Published On: July 10, 2023

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Security Camera System For Apartment Buildings In 2023

Published On: July 10, 2023
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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Security Camera System For Apartment Buildings In 2023

Get the best security camera system for your apartment building in 2023 with this ultimate guide.

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Security Camera System For Apartment Buildings In 2023

  • Hailing from Alabama, Jonathan Pendleburry's passion for home security was sparked in childhood. His expertise in high-end security systems and smart home integrations has been invaluable in his position as a home security expert writer at HomeTheaterReview.

Even though you may live in an apartment, you still need to take security seriously. That said, if you start drilling holes in drywall and attaching mounts to door frames, establishing a sizable network of security cameras could cause issues with your landlord.

You'll probably need a lighter hand when installing things in an apartment, but performance shouldn't be compromised for flexibility. Fortunately, there are many manufacturers out there that are aware of this and have developed top-notch equipment with renters in mind.

By the end of this guide, you'll have all the information you need to make an informed decision and purchase the best security camera system for your apartment building.

Considerations for Choosing Security Cameras for Apartment Buildings

When it comes to choosing security cameras for your apartment building, there are a few key points to consider. Making the right decision can make all the difference in keeping your property safe.

Placement and Coverage Area

For apartment dwellers, it's essential to choose security cameras that provide adequate coverage of a home's entryways and perimeter without damaging the property. Security camera placement is key, as you must evaluate how many sensors are needed and where they should be placed.

This is especially important when dealing with limited space in an apartment building. When setting up a sensor, make sure to consider room size, furniture layout, and any obstructions like curtains or blinds. A good rule of thumb is to place the sensor at chest height for maximum effectiveness.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cameras

Arlo security camera on the tree

Indoor cameras are great for monitoring inside the home while outdoor surveillance can provide a layer of protection outside. 

Outdoor cameras usually have better night vision than indoor models and can be powered with batteries or wall outlets. They may also come with infrared sensors that allow them to detect motion in darkness, so you can get alerts even at night. Some models come with weatherproofing, making them perfect for all types of weather conditions.

On the other hand, indoor cameras rely on Wi-Fi or Internet connection and come with features like two-way audio and Google Assistant integration. They are ideal for areas where privacy is important as they don't require any wiring and can be easily hidden from sight.

Wired vs. Wireless Cameras

Cameras can be connected either wirelessly or via a wired connection, with each offering its own benefits and drawbacks. Wireless cameras are easier to install but have limited battery life, while wired cameras require additional wiring and don't need battery replacement.

Here's a quick list of pros & cons:

  1. Wireless: no installation required; can be powered by batteries or solar panels; compatible with Alexa & Google Assistant for voice control.
  2. Wired: no battery replacement; stronger signal; generally more secure than wireless connections.
  3. Doorbells: notification when someone is at the door; two-way communication for clear audio; low power consumption from the doorbell itself.

It's important to consider all options before making a decision on which security camera best suits your needs, as features like resolution, field of view, night vision, voice assistant integrations, person detection, and facial recognition may vary between systems such as Arlo or Nest.

Top 5 Security Camera Systems for Apartment Buildings in 2023

You want to choose the best security camera system for your apartment building. You don't want to sacrifice quality for convenience, or vice versa. So, here are the top 5 security camera systems in 2023:

Arlo - Easiest to Install

Arlo cameras offer a simple installation process, making them ideal for renters and apartment dwellers. No wiring or drilling is required, so you can easily install the cameras yourself in just a few minutes.

Here are three ways Arlo makes installing their security system hassle-free:

  1. User-friendly app: The Arlo app guides you through the setup process step by step.
  2. Wire-free models: If you're not comfortable with installing wires, the wire-free models are perfect for you.
  3. Compatible with voice assistants: Alexa and Google Home compatibility make it easy to control your security system from anywhere using only your voice.

Lorex - Best Features

For those looking for the highest quality security features, Lorex offers commercial-grade equipment at an affordable price. Its large selection of cameras includes some that have facial recognition software and can be placed on shelves or bookcases.

Lorex doorbell camera on the wall

Plus, it has multiple storage options, including cloud storage and microSD cards. Lorex also has wire-free models that don't require drilling into walls, making it easy to move them between apartments. It's compatible with Alexa and Google Home devices, so you can get real-time notifications when motion is detected.

Finally, its 4K resolution provides sharp images for better identification of individuals or suspicious activity.

