What Is the Best Antenna for Free TV? Indoor, Outdoor, Long Range

What Is the Best Antenna for Free TV

The best TV Antennas for free TV help you watch local content such as news and sports without having to worry about paying for cable services. Therefore, when you buy a good antenna, you can watch the best local sports and news broadcasts without paying for expensive cable services.

Key Takeaways

    • TV antennas help you watch local news and other television broadcasts without paying for cable services.
    • Before buying TV antennas, it is crucial to know whether you want terrestrial or satellite and indoor or outdoor antenna.
    • Ensure you understand the frequency coverage and gain of the TV antenna you are taking home.
    • Ensure your television has a digital tower and align your antenna correctly to enjoy over-the-air free television.

Although we are in the age of cable TV, and streaming your favorite series and movies is easier than ever, there are some things cable TV cannot replace. Local football broadcasts, weather,  and news are among the things you may miss out on if you are 100% team cable TV.

That is why TV antennas are relevant to date. They may look intimidating when you remove them from the box, but they come with a user manual that is easy to read, and the steps are simple.

Is there a TV Antenna That Really Works?

Yes, TV antennas work; however, it is crucial to understand the kind of Antenna that will work perfectly for you.

You can buy an expensive TV antenna, but connecting it to your TV disappoints. The reason is that no magic Antennas fit all areas and situations. 

Here are tips for ensuring you enjoy free TV without cable:

  • Make sure you have a Television with a digital tuner(you are safe if your TV was assembled after March 2007)
  • The correct TV antenna for your location
  • Know where the location of the broadcast tower in your area and align your antenna correctly


What Is the Best Antenna to Receive Free TV?

We compiled a list that includes the best TV antennas in various categories so that you can buy the one that suits your budget and viewing needs.

Here are the best TV antennas:


TV Antenna That Picks up Cable Channels

TV channels do not pick cable channels. This is a marketing ploy that sellers may employ so that you buy their antenna. However, a TV antenna picks up many TV channels; therefore, if you have a good antenna, you won’t lack various channels for entertainment, news, sports, and so much more.

Research the nearest broadcast tower locations and enjoy watching TV for free.


What Are the Different Types of TV Antennas? 

You can buy unidirectional or omnidirectional indoor or outdoor antennas. Indoor (installed in the house) outdoors (Installed outside, such as on the rooftop). 

It would be best if you pointed them toward the broadcast signal for unidirectional antennas, but omnidirectional antennas can pick up signals from any direction.

Indoor antennas are small and not as ugly as outdoor antennas. After all, they may be installed in your sitting room for all to see. Most of them are omnidirectional, so you don’t have to worry about pointing your antennas toward the signal.

Outdoor antennas are big, and they may look ugly and complicated. Most of them are unidirectional; pointing them in the wrong direction means no free TV.


What Are the Specific Features to Look for in a TV Antenna?

Buying a TV antenna is the right move if you want to enjoy local news that you cannot get through streaming services. However, you don’t just walk into a store and pick the first antenna that attracts your eyes. There are a few features that you must consider before walking out of the store with the TV antenna. The top features are terrestrial or satellite, indoor or outdoor, frequency coverage, and gain.


Terrestrial or Satellite

Whether you want an antenna for terrestrial or satellite broadcasts is an important decision when you want to buy an antenna. 

If you want a satellite broadcast, you must buy a Dish antenna or parabolic reflector to receive a Direct Broadcast satellite(DBS). You must also align the antenna correctly to receive a signal from the satellite.

Terrestrial antennas are also known as over-the-air television, and they receive signal transmission through radio waves from the TV or radio receiver antenna.


Outdoor or Indoor

Another decision is whether your TV antenna should be outside or inside. Outdoor antennas perform well because they do not have interference, such as walls, fluorescent lights, electrical equipment, and other household objects.

However, indoor antennas are a good choice if you live in a high-signal area, as they will work well.



Gain is the increase in the sensitivity of an antenna in a particular direction. Antennas with high gain can pick up weak signals, which means the further you are from the broadcast antennas, the higher the grain your antenna requires.

TV antennas with high Gain also have increased directivity: you must correctly align them with the direction of the TV transmitter. The more directive an Antenna is, the lesser the level of interference from other directions. 


Frequency Coverage

Most TV broadcasts in UHF(ultra high frequency) these days. However, there are still countries where TV is broadcast at very high frequency(VHF). That is why confirming which frequency is standard where you live before buying an antenna is crucial.

However, most antennas can match various TV frequencies; you won’t buy a TV antenna that does not receive signals from your local television stations.


