Over the years, I have come to realize how vital home security systems are—especially for Airbnb hosts.
However, what could make for a great home security system might not make for a great rental property security system.
So I decided to investigate and find the best security systems for Airbnb-hosted properties.
Best Home Security System for Airbnb
Today many Airbnb hosts use Ring products because of their versatility and capabilities.
What’s more, Ring provides a whole range of different security devices, such as smart doorbells, security cameras, full-range security systems, and even third-party smart deadbolts, thermostats, garage door openers, and more.
The standard Ring home security systems come with windows and door sensors, motion detectors, and keypads for arming and disarming. These security systems do not come with cameras, so they must be purchased separately.
Alternatively, you can look into the security system solutions Ring offers for businesses. These security systems are more expensive but come with more sensors, motion detectors, and security cameras.
Of particular interest may be the Outdoor Security Kit which includes 2 (Floodlight Cam Wired Plus) wired cameras with floodlights.
One of the biggest downsides is that most of Ring’s devices require WiFi to work.
The monthly subscription is a must-have as it unlocks many extra features such as video history (of up to 180 days), video downloading, smart alerts, and cellular backup with certain security systems.
That said, you do not have to buy a full-fledged security system.
Some hosts prefer to use a simple combination of one or several video doorbells and security cameras.
- A ring doorbell camera is perfect for checking how many guests arrive. It is motion-based, so you will receive a notification when the motion sensor is triggered.
- Ring cameras are a little more expensive than the Ring doorbell but come with some neat extra features and can be mounted away from people’s reach. Ring offers outdoor cameras with floodlights, and you can remotely turn the camera’s floodlights on, which can be helpful for late-arriving guests.
Schlage smart deadbolts can also be integrated and used along with Ring products via Key by Amazon. Using one of those deadbolts, you can remotely grant access codes, which is a great feature for hosts who are unable to meet all of their guests.
- One of the best smart home security devices on the market.
- A full range of sensors, detectors, high-quality video cameras, and more are offered.
- Both wired and wireless security cameras and video doorbells are available.
- A user-friendly app that allows for remote monitoring and operation. (That said, the app has been known to be quite buggy at times.)
- Cloud video storage is available with monitoring plans.
- Ring devices work with Amazon Alexa and with many smart home security devices provided by Schlage, Honeywell, Yale, Chamberlain, and more.
- Doorbells and cameras are suitable for four-season locations.
- Affordable and adequately priced devices and monitoring services.
Wyze cameras are one of the best in terms of what you get for your money. In fact, many hosts share that Wyze cameras have been really good for them.
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 is a wireless camera that can be used even without an internet connection. (Think of it as a trail camera.)
The video quality is better than the v1, though there is still more to be desired, especially in a low-light setting.
Video footage can be stored locally on the camera itself and the base station. (Up to 32 GB microSD cards are supported.)
The Wyze Cam v3 is another camera hosts have been using for outdoor surveillance. Floodlights can be added to it for even better night vision. It is a standalone camera, meaning unlike the Cam Outdoor v2, the Cam v3 does not require a base station for WiFi connectivity.
The Wyze Cam v3 Pro builds on top of the standard version. It can record in 2K, has a built-in spotlight, a two-way audio, and supports up to 256 GB microSD cards for local storage. This means it is capable of keeping 24/7 video recording for up to 15 days.
That said, both the Wyze Cam v3 Pro and v3 need to be hardwired.
Check out this short video for a good comparison between the Wyze Cam v3 and v3 Pro.
- High-quality, reliable cameras trusted by many hosts.
- Limited product line. Only video cameras, video doorbells, and smart locks are currently available.
- Both wired and wireless cameras are available.
- Outdoor cameras are suitable for four-season locations.
- Cameras can be used without any monthly subscriptions with limited features.
- Cameras that can record footage in 2K are available.
- Some, but not all, Wyze products work with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Options to record and store video footage locally.
- Affordable prices of both equipment and monitoring services.
Eufy is another very popular brand among many Airbnb hosts—mostly because Eufy offers quality hardware and good features at no recurring monthly fees.
Eufy offers fully-fledged home security systems that come with various cameras, motion and contact sensors, video doorbells, smart locks, and more.
However, their cameras deserve the most attention.
The eufyCam 3 and the eufyCam 3C are two good examples of motion-triggered cameras that offer local storage with built-in 16 GB storage and allow for up to 16TB Expandable Local Storage.
