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Which Alfa Is Best?


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I'm looking to order either the AWUS036NH (Ralink rt3070) or AWUS036NHR (Realtek rtl8188ru) which one is best or do both work without any setup or driver install on Ubuntu 12.04 and Backtrack 5 ? will both work with aircrack too?


Edited by gandaran
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I still sport the 36h For range and plug in play on both the linux and windows 7 platforms the 036nha is less sensitive from my experience less AP's show up but still gets upto 64 mpbs with only two bars ! Depending the use both are awesome! So far would recommend the 7dbi panel antenna over the stock 5dbi antenna haven't received my grid antenna i ordered from alfa yet so will keep ya posted (not for practical starbucks set up lol but for extra range testing)! hope this helped some.


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the NH is definitely oob & monitor/injection capable.

The NHR will need some configuration to work, but it is verified working. http://store.rokland...inux-compatible

well, then it will be the NH, I'm glad now I didn't bid on ebay yesterday for the NHR, I could have gotten it for about 20 euros, cheap but probably I would feel disappointed with it.


stepking2 and Imgonza

I ruled out ordering the 36NHA and 36H because the first one doesn't work with R36 router and for the second I'm not interested buying a b/g device only.

another question

I'm also toying with the idea getting a Alfa R36 to keep the powerful 2000mw NH as far away from PC as possible (with ethernet cable) but I suppose packet injection/aircrack would not work then or does it?

Edited by gandaran
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What issues with USB passthrough? in VMware? I have no issues with USB passthrough with either adapter, if I plug them in after VM has started and with USB filters.

Windows host to Linux guest. I haven't had time to try Linux Host to Linux Guest. Digininja had the same issue, not sure of his setup.


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  • 1 year later...

this questions is asked all the time by tons of people, and i always see the same type of responses. the bottom line is that when youre first begining to learn about the wonderful world of wireless, any of those cards will do. people will always tell you that they love atheros and its the best and blah blah, or that they have luck with this alfa in this distro doing such and such, but they really dont understand what theyre trying to explain to you. just because a device has an atheros chipset doesnt mean much. there are so many different typs of atheros, realtek, ralink, etc etc that it will make your head spin. just because a device says "WIRELESS N BIGGER FASTER STRONGER!!!!" doesnt mean anything. when someone says "oh yeah this devices works out of the box" or
"yeah it supports monitor mode and injection and works with reaver on X distro and works on windows too" that doesnt really mean anything. just because a device "works" with reaver or airodump or some other tools doesnt explain much.

when you understand the different specific chipsets (atheros comes in many different flavors) and the different drivers (ath, ath5k, ath9k, ath9k_hw, ath6kl....etc etc etc) the different stacks and so on and so on, when you start getting into the real meat of what a device can do and how it can interact with other wireless devices then these specifics might be of some importance to you.

basically there isnt "one" superchip card that is the master of them all. you want to have a bunch of different wireless cards because they all have different capabilities in different environments, to achieve different things. Atheros doesnt make "the best" or "the most" stable chipsets. neither does realtek or ralink.

next time you plug in a wireless adapter just run a few iw commands for your device something like iw wlan0 info, iw wlan0 commands/features. and justt start reading through that. if you dont know what half of it means then it doesnt matter which wireless card you get. try to get away from the alfa fanboy hype and start getting into understanding your wireless devices first.

Edited by vector
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