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Choosing A Laptop Wifi Chipset


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I'm looking into getting a new laptop to use for security research. It will most likely be running Ubuntu or Ubuntu / BT4, and will be hosting multiple virtual machines for testing. Due to the VMs I need a pretty hefty CPU and Memory capacity, hopefully without sacrificing mobility & battery life.

I want to get something that has a really well supported wireless chipset able to scan, go promiscuous, act as an access point etc.

Acer Aspire 3810 Timeline looks ok, unsure about the wi-fi chipset though.

There's also the HP Envy 15 (Intel i7 w/ 16GB Ram) but it may as well be a desktop with the heat and > 2 hr battery life.

In a different direction I do have access to a network of XenServer Host machines at my work, so it would be possible to setup my testing VMs there as long as I had a decent connection to access them, however to access the network I'd have to connect over VPN, which could get back to wireless support I suppose.

What suggestions do other people have?

Edited by wizzy
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Buy a laptop based on your needs for VM's etc, and then get a Ubiquiti or Alfa adaptor for your wireless cracking needs. Your not going to be able to find a decent adaptor otherwise, as most firms will use either broadcom or intel wireless as standard.

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If an external adapter is an option.

I'm the owner of an EEE 1000h, not suited for VM's but besides that, I was looking for an external WLAN adapter with a lot of power and it must be cheap.

Check this one out


It's based on a RTL8187L chipset, I don't have it, still on it's way but the reviews of other people are well promising.

Here's a nice review of the product:


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Most laptops come with broadcom chipsets. When purchasing a new laptop, I usually look for the best specs based on what I am going to be doing and then just replace the wireless card if I need. Not to mention most external cards have the option of attaching external antennas for more range/versatility.

WlanParts is great for new wireless equipment. Ebay is great for used equipment. :)

Edited by fsck
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