These cameras can record video footage in up to 4K.
However, they are battery-powered.
The eufyCam 3 comes with an integrated solar panel which can be handy depending on how much sun you get in your area.
These cameras are also weatherproof and can be kept outside during all four seasons.
Their night vision is good, too, and they have a built-in spotlight.
For a more detailed look at the eufyCam 3, check out this detailed video review.
And check this neat video for how the eufyCam 3C compares to the eufyCam 3.
For a better look at the Eufy Outdoor Cam Pro 2K, check out this in-depth review:
If you are looking for an outdoor camera that also comes with something more powerful in terms of lighting, you should consider Eufy’s outdoor floodlight camera product line.
The basic model (eufy Floodlight Cam 2) in this product line is pretty decent for what you pay. The more expensive model (eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro) actually comes with some neat extra capabilities and a better field of view.
For a good summary of the Floodlight Cam 2 Pro check this quick video:
Those cameras do need a working WiFi network.
However, if you are worried about your internet connectivity, you might want to take a look at their other security cameras.
For example, the 4G LTE Starlight Camera by Eufy is an excellent pick if you are interested in a wireless camera that also does not need a wireless internet connection but uses the cellular network instead.
The camera is battery-powered, but a solar charger can also be purchased and attached to it.
The camera’s video quality is really good since it can record videos in 2K, and it comes with the same advanced AI detection as Eufy’s other cameras.
Check out this detailed review of the 4G camera by Eufy:
- Good array of products that can meet almost anyone’s needs.
- Cameras have good features and capabilities.
- Cameras that can record in up to 4K.
- Cameras that use cellular connectivity.
- Ability to store high amounts of footage locally.
- No need to pay recurring monthly fees.
- Quality and reliable hardware.
- Suitable for four-season locations.
- Some of the devices work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Unlike other home security providers in this review, Cove has fairly limited product lineups.
However, if you are looking for a budget-friendly home security system with cellular connectivity, Cove may be worth looking into. What’s more, their outdoor cameras are capable of storing footage on a memory card or uploading the footage to a cloud.
Their outdoor camera provides high-definition 1080p video footage. It is a wireless camera, so you have to keep in mind that occasionally you will have to recharge its battery.
Cove’s outdoor camera offers all the functionality we have come to expect from such cameras, such as two-way audio, motion sensor area customization, night vision, app notifications, and a large field of view.
You can access your camera footage remotely and also download it in order to save it long-term.
Cove also offers environmental sensors (smoke and flood sensors) and third-party doorbell cameras. Both wireless and wired video doorbells are available.
- 4G cellular backup for cameras with the subscription service.
- Video footage can be stored locally on an SD Card or uploaded to cloud storage, which is available with the paid monitoring plans.
- Door and window sensors, glass break sensors, motion detectors, smoke and flood detectors, and video doorbells are available for purchase.
- Cove devices work with Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Competitive prices.
Regardless of what you are looking for, SimpliSafe may be offering something of interest to you.
SimpliSafe’s outdoor camera is capable of recording 1080p video, and it also has a built-in spotlight. It is a wireless camera, but SimpliSafe also offers a power cable if you want to avoid having to recharge batteries.
SimpliSafe also offers two paid monitoring plans which add a number of neat features, one of which is the capability for unlimited cloud video storage for up to 30 days.
For a more detailed and hands-on look at the SimpliSafe’s outdoor camera, check this neat review:
Another neat product offered by SimpliSafe is a smart lock which allows you to set up access codes remotely and keep an eye on who is entering and leaving your rental property. If necessary, you can also remotely lock or unlock your door.
SimpliSafe also offers a video doorbell which can be useful for keeping an eye on who is entering and leaving your rental property.
To make full use of SimpliSafe’s security devices, you will need to have a working wireless network. That said, some basic functionality of the system can still be used even without a working WiFi.
Alternatively, with the monthly monitoring plan subscriptions, there is also a cellular backup that can be used in case of an internet or power outage.
- Cameras capable of capturing good video quality.
- Environmental sensors such as flood, freezing, and smoke sensors are available. Glass break sensors, motion sensors, and window and door sensors are also available.
- SimpliSafe products work with Alexa and Google Assistant.
- SimpliSafe products are competitively priced when compared to other industry leaders.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home Security System for Your Airbnb Property
Before choosing what security system to go with, there are several things that should be considered and kept in mind.
Essential Features and Capabilities Needed
The first thing that should be considered is what features are absolutely necessary for you as a host.
