Last Updated on April 7, 2020

With all of the options for cable TV or satellite, we wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t considered the idea of a TV antenna. However, it is no secret that all of those options can be expensive. They’re not really worth it if you’re a person who just wants to keep up to date with their favorite shows and sports channels. Even if you only pay for a subscription or two, the price is still well beyond what most of us are comfortable paying.

Fortunately, yes, there is a solution for this. It’s not free, but instead of a subscription, you pay a one-time fee. After that, you’re set. Curious? The solution is an outdoor TV antenna. And it doesn’t only work in the city. It works in rural areas as well, all you need is a better reception. 

If you want a guide to outdoor tv antennas in general not exclusive to rural areas see our detailed article here.

The Top Rural TV Antenna This Year

Let’s take a look at our top picks. All of these perform admirably in a variety of conditions, but where they excel is reception, the key component for rural areas.


RankingModelOperating RangeHDTV/UHF/VHFOur RatingReviewPrice
#1RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna70 MilesYes Our ChoiceRead ReviewCheck Price on Amazon
Orfilar Directional Tv Antenna140 MilesYesRunner UpRead ReviewCheck Price on Amazon
#31byone HDTV Outdoor TV Antenna100 MilesYesAlso GoodRead ReviewCheck Price on Amazon

1. RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna

Our Pick

Our top pick is the RCA Compact Yagi, for multiple reasons. To begin with, the build quality is absolutely incredible. It uses high quality materials, and is built like a tank, which makes it amazing for all kinds of weather.

After our testing period, it withstood a variety of weather conditions with no problems whatsoever.

The promised 70-mile range is very close to what we got in ideal conditions. Even when the signal is over 50 miles away, we had a great signal, even with hills and other minor obstructions, which makes it perfect for rural areas.

It receives both UHF and VHF channels, and all of them are received in a surprisingly high quality. Setting it up is very easy, especially since it comes somewhat preassembled. With the included 75-ohm transformer, just about anyone can set it up. This is, without a doubt, the absolute best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas.

  • 70 miles

2. Orfilar Directional TV Antenna

Runner Up

Even though a directional antenna, the Orfilar outdoor antenna is still an excellent choice.

To begin with, in ideal conditions, it has a range of 115 miles. If you know where the TV broadcasting antenna is, this should be plenty.

Even in hilly terrains and heavy obstructions, that range doesn’t drop below 95 miles, which is impressive, and almost twice as much as the Yagi.

Other notable features are the design, and the build quality. The Orfilar looks a lot more modern than other antennas, and it’s extremely durable. It has both a UV, and a waterproof coating, which is the main reason why it’s so good. Those coatings also shield the antenna from some of the interference as well.

Even though it doesn’t have a built-in amplifier, there is no loss of reliability. If you live in a rural area where you often have foul weather and bad conditions, this may very well be the best one to get.

  • 140 miles

3. 1byone HDTV Outdoor TV Antenna

Also Great

The 1byone is another very impressive, high quality TV antenna. The build quality is incredible. It has a multi-element, cross-phase build, which makes it excellent for tough conditions.

In rural areas, where you have bad weather often, this antenna performs very well. It’s the most durable option on our list.

The promised range is 150 miles, but where other antennas don’t come near the promised range, the 1byone actually delivers. In ideal conditions, you can get a high-quality signal from stations that are around 140 miles away. This is very impressive. Even when weather isn’t that good, you still get high quality, both video and sound. The signal range also drops just a touch, but not as much as we thought.

The antenna is best optimized for a 1080p image. The amplifier won’t create any noticeable noise, so you shouldn’t worry about it. If range is a priority for you, and you want something that’s built really well, this is the one to get.

  • 100 miles

4. ClearStream TV Antenna

Also Great

As we mentioned, most outdoor TV antennas boast incredible range, but don’t come even close to what they promise.

The ClearStream doesn’t promise a huge range, but it achieves what it does promise very well.

In ideal conditions, you get 60 miles of range. It receives signals very well, even with the fact that it doesn’t have an amplifier.

If you live in a non-ideal location, such as in a rural place with a lot of hills and mountains, this can be a great option. It does cost a bit more, but with this design, the antenna picks up signals that bounce and rebound from those hills and mountains. This way, you get a good signal even if there are a lot of obstructions.

  • 60 miles

5. Philex Amplified TV Antenna

We’re wrapping things up with another omnidirectional antenna, this time with a somewhat unconventional design. The Philex is small, yet powerful, and still manages to do everything the other antennas do, without being an eye sore. Installation is easy and fast.

In ideal conditions, you can expect around 49 miles of range, which is ideal if you have multiple antennas in your surroundings. Yes, the promise is around 65 miles, but in reality, the range is a bit less than that.

The built-in amplifier significantly helps with performance, while making minimal noise, so it’s very hard to notice. If you want something that not only works great, but looks excellent as well, you might want to take a look at it.

