The Best
Driveway Sensors and Alarms

You’ve got locks, cameras and alarms on your doors and windows to protect your home and family, but what about your driveway? All too often homeowners forget to take the proper precautions in their driveway that could significantly improve their home’s security.

Driveway alarms are more advanced and offer more options than ever these days. They can help monitor your property and alert you to any unwanted visitors before they ever make it to your house. Those with long driveways may especially benefit from driveway monitors and alarms.

Our Top Picks

Guardline Wireless Driveway Alert

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Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert System

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How a driveway alarm works

Driveway alarms use motion sensors to detect someone’s (or something’s) presence, then send you an alert, so that you can check out what’s going on out there. A sensor is placed in your driveway to detect motion, and a receiver is placed in your home so you can hear the alert if it’s triggered. Both come in a variety of styles with various capabilities. Two of the most significant features to consider are the detection range (how much area a sensor covers) and the transmission range (how far about the sensor and receiver can be placed apart and still work).

The sensors use two primary kinds of detection technology for home driveway security:

Passive infrared (PIR): These sensors sense motion based on heat and movement. They detect most movement, including that of humans and animals. Most people tend to go with a PIR sensor alarm for their driveway since it provides greater protection.

Electromagnetic or probe: These sensors only detect metal, so while you’ll be notified of cars coming up your driveway, you won’t get notified every time a stray dog does.

Our favorite 5 driveway sensors and alarms

 Guardline Outdoor Motion Alert SystemChamberlain Wireless Motion Alert (CWA2000)Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway AlarmDakota Alert DCMA-2500 Driveway Motion Alert 2500' Kit1/4 Mile Hosmart Rechargable Driveway Alarm
Detection Range40 feet30 feet12 feet300 feet30 feet
Transmission RangeUp to 500 feetUp to 1/2 mile (2,640 feet)Up to 400 feetUp to 1/2 mile (2,640 feet)Up to ¼ mile (1,320 feet)
Designed To DetectAll motionAll motionCars and other vehiclesAll motionAll motion
Type of SensorPassive InfraredPassive InfraredElectromagneticPassive InfraredPassive infrared
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

The Guardline Outdoor Motion Alert Driveway Alarm 

This system from Guardline is a solid driveway alarm for most driveways. It gets high marks from customers for being easy-to-install, reliable and relatively affordable. This driveway alarm offers significant detection and transmission ranges, and it comes with a two-year warranty as well as technical support if you should need it. 

It offers quite a few options for personalization as well, allowing you to program up to four different zones with up to four sensors in each. When it comes to the alerts, you can choose one of 30 different tones, and the volume is adjustable. Overall, most customers say they’re happy with their purchase and feel that it adds to their home’s security.

Pricing and tech specs:

  • This alarm will run you about $100, but check Amazon for the most current price.
  • Detection range: 40 feet
  • Transmission range:  Up to 500 feet
  • Sensor style: PIR
  • Power source: The sensor requires 4 AA batteries; the receiver runs on a 12V adapter (4 AAA batteries are required for backup)

Nerd pros:

  • 30 customizable alerts
  • You can pair sounds with specific sensors which means you will know exactly where the alert is coming from in your driveway.
  • Few false alarms
  • Excellent customer service
  • Lifetime warranty

Nerd cons:

  • The transmission range isn’t as wide as some other models.
  • Batteries have to be changed regularly.

The Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert System 

This system from Chamberlain costs significantly less than most other driveway monitors we reviewed, but it offers much of the same functionality. While its detection range is about 10 feet less than the Guardline system, its transmission range is significantly higher (up to 2,640 feet as opposed to 500 feet), so it may be good for those with large properties. Note, however, that range is under ideal circumstances, so if there are trees and other items in between, it likely won’t transmit that far. 

Most customers give it high marks for dependability, effectiveness and range. However, some say it doesn’t hold up well in rain or snow. 

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: Around $45, but check Amazon for current price.
  • Detection range: 30 feet
  • Transmission range: Up to ½ mile (2,640 feet) 
  • Sensor style: PIR
  • Power source: Base runs on AC adaptor (included) or 4 AA batteries; sensor requires 4 AA batteries. 

