Also know as: KisMAC Network Adapters, USB Injector, USB NIC (Network Interface Card) or Kismac USB Re-Injection Adapters
Not all USB Network Adapters are created equal. If you have read some of the comments left, you have realized that buying the right "USB Thingy" will make your life a breeze Vs. a freakin' nightmare.
Some Networks Adapters will work, some may work in the future, and some will never work.
For the "Never" and "In a Distant Future" I will not spend too much time: For the sake of you, don't try to finagle or to save $5, you'll end up in a nightmare: Been there, Done that.
For the Adapters that work right away, we have 3 types: The Bad, the Ok , and The Excellent.
If you believe that an higher price will determine The Excellent, you're in for a big surprise!
So, enough suspense, here it is:
Best WiFi Card compatible with KisMAC
International buyers: See Below
Alfa AWUS036H + 5dBi + Mount + FREE SHIPPING Compatible Mac / Windows / Linux / Ubuntu Card + USB + Antenna 5dBi + CD + Mount
Alfa AWUS036H V5 1000mW Compatible Mac / Windows / Linux / Ubuntu
Card + USB + Antenna 5dBi + CD is about $29
The Best Deal is: Same as above + 9 dBi Antenna (One 5dBi + One 9dBi) + Suction Mount Cup Alfa AWUS036H V5 1000mW + 5 dBi + 9 dBi + Suction Cup Mount + USB + CD
Price about $35 for the bundle. Mount alone is ~$4, 9dBI antenna alone ~$9
UK Amazon.uk Without Mount Dock With Mount Dock
This Ref only. The Alfa AWUS036NH (2000mW) is not KisMAC compatible. All Drivers for the AWUS036H , KisMAC compatible are located here. Windows, Mac, Linux included.
Here is an example on how good is that card:
( Click on Read More )
Hawking HWUG1 Vs. Alfa AWUS036H
3,546 ft with the Alpha and a simple 5dBi Antenna
Click to enlarge pictures.
Hawking: 6 Networks, Alfa: 54 Networks
Google Earth KML file
Click to Download, open with Google Earth
Make your choice: Best deals on this side of the universe
Let's start with your Airport Extreme Card as a Benchmark.
All benchmarks were done from the EXACT same spot, with KisMAC running for 2 minutes.
To test the antennas, I have interchanged them (I have few of them, from 2dB dipole to 12dB Yagi)
Unless you have the curiosity, you may not have noticed that the more expensive MacBook Pro have a lesser sensitivity that the cheaper MacBook. The reason? Plastic Vs. Aluminum: The body of the MacBook Pro, being in aluminum absorb some of the RF, hence a lesser sensitivity. You would expect a better sensitivity for the price paid, but no!
Grade 3/10 Airport Extreme on a MBP Alu Unibody: (Card Broadcom BCM43xx)
Grade 5/10 Airport Extreme on a MacBook
USB Stick Hawking HWUG1
I am going to give you straight out from the website, a pure copy of their own words" ....Removable antenna with reverse SMA connector - upgradeable to a higher power antenna for a wider wireless coverage. (For the best result, pair the HWUG1 with a Hawking Hi-Gain Antenna )"
In short, they tell you right away and in so many words: buy a high gain antenna. From us, Please.Well, at about $40, one would expect not to have to shell out another $40 (Ebay, from $25+SH to $135) for a better antenna to get some signals.
I am not impressed by it's sensitivity, nor by it's price. (in relation to the quality)
Verdict : Just OK. Grade 5/10
Hawking HWUG1 Specs:
Receive Sensitivity -70dBm@54Mbps, -83dBm@11Mbps
Transmit power 17dBm ± 2dBm (about 50mW)
hawking hwug1 Chipset: RT73 FCC ID#: NDD957318S607
USB Stick Hawking HWUG1A
As for the sensitivity, well, as it is the same Chipset (RT73).... I can't see any difference. (but I am just a user, not a lab tech.)
Grade 4/10 but hey! it's white!!!! And between $50 to $60
Hawking HWUG1A Specs:
Receive Sensitivity -70dBm@54Mbps, -83dBm@11Mbps
Transmit power 17dBm ± 2dBm (about 50mW)
Hawking hwug1 Chipset: RT73 FCC ID#: NDD957318S607
Chipset? identical (RT73)
FCC ID? Identical: NDD957318S607.
