you to use $415 worth of equipment for free with a 36-month contract. 
Instead, you’ll need to pay for the equipment up front. On the plus side, you won’t be locked into a long-term contract and can cancel at any time without penalty. 

No drills required for Cove

Image: SafeWise

All Cove equipment is peel-and-stick, so you don’t have to risk your security deposit by drilling any holes in the walls. It comes pre-named and pre-paired for one of the fastest installations in the industry. See for yourself in our Cove installation demo.

Read more about our Cove Security testing experience
We learned a lot about Cove by testing this system hands-on—and in a rental to boot.  Find out what we like and dislike about this security brand in our full Cove review, or check out our Cove FAQs.

More brands we considered

5. Wyze Home Security: Best budget pick

Caution: Recent Wyze security issue!Recently a Wyze security issue was brought to light in an article from The Verge. For a brief period of time, Wyze was experiencing an issue with its online camera portal and a small number of logged in Wyze users were able to see camera feeds that were not their own.Katie McEntire of SafeWise explains more in a short Tik Tok video.Wyze’s status page provided an apology for the incident and states that “this experience does not reflect our commitment to users or the investments we’ve made over the last few years to enhance security.” Based on their lack of communication and transparency related to this incident, we have moved them out of our top lineup.

Best budget pick

Wyze Home Security


Starts at$9.99/mo

Mobile app included
Works with Alexa and Google
Quality cameras

View on Amazon

 Wyze Home Security is a great option for single-room renters, dorm-dwellers, studio residents, or anyone else wanting to protect their space on a budget. But don’t make the mistake of equating a cheap price tag with poor performance. Even though this company’s products are some of the cheapest in the industry, we’ve found that they work well when put to the test. 


Alexa and Google compatibility

Excellent camera quality

30-day trial

Plenty of smart home products


Limited security equipment

No cellular backup

Just one monitoring plan

Incompatible with third-party brands

Everything about Wyze is budget- and renter-friendly

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Here’s what you can get from Wyze for around $125:

Security hub
Indoor/outdoor camera
Entry sensor
Motion sensor

You can spend even less if necessary since Wyze home security packages are totally customizable. 

Wyze’s professional home monitoring service costs about $10 per month, making it the most affordable option in the industry. But that’s the only plan available, so there’s no way to pay a little extra and get more services, like cellular backup to keep the system running if your rental has terrible Wi-Fi. You get what you get.

Wyze’s smart-home product line is huge
Think you can’t have cool smart-home gadgets in your apartment without paying a hefty price? Think again. Wyze offers tons of smart home products at affordable prices.

Image: SafeWise

Read our reviews to learn more about these Wyze products, all of which integrate with the Wyze security system:

Wyze cameras
Wyze video doorbell
Wyze thermostat
Wyze smart plug

You might need your landlord’s approval before you install a security system. Particularly the thermostat and video doorbell, since those require hardwiring. Otherwise, most Wyze equipment is plug-and-play.
Learn more in our full Wyze Home Monitoring Review.

6. Ring Alarm: Excellent equipment, higher price
Ring Alarm didn’t make our top five list this time around because it focuses heavily on outdoor cameras (not often a priority for apartment security). Plus, Ring’s recent price hike makes their equipment more expensive than many of the other brands we considered.
That said, Ring does sell some renter-friendly video doorbells that are battery-powered instead of hardwired, if you want to keep an eye on your front door.
We think most renters will enjoy a wider selection of equipment at a better price with a brand like SimpliSafe or Cove instead of Ring Alarm. Learn more in our Ring Alarm review.

7. Ooma Smart Security: Unique sensors for older rentals
Ooma Smart Security sells a motion detector that sits on a tabletop, and it’s the only security brand that includes height brackets for its contact sensors. If you’re renting an older home with deeply recessed doors, this is a great option.
Plus, at around $15 a month, professional monitoring from Ooma is affordable. Some equipment bundles also come with free VoIP phone lines. 
But Ooma is extremely basic. The list of what you can’t buy from Ooma is longer than its catalog. It can’t compete with Wyze in terms of price and equipment options.
Learn more in our Ooma Security review.

