Lets very quickly define WiFi hacking. WiFi hacking is gaining access to network via wireless means. Gaining access to a wireless access point would be the same thing as being plugged into a switch on a network. In short, we’re on the network.

But how do we get onto networks? What makes one wireless antenna better than another?

There are literally hundreds of wireless antennas that exist. If you are going to be using Aircrack-ng consult the compatibility list. The compatibility list is not complete, but use it as a gauge.

To classify what is the best WiFi adapter for hacking we need to get into a little antenna and radio frequency theory.

Antenna Definitions

Packet-Injection – Exactly what it sounds like, creating packets and injecting them into a otherwise “closed” data stream. This allows for creating spoofed packets.

Directional – Directional antennas focus the signal of the in one direction while reducing it in others. This is advantageous when you’re trying to obtain a signal from far away while filtering out signals from another direction. For example sitting in a parking lot, pointing your antenna at a coffee shop.

Omni-directional – This is the category most antennas fall into. Even signal disbursement throughout, think of this as a sphere. This is equal signal strength from all directions.

Gain – The antennas ability to direct focus antenna signal strength in a direction. The higher the dBi (Decibels relative to isotropic radiator) the more power in that direction.

Yagi Antenna – Highly directional focused antenna

Recomended USB Antennas for WiFi Hacking

Antenna Pros Cons
Alfa AWUS036NH OS Compatibility, Decent Gain, Stable Large, Obvious, Medium-Poor Range
Alfa AWUS036NHA OS Compatibility, Speed, B/G/N Smaller range, size
TP-LINK TL-WN722N OS Compatibility, Price, Size, B/G/N Poor gain (micro version even less)
Alfa AWUS036NEH Small, Price, OS Compatibility Shorter range


In general I recommend the Alfa AWUS036H for WiFi hacking. It may not be the fastest adapter, but its size, speed, price and compatibility make this adapter a surefire win for any of your WiFi hacking needs.

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