WiFi Adapter Test: 6 adapters with Kali

I have several WiFi adapters laying around and I figured it might be helpful to document the capabilities of each.

I am using a Raspberry Pi 3 with a fresh image of Kali Rolling 2017.3 (with Nexmon drivers). The test AP I am using is in my living room (I’m down the hall in the office…)

The adapters tested and the chipsets used are:

Testing Setup:

Raspberry Pi 3 w/ 3' USB cable
Kali Rolling kali-2017.3-rpi3-nexmon.img
resize the partition and filesystem (new install) and reboot
apt-get update
apt-get dist upgrade
reboot

To establish a baseline, I used the built-in Raspberry Pi antenna. I don’t expect this to be amazing, but it is nice that it goes into monitor mode (with the Nexmon drivers.)

Raspberry Pi 3 Built-in WiFi

802.11b/g/n
Frequency: 2.4GHz
Antenna: Internal fixed
USB 2.0

Interface Driver Chipset
wlan0mon brcmfmac Broadcom 43430

lsusb = SMSC9512/9514 Fast Ethernet Adapter

airmon-ng check kill
ifconfig wlan0 down
iw reg set BO
iwconfig wlan0 txpower 33
ifconfig wlan0 up
monstart
aireplay-ng -9 wlan0mon -i wlan1mon

Injection is working!

airodump-ng wlan0mon
PWR = -62 *
* = Connecting to my living room AP

Pros:
-It’s built-in.
-Can support monitor mode and packet injection.
Cons:
-I wouldn’t likely use this for pentesting.
-2.4GHz only

4 thoughts on “WiFi Adapter Test: 6 adapters with Kali”

  1. In the group of five adapter tested, the AWUS036NEH and Tenda W311M had the highest received signal from the AP of -32dBm and -38dBm. This is contrary to what I expect because Tenda W311M in particular has the smallest antenna and likely no amplifiers from the small size of the adapter. I expected the adapters with the external antennas to have the highest received signal strength. Instead, the dongles with the external antenna like the TL-WN722N had the weakest received signal of -54dBm.

    1. I agree, I was surprised as well. I feel that the little ones don’t have the range of the external antenna models (but didn’t test them at extreme ranges.)

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