Best Home Security for Vacation and Rental Properties

Best for Home Automation
Vivint
4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
Starts at 
$29.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Mobile access
Pro Bullet Smart home integrations
Best for Easy Installation
Frontpoint
4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
Starts at 
$34.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Great customer service
Best Budget Security System
Ring
4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
Starts at 
$10.00
/mo.
Pro Bullet Inexpensive price
Pro Bullet Video doorbell options
Best Quality Equipment
Google Nest Secure
3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
Starts at 
$19.00
/mo.
Pro Bullet Quality equipment
Pro Bullet Google Assistant compatibility
Best Personalized System
Link Interactive
3.7 out of 5 stars3.7
Starts at 
$30.99
/mo.
Pro Bullet Custom packages
Pro Bullet Advanced video analytics

Overview

Vacation houses and rental properties have more security considerations than your regular home since they often stand empty for long stretches or have a constant stream of renters.

To choose the best security systems for vacation homes, we prioritized features that make it easier to monitor from a distance and be alerted immediately if anything is wrong. Home security systems that included outdoor cameras with night vision, video doorbells, and environmental sensors (smoke, carbon monoxide, and water leak detectors, etc.) stood out. We also looked for smart home devices like locks, thermostats, and lights.

Our favorite security systems for vacation homes


Compare security systems for vacation homes

Data effective 10/04/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Take Note
Take Note

If you’re looking to secure a cabin in the mountains or another spot with spotty cell coverage, check out Protect America. It has an inexpensive landline option for folks who can’t depend on a cellular connection.

>>Read More


Vivint review: Best for home automation

Vivint offers mobile access with even its most basic plan and high-tech security and home automation equipment, making it one of our top home security choices in spite of the higher equipment costs.

Best for home automation
Vivint
Our rating:
4.2 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
Price
3.8 out of 5 stars3.8
Customer service
3.8 out of 5 stars3.8
Features & equipment
5 out of 5 stars5.0
Plans starting at  
$29.99
/mo.

    Vivint pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletLots of security and smart home equipment
    • Pro BulletEnvironmental sensors
    • Pro BulletZ-Wave compatibility
    • Pro Bullet24/7 professional monitoring
    • Pro BulletMobile access with every plan
    • Pro BulletMultiple payment options
    • Pro BulletPartnership with Airbnb
    Cons
    • Con BulletHigh equipment costs
    • Con BulletLong contract lengths
    • Con BulletInstallation fee

    What we think about Vivint

    Vivint has everything you need to monitor your vacation property remotely: mobile access with every plan, security equipment, smart home integrations, and professional monitoring. Whether you want to keep an eye on your second home when you’re not there or give renters access remotely, Vivint has it covered.

    How much does Vivint cost?

    Vivint offers customers two pricing options: either purchase all your equipment up front and have a month-to-month monitoring contract that you can cancel anytime, or pay for the equipment in monthly installments over the course of your 42- to 60-month monitoring contract.

    We love that Vivint offers a month-to-month option—that’s unique in the home security industry—but be warned that the up-front equipment costs are pricey.

    Monthly monitoring starts at $29.99 per month and goes up to $44.99 per month. All plans include mobile access, which is essential for a vacation home. We don’t recommend the lowest plan for vacation homes because it doesn’t include smart home integrations or video monitoring—two important parts of securing your home away from home.

    Security equipment

    What kind of security equipment does Vivint have? Anything you need.

    Vivint’s got indoor and outdoor security cameras, motion detectors, door and window sensors, and doorbell cameras—plus environmental sensors like smoke, CO, flood, and temperature sensors that will warn you if there’s an emergency right away. This is crucial if your vacation home stands empty often.

    Smart home integration

    Smart devices are ideal if you rent out your home. They give you control over the property when guests aren’t there so you can turn down the furnace and shut off the lights from miles away. And smart locks let you send out an access code to guests so you don’t have to worry about getting a physical key back.

