The Best Security System for Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental in 2024

Protect your short-term vacation rental with the best security system that has everything that Airbnb hosts need!

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Investing in a security system with an alarm is one of the basic steps for protecting your property. For even greater certainty that your place is safe, security cameras are the ticket. Luckily, nowadays, you can buy and install these devices yourself instead of spending a small fortune on security companies. 

We’ve been exploring which is the best security system for Airbnb, and here are our findings:

How We Make Our Recommendations

Here’s how we decide which products make our top picks list:

  • Feedback from 200+ Hosts: our Vacation Rental Inventory Spreadsheet has been downloaded and used by hundreds of hosts like you. We update it regularly based on the feedback we get.
  • Online Reviews: we scour the internet for product reviews from real Airbnb hosts.
  • Forums and Communities: we spend a lot of time in online forums and communities for vacation rentals, to see which products get recommended the most.
  • Suitability: products you buy for your Airbnb need to be durable, affordable, and easy to clean. We keep all these factors in mind when making our recommendations.

Why Should You Get a Security System and Cameras for Your Airbnb?

A security system will protect your property and make your guests feel safer while staying at your rental. The camera can guard your property against burglary and vandalism and help you act timely in case of natural disasters.

To secure the property when your guests leave the home, you can ask them to activate the alarm system. For additional safety and the ability to get in touch with incoming guests even if their phone dies, you can get a video doorbell with a two-way communication system.

If you have a smart lock or lockbox, you can use security cameras to make sure that your guests are respecting the rental agreement and that there are no unauthorized guests, parties, pets, or other irregularities. In this case, security cameras can provide you with evidence for the Airbnb Resolution Center that will win you the disputes. 

In addition to regular security systems, some hosts go for budget-friendly options which are dummy cameras. You can get them for $5 to $30 on Amazon, and guests and potential intruders won’t know the difference. However, you won’t be able to keep your eye on things at your rental property.

Where Can You Put the Security Cameras on the Property of Your Airbnb?

According to Airbnb, you can monitor only public and common spaces. This means that you can place the camera outside to record the front door, driveway, street, etc. They strictly state that common spaces do not include indoor rooms such as sleeping areas or bathrooms.

What Airbnb policy doesn’t allow is concealing the security cameras. You need to install them so that they are visible to the guests. Even disconnected devices must be proactively disclosed to guests.

Do You Need to Let the Guests Know About Security Cameras?

Airbnb is very strict about undisclosed recording devices, so if you install a monitoring device, you need to inform your guests that there are cameras on the premises.

You even need to disclose that there are security cameras on your property in the listing description. There needs to be full transparency when it comes to monitoring. 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Security System for Your Airbnb

Since the safety needs of Airbnb hosts differ, thinking over the following factors can help you create the profile of a security system that will best protect your short-term rental:

Components – Think about what components you need. Do you want window or door sensors, motion detectors, indoor or outdoor cameras, or something else? The components should depend on where your rental is situated and what you want to monitor.

Type of Monitoring – You can get two types of monitoring for your rental: self-monitoring or professional monitoring. Self-monitoring is less expensive, but you’ll be the one who needs to contact emergency services in case of any danger. The system will send you the notification and turn on the alarm, but you need to do the rest.

A professionally monitored system connects with a call center that will keep an eye on your setup at all times. Usually, after the initial siren, they’ll call you to make sure that everything’s alright. They will also trigger the police or firemen if they feel the need to do so. If you choose a professional service, you’ll pay a monthly fee, and you’ll need to sign a contract (in most cases). So, you should also consider how long you are ready to commit to this service. 

Video doorball on airbnb - best video doorbell for aibnb vacation rental

Installation – There are security systems that necessitate professional installation (for which you need to pay extra) and those that you can set up yourself. Some DIY installation systems offer  professional setup for an extra fee. 

Features – Some of the most important features are the ability to arm and disarm the security system, mobile alerts that keep you posted of any disruptions, motion detectors, entryway sensors, an alarm system that scares away the perpetrators, and remote access to your security system. You can also get a device that integrates with other smart devices for additional control. 

Warranty – A warranty will ensure that you don’t make a bad investment and lose your money.  If the device fails to work properly during the set period, you’ll get your money back. 

The Best Alarm System for Airbnb and Vacation Rentals

An alarm system that works best for short-term rentals should be easy to install and easy to use with all the key safety features—and it should come at a great price. While this description seems to be too good to be true, we found all those characteristics in the SimpliSafe 12-Piece Wireless Home Security System. Depending on the size of your home, you can also get a 5-piece system, an 8-piece one, or browse through their other combos.

