Our #1 Pick: The Arlo Pro 2 Camera
The Arlo Pro 2 delivers high-quality video with an incredibly simple setup that won’t require any tricky installation that could damage the walls in your apartment. This bundle comes with 2 wireless cameras that use rechargeable batteries which last up to 6 months. Crisp image quality mixed with important security features like motion and sound detection make this a top choice for us.
They have a built-in siren and come with the basic Arlo plan that allows for 7 days of cloud video storage. That’s the most basic option, but you can opt to access even better features by subscribing to higher tier video plans. The mobile app is easy to use and gives you a birds-eye view into what’s going on in your apartment. The new LookBack feature allows you to see what happened 3 seconds prior to any motion detection.
- 100 percent wire free: Free of power cords and wiring hassles
- 1080p HD high quality video with sharper and brighter details
- Flexible powering options use wire free, plugged in. Rechargeable battery
- Weatherproof Pro cameras are weatherproof so you can place them anywhere indoors and out
- 7 days of free cloud recordings pro comes with recurring 7 days free cloud recordings. Live stream or view recorded video and audio for up...
Read more in our full review of Arlo cameras
#2 Pick: The Google Nest Cam Camera
Apartment security camera installation doesn’t get any easier than plugging the device into the wall and installing the app on your phone. The Google Nest Cam is a powerful tool that includes Google Assistant built-in and Google has made it extremely easy to utilize Assistant to get you set up quickly.
If you want more than the basics, you have the option of purchasing Nest Aware, which will recognize faces and alert you to someone who isn’t supposed to be in your apartment. Supersight tracking means the camera will automatically zero in on anyone roaming your home and alert you if that person isn’t supposed to be there.
- 24/7 live stream video in full 1080p HD over Wi-Fi. Check in from anywhere at anytime. Send clips to family or friends in 1920x1080...
- Night vision featuring 8 high-power infrared LEDs provide light for clear video in the darkest conditions.
- Mobile alerts and notifications let you know as soon as your camera spots activity. Take action or save the event for sharing later. 3-hour...
- Industry-leading security means that your video feed and information is well protected. Enable two-factor authentication and take your...
- Free trial of Nest Aware for 30-days. Experience 10-day video history intelligent alerts and activity zones. Keep the service starting at $6...
Read more in our full review of Nest Secure
#3 Pick: Canary All-In-One Camera Review
Although the price tag is small, this apartment security camera has features you’d expect to find in a much pricier camera. It costs less than $50 and you’ll get a really crisp picture and the ability to see what’s happening in your home directly from your mobile app. It also has a siren to scare off intruders and environmental monitor settings — something you won’t find with all cameras.
The AI technology can also detect people and filter out insignificant motion so you won’t be notified if you don’t want to be. Compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa, Canary is a good choice if you’re looking for a camera with smart home integration options. And you don’t have to worry about lengthy setup or making any holes in your wall for pesky wires. Add a security plan, and you can unlock upgraded features like 2-way communication and the ability to download your video.
- INDOOR HOME SECURITY CAMERA: 24/7 watch live, 1080p HD wi-fi IP camera with high quality sound, 147° wide-angle lens and automatic night...
- HOME SECURITY PRO EXCLUSIVE: 90 dB built-in Siren, HomeHealth Technology (monitors air quality, temperature and humidity)
- EASY SETUP: No installation required. Simply plug it in, connect to wifi, and all systems go
- AWARD-WINNING DESIGN: Blends beautifully into your home and can hide in plain sight
- SECURITY YOU CAN TRUST: Trusted by over 10,000 first responders and insurance providers
#4 Pick: Amazon Cloud Camera
If you already have Alexa, and you’re looking for an apartment security camera that’s user-friendly and powerful, Amazon Cloud Cam is worth looking into. The image quality is solid and you can monitor what’s going on inside your home through your mobile app. If you want more than just typical security features, you can purchase the basic subscription and you can have the Amazon Cloud Cam detect specific noises like dogs barking or babies crying and send you an alert.
You can also set zones in your home where the camera won’t alert you about movement. So, if your dog or cat stays in one room most of the time, you tell the camera not to send any motion detection alerts from within that room. Without a subscription plan, you can still download and view 24 hours of motion detected video for free.
- Stay connected 24/7 - Catch activities as they happen in 1080p Full HD. Watch, download, and share the last 24 hours of motion alert video...
- Notifications – Get notified when Cloud Cam sees activity. Check in anytime or watch motion clips on the Cloud Cam mobile app.
- See clearly in the dark - Night vision lets you detect what’s happening around the clock. Turn on/off night vision LEDs in the Cloud Cam...
- Two-way audio - Check in with the family or tell your dog to stop barking.
- 30-day free trial of Cloud Cam Plans – Get Smart Alerts and advanced features like person and audio detection, Zones, and see up to 30...
#5 Pick: Wyze Cam Pan Camera
Sometimes apartment dwellers don’t want to invest a lot of money into a camera system, especially if you plan on moving into a larger space somewhere down the line. That’s why SecurityNerd loves this budget option from Wyze. For around $30, you get an apartment security camera with auto tracking, 2-way communication, and even AI technology that can tell the difference between a person and a pet. Not bad for 30 bucks.
It also has night vision and 14 days of free video storage. You can get custom alerts about motion detection sent straight to your smart phone and it even works with Google Assistant. Quite a list of features for less than what it costs for a night at the movies with your family.
- Pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) lets you control Wyze Cam Pan remotely using the Wyze app so you can see every angle of your room while you’re...
- Live Stream from Anywhere in 1080p - 1080p Full HD live streaming lets you see inside your home from anywhere in real time using your mobile...
- Motion/Sound Recording - Wyze Cam Pan can automatically record a 12-second video clip when motion or sound is detected. Mobile push...
- See in the dark - Night vision lets you see up to 30’ in absolute darkness using 6 infrared (IR) LEDs. Note: IR does not work through...
- Voice Controlled? You got it! - Works with Alexa and Google Assistant (US only) so you can use your voice to see who’s at your front door,...
Read more in our review of Wyze Cameras
Be aware of privacy laws and other factors before you buy a camera for your apartment
It’s important to research apartment security camera laws in your state before making a decision on any security system. Aside from potentially causing issues with your rental contract or landlord, installing your security camera in the wrong place could get you in a lot of trouble. Here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing a camera system.
- Does my landlord need to know I installed a camera? Although apartment security camera laws vary by state, if you plan on altering any part of your space to install a camera, you should get permission in writing from your landlord first. You could lose your deposit if you have to drill holes to install the camera or create any damage with the camera.
- Can I get a wired system instead of wireless? You can, but be prepared to lose your deposit. SecurityNerd’s favorite camera options for apartments are wireless for that very reason — we don’t think it’s worth worrying about losing your security deposit. (Read more on wired vs wireless cameras.)
- Do I need to notify anyone if I install a camera in my apartment? In general, the law says everyone is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy. So, if you have a roommate, that person needs to be notified and agree to the installation of a security camera. If it’s only you in your apartment and you’re using a wireless camera, you don’t need to ask your landlord.
- Can I install a camera outside of my apartment? That’s where the situation gets tricky. Although you technically could if the camera was only trained on your doorway, it could cause privacy issues for others living in the complex. It’s also illegal to record audio from anyone without their permission in many states, so you’d want to make sure your camera isn’t capable of that. In the end, it’s probably best to talk with your landlord about the company installing cameras outside of the complex for the general safety of all tenants.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.