Indoor vs. Outdoor Antenna — Everything You Need to Know

It’s common knowledge that indoor television antennas are way easier to install and handle in general. But is this reason enough to say that they’re better than outdoor antennas?

We don’t think it would be fair to put one over the other without an actual in depth comparison of the two antennas.

Of course, if we’re cutting all our cords and cancelling all our subscriptions, the new device should really be worth it, right?

And that’s for the aim of today’s article: Indoor antennas vs. outdoor antennas, which one is really worth the money?

We spent a good period of time looking up the best indoor and outdoor television antennas to conclude if they’re equally good, or if one of them outweighs the other.

So without any further delay, let’s jump into a rational discussion.

What is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Antennas?

We don’t think we need to explain which one is the internal television antenna and which one is external, it’s pretty obvious through the distinctions between their names. But what really makes them different apart from their placement areas?

Indoor antennas look like very compact and minimal devices that don’t usually require a lot of assembly and so on. They can easily be placed just about anywhere inside the house. However, they are their most effective when the house they are present in is only a relatively small distance from the nearest signal tower.

Outdoor antennas, on the other hand, may give you a hard time setting them up because they usually require manual assembly. And then there’s also the added effort of setting them up on your roof (or some other place) with the help of an extensive set of instructions.

It’s not that this elongated physical exertion doesn’t pay off though — it does. Because outdoor television antennas pick up clear and sharp signals from signal towers that might be present pretty far from your house. 

So, one way to look into the whole situation is that with added effort come sharper signals, but with lesser signals come reduced effort. 

This whole section is meant to give you a general idea of what it really is that makes the two antennas completely different from each other. But to further explain all the things we like and dislike about each of them, let’s look further.

Indoor Antennas Explained

Indoor antennas seem like a pretty attractive idea when you hear how easy it is to set them up, but of course, with positives come negatives, and we’re here to tell you all about indoor antennas!


Very Minimal and Small Devices

Indoor television antennas look like routers. They’re compact and take very little space in any corner of your house (though window sills tend to be the best spots). 

It’s easier to handle the device because they are almost always complete out of the box, saving both time and physical exertion, as well as the (potentially) life-threatening danger that comes with setting up the outdoor antennas.


They are pretty smart devices to look at and are also very cheap to purchase. For a one-time investment, this is too good of a deal to pass on.

Best Choice for Urban Areas

According to usual trends, urban areas tend to have more broadcasting towers and thus there’s almost always one near your house (of course, it’s not particularly necessary). 

For this reason, it’s safe to use an indoor antenna as it has a small signal range.


Small Signal Range

Technically, a small signal range isn’t a great deal. 

But since there are a lot of signal towers around these days, even a small signal range works fine.

Continuously Disrupting Signals

One problem caused by keeping indoor antennas inside the house is that the smallest barriers, even your house’s walls, can cause continuous disruption to the signal.

A good way to avoid this issue is by keeping your indoor antennas facing outside, for instance near the windows.

Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks in advance for your support!

Example One:

TV Antenna – HDTV 160 Miles Antenna Support with Detachable Amplifier Signal Booster. Includes 16.5 feetCoax Cable (4K Digital TV Indoor Antenna)

When it comes to indoor television antennas, this product is undoubtedly our favorite one. This is because it eliminates the small signal range problem to a great extent.

Basically, the device comes with an built-in amplifier, which you can use to adjust the signal strength and make it as strong as needed.

It’s inexpensive, easy to set up, and offers good audio and video quality.

Outdoor Antennas Explained

Opposing the indoor antennas are the outdoor versions. Contrary to popular belief, we personally think that the exertion involved in setting up the outdoor antennas is totally worth it with the number of benefits it gives you.


Wide Signal Range

Outdoor television antennas have a very broad signal range, and due to their placement on areas like rooftops, their signal reception is generally much better.

Sharp and Clear Reception

Obviously, due to such high signal ranges, and no barriers in between, it’s very easy for your antenna to pick signals from large distances without compromise on the quality.

You will always have nice and sharp audio and video for your television due to this quality.

Better Choice For Rural Areas

Rural areas tend to have fewer signal towers around. This means that not every house has an ideal place for an indoor antenna.

Because of the high signal ranges of outdoor television antennas, this problem is usually avoided.


Comparatively Expensive Alternatives

Outdoor antennas are sort of huge, they come with a good number of parts in order to be mounted safely on rooftops, walls, or in other spots. Because of the additional accessories, they’re also slightly costlier than indoor antennas and harder to set up.

Too Hard to Set Up

Since they have so many additional accessories, it’s right to assume that outdoor antennas are hard to set up. Well, not exactly hard, just long and tiring. Setting up outdoor antennas requires your time and your effort.

Example Two:

McDuory Outdoor Digital Antenna (360-Degree Rotation). Includes Mounting Pole & 40-feet RG6 Cable. 150 Miles HDTV Antenna. SupportS 2 TVs-VHF/UHF/1080P/4K

For outdoor television antennas, this is the best we could bring to you. 

It has a solid signal range of 150 miles without any use of amplifiers and is a durable product that will always be faithful to you.

Unlike most outdoor antennas, it involves comparatively less hassle when it comes to setting the whole device up. 

Although it comes unassembled, it requires no tools for assemblage because it consists of snap-on elements. It also has no other complex tool needs when it comes to mounting it in a proper area, like over your roof.

Due to its excellent signal reception, it’s a great investment to make despite the slightly costly accessories.

Drawing a Fair Comparison

If we’re genuinely impartial, then the truth is that both indoor and outdoor antennas have their own importance and their own list of benefits and drawbacks.

The criteria that decides whether one option is better than the other depends on your personal need and not a general scale of comparison.

Of course you can narrow down the better option for yourself by looking into your surroundings and deciding what’s better suited to you. The most we can do is explain how the two antennas differ from each other and under what circumstances they are optimal for.

What’s best for you might not be the best for another person, so it’s on you and your needs to decide whether outdoor or indoor antennas are better.


Conclusively, we would ask for you to evaluate your living conditions and check what suits you better.

If you’re living in a rural area, or are generally located a bit far from the television broadcasting tower, get yourself an outdoor television antenna and mount it at the highest possible place. 

But, if you’re living in an urban area and the signal tower is very close to your home, just save yourself the effort and money and get an indoor television antenna. In fact, if you’re living in an apartment, it’s way more convenient to keep an indoor antenna on your window than to keep an outdoor one on the top of your building (if that’s even allowed).

With that being said, we hope this article was informative enough for you to make the right purchase for yourself!

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