Kali Linux Nano USB adapters

By | February 25, 2015

Long-range USB adapters are great when penetration testing with Kali Linux but what if you want to stay low-profile.

Most USB adapters that work with Kali Linux such as the popular Alfa adapters have large antennas that stick out and are very noticeable.

To stay low-profile small nano USB adapter/dongle’s need to be used with Kali.

Of course nano USB adapters do not have the range a larger adapter with a big dBi antenna will have. The trade-off of low-profile for range will have to be considered.

Unfortunately, not many nano USB adapters are built to work with Kali Linux, but there are a few.

In the past I have recommended the Cisco-Linksys WUSB54GC version 1. Problem is with the WUSB54GC is now on its fifth version and the chipsets have been changed a few times. Finding an original one can be a bit tricky. Also it is become aged as it is only wireless G.

The same can be said for the Netgear WG111 V2. The chipset that comes with version 2 uses the Realtek 8187. This also is only wireless G.

Currently, the only nano USB adapter that I have found that is Kali Linux compatible with penetration testing is the Panda PAU05.

It uses the RT3070 chipset which is one of the more popular chipsets used with Kali. The same chipset is used in the Alfa AWUS036NH long-range adapter. The AWUS036NH is a great adapter for Kali Linux wireless penetration testing.
Besides having the correct chipset the Panda PAU05 also is a wireless N USB adapter, which most devices now use.

On the plus side it even works with my Raspberry Pi which is very cool.

If you are on the lookout for a small nano USB adapter to do pen testing with Kali Linux then check out the Panda PAU05.

2 thoughts on “Kali Linux Nano USB adapters

  1. AZTechguy

    Good AFternoon,

    Just wanted to give you a heads up to update few things. Hope this helps others. Below is a copy and paste info for PAU05 support.
    Trying to see if we can resolve an issue I am having. With the pau05 it seems like injection doesn’t work, but monitor mode works fine.

    I bought mine a few weeks ago and have been looking around for answers since the adapter WAS compatible going off of https://www.wirelesshack.org/kali-linux-nano-usb-adapters.html says it was using RT3070 at the time of the article. Doing “#lsusb” command I get a RT5372 chipset. I have tried multiple attacks and I can tell you reaver doesn’t work along with the some of the most popular wireless scripts. I really like the sleek formfactor.

    Can you help? I would love to keep this.
    First of all, we can’t control what other people put online. Some info for Panda are correct
    and other info are wrong. That’s web page didn’t include the correct chipset in Panda PAU05.
    We don’t know how to contact the author about the mistake in his or her web page.

    Secondly, the chipset used in PAU05 can put into both monitor and packet injection mode. However, the internal antennas on board are not sensitive to pick up signals from the routers after it injects packets into a router. PAU06 will do a better job for you.

    If you want to get a WiFi adapter with RT3070, you can look at Panda Mini and PAU08 adapters.

  2. Jake perret

    Hi, I am new to networking devices and penetration testing, and I cant figure out how to set up my wireless card. I am running Kali linux with virtualbox on a Macbook pro. I have this panda wireless network card, and every time I try to follow the directions to install a driver something goes wrong. If anyone can give me some advice that would be greatly appreciated.


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