If you want to keep an eye on your premises from anywhere on your grounds, a wireless driveway alarm system is a great way to do it. Imagine being in your kitchen, your workshop, or anywhere else on your grounds and being able to monitor multiple driveways, walkways, doors and windows simultaneously. If anyone approaches your premises on foot or in a vehicle, you will know immediately. This system also can track outgoing movements—so you will know when the cat has run off and which way it’s gone.
Interested in buying a wireless driveway alarm, but not sure what you need? The chart below helps you to quickly compare top products on Amazon.com.
|Mighty Mule FM231|
|Dakota Alert DCPA-2500|
|Rodann Electronics RX&TX2000A|
You may still not feel ready to shop for a wireless driveway alarm if you are not all that familiar with the features and options. Read on to learn everything you need to know to buy the best product for your needs.
What is a Wireless Driveway Alarm?
With a wireless driveway alarm, you have a sensor and a receiver. You set up the sensor outside near your driveway, and you set up the receiver in a room in your house where you will be able to see and hear it. If something triggers the driveway sensor, it wirelessly sends a code to the receiver. That code then triggers a pattern of lights and/or beeps (or other audio or visual signals) to let you know which sensor has been triggered.
As you might guess, you can link together multiple sensors and receivers. So you can not only monitor your driveway, but also other points of entry around your property. This can be particularly useful if you live on a large estate and need to monitor a number of buildings. You can code different patterns of beeps for each sensor. So if someone approaches the driveway, you might hear two beeps. If they approach the back door, you might hear three, and so on.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Wireless Driveway Alarm
What type of sensors do you need?
Some wireless driveway alarm systems can actually support multiple types of sensors. You may for example be able to incorporate motion sensors, door/window sensors, garage door sensors and water leak sensors all in a single system. Other systems may only support a single type of sensor.
Where will you install your sensors?
This has an impact on what type of sensor technology you need. For example, some sensors detect motion, while others detect heat. If you are installing your sensor near a tree in a windy location, you might get a lot of false alarms from the branches waving around if you rely on motion sensing technology. A passive infrared (PIR) sensor may give you fewer false positives.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Wireless Driveway Alarm
Many wireless driveway alarm systems can be expanded to integrate a number of sensors and receivers. Before you purchase a system, check to see how many of each type of unit you are allowed to add. Also check to see the options for linking them up. Can you link multiple sensors up to a single receiver? What about multiple receivers to a single sensor?
What types of batteries do you need to power the sensors and the receivers? Can you use rechargeable batteries or only single-use batteries? How long can you expect them to last on a charge? You can also check to see if any of the sensors offer alternative power options like solar.
Weatherproofing is going to be an incredibly important feature in most climates since your sensors are going to be located outdoors. They will be subjected to wind, dust, rain, and snow, not to mention extreme temperature swings up and down. There may also be situations where you want to keep a receiver outdoors, so check for weatherproofing on these units as well if that is the case.
Different operation modes
You may not always want to have your wireless driveway alarm beeping. If for example you are going to be working in your driveway shoveling snow, the last thing you need is to have the alarm beeping constantly at everyone else in your household. This is why you should look for different audio modes like alert, alarm, and mute.
Previously we discussed how driveway alarm systems may produce different beeps or flashing indicators to tell you which sensor was triggered. Another common feature is a set of zones. Each zone corresponds with an LED on the receiver. If a sensor for that zone is triggered, that particular LED will flash.
If you have a system which does not include a status check feature, it may be impossible to know whether your connection is still working or whether the signal has been lost. Someone could breach your security while this is going on. You also will not know when your batteries are running low.
With status check feature, you will be able to see how much juice your batteries have. You also will be able to monitor the health of the connection between the sensor and receiver. That way if the signal is lost, you can do something about it instead of waiting and wondering.
Depending on how large your property is, you may need a long range for your connection. Figure out where you will set up sensors and receivers, and then actually measure the longest distance to figure out how many yards you need. Many systems can accommodate up to half a mile.
You now know what you need to in order to shop for the best wireless driveway alarm. Think about the size of your property, the range you will need, how many zones you will have to set up, and what types of sensors would be best. Then scroll back up to the top of this page to view our product comparison chart. There you can view features and prices for highly-rated, top-selling wireless driveway alarm systems on Amazon.com.
Chamberlain CWA2000: Affordable Theft Prevention Technology
In terms of features, the best thing about the Chamberlain CWA2000 is that it has super long range– the CWA2000’s sensors can communicate with the receiver from up to 1/2 a mile away. Another nice thing about this alarm is that it is inexpensive compared to the competition. Also, installation is a cinch.
- Loud alarm. Keep the volume low or blast it all the way up.
- Easy setup. If you have five minutes to spare, you have enough time to install this alarm.
- Choose between battery & AC power. This alarm’s batteries last for months, but if there is an outlet nearby you can plug it in.
- Affordable price. Before you pay someone to install an expensive security system, give this DIY option a look.
- Rugged and weatherproof. The Chamberlain CWA2000 resists rain and won’t dry out and crack when exposed to sunlight.
- Expandable. The receiver can process signals from up to 4 sensors at once.
- Long range. The sensor works perfectly even when communicating from 1/2 mile away.
The Chamberlain CWA2000’s sensors are super sensitive, but they have a tendency to send out false alarms.
Skylink HA-434RTL: Features a Visual Alert Option for the Hearing Impaired
The Skylink HA-434RTL’s most unique feature is its LED warning lights. If someone gets close to your property, the LEDs will flash and a loud alarm will sound. Another good thing about this alert system is the fact that you can pair it up with up to 16 sensors. Most drive alarm receivers can only accept 4 or 5 sensors.
- Long battery life. One battery lasts for over a year.
- Audio & visual alerts. An audio alarm goes off and a LED light flashes a visual alert if the sensors detect motion.
- Perfect for large homes. The receiver can connect to up to 16 individual sensors.
- Compatible with other Skylink products. Skylink makes specialized garage door, window and water alert sensors.
- Low battery indicator. Just look at the indicator to find out when you need to pop in a new battery.
- Loud siren. The alarm can be cranked all the way up to 95 decibels.
- Good range. Sensors can communicate with the receiver from up to 800 feet away.
You can use Skylink HA-434RTL sensors outdoors, but you have to take care to protect them from direct exposure to rain.
Guardline GL2000: If It Ever Breaks, Get a New One for Free
If you’re thinking about getting a driveway alarm but you don’t want one that will break as soon as you install it, check out the GL2000 from Guardline. The GL2000 is the only driveway sensor we know of that comes with a lifetime warranty. The company is so confident that in their sensor that they’ll replace it for free if it stops working.
- Lifetime warranty. If it breaks, just send back the GL2000 and Guardline will send you a new one.
- Customizable. Quickly set up unique security zones that have different sensitivity settings.
- Choose batteries or AC power. Batteries last forever in this device, but if you don’t want to worry about replacing them periodically just switch to AC power instead.
- Catches lurkers. Stop shady individuals from sneaking around your property.
- Loud volume. Choose from 32 different alarm sounds.
- Comes with tools. This alarm comes with a screwdriver & mounting kit.
- Rugged construction. The GL2000 is built to resist rain, wind and snow.
If you want to hide the GL2000, you’ll have to cover up the LED with a piece of tape. The red indicator light gives the sensor away.