If you live in an apartment and are looking to add a security camera, hard-wired installations and screw holes probably won’t go over well with the landlord. Fortunately, the best security cameras for apartment doors have wireless designs that connect to an app via Wifi, damage-free installation options, and a bunch of cool features like two-way audio and video-saving options.
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What To Consider When Shopping For Security Cameras For Apartments
All of the cameras on this list wirelessly use Wi-Fi to send you notifications via app or voice assistant, and the video doorbells can even be used with a separate chime in your home — so you can leave your apartment’s doorbell wiring alone. Because drilling outside your apartment door is most likely not an option, it’s also important to ensure the camera can be installed without the use of screws or anything that may cause permanent damage. Several cameras on this list are compatible with door mounts that clip onto the side or top of your apartment door. You can also opt to use a removable adhesive to affix your camera in place (such as hanging strips, heavy-duty tape, or sticky mounts). If drilling is approved by your landlord, many cameras come with mounting hardware included.
Another consideration is how the camera sends and saves video. Most security cameras use an accompanying app to send notifications, show live views, and provide two-way audio to the outdoors but some provide free video storage for anywhere from three to 30 days, while others require a subscription or the purchase of an extra video-saving device. The subscription plans are usually just a few dollars a month and can save all of your videos to the cloud.
Additionally, consider where you plan on placing your camera and how much rainfall or snow that area gets. Cameras with a water-resistance rating of IPX4 are resistant to water splashes, while a rating of IPX7 means they can be completely submerged in water.
To keep tabs on your front door and have a chance of regaining your security deposit when you move, check out this list of the best security cameras for apartment doors that are designed for damage-free installation.
1. An Over-The-Door Security Camera
- Doesn’t require any adhesive or mounting tools
- Has the widest field of view of any camera on this list
- Customizable motion detection
- Only compatible with doors between 1.375 and 2 inches thick
Made specifically for easy installation, this over-the-door security camera sits right on top of your door and doesn’t require adhesive, hanging strips, or screws. It’s equipped with two-way audio, HD video, and a 160-degree field of view — the largest on this list. Customizable activity zones help reduce unwanted motion notifications and it comes with three days of rolling cloud storage or you can purchase an extra storage plan for just three dollars per month. Infrared night vision helps you see clearly when it’s dark, and you can even live-stream your video on Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT devices. You can share viewing capabilities with up to five users, it has an IPX4 water-resistance rating can stand up to rain, and comes with the three D batteries required for use. There are no monthly fees if you’re happy with three days of rolling cloud storage, but there are expanded plans available for $3 a month or $30 dollars a year. Choose from black or white to match your door.
One reviewer wrote: “This is exactly what I needed. […] Its what I needed for my apartment door, to view my only door entrance/exit and parked car at all times. If you own a home it may not be for you but for us renters who can’t drill or don’t want to it suits my needs beyond my expectations.”
Type: Wi-Fi | Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.4 x 6.7 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Water resistance: IPX4 | Field of view: 160 degrees | Battery: 3 D batteries providing approximately four months of use | Operating temperature: 0 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
2. This Small But Mighty Camera That’s A Fan Favorite On Amazon
Blink Outdoor Wireless Security Camera
- Small and lightweight
- Customizable motion detection
- HD infrared night vision
- Free or upgraded storage options
- The field of view may reduce visibility on the sides of the door
With over 100,000 five-star reviews, the Blink wireless outdoor camera is one of the best-selling security cameras on Amazon. Its small size makes it easier to mount with hanging strips or strong tape, with one reviewer writing, “I just stuck it with two side tape instead of screwing.” Plus, it also comes with mounting hardware if drilling is an option. There is also an indoor version for apartment doors where the weather isn’t a concern.
The IP65-rated, weather-resistant camera provides HD video (with an infrared night mode) and a two-way audio function that lets you speak with visitors. Customizable motion detection can be set to only go off within a specified zone to eliminate unwanted notifications and a wide, 110-degree field of view can capture almost all of your entryway. You can store a limited amount in the included Wi-Fi module for free or you can purchase the Blink subscription plan for three dollars a month for even more storage in the cloud. Two included lithium batteries provide about two years of use and there are a bunch of multi-pack options in the listing for more camera coverage.
One reviewer wrote: “I already had the Blink doorbell, and wanted to add the outdoor cameras. I had all 3 setup and linked to my existing module in 15 minutes. No issues with wifi reaching outside even with brick construction on house, and one is pretty far away in the back yard. I have used Gorilla extra strong double-sided mounting tape to attach to brick, and have had no problems with it holding cameras securely.”
Type: Wi-Fi | Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 1.22 inches | Weight: 1.69 ounces | Water Resistance: IP65 | Field of view: 110 degrees | Battery: 2 lithium batteries (included) with a 2-year battery life | Operating temperature: -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
3. A Renter-Friendly Ring Doorbell
- Doubles as a doorbell
- Customizable motion detection
- HD video and night vision
- Wide 155-degree field of view
- No-drill hanging mount sold separately
- Can’t adjust the viewing angle in the app
The legendary Ring doorbell is known for its distinct sound, two-way audio, and convenient app control that amps up security in your home. This bundle is perfect for apartment dwellers because it enables you to use the Ring doorbell without messing with doorbell wiring. Simply plug the included chime into an outlet and when the doorbell is pressed, it will play a tune. While the doorbell can be installed using hanging strips or double-sided tape, the brand also offers a no-drill hanging mount with an adhesive back. If theft is a concern, consider a doorbell mount that clips onto the side of your door and houses the camera inside. The HD video has a wide, 155-degree viewing field and customizable motion detection with notifications in the app. Night vision provides clear images in the dark and you can easily recharge the battery with the included micro USB cable. Want to keep your recordings? Store them and review what you’ve missed for up to 180 days with the Ring Protect Plan for four dollars per month.
