Top Wardriving USB adapters

By | April 5, 2015

A good Wardriving USB adapter must be capable of a few things, including packet injections, Deauth command, or basicaly working with the aircrack-ng suite.
There are other WiFi cracking tools such as Kismet but Aircrack is the most widely used and if an adapter works with Aircrack than it will more than likely work with other wireless pen testing tools.
Most people look for an adapter that is Kali Linux or Backtrack 5 compatible since all the WiFi tools are packaged into them, and this is a good way to look for a good adapter.
What is needed is the ability for the adapter to be able to do packet injections and kick a connection (Deauth). Most WiFi USB adapters cannot do the things necessary when Wardriving.
It is the chipset of an wireless USB adapter that makes it capable of Wardriving.
Here are the most common chipsets used.
Atheros AR9271
Ralink RT3070
Ralink RT3572
Realtek 8187L (Wireless G adapters)
The Realtek RTL8187 is a wireless G only chipset and is not used much anymore.
The range of an adapter is another concern. Bigger dBi antennas can be used to get a signal from father away. The Bolo Brands 18dbi 2.4GHz Wifi High Gain Antenna is one such antenna.
Some WiFi USB adapters signal strength can be adjusted manually. If they can be adjusted manually be sure the adapter doesn’t get hot and burn up.
Also the power range is limited by law depending on how many big the antenna is. Read more here about manually increasing a USB adapter signal strength.
Dual Band
One last consideration is the new dual band WiFi. Old routers and devices only use the 2.4 GHz range while the new dual band uses both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz range.
Most electronics still use the 2.4 GHz range but 5 GHz is increasing in popularity.
After looking for a USB wireless adapter that can work in the 5 GHZ range I was only able to find one, the Alfa AWUS051NH which I did a write up on here. Kali Linux and the Alfa AWUS051NH Dual Band USB adapter review.
Although there may be more out there and I am still looking for other Wardriving 5 GHz USB adapters.
*This post contains affiliate links which at no cost to you allows us earn a commission on product purchases.
Here are the top Wardriving wireless USB adapters
Adapters that use the Ralink RT3070 Chipset
Alfa AWUS036NH 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
Alfa AWUS036NEH 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
Panda PAU05 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
Adapters that use the Atheros AR9271 Chipset
Alfa AWUS036NHA…….Amazon
TP-LINK TL-WN722N 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
TP-LINK TL-WN722N 2.4 GHz……
Adapter that use the RT3572 chipset
Alfa AWUS051NH Dual Band 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz…….Amazon
Wireless G only USB adapters, Realtek 8187L chipset
The following USB adapters are dongles that were best sellers in the past but since they only support wireless G they have become dated.
Alfa AWUS036H USB adapter 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
Alfa AWUS036H USB adapter 2.4 GHz……
Netgear WG111v2 USB adapter 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
Sabrent NT-WGHU USB adapter 2.4 GHz…….Amazon
Cheap long range adapter that works with Kali
Here is an example of a cheap long range adapter (48 dBi) that uses the Ralink 3070 chipset that works well with Kali. It does have problems with any version of Windows that is not Windows 7 and does not work with Macs. For adapters that have good support go with one of the above wireless N name-brand-adapters.

7 thoughts on “Top Wardriving USB adapters

  1. Ryan

    Which WiFi USB adapters signal strength can be adjusted manually (preferably b/g/n compatible & external antenna connection)?

  2. ashu

    which wifi adapter is compatibal with kali linux and commview?

  3. Lifez

    need help. can you please suggest me which wireless adaptor( other than tp-link tl wn722n) to get for pentesting which supports both windows 10 and kali 2.0. commview gave few options but most of them not available in india. i planning to dual booth kali 2.0 with win 10 if i get one. and i searched many sites but how to know which one works for both? urgent help needed. thanks in advance

    1. WirelessHack

      I have only recently started playing with Windows 10 and Kali 2.0 but the Alfa AWUSO36NH works good. I run it in VMware and it did throw out an error saying ” ioctl(SIOCSIWMODE) failed: Device or resource busy” , but I found a quick fix.

      Here are the commands that will fix that error.
      ifconfig wlan0mon down
      iwconfig wlan0mon mode monitor
      ifconfig wlan0mon up

  4. abhish

    🙁 , There’s no improvement on this area. Its really really hard to find a 5Ghz USB that supports MDK3.

    1. WirelessHack

      Yes you are right I have been on the look out for a 5 GHz USB adapter that can Pen Test like the old 2.4GHz adapters.

  5. abhish

    Hi ,

    Mdk3 on 5Ghz doesn’t work with RT3572. However RT3070 chipset works fine on 5ghz as well .



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