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Best home security for apartments 2024

Edited by Amy Reeves

Best home security systems for apartments and flats

When buying the best home security systems for a flat or apartment, you will want to consider specific factors with your purchase, such as a system that’s easy to install, or one that only caters to just one entrance door or no outdoor space. We’ve broken down the best home security for apartments that will suit those with smaller homes.

What is the best home security system for flats?

The best home security system for your flat will depend on the level of security you’re looking for, and what components of a security system are most important to you. For this list, we chose Simplisafe’s The Starter package as our best pick overall, due to its comprehensive amount of components, cellular connection as well as wifi, the sleek design and its smart home support.

However, this Simplisafe option doesn’t include an outside camera – so if you have an outside space, we recommend the Arlo Essential Flat and Apartment Kit or the ADT Smart Home System. When it comes to our choice of the best system for renters, the Hey! Security Kit is easy to install yourself, and is also one of the best budget picks. 

Our top three recommended providers

Our breakdown of the best apartment security systems in 2024

Simplisafe’s The Starter package: Best overall for apartments

(Credit: Simplisafe)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £319.95
  • Components: 1 base station, 1 keypad, 1 entry sensor, 1 motion sensor, 1 wired indoor camera
  • Power source: Batteries (for the base station), and mains (for the indoor camera)
  • Connectivity: Cellular and wifi
  • Maximum volume: 95dB
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Backup battery: Yes
  • Monitored: Self-monitored with professional monitoring option for a fee

Pros

Easy to install Sleek design Customisable package

Cons

Expensive No outdoor cameras included

For a does-it-all system that’s also fairly easy to install, SimpliSafe’s The Starter package is a comprehensive option for people in flats or small homes, as it was designed with a smaller space in mind. The central hub of the system is the base station, which connects to and monitors all the other components – it will even use voice prompts to lead you through the installation process. With a SIM card built in, the station uses both cellular service and wifi, so that if one of them should go down, you won’t lose connection completely. It also has capacity to connect to up to 100 motion sensors, so the system can be expanded as required in future. 

The rest of the system is equally as smart. The motion sensor has a 10.6m range, and can tell the difference between people and pets, meaning it won’t set off unnecessary alarms. You can also adjust the sensitivity level of the sensor. The wireless keypad even has an open window sensor, so you can be notified if you leave the house with a window left open.

You can purchase the system without needing to buy a professional monitoring plan, but there’s a choice of two monthly plans that will give you added peace of mind. The Pro Premium plan works out to 93p per day, and the Pro plan costs 53p per day. Both plans are on-demand with a cancel anytime policy– so you won’t be locked into an extensive contract you can’t get out of – and 24/7 alarm monitoring. The Pro Premium plan also offers unlimited camera recordings, 24/7 guard response and a police and fire department dispatch, should the devices detect something dangerous.

While it’s possible to customise your starter package and add more sensors, keypads and cameras, what is included as standard is a great option for people living in flats and apartments. The simple peel-and-stick installation ticks the boxes of being an easy DIY job ideal for renters while also providing impressive security and a good-looking design. The RRP is just over £300, which isn’t the cheapest, but Simplisafe often has deals that will allow you to save a good amount – there’s also a 60 day money-back guarantee if you’re not completely content with your purchase.

Read our full Simplisafe home security review.

Ring Alarm and Indoor Camera Pack (2nd Gen) Size Small: Most affordable professional-monitoring for flats

(Credit: Ring)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £269.98
  • Components: 1 base station, 1 alarm keypad, 1 alarm contact sensor, 1 alarm motion detector, 1 alarm range extender, 1 indoor camera 
  • Power source: Mains (for the indoor camera) and batteries 
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, wifi and Z-wave; cellular backup available with Protect Plus
  • Maximum volume: 104dB 
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa and Google Home 
  • Backup battery: Yes
  • Monitored: Self-monitored with option for professional monitoring for a fee

Pros

24-hour backup battery Remote arming and disarming with Ring app Several features are included without paying for a monitoring subscription

Cons

Some reviews indicate that connection to Google Home isn’t as good as Amazon Alexa Not the nicest design

There are four sizes of this 2nd Gen Ring bundle, but the Small package is the best suited for apartments or one bedroom houses. The wired indoor camera has a handy privacy cover attached, which simply swivels round to conceal the camera and stop recording audio. It also features two-way communication so you can talk to your pets through the app on your phone if you’ve left them at home. This bundle also includes a motion detector and a contact sensor, which sends a notification when doors and windows are opened. The base station of the system is battery operated with a 24-hour backup battery included.

The smallest package should still have everything you need for a small apartment, with everything controlled via the Ring app – which features Alexa compatibility included without signing up for a monitoring subscription. However, with the medium, large and extra-large sizes of this bundle, there’s a siren included too, which could suit larger flats or those that have an outdoor space. If you do want to add a professional-monitoring subscription, Ring Protect Plus is £8 per month, and provides features, such as your chosen emergency contacts being contacted if an alarm is triggered, as well as cellular backup for the alarm if it stops connecting to the wifi. 

