Reviews

LAST UPDATED: June 16, 2020

The Best Driveway Alarms (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

Install an alarm and get alerted to movement or people entering your driveway

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PUBLISHED ON June 16, 2020

From storing your vehicle to protecting your tools, your home garage is an essential workspace. There's also a good chance your garage provides access to your home through a side door. That's why it is a smart idea to ensure your home security extends to your driveway with an effective alarm system.

 

Driveway alarms inform you of anyone or anything approaching your driveway, keeping you in the loop at all times. The best driveway alarms have a wide range and accurate sensors. A driveway alarm should be durable against the elements, have a suitable range, and require minimal maintenance.

 

Ideally suited to longer driveways or those that can’t be easily seen from your home, driveway alarms reinforce your existing security measures. Of course, since they serve a safety-related function, these items are incredibly popular. This means that there is no shortage of product options. To make your shopping process easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best driveway alarm systems on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System
    Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System
    Summary
    Summary

    Install this alarm and hear a chime anytime a person, vehicle, or large animal comes within 40 feet of the angled eye sensor. The sensor uses passive infrared technology to sense motion and heat during the day and night.

    Pros
    Pros

    This alarm is plug-and-play for a simple installation and setup. You can expand the system to include up to 16 alarms. There are more than 30 chime melodies to choose from and an adjustable volume.

    Cons
    Cons

    You may find that the unit triggers false alarms. The housing isn’t very durable to extreme weather.

  • Best Overall
    Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System
    Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System
  • Best Value
    Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm
    Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm
    Summary
    Summary

    This magnetic wand sensor detects large masses of metal near it. It will trigger an alarm in a 3-12 foot radius. You can then have the internal base station up to 400 feet away. It requires two AA batteries.

    Pros
    Pros

    It won’t trigger false alarms due to people or animals. The 400-foot range gives you plenty of distance to place it at the entrance of a long driveway.

    Cons
    Cons

    The signal range to the base may not be as far as claimed. The wand may also malfunction and not sense metal near it.

  • Best Value
    Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm
    Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm
  • Honorable Mention
    eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway Alarm
    eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway Alarm
    Summary
    Summary

    This solar-powered driveway alarm can detect movement in your driveway up to 143 feet horizontally and 128 feet vertically for a detection range of 30 feet. You can place the receiver up to a half-mile away.

    Pros
    Pros

    The sensor’s sensitivity is adjustable to give you complete control and reduce the occurrence of false alarms. The unit can send a signal to the receiver through walls, vehicles, and trees.

    Cons
    Cons

    The alarm is intermittent when it triggers to make the alarm hit or miss. The receiver range may not be the full half-mile claimed.

  • Honorable Mention
    eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway Alarm
    eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway Alarm

    From storing your vehicle to protecting your tools, your home garage is an essential workspace. There's also a good chance your garage provides access to your home through a side door. That's why it is a smart idea to ensure your home security extends to your driveway with an effective alarm system.

     

    Driveway alarms inform you of anyone or anything approaching your driveway, keeping you in the loop at all times. The best driveway alarms have a wide range and accurate sensors. A driveway alarm should be durable against the elements, have a suitable range, and require minimal maintenance.

     

    Ideally suited to longer driveways or those that can’t be easily seen from your home, driveway alarms reinforce your existing security measures. Of course, since they serve a safety-related function, these items are incredibly popular. This means that there is no shortage of product options. To make your shopping process easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best driveway alarm systems on the market.

    Best Driveway Alarm Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    Given its sturdy design and effective performance, the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System is a premium selection. Reliably supplying alerts for all motion on your driveway, this system fortifies your overall security. Offering customizable features, you can expand the system to as many as 16 sensor components. You can easily place the sensor on your driveway and trust it to efficiently relay an alert related to vehicles, animals, or people. The system effectively differentiates between large animals and household pets, reducing nuisance notifications. With a 500-foot range between the base and sensor, it works in difficult weather conditions regardless of trees or other obstacles. Using both motion sensors and infrared technology, it offers comprehensive protection for your driveway and your home. Considering its top-tier performance abilities and multi-tiered approach to security, this is an excellent option.