SimpliSafe 12-Piece Wireless Home Security System

These are the features that make this alarm system efficient and Airbnb-suitable:

Super Easy to Install – You don’t need any tools to set the system up. Just plug in the base station, position the sensors where you want, and plug in your Simplicam–it’s that simple!

12 Key Security Components – You’ll get a base station, keypad, five entry sensors, two motion sensors, one keyfob, one panic button, and a SimpliCam security camera for the full protection of your Airbnb.

Powerful Alarm – The alarm signal is so powerful that it can cover up to a 1000 foot range.

Monitoring Through Smart Device – Check what’s going on at any time by accessing the security cameras on your phone, computer, or tablet. 

Voice Control Feature – You can control your security system through Alexa or Google Assistant voice control. 

Professional Monitoring Available without Contract – You can get round-the-clock professional monitoring and cloud recording with police, fire, and medical dispatch for an affordable fee without signing contracts. 

1-Year Warranty – You’ll have one year to test out the product, and if something doesn’t function properly during that time, the company will refund your investment. 

Other Airbnb Alarm System Alternatives

We’ve also included the Ring and Cove security systems as our contenders for those who want to check out other options.

The Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit (2nd Gen) security system is perfect for smaller homes. You can choose other Ring combos if you want more or less coverage. The 8-piece system has one base station, one keypad, four contact sensors, one motion detector, and one range extender. You can set it up yourself with ease, and the system will keep you posted if anything triggers its sensors. This system only works with Alexa. 

If you want affordable but reliable professional monitoring, you’ll love the Cove 12-Piece Home Security Alarm System. The system uses RapidSOS technology to electronically send data directly to 911 dispatch so there should be fewer manual errors and the police, firefighters, or medical dispatch should get there faster. 

It can be self-installed, and this set contains one touchscreen panel, four door/window sensors, two pet-friendly motion detectors, one flood/freeze sensor, two key remotes, and one Cove yard sign so that everyone knows that your vacation rental is protected. You’ll also get a lifetime equipment warranty and a lifetime monitoring rate lock guarantee.

The Best Security Camera for Airbnb and Vacation Rentals

If you’re just looking for a security camera, the best outdoor security camera for Airbnb is the Zmodo Outdoor Security Camera, hands down. However, if you want to monitor the indoors—whether you want to keep an eye on the garage or indoor pool area—our top pick for the best indoor camera for vacation rentals is the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera.

The Zmodo Outdoor Security Camera is easily connected to WiFi, has tens of thousands of reviews which are mainly positive, and boasts these impressive features:

Crystal Clear Full-HD Picture – With 1080P Full HD resolution, you can see everything and everyone.

Weather Resistant – This outdoor camera can endure weather conditions from 14°F (-10℃) to 122°F (50℃).

Night Vision – Night vision allows you to monitor the surroundings even in a dim environment up to 65 feet away.

Motion Notification with Subscription – If you pay the monthly fee, you’ll get notified on your phone the moment when the Zmodo motion detector notices movement. The AI-powered technology can distinguish between humans, pets, and vehicles for accurate detection.

Here’s why our winner for the indoor security camera, the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera, stands out:

Privacy Shield – Turn on the privacy shield through the Arlo App for private moments.

Two-Way Audio – You can communicate with guests through the cam. 

Ease Placement in Any Room – The camera can be mounted to a wall (the wall mount is included) or you can place it on a shelf. With this variety, you can find the best spot for surveillance. 

Night Vision – Darkness won’t stop this camera from doing its job since it has black and white night vision.

Automatic Siren – Turning on this setting while your property is unoccupied will trigger the warning siren automatically if it senses an intruder. While the rental is occupied, you have the option to sound the alarm manually or from the app. 

Other Airbnb Security Camera Alternatives

We also found a couple of security camera alternatives with useful features for Airbnb hosts.

If your outdoor lighting is poor, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera can make sure that you don’t miss out on any detail. It records the full picture in low light conditions thanks to night vision and an integrated spotlight. To get it up and running you just need to connect it to WiFi (there’s no wiring needed!). The camera is also weather resistant and will fit in nicely in smart homes as it connects with Amazon Alexa, Google, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.

Our second contender, the Wyze Cam v3 with Color Night Vision is a great low-cost choice for both indoor and outdoor monitoring for hosts who don’t mind wired cameras. Its night vision feature is amazing, and it sends you alerts when it detects sounds or motion. Since it has two-way audio, you can use the camera to greet your guests. If you insert a MicroSD card (you need to buy this separately) you can even record video with it 24/7. 

Final Thoughts

A vacation rental is an excellent way to earn money, but this endeavor comes with some risks. If your rental is far away from you, you can never know what transpires on the property. Having an extra pair of eyes there improves the rental’s safety and takes some of your worries away. Hopefully, our top picks will make your decision easier as finding a reliable security system can be a tough decision. 

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