All Collections
General Facts & Questions
Do TV antennas affect Wi-Fi?
Do TV antennas affect Wi-Fi?
Written by Free TV Project Staff
Updated over a week ago

As prices rise on our entertainment options, using a digital antenna to save money by getting free TV is an appealing idea.

Cable can cost you hundreds of dollars a month, and direct broadcast satellite TV is similarly expensive. When you add on streaming service subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu subscription, that ups your monthly entertainment bill significantly.

Watching free over-the-air television via a digital antenna could potentially save a household a bundle of money each month.

But have you wondered if an over-the-air TV antenna would interfere with your existing wireless network?

Luckily, there is little chance of that, because Wi-Fi networks work on different frequencies than digital antennas.

Digital TV antennas go up to a frequency of 693.25 MHz, according to Into Tomorrow. Wi-Fi routers, on the other hand, operate on 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. That's a huge gap between frequencies.

That said, it's a good policy to keep your router away from your TV and other electronics, as well as metal. You'll also want to make sure there isn't anything physically blocking it on all sides. Barring that, you should have a good Wi-Fi signal.

Wi-Fi router on table with TV in background

What Channels Can I Receive?

The availability of channels via digital antenna will vary by your location. You can look up what you potentially would receive with a channel finder that searches by ZIP code. Just know that what you can receive where you are may vary from a city near you, but most likely, you'll have access to a wide variety of TV shows and special events.

Placing your TV antenna high up as possible will help eliminate any signal blockage coming from physical objects like walls, trees and hillsides.

What You Need To Get Started

Here are our top picks for the equipment you’ll need to use antennas for TV reception.

If you live in an urban area or neighboring suburb:

$64.99 from Amazon

This well-reviewed indoor antenna is designed to receive frequencies from 50 miles or more away from broadcast towers. It easily grips smooth surfaces like walls or windows for optimal placement to pick up as many channels as possible.

Recommended antenna if you live in a far suburb or rural area:

$130.20 from Amazon

This powerful antenna has a range of 70+ miles and can be installed inside, outside or in the attic. It has UHF and VHF multi-directional elements designed to deliver reception in remote areas.

Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR to record your favorite shows:

Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

If you have an external hard drive sitting at home collecting dust, consider these options as cheaper alternatives. Simply connect your antenna and portable hard drive to these Tablo DVR devices and you're ready to go.

  • Tablo DUAL Lite: Equipped with built-in Wifi, it lets you position the antenna and DVR for the best signal reception.

  • Tablo QUAD: Record up to four OTA channels simultaneously. This model connects to your router rather than your TV, giving you the option to stream live TV to any device.

If you need to purchase a portable hard drive, we recommend USB-connected portable hard drives (USB 2.0 or 3.0, 1 TB to 8 TB in size). These are the ones we recommend: WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive and the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive.

Getting started

Watching free, over-the-air TV with an antenna is simpler than you may think. In many cases, you can take an antenna out of the box, connect the cable to your TV, run a channel scan and voila! You have dozens of local channels to surf.

The number of channels you can access and how clearly they come in is based on a number of factors, including your distance from the point of broadcast towers, the type of antenna you have and where it’s located in your home.

Not sure what kind of antenna you need? Take our simple quiz to help narrow down the options. You can also find a general list of recommended antennas here.

Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR device to record your favorite shows

Did you know you can use an antenna similarly to how you watch cable? Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

Did this answer your question?