For your TV to pick up channels broadcast by stations in your area, you need an antenna that’ll pick up the broadcast signals and convert them into audio and video signals that display what you’re watching.
People living in suburban areas usually have fewer challenges with signals and picture quality, unlike rural areas where the landscape may or may not be favorable.
Thankfully though, you can still watch all your favorite shows with excellent picture quality by getting a TV antenna with long-range signal reception.
It’s also cheaper than paying for a subscription, as you only pay a one-time fee and get access to the channels available.
If you’re a serial cord cutter and want the best long-range TV antenna that can capture over-the-air channels in rural areas, we’ll look at 15 options to help you watch your favorite shows.
What to Look for in an Outdoor TV Antenna
Before you go out and purchase an outdoor antenna for your TV, there are several things you need to do and/or consider.
Before getting an antenna, check the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) site for signals that are available at the address, city, zip code, and location you’re currently in.
The FCC’s DTV Reception Maps tool will help you do this, as it offers information such as location and direction of a tower, which you can use to select the best antenna for your needs.
For instance, if you’re 100 miles from a broadcast tower, you’ll want to find an antenna that can capture signals from a similar range or even further than that.
You can also get free channels using an outdoor TV antenna if you live a substantial distance away from the tower, as it can pull in signals from as far as 150 miles away.
Access to channels
In rural areas, you’ll probably access fewer channels than you would in suburban areas, so you may want to find out the channels you’re able to access depending on your location from the broadcast tower, type of residence, and the height you’d like to install the TV antenna from.
An outdoor TV antenna derives power from the antenna gain, which impacts the reception.
This is an important factor to consider because some brands advertise the “power” of the antenna when antennas by themselves don’t generate power.
You can figure out the type of outdoor antenna you need by going online, typing in your details, and it’ll generate an estimate of the channels you can watch.
If you want to access multiple channels, you need an antenna that has both UHF and VHF frequency capabilities.
We don’t recommend going for a single frequency range antenna as it’s restrictive.
This is perhaps what you’d look for in rural areas, as it determines the quality of your viewing.
Look for an attic or rooftop installation, and an antenna that can penetrate the roofing materials.
For example, if the roof is aluminum, your antenna won’t be able to penetrate it, so you’d have to set up outside.
Consider a multi-directional antenna that will receive signals from several directions at once, unlike a directional one that points in a single direction.
Height and interference
The antenna height and interference is mostly an issue in urban areas because of the tall buildings around, compared to rural areas, but height helps with reception quality.
In rural areas though, hills and trees can contribute to interference, plus there’s electronic interference from home appliances, so consider this when determining where to place the antenna.
In no particular order, here are our top picks for the best outdoor TV antenna you can use in rural areas.
This outdoor TV antenna has a reception range of more than 65 miles, with incredible performance and impressive signal quality thanks to the proprietary TwinAmp technology.
This amplifies the UHF and VHF frequencies separately with less noise compared to similar amplified antennas.
It also comes with an in-line signal amplifier that needs power to operate, so make sure there’s a wall outlet or power strip you’ll plug it into between the antenna and your TV.
Also included is a LET filter designed to combat interference from cell towers around the area, plus a low-noise preamp embedded within it to clean up less-than-ideal incoming signals.
Its steel hardware is zinc-plated to protect and resist maximum corrosion, plus the flexible polyethylene boot protects it against weather elements.
It’s a small and light outdoor antenna that’s easy to set up and mount, and it receives up to 73 different channels. Plus, if you have a splitter, you can connect multiple TVs at once as this antenna supports it.
This antenna picks up free TV signals for a reception range of up to 80 miles and 180 degrees from multiple networks when pointed towards the transmitting station.
It’s preassembled for easy and fast installation on a wall, roof, chimney, attic, or your preferred spot, and is a multi-directional antenna so it can pick up anything within the given range.
The CM-4228’s antenna gain is 12dB, which means you’ll receive many free channels to your home in crystal clear, uncompressed HD.
Its reception is strong enough to pick up stronger signals around it.
