Until very recently, I thought there were maybe two or three companies that offered home security systems. What’s more, I thought that these systems were only a possibility if you were a home owner (not if you rented). But many companies offer security systems and monitoring services, so there are many choices for renters and home owners alike.

The first system I considered conjured every bit of 90s nostalgia that our beloved Walkmans do. With home appliances (and even lightbulbs!) becoming ‘smart’—there’s really no room for outdated equipment. Plus, after I did the math, it gets really pricey! (contract restrictions, monthly obligations, etc.)

After some research, I found there are many newer companies (such as Scout) that allow you to buy the equipment and monitor it yourself through an app. You can also pay a monthly fee and have off-site 24-hour monitoring with preset responses. There are a few other companies out there with no monthly contracts and very reasonable monthly fees—if you choose that type of monitoring.

Most of the companies that are no-contract do require that you purchase the equipment upfront (as it is your equipment). The good news is though that if you’re a renter and would still like home security—these newer companies offer almost all wireless equipment. This means that when you move—you can take your system with you!

Remember that –as always – your credit union provides discounts to many services and products so it’s worth checking out if they have a home security deal for their members. And one last thing, for many insurance policies (renters and homeowners alike), there are discounts available if you have a home security system. So if you’re in the market for a system, or just want to see what’s out there, this is a great time to look.

There’s way more options out there than you might think.

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