As mentioned above, we put more emphasis on VHF reception in our latest round of tests, as the longer wavelengths of those frequencies are difficult for small antennas to receive. For example, optimum reception of the lowest TV-signal frequency, channel 2, demands a 4.25-foot-wide antenna. The lowest active TV channel in Los Angeles is channel 4 (which TVs pick up as virtual channels 22 and 63), and the lowest channels in Seattle are 6, 8, and 9 (which also display as those channel numbers).
Traditional long-range routers rely on sheer brute force signal strength to cover a wide area. A mesh network, on the other hand, uses multiple routers broadcasting the same network signal to create one large network.
In order to help you find the right TV antenna for you, I've compared the five best models you can buy right now. I've broken down their features and price points to help you find one that fits your budget and needs.
The Gesobyte amplified TV antenna is an almost perfect choice for anyone who has cut the cord with their cable or satellite provider. It's capable of picking up over-air, digital broadcast channels within a 250 mile range thanks to a signal booster. This makes it great for anyone who lives in a more rural area where TV towers may not be close by.
The included 18-foot coax cable means you can place the antenna almost anywhere for the best reception and still be able to connect it to your TV. And the antenna is waterproof, so you won't have to worry about spills, humidity, or rain through an open window ruining any electronics.
It has a range of 35 miles, making it better suited for users who live in smaller towns. And the double-sided design means it will blend in with either light or dark colored walls when installed. It's also incredibly compact, measuring just 11 x 8 inches, so whether you hang the antenna in a window or on the wall, it won't block your view or detract from your decor.
If you don't mind paying more for a TV antenna with the features you need to stay connected to local broadcast channels, the DB8-E from Antennas Direct is a great option. With a range of up to 70 miles, even rural users will be able to access tons of free TV channels for news, sports, music, and more.
The antenna has four "dishes" that each have four receiver units, and each panel can be rotated and adjusted to give you the best chance of clear reception. The large unit also helps better pick up signals that may be partially blocked by dense trees or tall buildings.
If you want to connect an over-air antenna to multiple TVs in your home, the Antop AT-500SBS Smart Bar is the best option. You can connect up to two televisions to the unit, so you can get free local news, sports, and entertainment channels in your living room, bedroom, garage, or basement.
The Smart Bar features a sleek, modern design and allows for both vertical and horizontal placement. The design allows the antenna to pick up signals from multiple directions, so you won't have to spend all day finding the perfect placement in order to get reception. With the integrated signal booster, the Smart Bar can pick up television signals from up to 80 miles away. And you can easily switch between long and short range modes with the simple dial, so you only get the channels you'll actually watch.
Having an outdoor TV antenna helps to increase reception, since signals won't have to travel through thick walls, and the Onn outdoor antenna is the best choice. It features a somewhat compact and lightweight design that's great for either roof or exterior wall mounting, and it comes with a telescoping mounting pole for more placement options. You can set the pole height between 20 and 51 inches to help the antenna clear foliage and rooflines for better reception. The antenna is also lightning resistant, so you don't have to worry about losing signal during storms.
A built-in LTE and FM signal filter removes interference from radio and cell phone towers for cleaner images, preventing pixelation and screen stuttering. The antenna features a motor and rotates 360 degrees for easier adjustments. With a range of up to 150 miles, even rural residents can enjoy local TV without an internet connection or expensive cable or satellite contract.
My pick for the best TV antenna is the Gesobyte amplified digital TV antenna. It has a 250-mile range, so even folks in very rural areas can watch local news, sports, and entertainment channels. It has a built-in LTE and FM filter to prevent interference from cell phone and radio towers, and with 360-degrees of reception, you have more placement options around your home.
I chose TV antennas with varying ranges to suit a variety of environments -- from city and suburban living to rural areas far from TV towers. I also chose a wide range of price points to fit this list into many budgets.
You can buy a simple unit like the King SL1000 SureLock for about $40 if you just want to make sure your antenna is putting out a decent signal. Or you can pick up a more refined unit like the Augocom RY S110 for about $100 if you want more detailed information like FM/LTE interference levels, frequency ranges, and voltage.
