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Best Driveway Alarms (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

Keep your home safe with these quality driveway alarms

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BYHeather Fishel/ LAST UPDATED ON November 17, 2021

Your home security system keeps your house safe, but what about your driveway? It leads to your garage, which is filled with costly tools and equipment. Driveway alarms ensure you’re notified whenever someone enters your driveway. There are options that detect only vehicles, while some alert you to the presence of people or wildlife. The best driveway alarms work both as a notification for you and a deterrent for potential intruders. Of course, the best driveway alarms depend on the layout of your driveway, integrating seamlessly to give you quality results. To help you track down the best driveway alarms on the market, we’ve curated a list of the leading selections and everything you need to know about choosing a driveway alarm that works for you.

Best Overall

Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System

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
  • Straightforward design with plug-and-play install
  • Expandable to up to 16 separate alarms
  • Features over 30 unique sounds and adjustable volume
Cons
  • Unit vulnerable to false alarms due to high sensitivity
  • Housing is not durable enough to withstand extreme weather
Best Value

Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm

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
  • Will not result in false alarms for wildlife or people
  • Features a 400-foot range for longer driveways
  • Comes at an affordable price
Cons
  • Wand vulnerable to malfunctions
  • Signal weakens as it gets further from the base
  • Subject to issues with electrical interference
Honorable Mention

eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway Alarm

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
  • Adjustable sensor sensitivity to limit false alarm risk
  • Able to send signals through dense materials like walls and trees 
  • Straightforward installation requirements
Cons
  • Alarm works best only on the highest sensitivity setting
  • Receiver may be vulnerable to outside interference
  • Weakens as it gets further from the base 
Best Driveway Alarms (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

Our Methodology

In order to choose the best driveway alarms available, we took a look at the different alarms available and compared their functionality, features, and performance. We considered different types of driveway alarms, such as hardwired and wireless, taking a close at details like the number of sensors, light in addition to motion detection, and detection range. Those that offered the most comprehensive coverage for driveways of varying sizes, as well as those that offered a good balance of motion sensitivity and reliability over the long term were our top choices. 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Driveway Alarm Reviews & Recommendations

Given its sturdy design and effective performance, the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System is our top pick as this system reliably supplies alerts for all motion on your driveway, fortifying your overall security. With 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 either vehicles, animals, or people. With a 500-foot range between the base and sensor, it works in difficult weather conditions despite trees or other obstacles. Using both motion sensors and infrared technology, it offers comprehensive protection for your driveway and home. 


False positives are definitely a risk with this system, especially given its extensive sensors. While you might not think being too good of an alarm system is a downside, a few false triggers might have you thinking otherwise. Consider the potential for interference. If it’s low, this is a reliable pick.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 40 feet
  • Detects: Vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver and sensor

Pros

  • Covers plenty of space with a 500-foot range
  • Customizable and can easily be expanded for more coverage
  • Works even in inclement weather
  • Batteries last up to one year

Cons

  • False positives can happen, especially with extra sensors added
  • Interference, like heavily wooded landscaping, may cause interference

Considering its high-quality performance and vehicle-focused alerts, the Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm is a great system overall. The sensor is highly accurate and alerts you immediately when a vehicle pulls in or out of your driveway and to prevent false reporting due to the presence of children or animals, the system focuses entirely on vehicles. And installation is simple; you bury the sensor wand near your driveway and, using electromagnetic analysis, it detects metal from vehicles up to 12 feet away. The transmitter wirelessly relays the data to your base station, which you can position up to 400 feet from the wand. 


It’s worth mentioning that this works exclusively for vehicles and the magnetic sensor engages only when a sufficient amount of interference is detected. It won’t register wildlife or people, but it is a good pick if you want a notification when a vehicle pulls up.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 3 to 12 foot radius
  • Detects: Vehicles
  • Components Included: Electromagnetic sensor wand, outdoor transmitter, and base station

Pros:

  • Highly accurate
  • Doesn’t need to be mounted or permanently installed
  • Picks up on vehicle metal
  • Base station can be placed 400 feet from the sensor

Cons:

  • Only detects vehicles
  • Will only engage sensor when there’s significant interference
  • Short range

Powered by solar energy with reliable, low-maintenance security, the eMacros Solar-Powered Wireless Driveway alarm is a popular option as it comes with a sturdy base receiver 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. The wireless alarm registers motion from vehicles, people, and wildlife. With four different audio notifications, you can set your alert based on what type of threat the system registers. You can also calibrate the sensor’s sensitivity to minimize risk of false notifications. 


