Recommended Penetration Testing Hardware

Wireless Network Cards

The following wireless cards are recommended for Penetration Testing and Wireless Network assessments.  These cards are commonly used in Kali and other pen testing distros and support monitor mode etc.

Alfa Network AWUS1900

Alfa Network AWUS1900 802.11ac Ultra speed USB adapter (CLICK FOR AMAZON) – This card supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac on 2.5GHz and 5Ghz.  This is my 2018 recommended card for the PenTester.


ALFA Network AWUS051NH



ALFA Network AWUS051NH V2 (Version 2) 2.4/ 5GHz Dual Band USB WiFi Dongle (CLICK FOR AMAZON) with Detachable RP-SMA Antenna Ralink RT3572 Chipset. The best 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz adaptor available, that supports a/b/g/n.


Alfa Network AWUS036NHA

Alfa Network AWUS036NHA + U-MOUNT (CLICK FOR AMAZON) – This card supports 802.11 b/g/n on 2.4GHz.  This is a tried and tested adaptor for 2.4Ghz network testing.


Wired USB Network Cards

After significant reliability and throughput testing over 20 USB Ethernet adaptors, in every price range, these are my personal bests, in a range of USB and Ethernet speed combinations.

10/100 USB2

Plugable USB 2.0 to 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter (ASIX AX Chipset) (CLICK FOR AMAZON)


10/100/1000 USB2 – RECOMMENDED for reliability

Plugable USB 2.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter (ASIX AX88178 Chipset) (CLICK FOR AMAZON)


10/100/1000 USB3 – RECOMMENDED for speed

Plugable USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter (ASIX AX88179 chipset) (CLICK FOR AMAZON)

The ‘Flower Power’ (100Mbps USB 2.0) – RECOMMENDED for price and stability

The ASIX AX8872B 100Mbps USB 2.0 looks like a cheap adaptor, however this has stood the test of time.  A number of these have been tested in extreme load conditions and the reliability is outstanding.  It uses the AX8872B chipset.

Encrypted Storage

iStorage 4GB datAshur

iStorage 4GB datAshur 256-bit USB 2.0 secure encrypted flash drive (IS-FL-DA-256-4) (CLICK FOR AMAZON), The datAshur is a secure USB encryption memory stick.


iStorage 64GB datAshur PRO

The iStorage IS-FL-DA3-256-64 64GB 256-bit datAshur PRO USB 3.0 is for the pro, sporting more storage and faster USB 3 data transfer rates.

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