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Best security system for renters

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    Blue by ADT, Cove and Scout
    home security cameras

    Whether you rent an apartment or a house, finding the right security system to keep you and your belongings safe is no easy feat. To select our favorite home security companies for renters, we looked for good customer reviews, easy DIY installation and flexible contracts. Below, we compare Link Interactive, Cove, Scout, Brinks and Blue by ADT.

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    What are the best home security systems for renters?

    We looked for companies that offer DIY installation and smaller systems at reasonable prices to best suit those who rent apartments and single-family homes. We included only systems that are renter-friendly, wireless and portable with reasonable contract terms.

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      Our pick for no contract requirements

      cove alarm
      Cove highlights
      • Flexible payments
      • Easy installation
      • Limited lifetime warranty on equipment
      • Rate-lock guarantee

      Read reviews

      Cove provides the link between smart alarm systems like Nest and the big-brand security companies. Prices depend on a few factors, including whether you rent a house or an apartment and how many outside doors you have. You can pay as little as $0 upfront with the Economy Plan. Professional monitoring starts at $15 per month.

      According to one review from a self-described early adopter, the product is easy to set up and customize. People seem to like the user-friendly touch-screen interface, loud siren and quick monitoring.

      However, some reviews report that the app is somewhat limited. Cove might not be a good pick for you if AT&T cellular service is spotty in your area. Additional reviews mention shipping delays, likely due to COVID-19.

      The company claims its emergency response times are up to 10 times faster than other monitoring centers, and its average DIY installation time is less than 30 minutes.

      Compare Cove alarm monitoring

      With Cove, you can customize your equipment package with a range of products, including door and window sensors, glass break detectors and indoor cameras. The company offers two monitoring plans: Cove Basic and Cove Plus.

      Cove BasicCove Plus
      Monthly fee*$15$25
      24-hour live monitoring
      Hourly automated system check
      24-hour battery backup
      Lifetime equipment warranty
      Smartphone control
      Lifetime rate-lock guarantee
      *As of publishing date
      Cove Basic$15
      Cove Plus$25

      Blue by ADT

      Our pick for customizable systems

      blue by adt alarm
      Blue by ADT highlights
      • Free self-monitoring plans
      • Month-to-month contracts

      Read reviews

      Finally, ADT security for renters. As of publishing, Blue by ADT’s monitoring plans cost $19.99 per month. The Secure system is a good starter package for a reasonable price, but you can upgrade to the Complete package plan for an extra $12 per month, which includes Wi-Fi video surveillance with 30 days of storage.

      Blue by ADT offers pet-smart motion detectors, which help eliminate false alarms. Renters can also choose to self-monitor their systems. Luckily, monitoring contracts aren’t required, so you can pay month to month for the services you want.

      Blue by ADT packages are a good pick for renters who want smart home security features and easy DIY installation. The build-your-own security packages offer the most customizable protection options.

      Compare Blue by ADT home security systems

      Each plan includes smash-and-crash protection, fire and carbon monoxide protection, a wireless security tablet and a free mobile app. We like that ADT throws in a month of free monitoring so you can see if you think it’s worth it (starting at $19.99 per month after that).

      Starter SystemStarter Plus SystemBuild Your Own
      Smart home hub
      Door/window sensors24Optional
      Motion sensors2Optional
      Yard signsOptional
      Window stickers44Optional
      Total system cost*$219.99$299.99$179.99+
      *As of publishing date
      Starter System24$219.99
      Starter Plus System424$299.99
      Build Your OwnOptionalOptionalOptionalOptionalOptional$179.99+

      Brinks Home Security

      Our pick for apartments

      brinks home security alarm
      Brinks Home Security highlights
      • Two-year warranty on equipment
      • 30-day money-back guarantee
      • Helpful customer service

      Read reviews

      Brinks is an especially good pick for apartment dwellers with cats and small dogs — pets under 40 pounds won’t trigger the motion sensors.

      All Brinks plans use cellular and Wi-Fi to connect the security panel or the monitoring center and the system’s app. 4G LTE cellular backup and battery backup ensure service is uninterrupted.

      The Brinks installation process is similar to Link Interactive’s — the systems are easy to install without tools and come preprogrammed. You can also take the system with you if you move.