Nerd pros 

  • Low cost make this an ideal choice for people on a budget.
  • High transmission range mean it may work well for those with larger properties.

Nerd cons

  • No adjustable tones
  • May be sensitive to rain and snow
  • Some customers say installation is tricky.
  • Sensor batteries must be replaced regularly

The Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm review 

If you don’t want to be alerted every time a child chases a ball into your driveway or a dog wanders across it, then this system from Mighty Mule is a solid choice for detecting cars and cars only. You bury the sensor wand next to your driveway and it will detect moving metal within a 3-12 foot range.

Those in rural areas with long driveways and lots of deer and other animals may prefer this system to PIR driveway monitors. One note: If your driveway is very long, the transmission range on this alarm may not be long enough. 

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: Around $65, but check Amazon for current price.
  • Detection range: Up to 12 feet
  • Transmission range: Up to 400 feet
  • Sensor style: Electromagnetic
  • Power source: Requires 2 AA batteries

Nerd pros

  • Few false alarms
  • Easy to install
  • Ability to connect additional sensors
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

Nerd cons

  • Detection range is limited
  • Won’t detect intruders on foot

Dakota Alert BBA-2500 Break Beam Alert Kit

To cover a long driveway, customers say this system from Dakota Alert is hard to beat. While it’s more expensive than other driveway monitors we reviewed, many say it’s worth it for its durability and dependability. 

An infrared beam runs between two sensors, which can be placed up to 300 feet apart. If anything breaks that beam, an alert is sent to the receiver. The sensors run on lithium batteries that are recharged by the sun, so there are no batteries to replace, and you can add more sensors as well. The receiver can be programmed to alert you with one of four tones, and the volume can be controlled. 

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: About $270, but check Amazon for most current price.
  • Detection range: 300 feet 
  • Transmission range: Up to ½ mile (2,640 feet) 
  • Sensor style: PIR
  • Power source: Solar batteries 

Nerd pros

  • Sensors run on solar-powered batteries making this the perfect choice if you don’t want to worry about remembering to change your batteries.
  • Durable
  • Extensive detection range

Nerd cons

  • More expensive than other models
  • Rain, snow and fog may result in false alarms 

Hosmart Rechargeable Driveway Alarm 

This low-priced driveway alarm gets high marks from hundreds of satisfied online customers. Its transmission and detection ranges are about average, but you can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor based on how much area you actually want to cover. 

Some report that the sensor batteries don’t last long, and charging them can be inconvenient as you have to take me out to do so. Overall, though, most who have purchased this system say it’s solid, reliable and a good value for the price.

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: About $42, but check Amazon for current price.
  • Detection range: 30 feet
  • Transmission range: Up to ¼ mile (1,320 feet)
  • Sensor style: PIR
  • Power source:  Receiver runs on AC adapter or (4) AAA batteries; sensor runs on rechargeable 18650 Li-battery.

Nerd pros

  • Low cost 
  • Long transmission range
  • Adjustable sensitivity control

Nerd cons

  • No volume control for alerts
  • Some customers report having battery issues

Final thoughts

Once in awhile unannounced visitors at your front door are welcome surprises, but more often than not, knowing when someone unexpected is coming up your driveway provides peace of mind. Driveway alarms are a simple and relatively low-cost way to get that peace of mind and help keep your family safe and sound. Luckily there are many different types available at different price points, so determine exactly what you need for your space and match it with your budget to find the ideal driveway alarm for your home.

About the Author

Julie Ryan EvansJulie Ryan Evans
Julie Ryan Evans is a writer and editor who has worked with a host of diverse companies including Microsoft, USA Today, Realtor.com, Brit + Co, CafeMom and SheKnows, among others. She has a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from The Johns Hopkins University and regularly covers topics including health and wellness, parenting, technology, finance, real estate and pop culture. While she currently calls the Orlando area home, she has lived everywhere from Hawaii to Austin, Boston and beyond.