Some users have reported excellent reception within mountainous regions.
However, if your transmitting station is located at a point where the signal isn’t coming in too clearly, you may need a signal booster to improve reception.
This antenna can be installed both indoors and outdoors, and comes in different range options, including the 70-mile range.
It’s the most powerful in the Bowtie range of antennas, with a bowtie design that lets you receive most local stations in the area for free.
Besides the DB8e antenna, you get instructions for mounting the antenna in your home or outside, plus mounting hardware for convenience, and multi-purpose arrangement for easy and flexible installation.
Its 17.4dBi gain is unsurpassed, so it’s probably the most powerful antenna on the market.
Plus, its patented technology allows it to pick up and receive signals from a 70-mile range thanks to the specially designed brackets that let the panels target towers in several directions.
This antenna is ideal where the roofing materials reduce incoming signals or there’s heavy foliage around the area.
Its reflector also helps focus the antenna’s power for extra range, plus protects against multipath interference.
This is another outdoor TV antenna that can cover a 70-mile range reception for UHF and 25-mile for VHF channels, without being affected by shade or trees.
It delivers good sound and picture quality, though it intercepts fewer channels than similar antennas in its price point. If you only want a few channels, it’s your go-to TV antenna.
The long-range HDB91X antenna’s high-gain design brings most free HD channels from your area, regardless of how you place the antenna, and still delivers great reception, especially when pointed towards the tower.
Plus, it has a strong back reflector that’ll reduce any possible interferences, so you’re assured of a good signal overall.
It doesn’t come with a rotor though, so once you mount and point the antenna in a particular direction, you’re all set.
The antenna is covered with a six-month warranty.
This antenna has a classic design and is compatible with Xbox and Apple TV, so besides your usual TV channels, you can watch live TV on your devices too.
If you have regular digital TV, this antenna can support up to 1080i HDTV broadcasts, so you’ll get only the best sound and superb image quality.
It’s a cross-phase antenna that can pick up UHF and VHF channels in a 70-mile range from broadcast towers, but the quality received depends on the general distance from the towers, broadcast power, and terrain.
It’s lightweight and sturdy, especially for tough weather conditions, and even holds during heavy rain or storms, though the signal may not remain unfazed in such moments.
To install it, find the perfect spot to place it and then connect the main coax cable to your TV before scanning for available channels.
The coax cable is purchased separately though, but this is only a minor shortcoming, plus it comes with a 75-ohm transformer, a mast, and locking mast clamp.
The 1byone outdoor TV antenna is optimized for 1080p digital reception so you can get all your favorite channels free and crystal clear.
It comes with a j-shape mounting pole for installation, and a built-in high gain, low-noise amplifier with an impressive long distance reception of up to 150 miles.
Its superior construction makes this antenna capable of withstanding tough weather conditions, plus it can pick up local UHF and VHF HD and standard definition signals.
Even when the weather is bad outside or you live in a densely forested area, you don’t have to worry about signal and picture quality as it ensures you’ll get high quality audio and video, seeing as it supports full HD.
Pingbingding is a fairly new name in the antenna industry, but it’s quickly rising as one of the best outdoor TV antennas.
It offers great ranges at a reasonable price, and is perfect for watching over the air channels on multiple TVs.
It supports more dual TVs at once without using a special adapter or splitter, plus you don’t need any tools to assemble it – just the mounting pole and 40-foot coaxial cable and you’re all set.
The antenna can go up to 150 miles, and thanks to its 360-degree rotor and the wireless controller, you can adjust it easily without climbing a ladder. It’s also resistant to severe weather and lightning too.
The CM-5020 HDTV antenna receives both HDTV and digital TV programming, but also picks up UHF, VHF, and FM signals with a reception range of up to 100 miles.
It’s a high-quality antenna that’s easy to install and is designed for extreme conditions and deep fringe areas where there’s weak signal strength.
This antenna also works both indoors and outdoors and features multi-directional elements that help deliver reception and range in rural environments.
It comes with a 20-inch mount and all-weather mounting hardware to deliver more than you expect having been tested in realistic conditions, not just labs.
