Even renters can get great DIY security systems

By | 6th September 2018

We're a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe and work from our homes. Keeping everything connected — and secure — is our specialty.

The Ring Alarm is the best DIY home security system for renters because it offers everything needed to keep your home safe at a competitive price and the optional $10 monthly monitoring is the best value.

Our Pick

Ring Alarm

Out of the box the Ring Alarm system is ready to start protecting your home.

The Ring Alarm was designed to be placed and used without needing any sort of installation or tools, making it perfect for those who rent a home and might not want to start putting holes in the walls.

The no-installation option

If you rent your home you probably aren't ready to break out the tools and install wires and sensors everywhere. But you still want to protect your valuables, so you need a great home security solution that you can use that can move with you instead of being permanent. The Ring Alarm only needs a connection to power and your Wi-Fi to start monitoring, and the sensors and detectors are securely held with double-sided tape that's easy to remove. The Ring Alarm system is inexpensive, built to grow with you, and full-featured.

Is it a good time to buy the Ring Alarm?

Yes! Ring is an established brand in the home automation and smart device space and the company is offering the Ring Alarm at a great price. The newly redesigned Ring app keeps you informed and offers complete control over your home's security everywhere you go right from your smartphone. Best of all, you won't find a remote monitoring solution as comprehensive as what Ring offers at a lower price; $100 locks you in with 24/7 monitoring for a full year.

Reasons to buy

  • $199 gets everything you need to get started
  • No wires, no tools, no installation required
  • 24-hour battery backup
  • 24/7 monitoring is just $10 per month

Reasons not to buy

  • Motion detectors have a 3-minute reset window
  • Door and window sensors are a little large
  • No volume control for the siren

A comprehensive system at a competitive price

Ring is a well-known name in the home-automation space offering products like video doorbells and security cameras since it was founded in 2013. With Amazon as its parent company, Ring is well-positioned to tackle the needs of renters when it comes to a no-installation security system. The $199 base package is one of the lowest priced solutions and out of the box its ready to monitor one entryway with a contact sensor and motion detector included with the base station, range extender and keypad.

Ring's $10 monthly monitoring plan is the cheapest you'll find.

Another way Ring is the best is when it comes to remote monitoring. The Ring app for Android and iOS offers complete control of your Ring devices as well as your security system, alerting you whenever a sensor or motion detector triggers without any additional monthly fees. If you have the need for complete remote monitoring including a third-party service to contact law enforcement if an alarm is triggered and not reset during a 10-minute window, you'll love the price of $100 yearly or just $10 per month.

The Ring Alarm system is smart, too! Setup is easy through the app and easy to follow directions, and you'll appreciate features like settings to keep pets from triggering alarms. Integration with FirstAlert Z-Wave smoke and carbon monoxide detectors works out of the box and the company says full Alexa support is coming soon.

If you need a solid and affordable security system that doesn't require drilling any holes or running any cables, the Ring Alarm is the best option for most people.

Alternatives to the Ring Alarm

The Ring Alarm is our top pick because it offers the best value when it comes to a solid basic security system. But we know that some are looking for specific features and value isn't always the first consideration. If you're looking for extras when it comes to professional monitoring or complete smart home integration through Google Assistant there are alternatives worth considering.

Smart Home

Nest Secure

The Nest Secure system integrates into any smart home.

$399 at Best Buy

The Nest Secure system offers complete adoption into the Google Assistant ecosystem. Control and monitor your security solution anywhere through the Nest app while you're away or through your Google Home while you're at home.

Nest's $399 Nest Secure kit isn't our overall best, but if you're building out a smart home and want your virtual assistant to control all the things, it might be a better choice for you.

You'll still get a full-featured system with a no-tool installation and 24/7 monitoring is available through Brinks Home Security, but tight integration with all "works with Nest" products as well as Google Assistant allow for extensive automation routines and conveinence.

Monitoring Options

SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security

Unique monitoring options make the SimpliSafe Wireless system a standout.

$256 at Amazon

SimpliSafe offers no-tool installation as well as professional monitoring that's a cut above the rest.

SimpliSafe offers several wireless home security systems that are great for renters and the $256 "Bravo" package is a great starter kit for most homes. What sets SimpliSafe apart is unique professional monitoring options like "secret alerts" that can call law enforcement and notify you without setting off a loud siren.

Bottom line

The Ring Alarm is inexpensive, offers excellent 24/7 professional monitoring for $10 per month, and is ready to work as soon as you take it out of the box. It's the perfect security solution for most renters.

If you need extras like tight smart home integration or unique specialized professional monitoring, other security systems are available that won't need you to drill holes in your walls. too.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jerry Hildenbrand is well-versed in smart home products and solutions and has extensive knowledge of electronics and control wiring. He now works from home and has a vested interest in protecting his valuables.

Tom Westrick is a home automation enthusiast and has built a complete smart home in his apartment. He also has audio and video equipment that requires a bit of home security.