December 10, 2022

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Best Home Security System for Renters 2022

Popular Security Systems

Even if you’re renting your home, security is still important. For extra protection and peace of mind, you might want to install a home security system. We’ve rated the Best Home Security Systems for Renters of 2022 to help you decide, listing the Best DIY Systems that also don’t require a multiyear contract, which wouldn’t be advisable if you have a month-to-month lease.

Below, we describe the price, features, and plans of our Best Home Security Systems for Renters. We also explain the pros and cons of installing a home security system in a rental property, what to look for in a system, and how to install one without damaging the interior and using up your security deposit.

(Wenbin)

Best Overall Home Security System of 2022

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $24.99

Installation Options

DIY, Professional

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Best for Smoke, Fire, and CO Detection

Monthly Fees

$30.99 and Up

Plan Lock

12-36 Month Contract

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $20.00

Installation Options

DIY, Professional

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Easy-to-Install DIY System with Professional Monitoring

Monthly Fees

$14.99 and Up

Installation Options

DIY, Professional

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Most Affordable Home Security System of 2022

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $19.99

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Best Overall Home Security System of 2022

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $24.99

Installation Options

DIY, Professional

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Best DIY System With Pro-grade Equipment

Plan Lock

36 Month Contract

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Best for Smoke, Fire, and CO Detection

Monthly Fees

$30.99 and Up

Plan Lock

12-36 Month Contract

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $20.00

Installation Options

DIY, Professional

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Easy-to-Install DIY System with Professional Monitoring

Monthly Fees

$14.99 and Up

Installation Options

DIY, Professional

Voice Assistance?

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Outdoor Camera

Base Price

$244.96 and Up

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $24.99

View Options

Best Overall Home Security System of 2022 

  • Large selection of sensors

  • $25 plan needed for remote features

  • Limited home automation capability

Plan Lock
No Contract

Installation
DIY, Professional

more details

SimpliSafe: SimpliSafe is easy to install and relatively affordable, offering a starter package called The Foundation for $229. It includes one base station, one wireless keypad, one entry sensor, and one motion sensor. There are two professional monitoring plans priced at $14.99 and $24.99 a month. Note that SimpliSafe only offers one camera, so if you’re looking for a wide selection of cameras, consider other options.

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Best DIY System With Pro-grade Equipment 

  • Large selection of sensors

  • Integrates well with third-party security devices

  • Some equipment requires basic wiring and mounting skills

  • An expensive plan is needed for video and home automation

Plan Lock
No Contract

Installation
DIY

more details

Frontpoint: Frontpoint is a DIY home alarm system with equipment that’s quick and easy to install. Its entry-level package costs $392.40 for one hub and keypad, two door/window sensors, one motion sensor, one yard sign, a set of five window decals, and one door sticker. However, monitoring costs $49.99 per month, which is a higher monthly fee than most DIY home alarm systems.

See Full Review »

Base Price

Varies

Monthly Fees

$30.99 and Up

View Plans

Best for Smoke, Fire, and CO Detection 

  • Affordable, professional monitoring includes fire

  • No contract required if you pay for equipment upfront

  • Flexible contract terms if you choose to finance equipment

  • Cancellation requires payment of 75% of the remaining balance of your contract

  • Recommended control panel is a $200 upgrade but includes some basic equipment

Plan Lock
12-36 Month Contract

Installation
DIY

more details

Link Interactive: Unlike most DIY home security systems, Link Interactive offers a complete build-your-own system instead of starter kits or packages. Similar to professionally installed home security companies, Link Interactive customizes a system based on your unique security needs. However, instead of sending a technician to your home, a quote is provided online or over the phone. You still get an excellent home security system tailored to your situation, with the ability to expand into home automation if you wish. Using Link’s Alarm.com app, you can monitor and control your home remotely and add Z-Wave smart home devices including door locks, cameras, and video doorbells. There are three monitoring plans for $30.99, $39.99, and $49.99 a month.

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Base Price

$199.99 and Up

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $20.00

View Prices

Biggest Camera Selection 

  • Monitoring and video plan for just $20 a month

  • Door sensor relatively bulky

  • Limited selection of devices

  • Monitoring center can’t see video or photos from an alarm

Plan Lock
No Contract

Installation
DIY, Professional

more details

Ring Alarm: Ring’s $199 starter system is called the Ring Alarm Security Kit. It includes a base station, a keypad, a motion detector, a contact sensor for a door or window, and a device that extends the range of the communications between the base station and the sensors. One downside is that the Ring security system is relatively basic and doesn’t currently integrate with many third-party home automation devices that work with competing systems.

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Base Price

$249 and Up

Monthly Fees

$14.99 and Up

View Plans

Easy-to-Install DIY System with Professional Monitoring 

  • Offers frequent discounts

  • Simple, easy-to-use system

  • Not as many features or customization options as many competitors

Plan Lock
No Contract

Installation
DIY, Professional

more details

Cove: Cove Security is a relative newcomer to the DIY home security market. Its equipment is somewhat basic, and it doesn’t sell pre-packaged systems. Instead, you buy equipment a la carte after answering a series of questions about your home and who lives there, then Cove’s website configures a system for you. This approach may appeal to those who want a simple, no-frills system that’s easy to set up and use. Cove’s sensors start at $15 for a door/window sensor and go up to $55 for a smoke and CO detector. The touch-screen alarm panel is $249. Cove has two professional monitoring plans for $15 or $25 a month.