8. Scout Alarm: Good integrations
Scout Alarm combines affordability and smart home integrations, so it’s worth investigating if our top picks didn’t tick those boxes for you.
But Scout Alarm’s not as smart-home-friendly as Abode, not as affordable as Cove, and not as reputable as SimpliSafe, so we have a hard time recommending it in general. 
Plus, Scout charges nearly $10 a month for self-monitoring, which sounds like a rip-off—especially considering SimpliSafe and Abode let you do that for free. 
Learn more in our Scout Alarm review. 

9. Eufy Home Alarm Kit: Excellent privacy
Eufy’s 5-Piece Home Alarm Kit connects to most of Eufy’s cameras and is a great option for renters who prefer to stay off the cloud. Eufy emphasizes local storage, on-device AI, and end-to-end encryption for maximum privacy, but cloud options are available.
That said, we’d like to see some improvements in Eufy’s security system. Eufy doesn’t sell any environmental sensors or alarm listeners, so that leaves your home vulnerable to fire, CO poisoning, and water damage.
Eufy’s smart hub compatibility is also hit-and-miss, making it tough to fill in those gaps with third-party products. And not every Eufy accessory works with the Eufy Home Alarm base. The Eufy Smart Lock, for example, requires a separate bridge.3 
Learn more in our Eufy Security review. 

3 Security brands renters should avoid
Here’s why some familiar names didn’t make it onto our list of top apartment security and systems for renters.

Vivint Smart Security
Vivint told us they don’t typically install a security system in an apartment unit. They’re willing to work with you if you rent a single-family home as long as your landlord approves all the drilling and hardwiring. Other downsides to using Vivint in a rental include high equipment fees, long-term contracts, and a four-day trial period.

ADT ‘s original security system (different than ADT Self Setup) maintains a strict “homeowners only” policy—probably because they require credit checks, long-term contracts, and hardwired installation.
You’ll be redirected to their DIY option ADT Self Setup as soon as you mention renting. 

Brinks Security
Technically, renters can get a Brinks Security system, but there are plenty of reasons to steer clear:

You have to sign a 36-month contract.
You owe 100% of the remaining balance if you need to cancel.
You need to pass a credit check.
Its monthly fees start at around $40, which is higher than the industry average of $32 per month.
Brinks equipment is usually more expensive than the industry average.

Final word: Cove is for renters of all types
Cove’s custom systems mean you buy only what you need for your home, and their customer service is second to none. Whatever type of rental you’re in, there’s an equipment package you can create for your home.
Not sold on Cove? Our other picks are also contract-free:

SimpliSafe offers basic equipment at an affordable price and makes it easy to move or add to the system.
ADT Self Setup has the best professional monitoring you can find, with 100+ years of experience in the industry and ADT’s trusted brand name.
Abode marries smart home and DIY security for nearly unlimited scenarios.
Wyze is inexpensive and has tons of camera options to keep an eye on things while you’re away.

Renter security FAQ

Expand All

How can I protect my rental property on a budget?

Apartment security for renters doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Work with your landlord to install deadbolts, new locks, or alarms for apartment doors. And renters insurance can reimburse you if something happens to your property while renting for under $20 per month. Security systems can be cheap too. Even if you rent a single room and have roommates, standalone equipment from companies like Kangaroo or Wyze can keep your rental safe without the extra fees. 

Can I get a discount on my renters insurance for having a security system?

Yes! It depends on your insurance company, but some like Farmer’s and Allstate offer up to 15% off for having security or safety devices in your rental.

Do I need to sign a contract for a security system?

While there are systems with contracts, a handful of great systems don’t require any long-term commitment. Alarm systems like SimpliSafe and Cove, for example, let you pay month to month for professional monitoring. Abode even lets you pay for pro monitoring for three or seven days at a time.

What’s the difference between an apartment security system and a security system for a house?

Because the structures are different, an apartment security system doesn’t need as many outdoor devices like outdoor cameras or lights. For homes, make sure your ground floor is covered. The main entrance and any windows or doors at street level will need entry sensors, motion sensors, or glass break detector.

What is a good security system for an apartment?

We like SimpliSafe’s The Foundation package or Ring Alarm’s 5-piece kit for apartments with a single entry point; Frontpoint’s The Safehouse package for two entry points; and  Abode’s Iota kit for open floor plans. If you’re looking for the best apartment security system that’s customizable and affordable, choose Cove.

What are some of the best apartment security devices?