    Getting Started – Guide

    An outdoor TV antenna saves you quite a bit of money in the long run. If you choose one well, you can even use it both indoors and outdoors. Installing an outdoor antenna is pretty easy, as long as you know what you’re doing. A good one will pick up signal immediately, and you won’t have to worry about the weather messing up your TV time. There are even some that will pick up radio signals, too, so you can enjoy a bit of music as well.

    However, choosing an antenna isn’t actually that easy. There are plenty of them on the market, and all of them boast “amazing signal”, “incredible weather resistance” etcetera. Most of them don’t even come close to living up to those claims.

    Therefore, we’ve made a list for you. The list will give you an idea of what the outdoor TV antenna for rural areas options are, with five excellent choices for you to pick from. But, before we get to the list, we’ll discuss why you would want one, as well as how to choose the right one. Five options is still four options too many for some, so we’ll show you how to pick one from the list. 

    Why you would want the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas?

    roof bracket for for outdoor tv antennaThe first thing we’ll do is touch upon why you’d even want an outdoor TV antenna. The thing is, not everyone needs one, but it’s useful for everyone. When you’re watching TV fairly often, chances are you’re paying either for cable, or for other subscriptions. You’re most likely paying quite a bit, but not taking advantage of everything. In other words, you’re wasting money, and a TV antenna can help you with this.

    But, why an outdoor one? Many people opt for an indoors model, but it’s far from the best option. It’s an even worse option in rural areas, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. An indoor antenna is placed near the TV, and it often has to receive signals through thick materials, such as your concrete walls. It is also subject to electromagnetic interference, which degrades reception further. An outdoor antenna doesn’t have any of these issues, which almost certainly results in a better reception.

    When you’re in rural areas, reception is an issue. There are less towers that transmit the TV signal, and they’re often further away. This means you’ll want the best possible technical equipment, leaving nothing to chance. This is where the a TV antenna becomes a necessity. The indoor antenna’s reception issues might mean you miss out on your favorite TV show, and a cheap outdoor one won’t get you a much better reception either.

    Things to consider before you buy an outdoor TV antenna

    antenna locationUnfortunately, things aren’t as simple as just buying the antenna and watching everything your heart desires. There are limitations to consider, and some of them might make the purchase not worth it. Let’s see a few of these things that should be considered.

    The first one is finding out what channels you can access. In rural areas, you’ll most likely get less channels than you would get in a metro area. This depends on how far you are from the broadcast tower, as well as the type of residence and how high you install the antenna. There are online tools that help you figure this out before you buy. Just type in your details, and you’ll get an estimate of the channels you would be able to watch.

    The alleged power of an antenna is also a thing to consider. You should know, though, that what is advertised as power is actually the antenna gain, as an antenna doesn’t generate power. The gain has a huge impact on the reception, so pay attention to this.

    Reception is key in rural areas, so you’ll want to go with either a rooftop installation, or an attic one. However, with an attic installation, make sure the antenna can easily penetrate the roof’s materials. If you have an aluminum roof, this is out of the question, and you must set it up outside.

    Next, we have frequency. The TV channels broadcast over both UHF and VHF frequencies. If you want a larger number of channels, the antenna you buy should have both UHV and VHF capabilities. A single frequency range antenna is actually very restrictive, and we wouldn’t recommend it. While we’re at the frequencies, you should consider a directional versus a multi-directional antenna. A directional antenna will point towards a single direction and improve the signal coming from there. A multi-directional one, on the other hand, will receive signals from multiple directions at the same time.

    Last but not least, you should consider interference and antenna height. This is a much larger issue in the cities than it is in rural areas. Interference is mostly a problem due to tall buildings, but you shouldn’t neglect electronic interference either. All of your appliances in the home, especially wireless ones, contribute to more electronic interference. However, placing your antenna outdoors, above the ground, can help quite a bit. You don’t have tall buildings in rural areas, so you’re good with that. Height does boost reception quality, though, because even trees and hills can deflect and weaken signals. Placing the antenna in an elevated space, such as the highest point of your rooftop, ensures best quality and reception.

    Wrapping things up

    At the end of the day, picking the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas isn’t that easy. You have a lot of options, and not all of them are optimized towards being used in a rural area. Some are made for areas with a lot of obstacles and plenty of towers nearby, which is the opposite of what you need.

    However, if you go through our list, you’ll see five excellent options for rural areas. They all have great reception, and the range is also good on most of them. Weather doesn’t hinder them much, which is an essential thing for rural areas. All that’s left for you is to choose the one that fits your environment best, and order it!

    1. RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna

    Our Pick Again

    Our top pick is the RCA Compact Yagi, for multiple reasons. To begin with, the build quality is absolutely incredible. It uses high quality materials, and is built like a tank, which makes it amazing for all kinds of weather.

    After our testing period, it withstood a variety of weather conditions with no problems whatsoever.


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