Keep in mind that, while solar power is convenient, it’s also less consistent than more traditional power sources. If there is insufficient solar energy to fuel the battery, you risk the alarm not working.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 30 feet
  • Detects: Vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver and sensor

Pros:

  • Far-reaching range
  • Offers four different audio alert types
  • Detects all types of movement
  • Can customize your system and add up to four sensors

Cons:

  • May not get sufficient battery power in cloudy or less sunny regions

The ElePowstar Driveway Alarm and Doorbell is a two-in-one broad range driveway system, both a motion detector and doorbell. The driveway motion sensor has a range of up to 500 feet between the receiver and the motion sensor, and the wireless doorbell can go up to 1,000 feet from the chime receiver — both the transmitter and the doorbell pair to the transmitter. The motion detector will alert you when a visitor appears in the driveway and the fully-enclosed design makes it waterproof and resistant against rain, fog, wind, snow, and temperature variations. The system is easy to install and the detection of movement is between 16 feet/5 meters to 60 degrees. Its range helps prevent false alarms and the system’s 58 unique chimes can be set to reflect each of the different receivers.


If there’s one thing to complain about, it’s that this alarm is more complicated than it needs to be. Want something with all the bells and whistles? This is a great pick.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 16 feet
  • Detects: Vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Sensor, receiver, and doorbell

Pros:

  • Motion detector and doorbell work together
  • Components don’t have to be placed near one another
  • Built for rain, fog, snow, and temperature extremes
  • Offers 58 unique chime choices

Cons:

  • Somewhat complex compared to other systems
  • Requires AA batteries, which aren’t included

With infrared technology and featuring a wide range, the Chamberlain Driveway Alert System is a valuable choice. It includes a receiving station and single sensor, and it requires no wiring for setup. You can opt for AA batteries or use the AC adapting component and 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 tripped the alarm. Using passive infrared technology, it responds to heat instead of metal, meaning it registers multiple threats over a 30-foot radius. 


Bear in mind that the appeal of distance also means more room for interference. It works for bigger properties, though only if the layout of the area is accommodating.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 30-foot radius
  • Detects: Heat sources, including vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver and sensor

Pros:

  • No hardwiring required
  • Can use batteries or AC adapter for power
  • Uses passive infrared technology to detect heat

Cons:

  • Long range of transmission between sensor and receiver can lead to potential interference

Equipping your home with a driveway alarm shouldn’t break the bank, and with the 1 By One Driveway Alarm, it doesn’t have to. It checks all the boxes in terms of functionality, using passive infrared motion sensing, it’s able to accurately detect any type of intruder. It connects to a chime doorbell, which alerts after the alarm is triggered and with a range of 1,000 feet, this driveway alarm connects to wireless tech so there’s no hardwiring necessary. Complete with adjustable volume and bright LED indicator lights, you can choose from multiple melodies and as an added perk, you can add onto the system, since both the receiver and transmitter can be connected to other home security devices. 


It’s worth mentioning that if you use the full 1,000 feet of range, the quality of the connection may fade. There is a diminishing return based on the distance, simply because of the opportunity for interference. 


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 16 to 26 feet
  • Detects: Vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver and sensor 

Pros:

  • Easy installation and setup
  • Affordable price
  • Adjustable volume and chime choices
  • Can extend and enhance the system with more sensors if needed

Cons:

  • The farther the sensor is placed from the receiver, the weaker the signal can become

If you’re protecting a larger area, the Safeguard Supply Driveway Informer Alarm is a solid choice. It comes at a higher price point, but its precision and durability make the investment worthwhile. It uses an infrared sensor that detects movement within a four-square-foot area. Operating on a pair of double-A batteries, the system isn’t prone to premature draining. The receiver plugs directly into any AC outlet while the sensor camouflages by the driveway. With muted tones, it’s easy to tuck this alarm out of sight. Plus, the driveway alarm system is weatherproof and reliable. 


One thing to keep in mind is that replaceable batteries can be tedious, especially with the risk of acid leaks if left unattended. 


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: Up to 40 feet
  • Detects: Heat sources, including vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver and sensor

Pros:

  • Batteries offer long-lasting power
  • Creates a conical detection area
  • Weatherproof
  • Reliable performance

Cons:

  • Batteries do ultimately have to be replaced, which can be annoying

The Fosmon WaveLink Driveway Alarm offers homeowners a driveway alarm that’s pleasant when it sounds. The alarm notifies you when someone is coming or going through the front or back door, with design and portability that makes it easy to install. Fosmon Wireless alarm detects movement up to 16.5 feet. Receivers in the range of 500 feet from the transmitter keep the signal strong. The ringtone is customizable, with 58 different melodies or the standard buzz sound. Change the settings for sound to what you like, whenever you want, from its selection. Besides sound, Fosmon also provides visual LED flash alerts.


