Are you looking for the best apartment security system? The world of apartment security systems is fast evolving. As an apartment access and video intercom company, we live and breathe security systems. We have put together a comprehensive guide to help you with your decisions. You can jump straight to a sub section based on your needs.
Security for the building common area (for property manager and owners)
- Building access control system (key fobs, card readers, access control, mobile access)
- Video surveillance, CCTV camera systems
- Video intercom systems for visitor access
Security for the apartment unit (for tenants and residents looking to secure their own apartment)
Apartment Building access control systems
Access control systems typically refers to key fob and key card access to the common area of an apartment building. If you are a developer, property owner or property manager looking to control access to the building, and limit unauthorized access, you would need to put in an access control system.
Good old keys. They work great for very small apartment buildings. e.g. If you have a 4 unit apartment building, keys might be the most cost effective solution. Turnover is not going to be very common, so managing keys won’t be a massive hassle. Visitor access is not possible with keys. You would need to compliment it with an apartment doorbell system that can connect to all residents via a buzzer or a call.
Key fob access control
Key fobs make it easy to grant and revoke access to larger number of people. They restrict unauthorized people from entering the building.
What to look for in a key fob system provider
- Support for encrypted key fobs, that cannot be cloned by cheap cloners online
- A web based management dashboard, so that you can not running local windows computers
- Ability to grant or revoke access remotely
- Ability to automate move-ins and move-out access grant, through property management integrations like Yardi, Realpage and Entrata
- Support for PIN pad readers, that can be used to grant temporary access to visitors
- Support for elevators and garage access, in case those are applicable to you
- Whether the security vendor has a good data protection policy like SOC 2 certification
- A video intercom solution that’s tied with the access control, so that you can manage access for both visitors and residents from a single system
- Ability to connect with camera systems if needed
- Cellular and power backup options
Swiftlane is a modern provider of access control system for apartment buildings. Swiftlane is designed for access control specifically for apartment buildings and gated communities. It supports a single system that can handle resident access, visitor access, video intercom, garage and gate access.
- Encrypted key fob access
- Support for building wide access needs: front door, amenities, gates, elevators, package rooms etc
- Many modern access formats: key fob, mobile access, face unlock, etc
- Visitor access also managed through the same system through a video intercom system
- Web based cloud dashboard for managing access remotely
- Modern, attractive amenities for residents like mobile app access, face recognition door access, video intercom etc.
Brivo is another cloud based access control system. They have been around for 20 years and provide card and key fob access. Key features include:
- Encrypted key card and fob access
- Cloud based web dashboard
- Good focus on data security
- Support for regular and PIN pad readers
- Mobile app access
- However, there is no native video intercom solution
- Unclear if there is a gate access solution for vehicle access
- Unclear if property management software integrations are available
- Read the full review
Apartment camera system companies
Cameras provide a high amount of security to buildings, by deterring intruders from entering or loitering around the apartment buildings. These days, apartment camera systems are getting smarter, and can be managed remotely, without requiring an on premise NVR, directly managed through the cloud. Here are our recommend camera surveillance companies for multifamily buildings and apartments.
Eagle eye is one the most established cloud camera companies in the US. They provide camera systems that can operate both offline or online (via a cloud connection). Eagle eye can work with their own cameras, or through existing or third party IP based cameras. Some of the reasons to choose eagle eye would be:
- Easy to manage cloud interface that works from anywhere
- No need for a local computer to see video footage, see it remotely from any web browser
- Eagle eye has good integrations with key fob access companies, which can make your life easier
- Good network of installers to provide local installation and ongoing support
- Eagle eye does require an ongoing subscription to stream your data through their cloud service, however it’s optional. However, this would be a critical way to allow property managers to remotely maintain security without having to be onsite all the time
We hear good things about Dahua’s camera and video management platform.
- Dahua has lots of camera hardware options to choose from
- Cameras cost much less than most competition
- Dahua runs on a local windows computer. This might be more cumbersome but slightly cheaper if cost is the primary concern
- Support for different resolution cameras
- Lots of installers in the US providing installation and support
- Smart AI functions like vehicle detection, people detection and other functions.