Read our full Ring home security review.

ADT Smart Alarm System: Best bespoke package for owned flats

(Credit: ADT)

Key specifications

  • Cost: Price on application (POA)
  • Components: 1 bell box, 1 alarm panel, option to add: wireless door contacts, outdoor wifi camera, indoor wifi or smart camera, video doorbell, PIR motion sensors, smoke detectors 
  • Power source: Wired and battery
  • Connectivity: Wifi, with backup 2G connection
  • Maximum volume: N/A
  • Smart home support: N/A
  • Backup battery: No, but ADT runs daily checks of batteries
  • Monitored: Professionally monitored

Pros

Customisable package with option to choose what you want 24/7 customer support and alarm monitoring High level of encryption

Cons

Doesn’t connect to any smart home systems Expensive

If you’re looking for a really in-depth, personalised package that you’re willing to pay a little more for, we definitely recommend ADT.

This system includes an ADT bell box and Smart Home Hub alarm panel as standard, and on top of this you can add a video doorbell, motion sensors, and a combination of indoor and outdoor cameras. The outdoor wifi camera has a built-in motion sensor, two-way audio, and the ability to store hours’ worth of footage and audio, while the indoor wifi camera saves videos to the Cloud, and includes features such as night vision and a flexible mount.

Additionally, the wireless video doorbell has a rechargeable battery pack and a chime you can customise, and alongside the other components in the package, it will connect to the Smart Home Hub that also includes features like a glass break detector and a built-in Bluetooth speaker. In the UK, ADT’s home security products don’t integrate with smart home systems, such as Amazon Alexa – ADT claims this is because the companies couldn’t promise that data inputted by customers would not be sold.

When it comes to professional monitoring packages, you’ve got plenty of choice, from plans focused on keyholder responses to alarms, to police response options, meaning the police will be called when an intrusion is confirmed. When the alarm senses potential danger, a message will be sent to ADT’s monitoring team, which is on-hand 24 hours a day. 

ADT doesn’t put prices on its site, so you’ll need to get a quote directly from the company – the same goes for the cost of its monthly monitoring packages, but from our research we found that a rough average cost for a two-bed rented flat is around £30.95 per month. 

If you rent, ADT’s security packages probably won’t be for you. They need to be professionally installed and the Smart Alarm System includes the ADT bell box, which will need to live on the outside of your property and connect to a power source with a wire. But if you own your property and need a security system that will cover all bases, but can also be tailored to your needs, the ADT Smart Alarm System is a wise investment. 

Read our full ADT home security review

Arlo Essential Flat and Apartment Kit: Best for ease of installation

(Credit: Arlo)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £284.97
  • Components: 1 outdoor camera, 1 indoor camera, 1 outdoor charging cable
  • Power source: Mains and batteries
  • Connectivity: Wifi
  • Maximum volume: 80dB 
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings
  • Backup battery: Rechargeable battery for outdoor camera
  • Monitored: Self-monitored

Pros

1080p video quality Integrated spotlight and night vision on outdoor camera Built-in siren on indoor camera

Cons

Only includes cameras Apple HomeKit can only be connected with a separate Arlo SmartHub

This small but impressive bundle is ideal for small homes and flats that want a home security system that is quick and easy to install DIY. It only consists of three components: an outdoor camera, an indoor camera and a charging cable for the former. Both cameras are easy to set up and the pack will come with in-depth instructions for the amateur DIY enthusiast. Available in white or black, both cameras look very sleek and subtle and for a small space you’ll have everything you need to ensure you’ve got eyes everywhere.

The Essential Spotlight Outdoor Camera can handle snow, rain and wind, and has colour night vision as well as 1080p video quality to give you a clear image of any possible intruders. The Essential Indoor camera has a built-in siren, which you can choose to either automatically trigger when certain movements are detected, or to be set off manually (using the app) to deter intruders. If you’re worried about the siren going off while you’re at home, or just don’t want to feel like you’re being watched, there’s a privacy shield that can easily shift across the camera’s lens, and the app can also set the camera to ‘disarm’ mode.

You’ll get all of the above with the basic package, but if you do want to add a subscription for peace of mind, the Advanced Security Monitoring subscription is only £3.49 per month. For Arlo, these features include the option to set up ‘activity zones’ on the app, meaning the camera will only alert you when it comes to specific areas that might hold the most valuable possessions, and a theft protection service that will see Arlo replacing the device for free if it gets stolen.

Read our full Arlo home security review.

Hey! Security Kit: Best for renters

pink and green boxes of home security system with camera and video doorbell
(Credit: Hey!)

Key specifications

  • Cost: £129.99
  • Components: 1 video doorbell, 2 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor 
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Connectivity: Wifi 
  • Maximum volume: N/a
  • Smart home support: Amazon Alexa and Google Home  
  • Backup battery: No
  • Monitored: Self-monitored

Pros

Very easy to install Completely wireless Smart sensors mean you can turn lights off and on by opening and closing doors or windows Automatic night vision on smart doorbell

Cons

No battery backup Only self-monitoring options

Hey! offers an impressive package for renters who don’t want to spend too much and don’t want a professional monitoring plan. All of the components in the Security Kit are easy to install, and you’ll be sent everything you need to install the kit yourself – there’s also how-to videos on the site. Each device will connect to your wifi so you can easily control all components by using the app. Unlike ADT, Hey! connects both to Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and you don’t need to order an extra ‘bridge’ or hub to use this feature, unlike Simplisafe or Ring. 