Interference can be an issue with this system. It relies on WiFi, meaning it won’t alert correctly if this isn’t working. Be sure that there is no major interference between the sensor and the receiver to ensure it works properly.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 16.5 feet
  • Detects: People and vehicles
  • Components Included: Receiver and doorbell chime sensor

Pros:

  • Picks up movement within a 110-degree angle
  • Connects to existing Wi-Fi for signal coverage
  • Offers 58 different alarm sounds
  • Includes LED visual alerts

Cons:

  • Interference is a concern
  • Connects to Wi-Fi and won’t alert you if your internet connection isn’t working

The wireless, easy, and fast installation of the Wjling Driveway Alarm is almost as easy as saying, one, two, three. The system can secure your driveway in no time and you can mount the Wjling Driveway Alarm system to different areas – on walls, trees, fences, and other places. Choose from three different ways and pick how you want the monitor to watch your driveway and whether you want sound, an LED visual flash, or both alarm types, the Wjling provides all these options. The system has a selection of 38 ringtones and three-volume levels. With its transmitter and LED light, you can track more. The alarm works up to 328 feet. 


The only major downside is it requires three AAA batteries and while it doesn’t drain them too quickly, you will need to replace them now and again.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 23 feet
  • Detects: Heat sources, including vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Two sensors and a receiver

Pros:

  • Includes two sensors and can be expanded with more
  • Offers visual and sound alerts
  • Can be mounted anywhere
  • 328-foot range for receiver

Cons:

  • Uses replaceable batteries, which do have to be swapped out regularly

If you want to avoid the risk of a power outage altogether, the HTZSafe Solar Driveway Alarm System is a great way to go. For starters, it uses solar power and is capable of working on cloudy and sunny days alike. It can relay a message over half a mile reliably and features an impressive 70-foot wide detection area, and working through infrared, it alerts you to anything with a heat signature that passes the sensor. Detecting the heat of an engine or the body temperature of a passerby, the system connects to the doorbell using a series of chimes. You can adjust the volume over four settings and choose from 35 sounds. 


The only downside is the three sensitivities are vulnerable to glitches. The sensitivities are distance-based and, if not calibrated properly, can result in false alarms.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 70 feet
  • Detects: Heat sources, including vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver and sensor

Pros:

  • Runs on solar power that works even when cloudy
  • Receiver and sensor can communicate over 0.5 mile range
  • Picks up heat signatures
  • Multiple volume and chime settings

Cons:

  • All of the sensitivities are distance-based, which can cause glitches or false alarms

Want something that’ll work in a suburban or city environment, with all the interference that comes with it? Take a look at the E Elepowerstar Driveway Alarm System for its precise sensors and user-friendly setup. It’s waterproof to an IP55 rating and, using motion sensors that are entirely enclosed, it’s capable of resisting everything from wind to fog. The first part connects to an AC outlet in the home. The second is the battery-operated PIR sensor that you direct towards the driveway. Its infrared sensors work in a conical form, shining like a spotlight on anything that comes within range. When heat is detected, it relays a signal to the receiver. Touting an impressive range of up to 1,000 feet, it is both effective and low-maintenance. 


Though it’s effective in terms of signal and relay efficiency, the design is less than hardy. For areas not prone to frost heaves or massive cold streaks, it can’t keep up.


Product Specs:

  • Detection Range: 20 feet
  • Detects: Vehicles, people, and animals
  • Components Included: Receiver, sensor, and doorbell chime

Pros:

  • Able to block out interference in busy areas
  • Waterproof, wind-proof, and fog-proof
  • 1,000-foot range for sensors and receiver 

Cons:

  • Best for moderate climates
  • Temperature extremes (hot or cold) can cause problems

Our Verdict on Driveway Alarms

We chose the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System as our top driveway alarm because it’s reliable and picks up on all kinds of heat sources easily, with little interference and few false alarms. If you’re looking for a driveway alarm that’s highly accurate, the Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm is another great option that offers a strong sensor and easy installation.

What to Consider When Buying a Driveway Alarm

In order to pick out a driveway alarm that works reliably, offers a good detection range, and is convenient to use (and install), we’ve got all of the tips you need. Our guide will help you decide which features, power sources, and coverage options you want in your driveway alarm to keep you alerted to all kinds of motion.

Types of Driveway Alarms

Active Infrared (AIR)

Infrared technology refers to the electromagnetic spectrum just beyond visibility, closest to the red end of the rainbow. Driveway alarms that rely on active infrared sensors send a beam outwards to register movement. It features two components, where one part sits on each side of the driveway. The light gets sent from one, reflected back by the secondary unit; and, as long as this reflection is uninterrupted, the alarm isn’t triggered. However, if something passes through that invisible line, it blocks the reflected beam, thereby triggering the alarm. It is reliable, though can be a trickier version to install. Be precise in the placement and keep the sensors clean in order to get the best results from this type of system. 