Google Nest - Best Integrations

Take control of your security with Google Nest's smart integrations. Easily connect to Alexa and Google Home for real-time notifications when motion is detected. Additionally, facial recognition technology can identify individuals, all while providing a crystal-clear picture in 4K resolution. Check out these features in the table below:

Facial RecognitionIdentify individuals through facial recognition software.Privacy protection & easy identification of people.
4K Resolution HD Images1080p HD resolution plus enhanced digital zoom offers clear images up to four times better than standard HD cameras.Sharper images & improved image quality.
Smart Device ConnectivityConnects easily to other Nest devices and compatible with Alexa and Google Home for voice commands.Seamless experience that allows you to stay connected at all times.

Ring - Most Versatile

Ring Floodlight Security Camera

With Ring, you can enjoy the most versatile security experience with customizable features and integrations. Its cameras are designed for renters, offering a range of professional-grade options at DIY prices.

All Ring products come with Alexa and Google Home compatibility, as well as easy installation. The company also offers low-priced professional monitoring plans that include 24/7 recording and emergency response if there's an alarm triggered or suspicious activity detected.

You'll have access to motion alerts, two-way audio, night vision capabilities, facial recognition software, and more with its range of HD cameras. Plus, you can customize your plan with add-on services such as additional sensors or devices.

SimpliSafe - Easiest Setup

If you're looking for an easy-to-set-up security system, SimpliSafe is a great choice. It doesn't require any complex wiring or installation - just plug it in and you're ready to go. The base station comes with motion sensors, door/window sensors, and a keypad for arming the system.

You can also add additional components like cameras, smoke detectors, and even glass break sensors. SimpliSafe offers professional monitoring services if desired, but the system can also be self-monitored via the mobile app.

All of its components are wireless, so there's no need to drill holes into walls or damage your rental property. Plus, all of its features can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet.

Important Features to Look for in Security Camera Systems for Apartments

When considering a security camera system for your apartment, there are some important features to keep in mind.

Let’s learn what they are.

Video Resolution

High-resolution video is key for apartment security cameras, so you can be sure to see crystal-clear images of intruders and protect your home with confidence. 1080p HD resolution is the industry standard, but 4K resolution provides even sharper images that are essential for identifying people or objects in view.

A picture of a dog in 1080p resolution and 2K resolution

Look for cameras that offer a wide 130-degree field of vision to capture more detail than narrower angles. Infrared night vision ensures visibility in low light settings, while color night vision allows you to distinguish colors clearly at night.

Night Vision Capability

Night vision is essential for keeping your home safe, with infrared LED sensors or a bright white spotlight providing dependable coverage.

A security camera that only operates during the day is only doing half of its duty. The greatest security cameras should be able to see equally as clearly at night as they do during the day. You'll prefer color night vision since it removes shadows where prospective house attackers can hide, while infrared night vision is the very minimum you should take.

Motion Detection and Alerts

Motion-detection alerts offer a practical way to stay informed of any activity in your home, allowing for a quick response should something unexpected occur.

Most security cameras come with motion detection features that can alert you via text or email when there's movement in the vicinity. You'll be able to customize motion sensitivity and set up activity zones so you're only alerted when it matters most.

You can also adjust the frequency of notifications, so you don't get bombarded with alerts every time your pet moves around. And if the unexpected does happen, you can access live footage from anywhere at any time so you're always one step ahead.

Two-way Audio Capability

The two-way audio capability gives you the ability to communicate with visitors from afar, so you can answer your door without ever leaving your couch. With two-way audio, you can hear what's happening outside and talk directly with anyone at the entrance.

A man placing a Ring doorbell camera on the wall

This is especially useful when it comes to monitoring deliveries and answering unexpected knocks. Two-way audio also allows for remote conversations, making it easy to have a conversation with someone while away from home. You'll be able to give instructions, ask questions, or provide directions quickly and conveniently.

Plus, some security cameras come equipped with noise detection features that alert you when loud noises are detected around your property - giving you an extra layer of protection.

Cloud Storage Options

With cloud storage, you can be sure that your security footage is always backed up and accessible from anywhere. Cloud storage offers numerous benefits for apartment dwellers:

  1. No need to purchase hardware - All data is stored online, so there's no need for additional hardware or equipment.
  2. Easy access - You can access your footage from any device, anytime, anywhere with an internet connection.
  3. Secure - Cloud storage uses encryption to ensure that your data remains secure and private.
  4. Scalable - You can add more cameras without the need to upgrade hard drives or buy new equipment.

