The choice between automatic driveway gates and manual gates is often a simple matter of convenience. If the thought of getting out of your car every time you leave or return home bothers you, consider an automatic gate. It is also a courtesy for your guests who won't appreciate having to get out of their car in snow or driving rain to open a gate, and then get out again to close it behind them.
More important perhaps than convenience is the added security a automated gate will provide for your family.
Manual gates can be locked for security purposes, though once the lock is picked or broken nothing stops the gates from opening. With locked manual gates, a visitor can alert someone through an intercom button or a sensor can be used to detect movement. But a locked manual gate requires someone to come and unlock it, which can be inconvenient. If you choose manual gates, sliding gates are more secure than swinging gates. The track and rollers give them extra stability. Because of the design differences, it's easier to force open swinging gates than sliding gates.
Automatic driveway gates can be configured to open when a car approaches. Sensors and other devices can be set to allow the gates to detect an approaching car that will trigger the driveway gate to open. A button can be installed that when pushed will open the gate. This is a good option if you install a gates simply for its decorative appeal rather than security concerns.
Many people opt to have their automatic driveway gates set up to control who can come onto their property. An automatic driveway gate sensor or alarm can be set to alert someone in the house that a car has approached so that they can monitor activity at the gate. Complex security systems might pair a notification system with a video camera so that the person in the house monitor activity from inside the house.
Manual Alert Systems
With a manual alert system, visitors would push a button to alert someone in the house of his or her presence. An intercom system can be part of the setup so that the visitor can explain their purpose for the visit. The person inside can use a controller to open the gates. This is a good method of security for a large estate where it might be impractical to physically go to the gate every time someone comes.
Another popular and secure choice is the use of a keypad. A code can be entered by the homeowner that will open the gates. Frequent visitors can be given the code to make coming and going more convenient. For the gates to be opened from inside the house, a code would have to be entered in a controller, though some systems might just require a switch from inside the house.