Passive Infrared Technology (PIR)

The most prevalent type of driveway alarms, passive infrared technology, uses the same infrared beams as an active model, though is more basic. Instead of relying on a reflected beam to be interrupted, this sensor detects thermal energy. You can find these models at varying degrees of efficiency. Some are sensitive enough to detect the heat of a person or wildlife. Others are only able to register hotter objects such as the engine in a vehicle. When the sensor registers that heat signature, it relays a signal to the receiver located inside the home. This emits a sound alert, sometimes backed by a visual cue. These are popular for the ease of use and installation, though they are vulnerable to false alarms in the environment. 

Magnetic Probe Technology

Useful for detecting vehicles, this sort of alarm registers metal via a magnetic sensor. Encased in polymer, usually PVC, the sensor goes underground, parallel to your driveway. When a vehicle drives past it, the metal sensor activates the alarm. These are less prone to false alarms since the unit is not triggered by heat. However, the reach of the magnet is variable. It depends on the casing, installation, and power of the sensor. If it is not strong enough to register small components of metal, then it might not register all vehicles. Aluminum and polymers are increasingly prevalent in vehicle design, making magnetic probes less valuable. That said, they are affordable and easy to install, while still offering valuable security. 

Driveway Alarm Key Features

Mode of Operation

One of the first things to investigate is how the unit is powered. Some run on batteries, with many of the modern selections being rechargeable. Others rely on solar power, charging during the day and holding the energy in a power bank for use at night. Alternatively, there are models that you must hardwire into the system. While battery- and solar-powered may be less reliable, especially without a low battery warning, they are easier to install. Conversely, hardwired models are more secure, simply because there is less likelihood of failure due to power issues.

Weatherproofing and Durability

The sensor for your driveway alarm must be physically near the driveway — that outdoor placement means it will be exposed to hail, frost heaves, rainfall, and ultraviolet rays. If you want something that won’t glitch after every rainfall or die in the cold, weatherproofing is essential. There are two key features: waterproof and protection from ultraviolet rays. Make sure that it can safely be exposed to moisture and that it won’t get damaged in direct sunlight. Another important component is insulation, so ensure that the casing is capable of keeping the cold at bay. Provided it has these features, you can safely keep it in the driveway year-round.

Driveway Alarm Benefits

Secure your garage and home

First and foremost, a driveway alarm is about security. Many garages connect to the home through a side door. If your garage is detached, it just means you might not hear someone pulling up. An alarm system informs you that someone is in the area so you can act accordingly. 

Wireless door alarm

It never hurts to have a heads up that company is coming, even if it’s just the time it takes them to park. The chime on the alarm receiver lets you know when guests have arrived. Plus, you can customize the sound to embrace the holidays — or just for a chuckle. 

Deter potential intruders

Often, alarm systems work just by putting off potential threats. If the sensor is visibly mounted, it will often deter intruders since they know there is security on the premises. 

Children’s safety

Kids playing in the yard? Teenagers sneaking out? A motion sensor alarm system lets you know of human movement. This way, you are always aware of what’s going on in your driveway.

Driveway Alarm Brands to Know

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 Considerations

For under $50, you’ll find driveway alarms that tend to use simple technology, such as magnetic alarms. They also have shorter signal ranges. Spend $50 to $100, and alarms in this range will use more advanced technology and will have more sensitive sensors and longer signal ranges. The construction is also more durable. And if you spend $100 or more, units in this range are either top of the line or have multiple sensor units. These are typically a complete system.

Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and driveway alarms. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • 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. 
  • Clean off the surface of the sensor occasionally (especially after a storm). It limits scratches and keeps the sensor working for longer. 
  • A battery-powered sensor will likely need a replacement twice a year, though cold weather can be a drain. Make sure to check it occasionally, in the same manner you would a fire alarm. 
  • 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 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

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. Why do motion sensors give false detections?

A: Nothing’s perfect, and motion sensors are no different. Extreme cold damaging circuitry, heat giving a false signature, power surges, damage sensors, incorrect placement, and interference can all result in a false detection. To avoid this, make sure there is a clear line of sight between the sensor and the driveway, accounting for the shape and distance it registers. Be sure that the area between the receiver and the sensor is open and free of interfering objects. 

Q. How do you install a wireless driveway alarm? 

A: It’s easy to install a wireless driveway alarm. First, connect the receiver inside the home, preferably at an outlet that’s close to the driveway. Hook it up to your wireless internet and the next step is for you to mount the sensor. Most sets come with mounting hardware. It will either be on the ground or mounted to a tree or garage. Place it precisely and test that it works. After that, it’s just a matter of tinkering with volume and chimes. 

Q. How far away will a driveway alarm work?

A: It depends on the alarm. A good standard is reading around 40 feet in the distance. Expect a range of half a mile, but use reason. If that half mile is through bush and thicket, it won’t relay as effectively without a signal booster. Most driveway alarms on the market are built to accommodate moderately-sized driveways. If you have a larger property, look for a heavy-duty model and aim to give the signal a clear path. 

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.

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