Best Kali Linux Compatible Wireless Adapters/Dongles 2017

On 8/20/2017

Here are the best kali linux compatible wireless adapters and usb dongles for 2017. Kali Linux is a Linux distribution mainly used for Penetration Testing, accessing N/W Security & Ethical Hacking. The process of choosing a wireless adapter or usb dongle to work with Kali Linux is not an easy task. It's just because the Operating system doesn't support all kinds of wifi adapters.

For example Pentesting requires a card to go into monitor mode and do packet injection which all cards can't do it. The Card's chipset and drivers is what determines if an adapter is compatible with kali or not.

Below I have listed out the most popular chipsets for Kali linux and Wireless adapters compatible with them. They work well for Penetration testing too.

Popular Kali Linux Compatible Chipsets:

  • Atheros AR9271
  • Ralink RT3070
  • Ralink RT3572

Best Kali Linux Compatible Wireless Adapters:

1. Alfa AWUS036NHA (Atheros AR9271 Chipset Compatible)

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Alfa-AWUS036NHA

Alfa AWUS036NHA is a best wifi adapter for pentesting. For penetration testing, Atheros AR9271 is a good chipset and you can go for Alfa AWUS036NHA card if you plan to run Kali as VM. Just get the job done without hassle.

  • Compatible with any 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n routers using 2.4Ghz band
  • Supports multiple input multiple output
  • High speed transfer TX data rate of up to 150 mbps
  • Includes 4" detachable antenna of 5 dbi which can be upgraded up to 9 dbi.
  • Works with 64/128-bit wep, wpa, wpa2, tkip, aes security protocols.
  • Supports Windows 2000, XP 32/64, vista 32/64 & Windows 7 Platform. So compatible with Kali Linux running as VM on these hosts.

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2. TP-Link TL-WN722N (AR9271 Chipset Compatible)

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best wifi card for kali linux

Another great USB Wireless Adapter for cheapest price. TP-Link TL-WN722N uses AR9271 Chipset and has great range of up to 150Mbps. The card is easy to set up and works perfectly with Kali Linux.

  • Supports Wireless speed of up to 150Mbps
  • Works both on Infrastructure and Ad-Hoc Mode
  • Includes a detachable 4dbi omni directional antenna
  • Supports WPS & USB 2.0
  • Compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 platforms

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3. Alfa AWUSO36NH (RT3070 Chipset Compatible)

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best alfa wifi adapter for kali

One of the best wireless dongle for pentesting. This 2 Watt 802.11n compatible Wi-fi dongle is quite powerful and supports Ralink RT3070 Chipset. It has very good range and perfect for packet monitoring.

  • Compatible with any 2.4GHz routers of 802.11n, 802.11b/g/n wireless standards
  • Includes removable 4" - 5 dBi antenna and can be be upgraded up to 9dBi
  • Supports 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES Protocols
  • Compatible with Windows 2000, XP 32/64, Vista 32/64, Windows 7, Linux (2.4.x/2.6.x),and Mac (10.4.x/10.5.x)

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4. Alfa AWUS036NEH (RT3070 Chipset)

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Alfa-AWUS036NEH

This Wi-Fi Dongle is similar to Alfa AWUSO36NH in specs and covers long range. Alfa AWUS036NEH is exceptional for penetration testing and is good at packet injection and monitoring.

  • Works well with any 802.11b/g and 'N' routers
  • Includes removable 4" 5dBi antenna (upgradable up to 9dBi)
  • Supports packet injection & monitor mode
  • Protocols supported - 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES
  • Compatible with Windows 2000, 32/64 bit XP, Vista, Windows 7, Linux (2.4.x/2.6.x), Mac (10.4.x/10.5.x) Power PC& PC.

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5. Panda PAU05 (RT3070 Chipset)

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Panda-PAU05

Panda 300mbps wireless n usb adapter is very reasonably priced and works with 802.11g/n standard and offers a data speed of up to 300 Mbps. It is exceptionally good considering the price but make sure to download and install the latest driver (alone) for Windows 7 and leave the rest of the setup to Windows itself.

  • Compatible with any 802.11g or 802.11n 2.4Ghz wireless routers
  • Wireless speed of up to 300Mbps
  • Works with both infrastructure and ad-hoc modes
  • Security protocol compliant: 64/128bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, 802.1x and 802.11i, Cisco CCS V1.0, 2.0 and 3.0
  • Supports 32/64-bit Windows 8/7/Vista, Mac OS 10.4/10.5/10.6/10.7/10.8/10.9 and latest version of 32/64-bit Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, etc.

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6. Alfa AWUS051NH (Ralink RT3572 Chipset)

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Alfa-AWUS051NH

Alfa AWUS051NH is little expensive but has amazing signal reception and works well on Kali Linux and in 5Ghz Monitor mode.

  • It is compatible with 802.11n draft 3.0, 802.11a/b/g wireless standards
  • Work with 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz band and MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output)
  • Supports wireless transfer RX data rate of up to to 300 Mbps
  • Allows wireless data encryption with 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES Protocols
  • Compatible with Windows 2000, 32/64 bit XP & Vista, Linux (2.4.x/2.6.x), Mac (10.4.x/10.5.x) Power PC& PC.

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What Makes a Wireless Adapter Compatible with Kali?

Kali is a popular Linux Distro commonly used by security and penetrating testing professionals. Not all wireless adapters are made to work with Kali Linux. Only the drivers and chipsets decides if they are compatibile with the OS or not.

In addition, if you run it as a VM, the USB adapter must also be compatible with the host operating system.

Any of the above recommended devices will be good for pentesting, but you are called to decide which one is right for your configuration.

Long-range adapters with big dBi antenna are great for distance but not exactly compact. On the other hand smaller ones with built-in antenna are good for staying low profile.

Over To You:

So these are the best wireless adapters and usb dongles for kali linux. Though all these adapters works well with Kali, just make sure if it is the right one for your environment. For example if you wish to run Kali on Virtual box in Windows 7 host then make sure the card is compatible with Windows 7 OS. Also you must be cautious about the coverage range. Antenna with bigger dBi would be better for longer range. This helps you avoid future trouble. If you find this useful please share it with others to give them good suggestion.

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