Are you looking to safeguard your home with driveway alarms? We know there are several options out there. And you want the best possible system for your home. Keep your safety in mind; we conducted detailed research to determine which is the best driveway alarm. After hours of testing and consulting, we reached to a conclusion that Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm is the number one system. And second best is Dakota Alert DCPA-2500 . If you require more information before you make a purchase, go through our buyer’s guide.
Top 7 Driveway Alarm
1. Guardline – Best For Home
When we began our research, the first name we heard was the Guardline. The Guardline is the most trusted brand, having years of experience in making driveway alarm. Thought the company is not big, the Guardline Driveway Alarm system remains unmatched. It is loaded with sensors. Using sensors, it can detect the vehicle, human, or large animals.
During testing, we were able to create a system of 16 sensors that covered almost 400 sq ft of area. We measured the effective range of the sensor; it was around 40 ft. And it effectively detects any vehicles or humans. However, it won’t detect small sized animals. The receiver includes 12-v relay for adding Alarm, chimes etc.
Thought the quality of the product unmatched, the effective range makes it more suitable for home use. If you plan to use for large industrial compounds, it may not be a great choice. However, we feel it has the best alarm sensor.
2. Dakota Alert DCPA-2500 – Most Durable Driveway
If we believe the existing users of the Dakota Alert DCPA is one of the most durable driveway systems. The manufacturer, Dakota Alert, has experience of more than 25 years. For us, the unit looked little primitive at first. Because it uses a sensing unit that has two visible parts—transmitter and the probe. However, the effectiveness of the system is right up with there with the best.
Though we didn’t like the probe as the sensor, it is highly effective. Since the probe can be installed away from the transmitter, you can cover the entry points more effectively. The range of probe is 12 foot and has 50 ft long wire from the transmitter. So, you can say that it has an overall effective range of 62 ft. And the good thing is probe is meant to be buried so you can bury them directly under the driveway.
For a driveway system, durability is the most important factor. You want it to work for years with minimum maintenance. The Dakota driveway alarm system is one of the most durable driveway systems.
3. Driveway Informer – Best For Budget Conscious Users
If the range of driveway sensor is your major concern, the Driveway Informer Wireless Driveway has one of the highest range. The sensors have a transmission range of 1000 ft, which is much higher compared to many devices we had for testing. It is not just the range; the build quality of the driveway is really good. It is made of heavy duty ABS and uses green color which allows it blends easily with the exteriors. Overall, it is the best wireless system.
It uses a PIR sensor that detects the subject using the heat. We tested it for all types of vehicles. We also tested it for animals. It can detect animals like dogs if it is closer to the sensor. The effective range of the sensor is 50 ft. One thing we loved is the LCD counter. It shows the number of subjects it has detected.
Considering the range of the sensor, you can use it to cover a much larger area. This long-range driveway system is suitable for industrial compounds. Also, it is one of the best value for money system when you want to create a network of sensors and alarm base stations for the driveway.
4. Hosmart Long Range – Best Solar Powered Unit
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Power is always an issue with any driveway alarm system. Either it requires a battery or a power supply. With a system like Hosmart Solar Driveway Alarm, you can have an independent system. The good thing about the system is that solar panel is inbuilt. So you won’t have to worry about installing it separately. The base unit is also well designed and has indicators for four zones.
We created a four-zone system and tested it with a variety of subjects. The system is accurate. We observed it, it hardly showed any error. But coverage was an issue as the base station only supports four sensors. However, you can add as many receivers you want. The alarm is also loud, and you can choose from the four different chime options.
If you are more worried about how to supply power to the sensors, an option like Hosmart Long Range Rechargeable Solar Driveway Alarm solves the issue. However, the thing with the system is it supports only four sensors and to expand you will have to buy separate receivers.
5. Htzsafe – Best For Expanding the system
The Htzsafe driveway alarm is another option powered by solar panels. But unlike the previous driveway alarm, the panel is separate from the sensor unit. Hence, you also need to think about how you install the solar panel along with the sensor unit. Apart from this one negative point, there is a lot to like about the system. Especially, it is one of the most highly expandable driveway systems. It can accommodate up to 32 sensors. It is one of the highest among the units we had for testing.
While testing, we try to create different situations or conditions like fog, rain, storm, snow etc. We also change temperatures. The system works fine in almost all conditions. Even the base station was able to receive transmission in worst weather. Unlike another system, it does not have multiple zone indicators.
If you are looking for driveway systems that have more features in terms of alarm and can accommodate a high number of sensors, Htzsafe Solar Driveway Alarm is the best option that you can buy for your home.
6. Arlo Pro 2 – Best For Camera
The Arlo pro, not the typical driveway system. It is more of a home security system with cameras. However, it does have a motion sensor which notifies you on detecting the movement. Arlo is a reputed company that has years of experience in manufacturing home security products. Hence you are not sacrificing on the quality, but you are using it for a different purpose.
The motion sensor is highly sensitive and highly advanced. It can differentiate the between the movement of branches and movement of animal or vehicle. Cameras are weatherproof, and you can use it at your driveway points.
We include Arlo pro camera system in the list because there are not many good quality driver systems with the camera. If you are not more concerned about having cameras for your driving system, then you can go for the other options.