Intercom System for Apartment Buildings
Once you put a key fob on a door, that door is also locked for visitor access. Building owners have primarily used telephone line intercoms in the past to connect visitors to tenants. These systems are now going outdated, due to newer security concerns. Residents are also demanding modern technology like video intercom to see the person at the door, and remotely buzz them in.
Swiftlane provides a cutting-edge video intercom for apartment buildings. Visitors can use a multi-tenant touch screen directory to call residents. A resident receives a video or audio call, no matter where they are, and can buzz the visitor in. Key highlights include:
- Touch screen based multi-tenant video intercom system
- Support for video and VOIP telephone calls
- Mobile app based access for residents
- Remote door unlock features through the app
- Residents can use face unlock to open doors without looking for their key fob
- High vandal resistance that provides protection for your investment
- Residents can see a photo log of their intercom callers and visitor access
- Web based simple directory management from anywhere
- Support for gate access, elevators, key fobs, parking gates, package room etc
Doorking is an established brand in telephone intercoms. Doorking provide many intercom hardware options based on the size of the building. If you are looking for a telephone based analog intercom, Doorking is the trusted choice for that today.
- Telephone line based audio intercom
- Residents can remotely unlock doors by pressing 9 during a call
- Flush, surface mount and gate pedastal mount options
- Ability to call upto 255 telephone numbers
- No video intercom
- No photo log
- Telephone landline systems are getting phased out
- Lack of part availability
Security systems for individual rental apartment units
If you are a resident or a renter in an apartment building, and just looking to improve security for your own apartment, read more. We discuss various alarm system, doorbells and camera system for individual rental apartment units.
What to look for in an apartment security system?
- Easy to install – ideal DIY (do it yourself)
- Cost effective hardware price
- Easy to operate and manage
- Wireless connectivity, so that wiring is minimized
- Cost effective monthly fees
- Maintains high privacy for residents
Apartment Alarm Systems
What are the key components of a home alarm system?
Ring Alarm System
Ring provides a very comprehensive alarm system for apartment dwellers. Ring includes the following features for their alarm system:
- Ability to engage or disengage the alarm system
- You can do this via a pin pad or through the mobile app
- Door and window sensors that can detect is a door / window opens when engaged
- They can call the cops if the alarm goes off and it unattended
- A comprehensive collection of indoor, outdoor, wireless and wired cameras that provide video proof and security
- A cost effective cloud storage plan that starts around $10/month
Ring is a great complete solution for security of your apartment.
Simplisafe is another full service provider of alarm system for homes. Simplisafe system is specially designed for single family homes and apartment unit dwellers. It has built in features for alarms, monitoring and camera systems.
- Many hardware options for building your own security system
- PIN pad for enabling and disabling monitoring
- Monitoring can be managed through the mobile app
- Simplisafe cameras can integrate with the monitoring system, to provide related camera footage
- Automatically call the cops if there is a break-in
- Wireless window and door sensors with good battery life
- Outdoor as well indoor camera options to go with your alarm system
Apartment Camera Systems
There are many considerations while choosing a camera for your rental home.
- Do you want a wired or wireless camera? Wired camera may require upto $150 in installation cost per camera, but will receive continuous power and data. Wireless camera can be just stuck to the wall, but require changing the batteries when they are low power
- Are you looking to put cameras inside or outside the unit? Check with your landlord, they may have a problem with a camera outside your unit. Indoor camera should be fine at your own discretion
- Are you looking to store camera logs: there may be a subscription fee to store camera logs for 30 days or more
We recommend the Ring cameras for many reasons:
- Ring has a large collection of wired and wireless camera options
- Ring cameras seamless work alongside the alarm monitoring system
- It can hold two rechargeable batteries: save the planet and also recharge them less often
- Flood light options provide extra lighting for dark areas
- Indoors cameras are low profile and come in both white and black color
- Many people have privacy concerns with cameras indoors and something to think about
Nest, owned by Alphabet (Google), is another good camera provider for rental homes.
- Cost effective at only $79 for the camera
- Motion detection to detect pets, people etc
- Ability to watch the video remotely through the app
- Outdoor and indoor options for cameras
- You can also manage your Nest thermostat with the same app
- Does not have a monitoring service or alarm system