    You can add Vivint’s smart home devices, including a thermostat, Kwikset locks, and lighting control, to your equipment package. Any Z-Wave device, including Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Google Nest products, will also connect to your Vivint system, giving you tons more home automation options.

    Vivint and Airbnb

    Vivint has a partnership with Airbnb to make renting your property safer and easier. So even if you don’t list your property through Airbnb, you know that Vivint knows how to work with property managers and rental properties to streamline everything.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Vivint offers top-of-the-line security and home automation equipment and 24/7 professional monitoring to protect your property even when you’re not there. Plus, Vivint works with Airbnb to help you feel confident in renting out your home. All that comes with a higher price tag for both equipment and monthly fees, but if it fits your budget, we think it’s worth it.

    >>Learn more: Read the full Vivint review

    >>View Plans


    Frontpoint review: Best for easy installation

    Frontpoint has excellent customer service and makes it super easy to customize and install your home security equipment.

    Best for Easy Installation
    Frontpoint
    Our rating:
    4.5 out of 5.0
    4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
    Price
    4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
    Customer service
    4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
    Features & equipment
    4.8 out of 5 stars4.8
    Plans starting at  
    $34.99
    /mo.

      Frontpoint pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletEasy-to-install wireless security cameras and equipment
      • Pro BulletEnvironmental sensors
      • Pro BulletZ-Wave home automation device support
      • Pro BulletNo installation or activation fees
      • Pro Bullet24/7 professional monitoring
      • Pro BulletExcellent customer service
      Cons
      • Con BulletHigher monthly cost
      • Con BulletMobile access with only higher-tier plans

      What we think about Frontpoint

      Frontpoint is a DIY home security system with 24/7 professional monitoring and excellent customer service. All of the equipment is wireless and a snap to install straight out of the box. We love that Frontpoint makes home security simple and easy.

      How much does Frontpoint cost?

      Frontpoint’s monthly monitoring costs run from $34.99 to $49.99—a little higher than Vivint’s monthly fees. But the contract lengths are shorter (36 months) and there are no installation or activation fees. Plus, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the system.

      Keep in mind that for mobile access, home automation support, and video monitoring, you’ll need one of the more expensive plans.

      Security equipment

      You can customize Frontpoint’s equipment to your needs. We recommend motion sensors, entry sensors, and an outdoor security camera (or a doorbell camera) to secure your vacation house. Add smoke/heat, CO, and flood sensors so you know the minute something goes awry.

      Smart home integrations

      Frontpoint offers some home automation equipment—including smart locks, light bulbs, and outlets—but you can connect your own Z-Wave devices as well. If you want to unlock the beach house for your in-laws or put the cabin’s lights on a schedule when you’re gone, Z-Wave devices let you do it all.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: Frontpoint offers an easy, customized experience to purchase, set up, and use a home security system. And with lots of smart home and environmental sensor add-ons, it’s a hassle-free option for vacation homes.

      >>Learn more: Read the full Frontpoint review

      >>View Plans


      Ring review: Best budget security system

      Ring is a DIY home security system with inexpensive monthly professional monitoring and a great selection of equipment that’s perfect for a rental or vacation property.

      Best Budget Security System
      Ring
      Our rating:
      4.2 out of 5.0
      4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
      Price
      5 out of 5 stars5.0
      Customer service
      3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
      Features & equipment
      4 out of 5 stars4.0
      Plans starting at 
      $10.00
      /mo.

        Ring pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletInexpensive monthly monitoring and equipment
        • Pro BulletNo installation or activation fees
        • Pro BulletLots of video doorbell and outdoor light options
        • Pro BulletZ-Wave compatibility for smart home devices
        • Pro BulletFlood and freeze sensor available
        Cons
        • Con BulletNo direct compatibility with Google Assistant
        • Con BulletNo smart thermostat

        What we think about Ring

        Ring is a DIY security system that offers self-monitoring and professional monitoring. Ring has a nice selection of affordably priced security equipment—perfect if you’re watching costs after buying a second home. We especially like the video doorbells and outdoor lighting, both of which would be great for a rental property.

