WiFi network card - which one is the best for a pentester?
Which Pentester Laptop wifi card will be the best? In this post you will find advantages and disadvantages of various models of Alfa Network network cards. answer to the question: which wifi network card will be perfect for a beginner pentester, and which will meet the expectations of a more experienced security specialist? What should the wifi test card support? What are the advantages of wifi cards for pc and their disadvantages that other stores prefer to remain silent? Let's play open cards.
WiFi pentesting - what should be the perfect WiFi security test card?
A card adapted to wifi tests should definitely support monitor mode and attacks that are related to wireless networks. And what pc wifi card supports monitor mode? In the Sapsan store, all available network cards have the appropriate chipsets that allow you to switch to monitor mode. An ideal card for wifi network tests should also:
- be able to disconnect the antenna and connect another one that is needed by the pentester (for example a directional antenna),
- be connected via USB,
- support 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac standards (the most popular),
- have drivers that will enable security testing (and even better in Kali Linux).
The perfect Kali Linux wifi card does not exist?
This is where the fun begins. Why? Because at the moment there is no such card on the market! There are, however, models of wifi cards, which are definitely the closest to the ideal. Let's take a closer look at professional network cards for pentesters, for security research or science from the popular manufacturer Alfa Network. What are the biggest advantages of network cards and disadvantages that other stores don't talk about? It's time to play open cards.
The best wifi card - ranking . Find out about the pros and cons of the different models
Meet as many as 7 different models of wifi cards for pentester from Alfa Network and their most important features. Some of the cards are intended for beginners, others for more experienced users.
Alfa AWUS036ACM WiFi USB Adapter - personally our favorite wifi card
The first wifi card of this set: Alfa AWUS036ACM . This is the favorite model of the Sapsan store. Why is this card so like?
- It has two antenna inputs.
- It supports 2.4 and 5 GHz.
- It has drivers built into the kernel.
- Works with the popular Pineapple Mark VII WiFi device.
- It has a very good range.
Here are some of the disadvantages of the card: if someone uses a virtual machine, it is possible that the card will be detectable under Linux only when connected to a USB 2.0 port.
Alfa AWUS036ACS - small, cheap, for beginners
What are the advantages of this card? First, you need to mention the low price. There is a wifi card for the beginner pentester , so we also have a simple driver installation here (one command on Linux is enough) . Supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It is small and unobtrusive. It cannot be overlooked, however, that it has the occasional problem with wifi attacks. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. Disconnecting and reconnecting the adapter usually helps.
Alfa AWUS1900 Wi-Fi Adapter - the predator among wifi cards
An impressive model, especially when it comes to its price. But let's start with the pluses of this wifi card . The advantages undoubtedly include the unbeatable speeds that it achieves on wifi and support for 2.4 and 5 GHz. Plus there are also 4 antenna inputs (so you can use different antennas, e.g. two panel antennas + two omnidirectional). It is also impossible to ignore the fact that the model looks like a predator through these antennas. Bad and dangerous hackers should fear it in the hands of a good pentester.
Everything is fine, nice, but what are the disadvantages? Well, a novice Linux user may have trouble installing drivers. You have to download them from Github and compile. The downside is also the price. We will not hide that the Alfa AWUS1900 wifi card is currently the most expensive card in the Sapsan store offer.
Kali linux wifi card Alfa AWUS036NHA - perfect for learning pentesting
Another proposition for people who are starting their adventure with pentesting. The Alfa AWUS036NHA card works immediately after it is connected . How does it happend? Oh yes, Linux systems already have these drivers built into the kernel. It only supports 2.4 GHz, which is a downside and an advantage at the same time, because there are no problems with it. It is a simple wifi card on the popular Atheros AR9271L chipset, which makes it ideal for learning wireless network penetration testing. Minuses? Only supports 2.4 GHz networks.
Alfa AWUS036ACH-C AC1200 - a network card for Kali Linux , but not only
This is a proposal with two antenna inputs . Pros?
- Supports 2.4 and 5 GHz networks.
- Quite popular Realtek RTL8812AU chipset.
- USB type C, cable included with USB type A adapter.
- Pleasant data transfer speeds.
Alfa AWUS036ACHM Wi-Fi Adapter - invisible under the virtual
Pros of the AWUS036ACHM wifi card are drivers built into the Linux kernel (kernel). This makes the card work immediately after plugging it in. It supports 2.4 and 5 GHz.
The weak points include only one antenna input and the fact that if someone puts Linux in a virtual machine on MacOS, this card will unfortunately not work. This model does not work under MacOS, so it will not be visible under the virtual.
Alfa AWUS036AC WiFi USB Adapter - with HUB included
The last NIC for the pentester in this post is the AWUS036AC wireless adapter . It has the same chipset as the AWUS036ACH-C AC1200, which means it has similar advantages and disadvantages.
- Two antenna inputs
- Cheaper than AWUS036ACH-C AC1200
- Hub included
The downside is the lower speeds than the AWUS036ACH-C AC1200.
We hope that now it will be easier for you to decide which WiFi card for the pentester will be the best. And if you still have any doubts, speak up and we'll talk. We are happy to suggest the best options. Be sure to also check out the entry about bad USB .