Its performance is good, plus it offers many quality features, hardware, and improved isolation for a low-noise floor, and limited signal interference.
ClearStream offers a 60-mile reception range and full HD support, plus it’s 4K-ready and comes with a lifetime warranty on its parts plus great customer support for exceptional daily use of the antenna.
10. RCA ANT 751E
This RCA antenna works well in rural areas, and you can mount it easily even during travels in your RV, without worrying about it falling off.
It’s affordable plus it offers a 70+ mile reception range, and features, among other things, a UHF reflector to filter background noise so you can enjoy great picture quality.
Plus, it has the SmartBoostTM amplification with easy-to-mount elements that even a newbie can use.
The antenna receives UHF and VHF channels, is equipped with the RCA Signal Finder app to locate broadcast towers, and it supports the 1080i broadcast.
If you want quality free TV, this antenna will provide that even if you’re located in a distant area.
This antenna frees you from the cords of cable TV and huge bills. You get free, full and live HD channels up to 150 miles reception range, plus support for dual TV outputs so you can use it on two TVs without a splitter.
Its top design comes with a built-in Smart IC Chip Next generation and Crystal Clear Filter Technology that pick up signals and filter out FM or cellular signals for clear picture, low noise and access to more free signals.
Installation is easy with its easy to follow manual, and you get an outdoor antenna with wireless remote, 33ft coaxial cable, power supply adapter, and mounting pole.
It comes with a lifetime guarantee and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
This antenna covers a 150 mile reception range, with support for HDTV and dual TV outputs without the need for a splitter.
You can receive free digital broadcast high HDTV signals, and you won’t even need a special adaptor for it.
It’s easy to install thanks to its snap-on elements, and easy to follow user manual.
Also included is an infrared remote controller with a built-in 360-degree rotor and super high gain, low-noise amplifier for the best reception, quality audio, and video.
It’s also weather-resistant as the antenna is lightning protected with a durable design and superior build that can withstand tough weather conditions.
A comprehensive one-year warranty and 45-day money-back guarantee are available.
This antenna offers superior signal for up to 70 miles with an attic or outdoor installation.
It’s a versatile antenna that receives outstanding and enhanced full HD picture quality in 1080p, plus it’s whole-home ready for connection to multiple TVs.
No more expensive satellite or cable bills when you can view your favorite shows in HD on popular channels, and crystal clear HD sound quality.
The setup is simple with a mounting bracket, assembly instructions, and mast offered for easy installation.
This is a multi-directional, digital HDTV with an 80-mile reception range.
It’s perfect for the outdoors and also travels in your RV, so you can watch free channels for life, as long as they’re available in your area.
There are no installation fees, plus it is tool-free and easy to set up with multi-way installation, which makes it easier to install than conventional antennas.
Its sleek design is not only durable but also waterproof and anti-UV, with hard ABS casing that protects its inner elements form any harsh weather conditions.
This whole-house digital HDTV antenna by Free Signal guarantees quality viewing for audio and video.
It also saves you money so you don’t have to pay for expensive satellite and cable services to watch local TV channels.
It’s a highly rated long range HDTV antenna with a 100-mile reception range that delivers best results to you while viewing your favorite shows.
It also offers maximum power with minimal noise thanks to its advanced circuitry that results in powerful 40 dBi gain and low < 3.5 dBi noise.
It also includes instant 4K-ready, internal signal amplification, with outdoor durability via its sealed base design, which receives AM/FM signals too, plus the 4G/LTE filter circuitry ensures a noise-free reception.
Picking the best outdoor TV antenna for the rural environment can be a daunting task, especially with the variety of options available, most of which aren’t optimized to such areas.
However, with these top 15 picks, you can find an excellent option for your needs, with good reception, range, and resistance to weather and the rural setup.
Elsie started off as a freelance business and tech journalist. Having written for publications like Lifewire, and WindowsReport, she has garnered immense exposure over the years. She is a certified social media expert with deep interest in internet marketing, ecommerce and information technology.