One reviewer wrote: “This is a great product. I purchased the removable mount to go with it and placed it directly on my door. I rent, so I needed to make sure it can come off easily and move with me when I do. The set up is very easy if you let it walk you through (on your phone) step by step. It also is only $30 a year for recording and other options. Completely worth it whether you live in a house, townhome, condo, apartment with an external or internal door, and even a non-stationary home.”
Type: Wi-Fi | Dimensions: 4.98 in. x 2.44 in. x 1.10 inches | Weight: n/a | Water Resistance: Designed to withstand normal rainfall and snow according to the brand | Field of view: 155 degrees | Battery: Rechargeable battery, life dependent on usage | Operating temperature: -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
4. A Security Camera & MicroSD Bundle
Wyze V2 Outdoor Camera Starter Bundle
- Can extend from the mount and rotate for a customized viewing angle
- Advanced safety features like motion-activated sirens and smoke/carbon monoxide alerts
- Heat-sensor motion detection
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- MicroSD storage option, no subscription necessary
- Field of view may reduce visibility on the sides of the door
- One of the heavier cameras on this list
Perfect for above doors and in corners, this wireless camera can extend out from the base and rotate to capture the best angle. Both the seller and reviewers confirmed that it can be mounted using adhesive or hanging strips. It weighs just 9.8 ounces — making it relatively easy to hang even though it is one of the heaviest cameras on this list.
Two-way audio lets you communicate without ever opening the door and a body heat-detecting motion sensor helps eliminate false alarms from tree branches or blowing leaves. Unlike some of the other cameras on this list, this one has a microSD slot in the camera that can be used for extra storage or to save videos when the Wi-Fi is down, and it has a zoom feature during live streams or event videos. Recorded images can be viewed through the app, Alexa, or Google Assistant, and 12-second recordings can be saved to the cloud for free. This camera also has some extra safety features built-in like an optional motion-activated siren that can be set to scare away intruders, and smoke and carbon monoxide alerts. You can expect about six months of use from a single charge, and an IP65 water-resistance rating helps it stand up to rain and snow.
One detail worth noting is that while the base unit that’s placed inside your apartment can connect wirelessly to your Wi-Fi, some reviewers note that it works much better when plugged in via Ethernet cable.
One reviewer wrote: “Wyze are the best cameras on the market considering their price. The image quality is fantastic and the battery life is amazing. I have several around my house but I bought this set to put in and outside of or camper while out camping. They work fantastic. Highly recommend”
Type: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and microSD card | Dimensions: 6.4 x 3.2 x 2.9 inches when extended | Weight: 9.8 ounces | Water Resistance: IP65 | Field of view: 130 degrees | Battery: Rechargeable battery with a 6-month battery life | Operating temperature: -4 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
5. This Video Doorbell That Comes With A Bonus Indoor Camera & Chime
- Comes with an indoor camera that doubles as a doorbell chime
- Two-year battery life
- Compatible with Alexa
- Customizable motion detection
If you like the idea of a video doorbell, consider this one that uses a mini indoor camera as a chime when you have a visitor. The doorbell part of the combo is completely wireless, features two-way audio, and can be mounted via hanging strips, strong tape, or a door mounting bracket that attaches to the side of your door. Complete with motion alerts and an infrared night mode, this security camera is also Alexa-enabled, so you can answer and view your front door in HD video using voice commands. An IP54 water-resistance rating means it can stand up to rain and a battery life of two years means you’ll rarely need to swap them out. As for the accompanying mini indoor camera, it has a wired connection, comes with a little stand, and plays a chime when someone presses the doorbell. If you want to save or share your videos, you can purchase either the Blink Subscription Plan for three dollars per month or store them locally with the Sync Module 2 and a USB flash drive (sold separately).
One reviewer wrote: “I installed on my apartment and works like a charm, excellent battery life and the design is very neat. Decent night vision and many things can be adjusted in the app to get more accurate notifications. Recommended!”
Type: Wi-Fi | Dimensions: 5.12 x 1.65 x 1.34 inches | Weight: 3.21 ounces | Water Resistance: IP54, according to the brand website | Field of view: 135 degrees | Battery: 2 lithium batteries providing up to 2 years of use | Operating temperature: -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
6. An Indoor Window Camera For Views Of The Outside
Panasonic HomeHawk Window Monitoring Camera
- Local storage via microSDXC card, no subscription necessary
- Records from indoors where it’s safe from weather and theft
- Plugs into an outlet
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- No audio feature
- Some reviewers note having to reattach the suction cup every few months
- Rainy, foggy, or obstructed windows might affect image quality
This window camera is great for those who have a window next to their apartment door or even a door with a built-in window. It attaches to the inside of your window with a strong suction cup (where it’s protected from weather and theft) and plugs right into a regular outlet, so you don’t have to worry about batteries. Advanced person-detection technology doesn’t pick up movement from trees or cars and a microSDXC card is used for video storage so there are no subscriptions or fees. The camera has a wide 150-degree field of view, color night vision, and is Alexa and Google Assistant compatible. When you download the accompanying app, you’ll be able to view the camera feed live and view recordings from anywhere and each video event includes two seconds of pre-recording before the event detection for more footage of any potential incidents.
One reviewer wrote: “This Panasonic Homehawk Camera checks all the right boxes. Easy installation, removable when needed, 24/7 video recording with no contract (Micro SDXC Card needed), motion [detection] goes far and it has options to remove detection areas. The night vision is crystal clear and it is perfect for renters and people that don’t want installation hassles.”
Type: Wi-Fi | Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.9 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 14.4 ounces | Water Resistance: n/a | Field of view: 150 degrees | Battery: n/a | Operating temperature: 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
This content was originally published here.