      Through the Brinks app, you can see and speak to visitors, get instant alerts and control smart devices with your phone. The components are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Nest Secure and other smart home devices, such as lights, locks and thermostats.

      One potential drawback to Brinks for renters is that the company requires a 36-month monitoring contract. However, it’s easy to take the system with you if you move, and your rate stays the same unless you upgrade equipment or opt in to additional services.

      Compare Brinks Home Security plans

      Pricing for Brinks Home Security plans depends on multiple factors, including your location and selection of optional equipment. Request a free quote to get the most accurate cost estimate.

      Smart Security Essential highlightsSmart Security Complete highlightsSmart Security Ultimate highlights
      Motion and door sensors
      Home automation features
      Indoor camera
      Video doorbell
      Free pro installation
      *As of publishing date
      Smart Security Essential highlights
      Smart Security Complete highlights
      Smart Security Ultimate highlights


      Our pick for self-monitoring

      scout alarm
      Scout Alarm highlights
      • No contract required
      • Free shipping on orders over $200
      • Free returns for 60 days
      • Three-year equipment warranty

      Read reviews

      Scout is a good pick for renters looking for a self-monitored system with smart home integrations. You can build your own custom system or select from bundled product packages. Available products include motion and glass break sensors, video doorbells, indoor cameras, smart locks and more.

      The Always On self-monitoring plan costs $9.99 per month (or $107 if you pay yearly). It includes the Scout mobile app and sends alerts through email, push notifications, SMS and phone calls. There’s no contract requirement for the self-monitoring plan.

      For professional monitoring services, look for the Always On+ plan. It costs $19.99 per month (or $215 if you pay yearly) and includes everything in the Always On plan plus police and fire dispatch and free cloud storage for cameras or video doorbells.

      Compare Scout alarm packages

      All packs include the Scout Hub, a door panel, two key fobs and a yard sign. The equipment is available in white or black. The Scout Hub is the brain of the system, and each is equipped with 4G cellular, battery backup and a 105-decibel siren.

      Scout Small PackScout Large PackScout Elements PackScout Architect Pack
      Motion sensors1211
      Access remote2544
      Smoke alarm1
      Water sensor1
      Smart lock1
      Glass break sensor1
      Total system cost*$229$319$349$549
      *As of publishing date
      Scout Small Pack12$229
      Scout Large Pack25$319
      Scout Elements Pack1411$349
      Scout Architect Pack1411$549

      What to look for in a security system for renters

      As you compare systems and packages, think about what equipment and features are most important to you. A home security system may include an alarm, motion detectors, cameras, video doorbells and more. Many companies offer professional monitoring. However, you might prefer to self-monitor through an app.

      • DIY installation: If you live in a rental home or apartment, it’s best to buy a wireless home alarm system that you can install yourself without drilling any holes in the walls. The added bonus is that a portable system can easily go with you when you move.
      • Flexible contracts: One of the biggest obstacles renters face is the fear of a long-term contract. Many home security systems offer plans that require contracts with term lengths ranging from one to five years. Signing on for an extended period of time might not be ideal for renters who aren’t sure where they’ll live in the near future. Look for a provider that allows flexible short-term contracts or no-contract plans.
      • Monitoring and equipment options: A home security system may include an alarm, motion detectors, cameras or 24-hour monitoring. If you want access to a professional monitoring center, make sure it’s UL-certified and will dispatch local emergency responders on your behalf.

      Compare our top picks

      Compare our favorite home security systems for renters below. Checking reviews will help you decide if a company is the right fit for you.

      Monthly fees*ContractSelf-monitoring option
      Link Interactive$30.99 to $44.99One to three years
      Cove$15 to $25Month to month
      Blue by ADT$0 to $19.99Month to month
      Brinks Home Security$39Three years
      Scout$9.99 to $19.99Month to month
      *As of publishing date

      Bottom line

      When you’re a renter, it’s not always feasible or convenient to install permanent security equipment. We suggest looking for systems you can install yourself — this way, if you move, you can easily take the system with you. You’ll also be less likely to damage the walls of your living space during the installation process. It’s important to look for a short-term monthly contract or one you can easily cancel so you aren’t obligated to provide home security in a place you no longer live.

      Next, read about our picks for the best DIY home security cameras.

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