7. Mighty Mule – Best Option With Electromagnetic Sensors
Mighty Mule is popular brand having experience in offering heavy duty tools. The major points about this unit that led us to include the product in our list are the electromagnetic sensor. Advantage of having an electromagnetic sensor is that it only detects metal objects and not organic objects. Hence if you want to avoid false alarms due to your children, animals etc. electromagnetic sensors are the best.
As far as the base station is concerned, there is nothing fancy about it. There is no volume control for the alarm and indicators. Also used two AA batteries are you have the option of installing a solar panel with the sensor. One factor that we didn’t like is that it cannot be expanded like the other driver systems.
We suggest you buy the system only if you are more concerned with detecting vehicles. It is highly efficient in detecting all types of vehicles.
Buyers Guide – What To Consider?
There are some key aspects of driveway alarms which if understood well, will help you buy the best alarm for your driveway that fits your requirement. Why do you need to understand? Because all the driveway alarms may look same, but they differ in minute factors. Here we have compiled those factors for you.
If you have to ask what is the main part of driveway alarms. Then it has to be the sensors. There are many types of sensors used for driveway systems, but mainly heat sensors and electromagnetic sensors are commonly used.
As the name suggests, the sensor uses the heat to detect the movement. Take any cars for any animal. They all emit a certain amount of heat. Today most of the driveway systems like to use heat sensor because it helps protect all kinds of moments, including both organic and inorganic. The best with heat sensor is Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm.
Electromagnetic sensors our best photo detecting metal objects. If you want to use the driver system mostly for detecting vehicles, then the electromagnet sensor is the best. However, there are not many driveway systems electronic sensors, but you can go with Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm
2. Base station
All the sensors send signals are processed at the base station. The base station can be a standalone device that notifies you or sounds alarmed upon detecting movement. Most of the basic driveway has a base station that sounds alarms and has LEDs to indicate movement for a particular zone. If you go for something much advanced or smarter like Arlo Pro 2 , you can receive notification over your phone.
While buying the base station, you make sure of two things. First is how sensors it can support. Higher the number, better is its expandability. And another thing you’re to keep in mind is the alarm. Some of the units provide different types of alarm tones, and you can also change the volume of the alarm. We feel such a base station are much better as you can customize. Htzsafe Solar Driveway Alarm is the best example of such driveway system.
3. Power supply
While installing sensors, you have to consider the most important factor—the power supply. There are three ways you can supply power to sensors—power outlet, battery and solar panel. We don’t suggest you get a driveway sensor that requires a power outlet. To some extent, we would also suggest not to get the system with a solar panel. The reason being you will have to worry about the installation of the solar panel along with the sensor. If the sensor has an inbuilt solar panel, then it’s a smart deal. Otherwise, just go with any sensor that uses AA batteries or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries along with a solar panel.
If you have driveway with large area, expandability is the most important factor for a driveway alarm. For expandability, you have to consider the detection range of the sensor and transmission range of the transmitter. Mostly consider sensors are having a detection range of 40-50 ft or more. And transmission range should be more than half a mile for an average home for the best connectivity. One more thing, the base station has a limit on how many sensors it can support. So check with the seller for the exact number. If the base station is limited, check if the base station is expandable or not.
Installing any device in the exteriors is always a tricky task. With devices like driveway alarms, sensors need to be within 50 ft or less of the entry points. During our research, we found that the best place to install the devices is the tree or a sturdy thing like a lamp post or pole. If you plan to use solar-powered sensors, make sure there is ample room for the solar panel as well as location must be exposed to a good amount of sunlight.
How Did We Conduct Tests For Driveway Alarm?
The first step of our research is to shortlist and bring the units that are either popular or best sellers. With the help of 11 experts, we were able to identify 19 such driveway alarms. We acquired all each unit and selected a test location where we can test out the capacity of each unit. For testing, we used the parameters like installation, movement detection, alertness, expandability etc.
During the test we made sure that we used all types of vehicles. So that we know how the unit detects different types of vehicles, some of the driveway systems were made to detect even the animal movement, so tested it with for those movements as well. Even installation was done by non-professionals to see if an average user can install the system or not. In addition to tests, we contacted several existing users to learn more from their experience with the product.
Once we had all the results at our exposure. We asked our team members to analyse all the information they have in front of them and score each unit based on three factors—effectiveness, expandability, and durability. After calculating the overall score, we were able to sort the seven driveway alarms for our list. Here is the scorecard:
Driveway alarm tests
|Dakota Alert||97.1||96.6||96.9||96.8||Check Price|
|Driveway Informer||96.5||96.7||96.9||96.7||Check Price|
|Arlo Pro 2||96.6||95.9||95.8||96.1||CheckPrice|
|Mighty Mule||96.2||95.8||95.6||95.8||Check Price|
It is quite possible that every user might have different areas to cover. Before buying any driveway system, it is important to know your requirements. If you need something with higher coverage, go for the system that has a high range. If you need something that has sensitive sensors, looks for the system with the best sensors. And if you have any doubt, just go through our buyer’s guide.
Guardline- Editor's Choice
When we began our research, the first name we heard was the Guardline. The Guardline is the most trusted brand, having years of experience in making driveway alarm. Thought the company is not big, the Guardline Driveway Alarm system remains unmatched.