If you live in an apartment, you probably have given at least some thought to your security. While there are many benefits to renting, but you also can’t make changes or drill holes. Renters have long believed that apartment security systems aren’t a viable option as a result.
With advances in wireless technology, that’s changed. Not only are apartment security systems viable and wireless, but you can install them yourself and monitoring can often be done through an app on your phone rather than a contracted service with a central station.
In Fremont, one resident we’re aware of bought a security system the day after her home was broken into. What prompted her to make the purchase was that she arrived home just in time to see the thief running with her laptop. Her Fremont, CA Renters Insurance replaced the computer and other things that were stolen, but the whole problem could have been prevented with any of several wireless apartment security systems.
There are so many options, does it make a difference which one you choose? Make the wrong choice, and you’re worse off than if you had no security system at all because you believe you have protection but it’s not up to the task.
Apartment Security Systems To Avoid
CNET reported on a vulnerability discovered by a security consulting firm in Seattle, IOActive. The IOActive team noted that, for about $250.00, it’s possible to build a device which will record the transmission of your code being entered on a SimpliSafe panel to disarm the system.
The device would need to be placed relatively near the keypad, but can be left for a few days to record and then retrieved for later use to disarm the system. First, the company attempted to contact SimpliSafe in regards to the issue as is appropriate practice before disclosing a vulnerability.
Accordign to IOActive, the company never replied to them. It was only then that they made a disclosure to regulators. The company only responded publicly after the disclosure, in what appears to be damage control mode. SimpliSafe claims that the attack is highly unlikely, and so should not be a concern.
The chances of the attack occurring are not the concern, of course. The concern is that it’s possible at all and that the company worked hard to downplay the risk rather than offering a fix or admitting that there was a problem. In addition, many versions of the hardware can’t be upgraded. Once purchased, your apartment security system might be stuck with this vulnerability and any future ones discovered.
You could get started with the SimpliSafe system for about $300.00, but all considered you probably shouldn’t. There are more secure options available.
Single Device Apartment Security Systems With No PIN To Forget
Canary apartment security systems are contained in a single device. There’s an app for your phone, and the proximity of the registered device is what sets and disarms the alarm. An audible alarm, recording, and push notifications as well as streaming video and audio to your phone offer peace of mind.
The app allows you to contact law enforcement once you’ve viewed what triggered the alarm. This can help to prevent false alarms which can cost you money as well as annoy your neighbors and your landlord. It does require action on your part, so if you’re frequently in meetings or otherwise unavailable this might not be the ideal choice.
The entire system is contained in one device. The benefit, of course, is that it’s a piece of cake to set up. In theory, it also means that someone could steal the device as well as everything else. Canary has solved this problem by transmitting what it records to their servers. A free plan is included with purchase of the device, and saves 12 hours of video history. Additional options for two-day, seven-day, and thirty-day video history are available on a monthly or annual basis.
The Canary home security system doesn’t require a monthly plan, though you might want to choose one. It lends itself best to smaller apartments with limited means of entrance, but it’s practical as long as you can place it somewhere that a thief would have to walk past and trigger it. It can be purchased for about $249.00.
Five Minute Installation, But Your Phone Just Became More Important
Korner offers the simplest installation of all of the apartment security systems available. You purchase three door/window sensors and the hub for $98.00. The hub plugs into your router, and the sensors go on doors or windows. When entry is detected, an alarm sounds and your phone receives notification.
We love the simplicity of the system. What we don’t love is that there is no keypad or other disarm method. Disarming is handled by your cell phone. If your battery is dead, you left the phone at work, or your phone was stolen, you have a problem.
On the other hand, the app allows you to set up contacts and notify them from the app after an alarm is triggered. This allows for a neighbor to confirm a false alarm, for instance, or to tell you that you should call the police. Overall, Korner scores points on both price and simplicity so long as you will always have your phone in hand.
Flexibility, Optional Monitoring, Easy Setup
The Scout apartment security systems are designed so you can add just the parts you need. Like the others, it notifies your cell phone when it detects a problem. Unlike some of the others, central monitoring is available but not required. You must, of course, purchase the hub that connects the devices.
A door panel is available to both monitor if the door is opened and allow you to arm and disarm the system. The Scout door panel works with an RFID key fob, so there’s no need to remember a PIN or have your phone available and charged. You only need one of these, another type of sensor handles other doors.
Scout apartment security systems offer additional options beyond monitoring, as well. You can get a 3G wireless backup so the system will still work even without internet. You can also set rules for the response to various types of alarms, allowing you to treat a window alert differently from a door that shouldn’t be open.
Access sensors can be used on windows and doors that don’t have the door panel installed. They monitor the door or window, but you can’t arm or disarm the system from these sensors. You could install multiple door panels, as well, if you’d like to set the system from a patio door for example.
While video is not available, motion sensors are. You can add as many of these as you like in key areas of your home to complete your no-drill apartment alarm. The whole system is straightforward to set up, and you only purchase the pieces you need rather than a complete package that doesn’t quite cut it.
The Scout Hub is $129.00 and required for the system. The door panel is $89.00 and at least one is required. Access sensors for windows or additional doors are just $29.00 each, and the motion sensor is $49.00. Monitoring plans start at about ten dollars monthly.
Overall, if you don’t need video, Scout is one of the better values in apartment security systems that don’t require drilling, especially because monitoring is available but not required. A home security system can save you money on your Fremont, CA Renters Insurance as well, though do it yourself systems are treated differently by different companies. Just make sure your insurance is aware that you have the system.
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