Is it just video surveillance that you need, or would you like more smart home features?
Those depend on your personal preferences and goals.
However, what I have found is that Airbnb hosts prefer to use a combination of the following devices in their rental properties:
- Doorbell cameras and outdoor cameras.
- Motion sensors and flood, smoke, and freeze detectors.
Indoor cameras are avoided for obvious reasons, which is why the quality of indoor cameras has not been taken into too much account in this review.
In fact, many people (both guests and hosts, mind you) share that they will not book an Airbnb property with indoor cameras.
Most hosts use a couple of cameras to monitor the outside area around their rental properties. Monitoring the drive-in allows them to easily check and monitor when and how many guests arrive and check-in. Video surveillance also helps provide a general sense of security and peace of mind.
Cameras are indispensable when it comes to guests and occupancy issues, claims, property rules violations, and even theft and break-ins.
Ease of Use
I have found that some hosts really want to go above and beyond and offer their guests a smart home that not only offers protection but multiple other functionalities.
This is a neat idea. However, the less guests have to deal with the home security system, the better.
This is a topic that is frequently discussed between hosts, and ultimately you have to think about your guests and their needs.
Many of them will appreciate having some smart home features, but many will also not want to have to spend time learning how to use a home security system, especially during their vacation.
It is also worth pointing out that some guests may find all those smart devices unappealing and a deal breaker.
There have been numerous cases of guests finding hidden cameras inside rental properties, which is against Airbnb’s rules and has made guests more wary.
Keep things simple and refrain from going all in on the smart home aspect of your rental property, and always provide detailed instructions for guests on how to use the security system.
How the Security System Is Set Up
Another aspect to consider is how the different devices connect with one another and what they need to work properly.
Keep in mind that guests will unplug devices, modems, computers, cameras, etc.
What that means is that you may have to stick to tamper-proof devices and keep the important central hubs and modems out of reach in a locked closet.
On another point, not all home security systems have the same level of integration and cross-compatibility.
It is almost always better to stay within the same ecosystem in order to avoid compatibility issues and keep the apps you are using down to a manageable number.
Businesses are moving towards monthly subscription-based services and monitoring.
Before making a purchasing decision, make sure to check what are the monthly costs associated with the monitoring service you choose.
Some home security providers offer self-monitoring at no additional costs, but the functionality of your security system is significantly limited. Some hosts find those more than enough. However, others may prefer to opt in for professional monitoring.
Keep an eye out for the small-print type of text, and do not be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes companies may “forget” to provide certain details until it is too late.
Backups and Redundancy Systems
Both wired and wireless devices have their advantages and disadvantages. However, it is always better to have devices that have different modes of operation.
Remote rental properties may have internet or cellular coverage issues.
If your internet connection is unreliable, you may need a security system that can work when your internet is out and has a cellular backup (and vice versa if the cellular coverage in your area is poor), or that can store video footage locally.
Some devices are wired, and others are battery-powered. This brings another set of problems.
Battery backup is always recommended as that means your security cameras or system will continue to work even when the power goes out.
However, battery-powered devices will eventually run out of battery charge, so you have to plan for regular ongoing maintenance.
Different security system providers offer different solutions.
What you will find is that often cloud video storage is offered for an additional monthly fee which can be used to store video footage for a predetermined amount of time.
Cellular backups can help upload video footage to a cloud, but you might have to pay additional mobile data charges.
Some cameras allow for video footage to be stored locally on an SD card. This is especially useful if your internet goes out.
Remote Monitoring and Set up
One of the most important aspects when picking a security system for a rental property is the ability to monitor it remotely. This is almost a must-have for both on-site and off-site hosts.
Remote monitoring, viewing of video footage, arming and disarming, and two-way audio are all must-have features.
For example, you can lock and unlock the doors remotely, which is useful if somebody forgets to lock them when they leave.
You can also monitor when guests, cleaners, maintenance, and other people enter and leave. You can create new codes for guests when they check in and delete them when they check out.
Many home security providers have moved on and kept up with the times and now offer monthly subscription-based monitoring services.
However, there are still home security providers that may try to lock their customers into long-term contracts that are not easy to get away from.
Those are often avoided by most hosts—and regular homeowners—as getting locked into a long-term contract often causes more problems than the ones it solves.
Local Availability and Prices
Lastly, make sure to spend some time browsing through the options available to you. Local availability and prices will vary from area to area, which can influence your decision.