Best Wi-Fi Adapter for Hacking in 2024 (and How to Configure It) Link to heading

cards

This post aims to be straightforward and to the point. I’ll be sharing my top picks for wireless cards used in Wi-Fi hacking, based on personal experience and real-world application. That said, the wireless card I utilize most often is the built-in one on my laptop, which typically supports monitor mode and functions flawlessly.

I usually have 3 different Wi-Fi Adapter in use. Usually 2 external and the computer’s own when running Linux directly or booting from USB.

Wireless Cards Link to heading

Top Personal Picks for 2024 Link to heading

If I were to purchase a wireless card today, I would opt for one of the following options since they are relatively similar in price and offer support for 6GHz, ensuring they are future-proof.

Wireless Card Image Protocols Wi-Fi Bands Price Range Link
Alfa AWUS036AXML AWUS036AXML a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz €50 - €60 Amazon Link
Alfa AWUS036AXM AWUS036AXM a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz €30 - €40 Amazon Link

Reliable Alternatives Link to heading

For those who don’t need the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology but still want reliable performance:

Wireless Card Image Protocols Wi-Fi Bands Price Range Link
Alfa AWUS036ACH AWUS036ACH a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5GHz €50 - €60 Amazon Link
Alfa AWUS036ACM AWUS036ACM a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5GHz €30 - €40 Amazon Link
Panda PAU09 N600 PAU09 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5GHz €60 - €80 Amazon Link

Directional Antenna Link to heading

Using a directional antenna can extend your range and improve results.

Directional Antenna Image Price Range Link
Alfa APA-M25 APA-M25 €15 - €25 Amazon Link

Installing Drivers in Kali Linux Link to heading

This guide is based on Kali Linux 2024.1.

Enabling USB 3.1 in Your VM Link to heading

Ensure USB 3.1 is enabled in your virtual machine settings:

  • VMware:

USB3.1VMware

VirtualBox Extension Pack

Then, enable USB 3.1:

USB3.1VirtualBox


Installing Drivers Link to heading

Alfa AWUS036AXML Link to heading

  • Driver: MT7921AU
  • Manufacturer: Mediatek

AWUS036AXML-lsusb

This device should be plug-and-play. If Kali fails to detect it, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`
reboot

AWUS036AXML-airmon


Alfa AWUS036AXM Link to heading

  • Driver: MT7921U
  • Manufacturer: Mediatek

This device should also be plug-and-play. If Kali does not detect it, follow the same steps as for the AWUS036AXML.

AWUS036AXM-airmon


Alfa AWUS036ACH Link to heading

  • Driver: rtl8812au
  • Manufacturer: Realtek

AWUS036ACH-lsusb

Install the drivers using apt:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`
sudo apt-get install dkms
sudo apt-get install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms
reboot

Now, the system should detect the device:

AWUS036ACH-airmon

Verify packet injection:

AWUS036ACH-inject

Alternatively, you can install the driver manually from the aircrack-ng repository:

sudo apt install dkms
git clone -b v5.6.4.2 https://github.com/aircrack-ng/rtl8812au.git
cd rtl*
make
sudo make install

Panda PAU09 N600 Link to heading

  • Driver: RT5572
  • Manufacturer: Ralink

PAU09-airmon

This device should be truly plug-and-play.


Using Airodump to Scan Link to heading

Set Monitor Mode Link to heading

# Stop network manager
systemctl stop networking.service

# Set monitor mode
sudo ip link set wlan0 down
sudo iw wlan0 set monitor control
sudo ip link set wlan0 up

Monitor 2.4GHz and 5GHz Bands Link to heading

sudo airodump-ng -a --band ag wlan0 -w scan 

Monitor 6GHz Band Link to heading

This only works with AWUS036AXML and AWUS036AXM. Note that 6GHz is not widely used yet, so results may be sparse.

sudo airodump-ng -a -C 5935-7115 wlan0 -w scan 

GPS for Wardriving Link to heading

For wardriving, the easiest method is using your mobile phone equipped with GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities, like the WiGLE APP . For a more powerful setup, use an external antenna with a USB GPS module or connect to a mobile phone via Bluetooth.

GPS USB Image Price Range Link
GlobalSat BU-353-S4 GlobalSat €40 - €50 Amazon Link
U-blox7 Ublox7 €10 - €15 Amazon Link

Do Not Recommend List Link to heading

  • Alfa AWUS1900: Unstable
  • Alfa AWUS036NHA: 2.4GHz only
  • Alfa AWUS036NH: 2.4GHz only

References Link to heading

For further information and resources, visit: