People are growing increasingly concerned about the safety of their homes and property, and I am no different. There has been an increase in property thefts around my area, I have a rural property with no direct neighbors, so there are not many eyes to spot potential criminal activity.

Around twenty-five years ago, I purchased a driveway alarm system that has worked faithfully ever since; however, old faithful has only one motion sensor, which cannot be expanded on. I have decided that I will purchase a new driveway alarm system for my property; I will just leave the old faithful in place, as it won’t affect any new system.

As usual, I have spent quite some time researching the various options, and there are many, how things have changed in a couple of decades. In this article, I share with you some of my research on the topic; I explore modern driveway alarm systems, their benefits and take a closer look at two popular brands, Dakota security systems and Guardline wireless driveway alarms.

What is a Driveway Alarm System?

Driveway with Alarm Systems

A driveway alarm system detects when someone or something enters a property via the driveway; however, you can have more than just your driveway protected, as modern-day systems allow for multiple motion sensors. These alarm systems use motion, heat, or magnetic sensors to detect, a receiver to notify of an activation, and sometimes cameras.

Many systems have the option of multiple receivers and sensors. Driveway sensors are installed on or near the driveway entrance; when someone or something passes through its detection zone, a signal is sent to the receiver/s, which can be located in your home, workshop, or outbuildings some distance away.

Some driveway alarms also have cameras to record footage of whoever or whatever has triggered the alarm.

Benefits of Driveway Alarm Systems:

One of the most significant benefits is that driveway alarms provide an extra layer of security, giving you some peace of mind. If you have a business on your property or rent out a space, driveway alarms can help you keep track of who is coming and going.

These alarm systems alert homeowners of unwanted and potentially dangerous animals like bears, roaming dogs.

Many smart driveway alarms can be connected to other security systems, such as cameras and lighting, to provide a more comprehensive security solution for your property.

When selecting a driveway alarm system, consider the following factors.

Look for a system with a range that meets your property’s requirements. Some alarms offer ranges of up to a mile or more between the motion sensor (Transmitter) and receiver; there is a big difference in ranges, so select your chosen system carefully; often, specifications will be on the box, and there will be a model number and website listed.

Sensor type:
There are different types of sensors, including passive infrared (PIR), magnetic, and break-beam sensors. PIR sensors detect heat and motion, magnetic sensors detect metal objects (like vehicles), and break-beam sensors detect objects breaking an infrared or laser beam. Consider the sensor type that best suits your security needs.

Power source:
Driveway alarms can be battery-powered, solar-powered, or hardwired. Consider the ease of installation, maintenance, and available sunlight when making a decision.

Weather resistance:
Make sure the system you choose is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, as any outdoor sensors will be exposed to the elements.

Some systems allow you to add multiple sensors and receivers. This is useful if you want to monitor multiple areas on your property; In my case, I have a long driveway, so additional sensors will be useful.

Customizable settings:
Look for a driveway alarm that allows you to adjust sensitivity, zone settings, and alert tones to meet your specific needs.

Reliability and reputation:
I always read customer reviews and check ratings to ensure any device I intend to purchase has a good track record of reliability and customer satisfaction. While I was reviewing different driveway alarms, two alarm manufacturers stood out, Guardline and Dakota Alert.

Dakota Security Systems

Dakota Security Systems is a well-known brand in the security industry, offering various security products, including driveway alarms. Their driveway alarms use passive infrared sensors (PIR) to detect movement and can detect vehicles and people up to 100 feet (30m) away. They also have an adjustable detection range, allowing you to customize the detection zone to your specific needs.

Dakota Security Systems’ driveway alarms are wireless and easy to install, with a transmitter-to-receiver range of 1000 feet (300m), making them an excellent choice for someone like myself with a long driveway who wants to know as soon as someone or something has entered the property. Some Dakota alarms use Break-Beam sensors; depending on your security requirements, they may be beneficial.

One feature I like about Dakota Security Systems’ alarms is that they offer audible and visual alerts. The audible alert is an alarm that will sound when someone or something enters the detection zone, while the visual alert is bright flashing LED lights.

Dakota Security Systems use long-lasting lithium batteries that can last up to four years, depending on usage. This means there’s no need to worry about constantly replacing the batteries.


  • DCMA-4000 One Mile Alarm System
  • Passive Infrared Driveway Alarm Transmitter
  • Receiver – Outdoor Motion Sensor & Alarms
  • Long Range Coverage

Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm

A feature of Guardline’s driveway alarms that I liked is their ability to have multiple receivers and sensors. You can have up to four receiver units placed around your house and detached buildings if you have some, ensuring you will always hear the alarm when triggered. I also like the fact that you can add up to 16 motion sensors having 32 unique alert melodies to choose from.

While the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm is designed to be wireless, it is possible to connect the sensor unit to a power source using the included power adapter by plugging it into an electrical outlet. Note, if you choose the wired option, you must run a power cable to the sensor unit if one doesn’t already exist, which will require some additional installation work.


  • 1 Motion Detector Alarm Sensor & 1 Receiver
  • Weatherproof Outdoor Security Alert System for Home and Property
  • Easy to install

Smart Solar-Powered Driveway Alarms

Solar-powered driveway alarms are designed to be energy-efficient. They utilize solar panels to charge their batteries throughout the day, which powers the unit. Good energy efficiency is crucial because, at nighttime, the motion sensors rely on the battery charge accumulated throughout the day to keep operating. Modern solar charging systems are very reliable, and the batteries used are fit for purpose and generally of lithium technology.

Solar-powered driveway alarms are perfect for homeowners who want to improve their home security while deploying a solution to disposable battery usage.


  • Weather Resistant 
  • Motion Sensor 
  • Detector-Security Alert System-Monitor
  • Protect Outside Property
  • Easy to Install

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, driveway alarms can detect people. They are designed to detect any motion or heat source in the area they cover, including people, vehicles, and animals, like bears, and roaming dogs, which is an obvious benefit. Driveway alarms typically use motion sensors, while some use magnetic or pressure sensors to detect the weight of a vehicle passing over them; some systems use an infra-red or laser break beam.

This is a subjective question; however, after researching several devices, my choice for a driveway alarm would be the Guardline 500 ft range unit. Overall, this alarm has the best combination of sensor detection range, expandability, sensor transmission range, and price. 

Sensor placement depends entirely on the detection and transmission range of the particular sensor in question. Before purchasing a driveway alarm, you need to check the optimum motion detection and transmission range in the manufacturer’s documentation.

To ensure optimal performance, you need to place the sensor in an area where it can easily detect any vehicles or people entering your driveway. You must avoid any obstructions, such as large trees or bushes, that could block the desired detection area or cause false detections. Just be sure to read the placement section of the installation manual carefully.

As with all driveway alarm systems, the range of Swann driveway alarms depends on the specific model. The Swann model SWALPH-ALARMK2 driveway alarm has a motion sensor (transmitter) range of up to 13 feet (4 meters) and a range of 200 feet (120 meters) between the motion sensor (transmitter) and the receiver.


I hope sharing my personal experience and research will provide you with enough information to start making an informed decision when purchasing a smart driveway alarm.

There are many very good driveway security alarms on the market, and we briefly looked at two; when searching for your alarm system, remember to check on quality and read genuine reviews; time spent selecting a device that is the right fit for you is time well spent.

Find out more information on home security using smart devices.

Adrian Dance

You might call me a techie or a technology enthusiast. I’m one of those people whose largely self-taught in the worlds of computing, technology and engineering. I have a DIY approach to the use of smart home automation and think that with the right advice, anyone can improve their lives through greater use of technology.