It's important to have a good idea of where TV towers near you are located when setting up your antenna, so it can be pointed in the right direction. You can find a map of TV towers in your area by using the FCC's handy DTV tool. You can either use your zip code or precise location information to get an accurate map as well as signal strength information to find the best placement for your antenna.
The Archer AX50 was placed in the family room on the first floor of the 2,300 square-foot home, where the internet enters the house. We placed the Lenovo ThinkPad laptop at two testing points within the home. The close-range test location was within line of sight of the router, 7 feet away. The long-range testing location is in a basement corner bathroom on the other side of the home, about 75 feet away, with the underground foundation of the house on two sides of the room. The signal to the bathroom has to pass through the floor and several walls. We measured the throughput at both locations and used that data to determine our picks.
This is the best range extender for people whose network has or will have Wi-Fi 6 devices, which is pretty much everyone at this point. If you're certain you don't need Wi-Fi 6, you can save a bit of cash by opting for the RE450 below. Otherwise, this is the Wi-Fi range extender to buy.
A solid alternative to the TP-Link RE450, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 is one of the fastest plug-in range extenders we've tested. True, it lacks Wi-Fi 6 technology, but it offers two additional features that budget Wi-Fi 5 range extenders often lack. The first is MU-MIMO technology, which can improve performance if you've got many devices with data-intensive streaming needs connected at once. Second, its overall maximum throughput of 2,200Mbps is higher than the 1,700Mbps of extenders like the RE450. As an added bonus, the Nighthawk X4 won't block the second power plug on a typical wall outlet, and its antennas are internal for a cleaner aesthetic.
There are two types of Wi-Fi range extenders: desktop and plug-in. Most desktop extenders look just like a wireless router and are typically equipped with external adjustable antennas, multiple LAN ports for connecting to devices like TVs and gaming consoles, and USB ports for attaching to peripherals such as storage drives and printers.
Not very long ago, setting up a range extender required a bit of technical expertise and a good deal of patience to find the best location (ideally halfway between the router and the dead zone). But most of today's routers and range extenders support Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), which makes pairing the two as simple as pressing a couple of buttons, naming your new extended network, and creating a network password.
The TP-Link RE705X takes the top spot with excellent performance, the ability to use wide 160MHz data channels, a three-year warranty and it can even link up with your mesh network. While it may not be the smallest Wi-Fi extender out there, it does have positionable antennas and the LED lights on its side show you the status of its 2.4- and 5GHz networks along with the strength of its signals.
Besides using MUMIMO, beamforming and 1024 QAM modulation to give you a strong signal, its 5dBi amplified antennas help it grab a weak Wi-Fi signal to boost it and retransmit it. Its paddle antennas can also be rotated to aim its transmissions. In our testing, the Tenda A27 delivered reasonable performance with speeds up to 294.3 Mbps at 10 feet. If you want a Wi-Fi extender with a class-leading three-year warranty and a gigabit Ethernet port, the Tenda A27 is perfect for stretching the range of your home network.
All of our reviews also include additional details about the set-up process such as the quirks and cool aspects of the design along with all of the settings and management functions a device offers. If you want to learn more about any of the best Wi-Fi extenders detailed above, just check out the full reviews.
The further you are from the signal source, the worse your connection will be, and the slower it will be. While 2.4GHz is older and slower than 5GHz, it can operate at longer ranges, making it better for basic internet usage, streaming, and more. 5GHz, on the other hand, gives you a much faster connection, at the cost of shorter range.
The first thing to do is identify where your local TV stations' transmitters are. Sites such as AntennaWeb can show you that based on your Zip code (in the US), or you could use the Winegard TV signal finder for iPad. Both AntennaWeb and the similar RabbitEars site can also tell you which transmitters, if any, broadcast in the low-VHF band. That uses much longer wavelengths and needs a slightly larger antenna as a result, so if those channels aren't available to you your antenna might be too small to pick them up.
If the above tips don't work and you're quite far from your local TV transmitters (miles rather than yards), you might have to go for the nuclear option: a roof-mounted antenna. For most homes an outdoor antenna will massively outperform an indoor one, so if you've tried every corner of your indoors without success then your best option may be to put the aerial outside. 781b155fdc