Best Overall Antenna for Free TV

Five-Star Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna

Five Star Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna - up to 200 Mile Long Range,Directional 360 Degree Rotation,HD 4K 1080P FM Radio

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  • Built-in auto gain control chip and gain booster that makes high gain between 15-35 dB 
  • Supports both Ultra High-Frequency and Very High Frequency
  • High-resolution HDTV 4K
  • All directional with 360-degree rotational so you can search for channel broadcasts around you 

With a 200-mile range and almost 100 TV channels, the Five star outdoor digital amplified HDTV antenna does not disappoint! It also offers 360-degree coverage, and it is affordable.

You don’t have to worry about reception because it can receive both UHF and VHF signals. So it is ideal for people who live in areas with low signals. Additionally, it has a durable reflector design which prevents wind damage: you can enjoy using this antenna for a long time.


  • Affordable
  • 360 degree rotational 
  • All in one package, including the antenna installation kit and J pole
  • 1-year warranty


  • Complex, so it can be complicated to assemble
  • It is costly

Check the Five-star outdoor digital amplified HDTV antenna’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Indoor Antenna for Free TV

Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna

Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna Long 250 Miles Range - Support 4K 1080p Fire tv Stick and All Older TV's - Indoor Smart Switch Amplifier Signal

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  • LTE and FM signal filters to reduce image distortion and interferences, so you get clear pictures up to 4K resolution
  • Up to a 250-mile range
  • 360-degree reception

The Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna is robust and ideal for indoor installation in areas with high broadcast signals. With a 200-mile range, you can scan for channels within this range and enjoy watching clear images and high-quality sound!


  • High-quality images
  • The cable is 18 feet long, and it has a USB power adapter
  • Waterproof antenna
  • Long-range and short-range models


  • You must get an adapter if your TV model is old
  • Lacks a tabletop placement option

Check the Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Overall Long-Range Antenna for Free TV (100 Mile Range)

ONN HD Outdoor Antenna

ONN ONA18CH901 HD Outdoor Antenna with 150-Mile Range + Included Pole

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  • Supported resolution- up to 4K
  • Range- up to 150 miles
  • Dimensions 17 x 3.4 x 14

You do not need a long-range antenna if you live in an area where broadcast signals are close. The Onn HD outdoor antenna is perfect for a 100 to 150-mile range. 

You can set it up on your rooftop with a lightning-resistant antenna without worrying about lightning striking. You don’t have to worry about interferences, such as from rooftops, because you can set the pole between 20 and 50 inches tall. 

It also features an LTE/FM filter to filter any interferences from cell and radio towers; you get high-quality clear images.


  • LTE/FM filter to ensure you get clear images up to 4K resolution
  • 360-degree rotation so you can get new favorite channels from all directions
  • Motorized movement
  • Up to a 150-mile range


  • The max pole height is only 51 inches
  • You may need a longer coax cable

Check the Onn HD outdoor antenna‘s latest prices on Amazon

Best Indoor Long Range Antenna for Free TV (100 Mile Range)

Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna

Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna, 70+ Mile Range, UHF:Vhf, Multi-Directional, Indoor, Attic, Outdoor, Mast W:Pivoting Base:Hardware:Adjustable

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  • 20-inch mast with a pivoting base and high-quality hardware that makes it durable
  • LTE filter that ensures you receive noise-free digital TV reception
  • It has reflectors that add forward gain and protect the TV signal from interference
  • Installed indoors, outdoors, or in the attic
  • Receives both UHF and VHF

With Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna you receive signals from TV broadcasts that are as far as 70+ miles away. That means you will receive a good signal if you live in urban or suburban areas once you install this antenna.

The antenna has an adjustable mast clamp. You can adjust it well and install it on your entertainment room wall or in the attic. The antenna is black and made from high-quality, durable materials that make it long-lasting, thus giving you value for money.


  • You can install it on a vertical or horizontal surface
  • It is made from premium durable materials
  • It has 40 feet of coaxial cable so that you can place the antenna at the place with the best reception.
  • The antenna is easy to install


  • Cannot receive a signal from 360 degrees
  • You cannot use it in rural areas where the broadcast signal is far

Check the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna’s latest prices on Amazon

What Is the Best Antenna for a Smart TV Without Cable?

The best antenna for smart TV without cable is any antenna with high gain that picks strong and weak signals. Letting go of cable services may be easy, but you are likely to slip back if you do not find new sources of entertainment.

That is why you should grab an antenna you can use with your smart TV to enjoy watching TV for free.


Don’t miss out on tournaments and emerging news. You can buy a reliable TV antenna and catch everything happening around you on your TV without getting second-hand news from friends. Select a TV antenna that fits your budget and situation  (signal range, interferences).

Make sure you choose an antenna with a high gain to capture any weak broadcast signal from the TV stations you are interested in. Consider your area’s frequency coverage and signal strength before deciding between indoor and outdoor antennas. The best part is that most antennas are easy to use. Once you make a purchase, follow the user manual carefully and enjoy watching free TV.

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