        How much does Ring cost?

        Ring provides professional monitoring for just $10 per month (or $100 per year)—by far the lowest in the industry. Or you can opt to self-monitor your system and avoid a monthly fee altogether. Plus, there are no installation or activation fees.

        You’ll pay for all the equipment up front, but Ring’s less expensive than many of its competitors. Overall, Ring is an excellent option for a tight budget.

        Security equipment

        All Ring security systems come with a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, and range extender for the remote parts of your house. Depending on which package you choose, you’ll also get extra sensors and motion detectors.

        Ring’s flood and freeze sensor alerts you if water is detected or if the temperature drops below around 40° F. Ring doesn’t have its own smoke or carbon monoxide detector, but it offers a smoke and CO listener that works with existing alarms. If your existing smoke or CO alarms go off, your Ring system will alert you.

        First Alert Z-Wave Smoke & CO Detector
        Protip

        Ring doesn’t have its own smoke and CO detector, but it does work with one from First Alert to send you notifications through the Ring app.

        >>Shop Now

        You can also add extra devices, including security cameras and outdoor lighting, to your Ring system. Ring is probably best known for its video doorbells. They’re some of the best on the market—other security companies even use them. They’re a great way to keep an eye on and communicate with renters or guests.

        Smart home integrations
        Ring works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so if there’s a product that works with those voice assistants but not Ring, you can still connect the whole system together and use voice commands to control it. Ring also supports Z-Wave connectivity and works with a number of smart locks, smart light switches, and smart outlets. The one thing missing from Ring’s smart home lineup is a smart thermostat.

        ASecureLife’s recommendation: Ring offers professional monitoring at an excellent price, and its DIY security system and smart home add-ons give you a solid foundation for securing and monitoring your vacation house.

        >>Learn more: Read the full Ring review

        >>View Online


        Google Nest Secure review: Best quality equipment

        Google Nest products are top-of-the-line in terms of quality and reliability. Though the Nest Secure system is less expansive and more expensive than other security systems, it’s definitely worth a look.

        Best Quality Equipment
        Google Nest Secure
        Our rating:
        3.5 out of 5.0
        3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
        Price
        2 out of 5 stars2.0
        Customer service
        4 out of 5 stars4.0
        Features & equipment
        4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
        Plans starting at 
        $19.00
        /mo.

          Nest Secure pros and cons

          Pros
          • Pro BulletHigh-quality equipment
          • Pro BulletOptional professional monitoring
          • Pro BulletExcellent smart home devices
          • Pro BulletGoogle Assistant compatibility
          • Pro BulletNo installation or activation fees
          Cons
          • Con BulletHigher equipment costs
          • Con BulletLimited equipment options
          • Con BulletWi-Fi connectivity only

          What we think about Nest Secure

          We love Google Nest products for their high quality, features, and reliability (though not for their high costs). The Nest Secure home security system is less robust than other systems, and your security equipment options are limited, but it’s the best security system for combining Nest products.

          How much does Nest Secure cost?

          The Nest Secure system can be self-monitored for free or professionally monitored through Brinks Home Security for $19 per month with a 36-month contract or for $29 per month on a month-to-month basis.

          The equipment itself is pretty pricey—around $400 for the basic security system. You can do DIY installation, but professional installation is available for around $99.

          Security equipment

          The core of the Nest Secure system is the Nest Guard, a combination alarm, keypad, and motion sensor with built-in Google Assistant. It comes with two Nest Detect door and window sensors and two Nest Tags, which are like key fobs that let you arm and disarm the system. You can add more sensors, but that’s all that’s available for basic security equipment.