Here are some ideas for purchasing and placing apartment security devices:A motion-sensing camera that monitors a balcony or outdoor entranceA glass-break sensor placed in a central locationEntry sensors on all ground-level or balcony-accessible doors and windows

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SafeWise survey: Renters reveal their safety and security fears

Expand All

What are renters’ biggest concerns?

When it comes to safety and security, what issues are renters most likely to encounter? What are their biggest concerns?We surveyed 1,000 Americans who are currently leasing their home and found that today’s renters are even worse off than we thought. From nonfunctional locks to unresolved maintenance requests, it’s no wonder that nearly one in three respondents said they’ve considered moving out purely due to safety or security issues.

Safety and security provisions

While most landlords aren’t necessarily required to provide or maintain features such as security cameras or outdoor lighting, our survey results show a clear correlation: the safer a renter feels, the more likely they are to stay. So we were curious: what are landlords most likely to provide?



Most renters are provided with at least one of the safety or security enhancements above. But there’s certainly room for improvement. More than 1 in 10 renters are provided with none of these protections, and less than 16% are provided with four or more. 

Expand All

Tenants’ safety and security risks

According to our survey, 52% of renters think someone could “easily” or “somewhat easily” break into their home. Though their reasons may vary, the following stats contribute to this concern:18% of renters have at least one door that doesn’t lock properly.More than 20% have at least one window that doesn’t lock properly.Nearly 30% of tenants say there have been break-ins in their home or building.35% weren’t required to do a background check before moving in.Over 30% of renters have considered moving out of their current home due to safety or security issues. When we took a closer look at the responses of these survey participants, the correlation was clear. These renters are provided fewer safety enhancements and have more outstanding security issues compared to the rest of our survey respondents. Furthermore, 36% of them have unresolved maintenance requests, and 66% say their landlord is aware of the safety and/or security issues in their home. 

Landlords and property management

The property manager or landlord clearly plays a key role in residents’ overall feeling of safety and security, both directly and indirectly. A good landlord or property manager will make the effort to ensure you feel safe and secure in your home. However, lease agreements often include statements relieving the owner of any liability when it comes to security. These survey results shed light on the role property management plays in tenants’ overall feeling of safety in their home:36% of renters have submitted safety- or security-related maintenance requests in the past year that have yet to be resolved.3 in 10 tenants have had maintenance workers or staff enter their home without a mask since the pandemic began.Over 30% say they don’t know how many people currently have access to enter their home.A third of renters say that a landlord or property management staff member has made them feel unsafe.With all of this in mind, it was especially surprising to learn that more than one in four Americans who lease their home admit to not being fully aware of their rights. Tenant rights may vary depending on your lease agreement and location, but a good place to start is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.As a renter, your safety and security is ultimately up to you. Despite the conditions you may live in, there are steps you can take to reduce your risks. Changing the locks and getting a security system for your home are great first steps. Many of the devices we mention throughout the page above are not only affordable but can be easily set up on your own and moved from place to place—making them perfect for people who plan to move in the future.

How we chose the best security systems for renters
To rank the best home security for renters, we focused on these criteria:

No contracts (and, by default, no cancellation fees or credit checks)
DIY installation (the easier the better)
No “homeowners only” policies

From that list of must-haves, we narrowed down the contenders by looking at these features:

Mover-friendly policies and packages
Self-monitoring option
Value for the money
Equipment price
Equipment variety
Financing option

We also considered the most common renting scenarios—home rental, apartment rental, studio rental—and made sure we could recommend a brand for each one.
Finally, we factored in our team’s experience testing each of the security systems that made it to our final “best for renters” list. This hands-on knowledge confirmed whether a system is truly easy to install and take down—and whether the equipment and monitoring service is worth paying for in the first place. 
Check out our methodology page to learn more about how we approached apartment security systems and all our reviews.

Related articles on SafeWise

The Apartment Security Guide for Renters
5 Best Door Locks for Apartments and Renters
Best Peephole Cameras
I Rent an Apartment. Should I Still Consider a Security System?
7 Safety Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Moving In
Is Your Landlord Trespassing? Learn Your Rights as a Renter


US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Household Burglary, 1994–2011.” Accessed December 9, 2022.
Randy Travis, FOX 5 Atlanta, “We Asked 99 Burglars 20 Questions–Their Answers Could Make You Safer,” February 2018. Accessed December 9, 2022.
Eufy, “Compatibility Between eufySecurity Devices.” Accessed December 9, 2022.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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Written by

Cathy Habas

With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic.

Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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