There are several benefits to living in the more remote areas of the country — but signal strength is not one of them. Whether it be smartphone reception or available channels, banking on a good signal more often than not ends in disappointment. One answer to the problem is to invest in one of the best TV antennas for rural areas.
Installing an antenna that has been designed with long-distance reception in mind gives you the best chance of receiving the range of free TV channels that are available to every person across America. These channels include local news, sports and networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS. A specialized, long-distance antenna also maximizes the reception to help ensure your incoming TV always runs smoothly, even when rainy or cloudy weather is passing by.
How to Choose the Best TV Antenna for Rural Areas
Choosing the best TV antenna for your rural area is dictated by local transmitter distance and local topography.
When it comes to working out how far away the nearest signal transmitters are, use one of the many online signal locating websites. When you have established the distance to the nearest transmitters, ensure you choose a device that states a maximum distance greater than the distance to your nearest transmitter.
The second issue to consider when choosing a TV antenna is the topography of the land surrounding your home. Particularly hilly areas can inhibit signals from traveling through them, resulting in poorer or non-existent reception in your home. If the area is particularly hilly, attempt to counteract this by installing the antenna on the outside of the house and as high as possible.
One additional note, make sure to check if your chosen antenna comes with a mounting pole and coax cable. If not, then it may be necessary to purchase these pieces separately.
Below you’ll find our top picks for the best TV antennas for rural areas. Each device is well-reviewed and can receive TV signals at greater distances than a standard TV antenna.
1. ANTOP Flat Panel Mini Big Boy Indoor/Outdoor Amplified HDTV Antenna
Come for the cool look, stay for the versatility and range. The ANTOP Flat Panel Mini Big Boy gets our nod as the best digital antenna for your TV. It looks great inside your house, but it has enough weatherproofing to work outdoors too. This omnidirectional TV antenna works with HDTV, 1080P TV and 4K ULTRA HD, and is compatible with TV converter boxes or digital TVs. Add in the impressive 80-mile range, and this flat antenna earns the top prize.
2. RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD TV Antenna
The RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD TV Antenna is a tried-and-tested answer for cord-cutters wanting access to CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC. This hi-def TV antenna comes backed by over 7,500 five-star ratings from Amazon users and can receive signals up to 70 miles away. The device sports a pre-assembled design to minimize the amount of installation required. It also features a durable design that is great for either attic or outdoor mounting.
3. Best Buy Essentials Amplified Ultra-Thin Film Indoor HDTV Antenna
This ultra-thin indoor antenna from Best Buy gives you a lot for not a lot of money, including a strong 50-mile range, VHF and UHF signals for HD channels. Even better, one side is black and the other is white, allowing you an option for how to best blend it into the background whether you mount it on the wall or keep it on the TV stand.
4. U MUST HAVE Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna
If you need a digital TV antenna to mount inside your home, the U MUST HAVE Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna could be the right device for you. This well-reviewed antenna comes in either black or white. The design also includes a smart switch for changing between long- and short-range reception. The antenna can receive signals from up to 250 miles away and the advanced device constantly scans for new channels as they become available. You’ll also find 18 feet of coaxial cable inside the box for more convenient mounting.
Read More: Best Indoor TV Antennas
5. PBD Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna
The PBD Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna includes a 360-degree motor, which allows you to reposition the device using the wireless remote control included in the box. This is ideal for maximizing the signal reception, which can be up to 150 miles away. It supports 720p, 1080i, 1080p and 4K resolutions and features a durable design, which is both lightning protected and grounded. Additionally, the 59 feet of RG6 coaxial cable lets you position your antenna exactly where reception is strongest.
6. GE Outdoor TV Antenna
The weather-resistant design can be mounted in your attic or on the outside of your home to receive signals from up to 70 miles away. It’s also capable of supplying multiple TVs with the addition of a splitter and extra coax cable, which aren’t supplied in the kit. However, a mounting bracket, a J-mount, VHF dipoles, UHF elements and signal-enhancing reflector rods and a bracket are included to maximize your cord-cutting experience.
7. Five Star Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna
With the ability to capture signals from up to 200 miles away, the Five Star Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna is a good option for anyone living out in the sticks. In addition to its impressive distance, this family home–ready antenna can also supply up to five individual TVs out of the box. You’ll also find a motorized mechanism that allows the device to turn 360 degrees to maximize the reception of the DTV/VHF/UHF signals. Additionally, this positively reviewed antenna is made from waterproofed material to withstand whatever the world throws at it.
8. PBD WA-2608 Digital Amplified HD TV Antenna
This PBD WA-2608 Digital Amplified HD TV Antenna offers quick and easy adjustments thanks to the built-in 360-degree turning mechanism. The snap-on parts make installation especially simple while the included mounting pole and 40 feet of coax cable ensure you can immediately connect two TVs. The water-resistant and lightning-protected antenna picks up signals from up to 150 miles away.
9. Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna
The Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna claims to be the best in its class. It can be mounted inside or outside your home and is capable of receiving full HD and 4K signals. The device includes a built-in amplifier and comes with a 20-inch mast with a pivoting base to accommodate both horizontal and vertical mounting. The antenna also comes in several different models depending on the distance from your home to the signal source. One thing to note about this well-reviewed digital TV antenna is that it is not supplied with any additional coax cable.
Updates: This review was last updated on June 22, 2022, at which time we added new products. We added the ANTOP Flat Panel Mini Big Boy Indoor/Outdoor Amplified HDTV Antenna as the “Best Overall” option and moved the RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD TV Antenna to the “Runner Up” position. We replaced the Vansky Outdoor Motorized Antenna, which is no longer available, with the Best Buy Essentials Amplified Ultra-Thin Film Indoor HDTV Antenna as “Best Budget.”