Factors to Consider for Installation and Maintenance of Security Camera Systems

Installing and maintaining a security camera system for your apartment requires you to take a number of crucial factors into account.

Professional Installation vs. DIY Installation

Installing your own security camera system can save you money and provide peace of mind. Professional installation is often more costly but provides the added benefit of a tech expert helping you set up your system.

DIY installation has its advantages, too. It's simple, can be done quickly, and avoids any damage to walls or long wires running through the apartment. Additionally, if you're moving soon, DIY won't require additional fees since it's just a matter of unplugging and packing up the equipment.

Access to Footage and Remote Monitoring

Once you've got the right security camera system for your apartment, you'll be able to access footage remotely and keep a close eye on your living space. With it, you can monitor activity from anywhere with a mobile app or web browser. You can also receive real-time notifications when motion is detected.

A phone showing SimpliSafe footage on the screen

Additionally, you can set up geofencing zones to arm and disarm the system automatically. Enjoy total freedom with advanced features like two-way talk, facial recognition, voice assistant integration, and more. Having the ability to easily check in on your living space while you are away is almost everything you need.

Privacy Considerations

When it comes to securing your living space, it's important to consider privacy and the security of your footage. Before investing in a security camera system, make sure you understand how the footage will be used and stored.

Many systems have privacy features that protect data from unauthorized access. You may want to look for two-factor authentication or encryption options that further limit access to your footage.

If you're using cloud storage, review the company's history with respect to data breaches before signing up for service. Professional monitoring services also offer privacy protections like secure encrypted connections and limited access control lists.

Be sure to research any local laws regarding surveillance cameras before making a purchase.

Maintenance and System Upgrades

Keeping your security camera system up to date is essential for maintaining a safe and secure living space. Regular maintenance will ensure that your cameras are functioning properly and keep you informed of any potential issues with your system. 

Check for firmware updatesMonthly
Clean lenses and housing regularlyWeekly/Monthly
Inspect wiring for damage or corrosionAnnually
Test motion detection accuracy & sensitivity settingsMonthly/Quarterly

These regular maintenance tasks will help to maximize the performance of your camera system, as well as reduce the risk of false alarms. 

Pricing and Cost Comparison of Security Camera Systems for Apartments

You're looking for the best security camera system for your apartment building in 2023, but you also need to consider the cost.

Upfront Costs vs. Monthly Monitoring Costs

Considering the upfront costs and monthly monitoring fees, it's important to find the right security camera system that fits your needs and budget. Standalone cameras are usually more cost-effective because they don't require professional installation or a subscription plan.

A man monitoring security cameras

But if you want features like facial recognition, two-way audio, night vision, and activity zones, then you'll likely need to opt for a professionally monitored system.

You can get an entry-level home security camera for around $50-$100 but expect to pay up to $200 for a quality one with all the bells and whistles.

Professional monitoring fees vary greatly from company to company but typically range between $10-$20 per month or $100-$200 per year.

Additional Costs for Professional Installation

If you want a professional installation for your home security camera system, it's important to factor in any additional costs that may apply. Installation fees can vary depending on the type of camera and the complexity of the setup. Generally speaking, hiring an expert will cost around $150-$200 per hour.

Type of CameraPrice
Wiredup to $100
Wirelessup to $250

Be sure to ask for a quote from the installer before deciding whether this is the right option for you. Keep in mind that if you rent, you'll need permission from your landlord first!

Cost-effective Options for Budget-conscious Users

For budget-conscious users, there are cost-effective options available to help protect your home without breaking the bank. Consider investing in a DIY security system, such as Ring or Nest cameras. Both offer professional-level features at an affordable price. Plus, you won't have to worry about any installation fees since most of these systems can be set up yourself with no drilling required.

Lastly, look for cameras with bonus features like two-way audio, activity zones, facial recognition, voice assistant integration, geofencing, and person detection that could help save money in the long run.


You now have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about which security camera system is best for your apartment building in 2023.

With so many features and considerations, it's important to take time to research the options that are available. Consider image quality, monitoring options, storage capabilities, installation requirements, durability, bonus features, price range, and more when making your selection.

Following all that, you won’t have any regrets.

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