Kali Linux is possibly the greatest software ever for wireless penetration testing but most built-in internal wireless chipsets do not support wireless pen testing with Kali.
While Kali Linux is more then great, only certain compatible wireless USB adapters / Dongles with the correct chipset can be used when wirelessly hacking. There is some debate on which is the best and opinions vary. There are forums titled “The best possible adapter for Kali Linux” where anyone can go and argue over which is the best, but the main thing to focus on is a adapter that works for you, is Kali Linux compatible, and fits your budget.
Whatever you do don’t buy a wireless G only USB adapter. Wireless G is useless unless you are only targeting wireless G routers and devices. Wireless N is backward compatible so it can be used on wireless G or N. Most routers and devices now are setup with wireless N.
When you are looking for an adapter to work with Kali and do wireless penetration it is the chipset of the adapter that controls whether it is compatible with Kali or not. Many of these chipsets are installed in different adapters and sold. So if you come across a name brand adapter that has a kali Linux compatible chipset and then see the same chipset in another generic USB adapter most likely it will work.
It is better to focus more on the chipset rather than the vendor model name.
Another thing to keep in mind is the range the adapter will have. Small USB adapters are great for staying low profile but thier range is limited compared to an adapter with a larger 5 dbi or 9 dbi antenna.
Here are the two most common chipsets used with Kali Linux. Any USB adapter that uses these two chipsets will most likely work with Kali.
Here are the top Kali Linux compatible wireless USB adapters with links to Amazon to read the reviews.
Adapters that use the Ralink RT3070 Chipset
Alfa AWUSO36NH High Gain USB Wireless G / N Long-Rang WiFi Network Adapter
1000mW 1W 802.11g/n High Gain USB Wireless G / N Long-Rang WiFi Network Adapter – Also works with Viewsonic vmp75
Panda 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter – Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, CentOS, Lubuntu, Zorin, Kali Linux and Raspbian Wheezy
Adapters that use the Atheros AR9271 Chipset
Alfa AWUS036NHA Wireless B/G/N USB Adaptor – 802.11n – 150 Mbps – 2.4 GHz – 5 dBi Antenna – Long Range – Atheros Chipset – Windows XP/Vista 64-Bit/128-Bit Windows 7 Compatible
TP-Link N150 Wireless High Gain USB Adapter (TL-WN722N)