          Beyond that, you can add high-quality Nest security cameras to your system (indoor cameras or outdoor cameras), though cloud storage is limited without a Nest Aware subscription for $5–$30 per month. Nest also has its own video doorbell, the Nest Hello, which we feel is the most impressive video doorbell on the market.

          A Nest Secure system doesn’t give you a wide selection of equipment options, but everything it does offer is worth having.

          Smart home integrations

          Home automation is where Nest really shines. The Nest Learning Thermostat is one of our favorite smart thermostats, and the Nest Protect smoke and CO detector is one of the top smoke detectors on the market. Nest also offers a key-free smart lock, the Nest x Yale.

          All Nest products work exclusively with Google, and there are a wide range of third-party integrations through Google Assistant as well.

          One hole in the Nest lineup is environmental sensors for water leaks and freezing, but you can find sensors that work with Nest through Google Assistant.

          Z-Wave connectivity
          Take Note

          Google Nest products rely on a Wi-Fi connection rather than on Z-Wave to communicate with each other. Be sure to always check the compatibility of third-party products before buying.

          ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Nest Secure system doesn’t have a wide range of equipment—and the higher equipment costs won’t work for everyone—but Google Nest products are high quality and work seamlessly together to ensure the security of your vacation home.

          >>Learn more: Read the full Nest Secure review

          >>Shop Now


          Link Interactive review: Best personalized system

          Link Interactive offers professional monitoring and flexible contract lengths—which is unusual in home security. Plus, customers have the chance to choose each and every piece of security equipment themselves.

          Best Personalized System
          Link Interactive
          Our rating:
          3.6 out of 5.0
          3.6 out of 5 stars3.6
          Price
          3.3 out of 5 stars3.3
          Customer service
          3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
          Features & equipment
          4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
          Plans starting at 
          $30.99
          /mo.

            Link Interactive pros and cons

            Pros
            • Pro BulletWide range of customizable equipment
            • Pro BulletCustomizable video motion settings
            • Pro BulletFlexible monitoring contract lengths
            • Pro BulletFlood/heat/freeze sensor available
            • Pro BulletNo installation or activation fees
            Cons
            • Con BulletNo mobile access with basic plan

            What we think about Link Interactive

            For a fully customized experience, we recommend Link Interactive. It’s a professionally monitored system with DIY installation, and you get to choose every piece of equipment to fit your needs. Especially for a second home, a tailored security system might be the best way to keep costs down.

            How much does Link Interactive cost?

            Link Interactive’s monthly pricing is very similar to Vivint’s, with professional monitoring plans starting at $30.99 and going up to $44.99. And like Frontpoint, you'll need to choose a higher plan for home automation support, mobile access, and video monitoring.

            One of the things we like about Link Interactive is the shorter and more flexible contract length options of 12-, 24-, and 36-months. You can also choose to pay for all the equipment up front to get a month-to-month monitoring contract. All equipment costs are easy to find online, and we love that kind of transparency.

            Security equipment

            Link Interactive makes it simple to customize your equipment to your needs. The range of choices is impressive, with multiple types of motion sensors and door and window sensors. Link also offers several solid security cameras and doorbell cameras. And with video monitoring, Link’s video analytics let you decide what types of motion you want your cameras to pick up on (people, pets, or cars), making it a truly personalized system.

            Link also has environmental sensors—a smoke/heat detector, a CO detector, a flood sensor, and, impressively, a flood/heat/freeze sensor. For vacation homes that go unused for long stretches, these sensors mean you don’t have to worry about showing up to a flooded basement or frozen pipes.

            Smart home integrations

            Like the security equipment, you purchase each smart home device individually so you get exactly what you want. You can choose from smart thermostats, smart door locks, smart light bulbs, and smart outlets. Link Interactive equipment is compatible with Z-Wave connectivity to give you plenty of expansion options as well.

            ASecureLife’s recommendation: Get only the equipment you really need and keep costs down with Link Interactive’s home security system. Plus, you can truly personalize your system with the advanced video analytics.