The waterproof video doorbell comes with rechargeable batteries, and features smart inclusions, such as Cloud storage (you can also use memory cards), two-way communication and night vision. The wide-viewing angle will give you a full picture to monitor from the app, but video recording will only start when the alarm senses motion or someone has rung the bell. 

The contact sensors and motion sensor can be set up in seconds, and they stick to the walls with sticky pads, so there’s no need to drill or wire anything. All sensors can be set up to detect motion in the night to turn on lights to deter intruders (or help you find the way to the bathroom). You can also choose which motions (such as opening doors and windows) should trigger features like turning on or off certain lights and appliances. 

The only downside is that there aren’t currently any professional monitoring plans to add to your new system, as all packages are self-monitored. This will definitely suit people who prefer a DIY approach and would rather a simpler system – keep in mind there also isn’t an alarm here. When it comes to ‘smart’ home security systems, we’d say Hey! is one of the smartest, and happily, it’s super easy to install, as well as being inexpensive. 

Read our full Hey! home security review.

How much does a security system for an apartment cost?

How much you can expect to pay for a security system will vary, but when it comes to systems designed specifically for apartments, these will obviously be a lot more affordable than a more comprehensive system that would cover a large rural property with a garden and driveway. 

Generally, you can expect to pay at least £200 for a system that comes with three or more components, but this can be over £300 for more of a ‘does-it-all’ system, such as the Simplisafe Starter package. Other companies, such as ADT, don’t advertise prices unless you contact the team directly for a personalised quote, but they’re likely to be higher, as a result of their bespoke quotations.

Always compare prices from several different companies, considering what’s most important to you, and checking to see if there are any sales and discounts you can take advantage of.

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Frequently asked questions about home security systems for apartments

While most of the top home security brands do offer a package specifically designed for small homes, flats and apartments, there are some packages that we would recommend avoiding if you’re renting. For example, if you’re renting a top-floor apartment in a busy high-rise block, you probably won’t need an outdoor camera, or an alarm system that will produce a loud noise likely to wake up your neighbours.

We would also advise opting for a package in which the indoor camera (if one is included) and other indoor components are either wireless, or can simply sit atop a surface, rather than being drilled on the wall and potentially causing damage to the property. One example is the Hey! Security Kit, which is completely wireless and therefore easy to install and won’t run the risk of leaving marks anywhere. 

If you’re living in a flat or apartment rather than a house and investing in a home security system, you probably won’t need exactly the same amount of security products. A flat with no outside space will likely only have one entrance door, meaning you might need the same amount of security and monitoring products (alarms, sensors, cameras) as a house with a front and back door, for example.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you rent your flat or apartment, there will likely be terms in your tenancy agreement that will stop you from installing something that involves using drills or screws, or anything else that could cause damage to the property.

By self-monitoring your home security system, you’ll usually avoid the monthly fees that come with a monitoring subscription for your system. However, you’ll also have the responsibility of the security of your home entirely in your hands, which may or may not be a good thing. The bonuses of a monitoring system add-on is that a professional will be around to respond to alarms – some systems offer 24/7 alarm monitoring – and will sometimes be able to initiate police or fire dispatch in emergency situations. 

If you opt for a system that doesn’t include professional monitoring, you’ll be saving money, but you’ll also have less bases covered when it comes to complete home security. For some apartments and flats, though, this isn’t an issue – if you’re in a high-rise apartment building that’s not very easy to break into, rather than a ground-floor flat, for example, you’re probably not going to need a top-of-the-range security system.

The answer to this will depend on the clauses set out in your tenancy agreement, or any other information that your landlord has given you regarding home security systems. If in doubt, it’s always best to speak to your landlord before you install a security system.

Hannah Holway circle

Hannah Holway

Home Tech Writer

Hannah Holway is a writer with eight years of experience in writing and editing across several different categories. As a home tech expert at Independent Advisor, Hannah researches, tests and writes about broadband services and home security gadgets.

She started her career as a freelance film and culture journalist, and has written for editorial platforms such as Wonderland and Hero magazine, as well as interviewing directors, actors and musical artists. While at Wonderland, she was also Social Media Editor for the brand and Contributing Editor for the publication’s sister print titles.

In 2020 she joined New York Magazine’s The Strategist UK, reporting on evolving shopping trends and writing about everything from period pants and pens to books and the next ‘status’ candle. She then used her consumer trends knowledge and expertise in her role as Shopping Writer for Woman and Home Digital, where she oversaw a range of shopping content, writing product reviews and other features in the realm of health and fitness, beauty, fashion and homes.

Hannah has also had her academic work published in journals and presented at conferences, and she has a BA and MA in Film Studies.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.