    Best Value

    Considering its high-quality performance and vehicle-focused alerts, the Mighty Mule is a great system overall. Alerting you immediately when a vehicle pulls either in or out of your driveway, the sensor is highly accurate. Ensuring there is no false reporting due to the presence of children or animals, the system focuses entirely on vehicles. Touting a simple installation, you simply bury the sensor wand near your driveway and, using electromagnetic analysis, it detects metal from vehicles within 12 feet. The transmitter wirelessly relays the data to your base station, which you can position up to 400 feet from the wand. Running on AA batteries, the system comes with a low-battery indicator light to facilitate continued performance. Given its exclusive focus on approaching vehicles and reasonable range, this is a great budget-friendly option.

    Honorable Mention

    Powered by solar energy and providing reliable, low-maintenance security, the eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway alarm is a popular choice. It comes with a sturdy base receiver that you can plug into any wall socket. The half-mile range enables you to set up the system anywhere in your home. With a sensor running on a lithium battery that recharges in the sunlight, you never have to swap out its power source. Quick to install, the wireless alarm registers motion from vehicles, people, and wildlife. Giving you a choice of four different audio notifications, it enables you to differentiate your alert based on what type of threat the system registers. You can calibrate the sensor’s sensitivity to minimize false notifications.  Considering its solar-operated sensors and low-maintenance requirements coupled with quality performance, this is a great solar-powered driveway alarm.

    Honorable Mention

    Operating with infrared technology and featuring a wide range, the Chamberlain Driveway Alert System is a good option. Coming with a receiving station and single sensor, the system simple installation. Requiring no wiring for setup, the base station runs on AA batteries. Available with an AC adapting component, you can also plug the unit into a wall socket. Once in place, the base registers signals from as far as a half mile away provided conditions are ideal. It transmits the data to your base station where it employs a light and sound pattern to inform you that something or someone tripped the alarm. Using passive infrared technology, it responds to heat instead of metal, so it registers multiple threats over a 30-foot radius. Considering the wide communication range between the base and transmitter, this is an excellent choice for larger properties.

    Honorable Mention

    Providing thorough protection from the elements, the 1byone Wireless Outside Driveway Alarm System is a powerful weatherproof driveway alarm. Featuring a reliable range, the motion sensor detects motion from both people and vehicles within 24 feet. Transmitting efficiently to its base station at distances up to 1,000 feet, the system works well in all weather conditions. Designed to prevent damage from wind, precipitation, and fog, it limits your risk of false alarms and is very durable. Incorporating three alarm modes, you can opt for the flashlight, an audible notification, or both. The system works with as many as five separate sensors that you can comfortably place outdoors, regardless of the weather. Given its durable structure and quality performance in all weather conditions, this is a good system for all seasons.

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    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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    Benefits of Driveway Alarms

    • Safety. A driveway alarm alerts you to unwelcome people or animals on your property. The chime in your home can alert you to potential trouble so you can prevent an unsafe situation before anything happens.
    • Package deliveries. With a driveway alarm, you’ll know exactly when your package is delivered. This prevents your packages from sitting on your front step for hours and stops giving thieves the opportunity for theft.  
    • Preparedness. With a driveway alarm, you’ll never get caught unexpectedly by unplanned visitors. A chime in your home will alert you to surprise visits so that you’re always ready for guests. 

    Types of Driveway Alarms

    Passive Infrared (PIR)

    This is the most common type of driveway alarm sensor. It uses a passive device to trigger a sensor when objects get near it. This type of sensor can detect heat. This includes heat generated from people, car engines, or larger animals. 

    When the sensor detects changes in temperature, it sends a signal to the receiver in your home. Then the receiver emits an audible sound to alert you. 

    Active Infrared (AIR)

    This type of sensor uses a beam of infrared light to detect movement. Unlike a PIR unit, there are two pieces to an AIR unit. Place one unit on either side of the driveway so that the light emits out of one, reflects off the other, and returns to the original unit. 

    A signal is triggered to the receiver in your home when something moves through the beam of light to interrupt the signal. This could be a vehicle driving on your driveway or a person or animal walking on your driveway. 

    Magnetic Probe

    This type of driveway alarm uses metal detection to trigger an alarm. There’s a sensor that’s typically encased in a PVC pipe. You place the pipe partially underground next to the driveway. Then when a vehicle rides up your driveway, the metal sensor in the wand triggers the alarm. 

