Saturday, January 28, 2012

Best card (or best laptop/netbook) for Aircrack-ng

After a long time and no updates on the blog, I'm back. I hope to keep it active like before.

One of the question I see asked very often is "what card should I use for Aircrack-ng?" or "what laptop should I use?".

As far as card goes, I can tell you that even though the wiki looks outdated (it isn't updated because the information is still accurate), the Alfa AWUS036H (Realtek 8187) is still a very good card. Another very good one is the Rockland N3 (Ralink chipset).
If you would like to capture and inject on 802.11n networks, you can use a card compatible with carl9170 (I use a Netgear WNDA3100 v1).
Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't been successful with new Ralink cards even though they support 802.11n, something is missing in the driver to be able to have that capability in monitor mode.
There might be other compatible chipsets for 802.11n (maybe recent Intel cards) but I haven't tested them so I can't confirm.

So, now about laptops and netbooks. One of the best chipset for internal cards is still Atheros.
You can try getting a laptop with Atheros cards but it is not easy to find since vendors don't often advertise what card they use and in most cases it is because they use a Broadcom (which are far from being the best cards). When they do, it is usually an Intel.
So what I recommend about laptops and netbooks: Get one that you like and you're comfortable with, don't worry about the wireless card that comes with it and use one of the cards mentioned above.
If you really want an internal card, you can replace the internal card with an Ubiquiti but keep in mind that some laptops have a BIOS lock that prevents using another card than the (overpriced) one they sell. HP/Compaq is known to do it. I've heard Dell does it on some laptops too. I don't know for others.

Another thing I've often seen is people who wants to get cards from local stores. In my experience, local store 1. don't have a lot of choices 2. don't know what chipset their cards have and 3. don't really care about it. That's why I always shop online for wireless cards. There is a good chance you can find a compatible card on Amazon or eBay.

I'll cover phones and Access points in another post.