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As far as card goes, I can tell you that even though the wiki looks outdated (it isn't updated because the information is still accurate), the Alfa AWUS036H (Realtek 8187) is still a very good card.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.


  1. If I may add my 2 cents : I have a very good experience in BT5 with the Ralink RT3070. I use a Zioncom WL-0162 USB adapter, which has a great sensitivity (*advertised* to be better than AWUS036H) and support 802.11n (1x1) through external antenna.
    No worries to use monitor mode or inject packets, great hardware !

    Do not hesitate to delete this comment if you don't want this post to become a collection of "Personnaly I use [...]" ;-)

    By the way, any chance to have a new stable version of aircrack-ng soon ? It's a pain send the users to SVN to use the "ignore-negative-one" patch...

  2. I successfully use rt2x00usb cards based on 2770, 3070 and 5370 chipsets on WEP networks, since kernel 2.6.39 at least.

  3. Welcome back, nice to read you.

  4. Good to see this place updated! I am on the monitor mode :)

  5. my wireless card is iwL 3945 and it works only problem is the wordlist..i cant get the password it is not included in my doctionary most of them are not a dictionary word..i tried working on crunch but the output file was very big like 40-80 gig..=(

  6. Antares, I'll do a beta release soon.

  7. does asus u30sd-xa1 supports packet injection?

  8. I would just like to say thanks, for your instructions help me.

  9. thanks for the post - and especially telling us what you use - it was annoying trying to find recommended adapters from regular sources but i had a couple of the WNDA3100 collecting dust on a shelf :)

    any tips (other than long usb extension cable) for this adaptor?

  10. rt2x00usb cards is great i thinks, I have been using it for long time

  11. Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info. what laptop should I buy

  12. This is great! I'm currently looking for a new card ;)