VHF vs UHF: How to Decide?

You’d be amazed by how many people – even those that use radio communications as a part of their daily professional life – are still unclear on the differences between UHF and VHF radios. With a little research (or by talking with a capable communications expert) the strengths and weaknesses of each can be easily identified and this knowledge can be applied to your specific communications needs.


  • VHF signals cover larger distances outdoors than UHF
  • VHF signals don’t penetrate obstructions (buildings, trees, etc…) as well as UHF
  • VHF signals tend to blanket the earth better, making them ideal outdoors or in hilly terrain.
  • These conditions make VHF ideal for rural settings: VHF is the preferred frequency for farming, forestry, rural transportation, and remote locations.


  • UHF achieves better penetration through wood, steel, and concrete providing increased range and performance in urban environments and around buildings.
  • UHF also performs better indoors, again due to increased penetration.
  • UHF is the better all around signal – and by far the most popular – so when in doubt the safe choice is UHF.

These simple guidelines can help steer you towards making an informed decision when making a radio purchase, but when possible its always advisable to engage a competent expert. Keep in mind that there may be other mitigating factors (such as existing communications infrastructure, cost, availability of frequencies, etc…) that you may not even be aware of that a competent professional can identify and accommodate. By using the contact form below, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have or provide some expertise towards your decision making process.

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