    This type of alarm stands out because it eliminates the risk of false alarms. Since it only detects metal masses, people and animals won’t trigger the alarm. 

    Top Brands

    Guardline

    Based in Washington, Guardline specializes in producing high-quality driveway alarms and alarm systems. The company prides itself on producing durable and dependable equipment. The Guardline ¼ Mile Long Range Wireless Driveway Alarm is a reliable alarm system for your driveway. 

    Chamberlain

    Headquartered in Illinois, Chamberlain is best known for its garage door opener products. But the company also produces motion detection sensors for your property. The Chamberlain Cwpir Weatherproof Outdoor And Alert System Add-On Sensor is the perfect way to complete your driveway alarm system. 

    Rodann

    The Rodann Tech company prides itself on producing reliable alarm systems for your entryways. This includes driveway sensors and door alerts. As a customer, you’ll enjoy top customer service. The Rodann Electronics Wireless Driveway Alarm System is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to excellence. 

    Driveway Alarm Pricing

    • Under $50: Alarms in this price range tend to use simple technology, such as magnetic alarms. They also have shorter signal ranges.
    • $50 to $100: Alarms in this range will use more advanced technology and will have more sensitive sensors and longer signal ranges. The unit construction is also more durable.
    • $100 and up: Units in this range are either top of the line or have multiple sensor units. These are typically a complete system. 

    Key Features

    Power Source

    You’ll find driveway alarms that use solar power and others that operate with battery power. There are a small number of alarms that will hardwire into your electrical system. Choose a power source that will be reliable long-term. If you live in a place that isn’t very sunny, then a solar-powered alarm may not be the best option. But keep in mind that battery-powered alarms will require you to regularly change the batteries when they die. 

    Sensor Type

    There are three types of sensor alarms available. The type you choose will depend on the type of driveway you have and what you’re trying to be alerted of. If you’re worried about false alarms and are only concerned about cars, then a magnetic sensor may be the best choice. If you want to know about any movement in the general area, then the PIR sensor may be best. 

    Durability 

    Your driveway sensor will be outside year-round. This means it needs to be durable enough to withstand various weather elements. Look for a driveway alarm that’s waterproof and has UV protection. It should also be securely made so that wind won’t pull it apart. If the alarm goes in the ground, then make sure it’s durable enough to survive the ground freezing. 

    Other Considerations

    • False Alarm Prevention. Nothing is more frustrating than having the alarm trigger multiple times a day or in a row, only to discover that nothing is in your driveway. Consider what features the alarm has to prevent the triggering of false alarms. This could be a sensor radius adjustment or sensor angle adjustment.
    • Receiver Range. It’s important to know how far away you can place the receiver from the sensor. If it’s too far away, you’ll never get alerted. This signal is also affected by things blocking the signal, such as vehicles, trees, and buildings. Look for an alarm with a strong signal that can reach beyond these things. 
    • Reliability. The only thing worse than false alarms is missed triggers. The whole point of having a driveway alarm is to alert you when people are in your driveway, so you need the alarm you buy to be reliable and not fail to trigger when it should. 

    Best Driveway Alarm Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    Given its sturdy design and effective performance, the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System is a premium selection. Reliably supplying alerts for all motion on your driveway, this system fortifies your overall security. Offering customizable features, you can expand the system to as many as 16 sensor components. You can easily place the sensor on your driveway and trust it to efficiently relay an alert related to vehicles, animals, or people. The system effectively differentiates between large animals and household pets, reducing nuisance notifications. With a 500-foot range between the base and sensor, it works in difficult weather conditions regardless of trees or other obstacles. Using both motion sensors and infrared technology, it offers comprehensive protection for your driveway and your home. Considering its top-tier performance abilities and multi-tiered approach to security, this is an excellent option.

    Best Value

    Considering its high-quality performance and vehicle-focused alerts, the Mighty Mule is a great system overall. Alerting you immediately when a vehicle pulls either in or out of your driveway, the sensor is highly accurate. Ensuring there is no false reporting due to the presence of children or animals, the system focuses entirely on vehicles. Touting a simple installation, you simply bury the sensor wand near your driveway and, using electromagnetic analysis, it detects metal from vehicles within 12 feet. The transmitter wirelessly relays the data to your base station, which you can position up to 400 feet from the wand. Running on AA batteries, the system comes with a low-battery indicator light to facilitate continued performance. Given its exclusive focus on approaching vehicles and reasonable range, this is a great budget-friendly option.