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Base Price

$179.99 and Up

Monthly Fees

$0.00 to $19.99

View Plans

Most Affordable Home Security System of 2022 

  • Large number of customization options

  • Long-range wireless technology

  • More complex than many people need or want

Plan Lock
No Contract

Installation
DIY

more details

Blue by ADT: ADT is the largest and best known professionally installed home security provider in the U.S. Its new DIY Blue by ADT system is controllable from a smartphone app and comes with its well-regarded 24/7 professional monitoring. Blue by ADT starter packs are available on ADT’s website and through a growing number of retailers, including Amazon. These starter systems begin at $219.99 and can be supplemented by additional Blue by ADT sensors and cameras, and by compatible gear such as smart lights and smart locks from other smart home equipment makers.

See Full Review »

Renters have a number of options for home security systems. But whether you need one is another story. Like a lot of things, it depends on your situation.

Reasons to Get a Home Security System When Renting

Extra protection without complications. Many renters can easily install a DIY security system that offers strong protection without getting locked into a costly monitoring contract. Most of the newer DIY systems have professional-quality equipment and the companies can help walk you through the installation with videos, online or phone help. Lee Walters, a former FBI security specialist, says many DIY systems on the market now are simple enough for most renters to install on their own.

Connecting smart home devices. Installing the latest DIY security systems involves tasks many people are familiar with, like connecting your smart thermostat or garage door opener to your home Wi-Fi Network. Many of the sensors used in security networks can be placed on a shelf or counter or attached with supplied adhesives that don’t damage walls or woodwork. A security system can become a hub for the rest of your smart home gear, allowing you to control compatible video doorbells, dimmable lights, smoke detectors, smart thermostats, door locks, and more.

If you’re ambitious, you can program a sequence of events such as turning on lights when motion is detected or automatically locking doors when you leave. Jordan Frankel, founder of Global Security Experts, a security consulting firm, points out that lighting on the perimeter of your property in conjunction with an alarm system is “a key element in home security” and can help deter home invasions.

Drawbacks of a Installing Home Security System When Renting

Renters will have to put in the effort and money needed for a home security system, and it may not be worth it with a short lease. Most DIY starter kits come with a minimal number of sensors so you might need additional gear for full protection. Frankel cautions against buying the smallest starter package and advises consumers carefully assess their risks and needs. “There is no concrete formula for how many sensors you need in a room,” he says.

You will need to plan the layout, install the system, and test it regularly. You’ll probably also need to troubleshoot any problems, but you can also use a monitoring service (for a monthly fee) to keep tabs on your property and your system.

Be prepared for false alarms, which can happen. A frequent loud siren may cause problems with your neighbors and your landlord.

Renters should consider the following when choosing a home security system:

  1. How much protection? The bargain-priced starter kits from DIY security firms may have just a few window or door sensors. This might deter intruders. But you can opt for a higher level of protection by adding on equipment to cover all potential access points.
  2. How much money? You can choose from a range of options for equipment packages and add-ons, but also consider the cost of monthly monitoring plans if you need them.
  3. Plan the installation. DIY companies can provide advice over the phone, but ultimately you will decide what equipment you need and where it goes. Check to see if tools are required (many don’t) and anything else you’ll need for the installation. Get quotes from two or three firms before making a decision.
  4. Check the fine print. Study your documents and contracts (if you have monitoring) for terms of refunds, warranty, etc. before signing.
  5. Ask about help. Even if you’re confident about installing a system yourself, see what assistance is offered by phone or online. Many firms have step-by-step video tutorials.

It will take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to install a DIY security system depending on your skills. But you probably won’t need mechanical or technical expertise; the systems in our Best for Renters Ratings can be set up without special tools, wiring, or electrical know-how. It will be easier if you are comfortable with electronic gadgets and have connected devices to your Wi-Fi network.

The systems in our Best Home Security Systems for Renters rating include a main control hub, generally using Wi-Fi. The hub can be operated with a keypad and/or a smartphone app. You will also get sensors for doors and windows to detect motion or glass breaking. In some systems, a camera is included. Each of these systems allow renters to start with a basic equipment package and add more gear as needed.

Here are the basic steps for installing a home security system for renters:

  1. Set up your hub. The wireless hub will need a power outlet and should be placed near the front door. This is usually too heavy to attach with adhesives but it can be fixed with a mounting bracket that should not cause excessive damage to your wall.
  2. Place your sensors and motion detectors. These lightweight devices can be attached with adhesives without damaging walls or woodwork. Your security firm can advise you on the best locations.
  3. Don’t forget to test. Test the system. You will need to practice arming and disarming your system so you don’t unintentionally set off an alarm – a surefire way to become unpopular with your neighbors. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Learn More

For more information about home security systems, see the following guides:

Home Security Systems

Other Ratings from 360 Reviews

In addition to our ratings of home security systems, you may be interested in these guides to other products:

Why You Can Trust Us: 36 Home Security Systems Researched

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 36 home security systems and analyzed 20 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate business team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations.

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