            >>Learn more: Read the full Link Interactive review

            >>View Plans


            Other brands we considered

            SimpliSafe

            SimpliSafe’s flexible monitoring contracts make the company one of our favorites, plus its lower monitoring and equipment costs are very budget-friendly.

            But you can’t monitor SimpliSafe via app without paying for its $24.99-a-month plan.

            SimpliSafe doesn’t have Z-Wave connectivity or many home automation integrations. Because smart thermostats and environmental sensors make a big difference in vacation property security, we don’t recommend SimpliSafe in this scenario.

            That said, if you’re looking for a basic system with month-to-month monitoring, check out SimpliSafe.

            >>Learn more: Read the full SimpliSafe review

            Abode

            Abode is another DIY security system with extremely flexible monitoring options. You can self-monitor your system for free through the mobile app or pay monthly for professional monitoring. This is ideal for properties that you rent out most of the year but that go vacant here and there.

            Abode is compatible with both Z-Wave and Zigbee devices so you have tons of home automation options. It has lots of à la carte equipment like environmental sensors and smart home devices, but there’s no outdoor camera, and Abode’s basic home security kits don’t include many pieces of equipment.

            Still, if you want flexible monitoring, check out what Abode has to offer.

            >>Learn more: Read the full Abode review


            How to keep your home away from home safe

            There are lots of ways to protect your house when you’re not there. Here are the smart home devices and security equipment we recommend for your vacation home. 

            • Smart door locks: Access codes (rather than keys) are a super easy way to manage who is coming and going from your home using only your smartphone. And if you need to let renters or guests in, you can share temporary codes that expire when their stay is over.
            • Smart lights: One way to make your home look lived in, even when you’re not there, is to put smart lights on a timer in the evenings. Do this with smart light bulbs, smart switches, and smart outlets.
            • Outdoor lights: Motion-triggered flood lights near the entrances to a home are excellent deterrents to intruders and helpful for late check-ins.
            • Smart thermostats: Control your thermostat from your phone to save on energy costs while your vacation house stands empty.
            • Environmental sensors: If a pipe breaks, the furnace or AC stops working, or there’s a fire or CO leak, you want to know right away. Having environmental sensors to monitor those things for you is invaluable.
            • Video doorbells: A camera at the front door with two-way audio lets you know when guests arrive and lets you talk back and forth when needed.
            • Outdoor cameras: Installing outdoor cameras with good night vision and motion alerts is the perfect way to keep an eye on your property and be alerted to unwanted activity.

            Is it legal to install cameras inside a rental?

            We get it—you want to keep an eye on things inside your property. But are security cameras legal if you’re renting out a vacation home? The quick answer is, not really. Each state has different laws regarding the use of cameras inside homes, so be sure to check for your location.

            Several booking services (including Vrbo and TurnKey) state that you cannot have any cameras inside a rental property at all. Others, including Airbnb, specify that any cameras have to be disclosed to renters ahead of time and no cameras are allowed in private places (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.).

            Outdoor cameras and video doorbells are generally allowed, but again, these should be disclosed to renters. Always check your state’s laws and your booking service’s regulations before installing cameras in your vacation property.


            Best security system for vacation homes

            If you have a vacation property, whether you rent it out or use it yourself, it needs to stay protected year-round. We recommend a security system with 24/7 professional monitoring so you know help will arrive quickly if an alarm is triggered. We also recommend utilizing smart home devices, like door locks, thermostats, and lights, as well as outdoor cameras, video doorbells, and environmental sensors to keep each part of your property protected.
            • For all-around excellent security and home automation, we recommend Vivint.
            • For an exceptionally easy system to install, we recommend Frontpoint.
            • For a budget-friendly system, we recommend Ring.
            • For high-quality equipment, we recommend Nest Secure.
            • For a completely customized experience, we recommend Link Interactive.