    Honorable Mention

    Powered by solar energy and providing reliable, low-maintenance security, the eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway alarm is a popular choice. It comes with a sturdy base receiver that you can plug into any wall socket. The half-mile range enables you to set up the system anywhere in your home. With a sensor running on a lithium battery that recharges in the sunlight, you never have to swap out its power source. Quick to install, the wireless alarm registers motion from vehicles, people, and wildlife. Giving you a choice of four different audio notifications, it enables you to differentiate your alert based on what type of threat the system registers. You can calibrate the sensor’s sensitivity to minimize false notifications.  Considering its solar-operated sensors and low-maintenance requirements coupled with quality performance, this is a great solar-powered driveway alarm.

    Honorable Mention

    Operating with infrared technology and featuring a wide range, the Chamberlain Driveway Alert System is a good option. Coming with a receiving station and single sensor, the system simple installation. Requiring no wiring for setup, the base station runs on AA batteries. Available with an AC adapting component, you can also plug the unit into a wall socket. Once in place, the base registers signals from as far as a half mile away provided conditions are ideal. It transmits the data to your base station where it employs a light and sound pattern to inform you that something or someone tripped the alarm. Using passive infrared technology, it responds to heat instead of metal, so it registers multiple threats over a 30-foot radius. Considering the wide communication range between the base and transmitter, this is an excellent choice for larger properties.

    Honorable Mention

    Providing thorough protection from the elements, the 1byone Wireless Outside Driveway Alarm System is a powerful weatherproof driveway alarm. Featuring a reliable range, the motion sensor detects motion from both people and vehicles within 24 feet. Transmitting efficiently to its base station at distances up to 1,000 feet, the system works well in all weather conditions. Designed to prevent damage from wind, precipitation, and fog, it limits your risk of false alarms and is very durable. Incorporating three alarm modes, you can opt for the flashlight, an audible notification, or both. The system works with as many as five separate sensors that you can comfortably place outdoors, regardless of the weather. Given its durable structure and quality performance in all weather conditions, this is a good system for all seasons.

    Tips

    • Buy an alarm system that lets you adjust the sensitivity of the alarm. This will give you better control over where and how the sensor works. 
    • If you have a long driveway, look for an expandable system. Then you can have multiple alarms to indicate that someone is traveling the entire length of the driveway. 
    • Consider the amount of vegetation you have around the driveway alarm. The wind could trigger false alarms by moving the tree branches. 

    FAQs

    Q. How does a driveway alarm work?

    A: Driveway alarms work in three ways. Some systems use magnetism to sense a large mass of metal going by them. This will alert you to vehicles on your driveway. Other sensors use an infrared light beam. When something crosses the beam, it temporarily blocks it, and that triggers the alarm. A third way they work is by sensing heat. This will be the heat of a vehicle engine, a person, or a larger animal. 

    Q. How can I hide my driveway alarm?

    A: The first step is to buy an alarm unit that’s naturally colored. That way, it blends into the surrounding nature. You could then install your unit on a wood post or nearby tree. If you have a fence around your property, you could install your alarm on the fence post. 

    Q. How do you install a wireless driveway alarm?

    A: Follow the directions that are provided by the manufacturer. Typically, a magnetic alarm will require you to bury a portion of it in the ground. An AIR system will need to be installed just above the ground level because the light needs to cross your driveway so that someone traveling on it would block the light in their path. A PIR sensor needs to be installed high up to have a full sensor radius to detect heat in several directions. 

    Q. Can pets trigger motion sensors?

    A: Yes, depending on the type of sensor you install. An animal will not trigger a magnetic sensor because animals aren’t made of metal. They may trigger an AIR sensor if they cross the infrared light line. But if they jump over or go around the light line, they won’t trigger the alarm. A PIR will trigger based on the animal’s movement or body heat. 

    Final Thoughts

    For a durable and high-quality driveway alarm, you can’t go wrong with the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System. For a more affordable yet reliable system, the Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm will perform well.