So, when it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quack like a duck, it's probably a duck.
The result are almost-almost the same, the antenna delivered is a "high gain" 4dB, but my test are giving me the exact same result as with a 2.2dB, and a 5dB. So, I frown and wonder.....
Price is the same, or more .... from $35 to $73 (!!!!)
Verdict: Just Ok at $35, very bad at $73.
Grade 5/10 at $35 , 2/10 at $73
* All USB sticks have a little issue: they are a bit "fat!". Once you plug them, the width of the stick does not allow you to use the next USB port. For that, you'll need a USB extension.
* in any case, you better use a USB extension than a Coaxial Cable Extension: The longer the Coax cable, the more loss of signal.
Who's Your Daddy?
Not the good, but the Excellent!
Warning: Copies and knock-off of this Card are rampant on the internet. They look the same, but you're in for a big disappointment and a lot of swearing if you don't make sure.
First, your average USB stick has a transmit power of 40 to 70mW, this one has 16 times more, and 25 times more than a D-link 122 ( Built-in antenna are baaaaaaad)
The Chipset (engine) works right off KisMAC. Plug and Play ....
Compatible Mac, Windows and Linux (and it's not just white!) , RP-SMA Jack for Add-On antennas, USB Extension is provided.
The sensitivity is remarkable, at first try I got 42 AP's compared to the 2 that I had with my Airport and the 9 with the Hawking, respectively 2,100% and 466% increase.
I was so surprised that I had to double check:
Some SSID were named after the owner, i.e "Jane Doe's Network". As I live in the 'burbs, it's not really hard to figure out where the owner is compared to me: "Jane Doe" on the White Pages + Google Earth and the Ruler tool gives you the distance.
So, "Jane Doe's Network" was ....1750 Feet away! 536 Meters
Okeyy... Where I am , it's the suburbs. Fairly flat but not "clear of obstacle" houses, trees, etc.
My first thought was: something is wrong. 1750 Feet with no directional antenna was too much. The signal was faint, but it was there...
I took note of the BSSID i.e 00:24:A0:F8.... and take the car for a little wardriving... go to the address and ...
Bang! Confirmed ! It was not an error. 1750 Feet
On the way back, I locked on MY SSID, and drove around. I went to a mount with a fairly clear line to my AP, and started scanning... Connection established... downloading emails 1900 feet away from my AP.
My Router is a Dual-Band, but still... it's behind a brick wall, above the natural ground level by 3 feet. Don't get me wrong, I was not connected at 54MBPS, but I had a connection 1900 feet away.
As shown in the picture above: 3,546 ft (1km) on a non direct line of sight: Router inside a house, behind trees. So, don't look any further, This is the card you want! Forget about the Hawking, Edimax & D-Link. Get that one!
And you know what? : It's cheaper than the Hawking!!!
So, here is the link, and yes, it's a referral link. So, why use this link?
A) You have the absolute warranty to receive a genuine product, and not a non-working knock-off. It's a plug-scan-smile product. (Only 3 Authorized dealers in the US)
B) The Other business that sale this card has NOT a good reputation as per warranties and returns. Check the KisMAC-ng team review. Consider yourself as warned.
C) The Other business is more expensive: the same deal will run at $48 for the exact same bundle
C1) One Biz is selling Kock-Off from China and ships To CA. Here again you have been warned, example at the end
Links to the Card, Reviews and Tips
Do NOT buy any other card. This reference only. Other Chipset are not / may not be compatible.
Before buying, read the paragraph below to determine your needs and Check my test to see how the Alfa just by itself blew away a Hawking equipped with a High Gain Directional Antenna.
If you live in a Urban Area, Campus or the Suburbs
Alfa 1000mW + 5 dBi antenna + 9 dBi antenna + Suction cup mount
Best Deal, BEST Choice
Alfa 1000mW + 5 dBi + 9 dBi + Suction Cup Mount
If you live ONLY in a Urban Area, Dense WIFI Area
You do not really need the 9dBi Antenna, but hey, it's almost the same price ($5 difference. Seriously, get the previous one) This one has no suction cup mount either. (Told ya! get the previous one.....)Alfa 1000mW, 5 dBi antenna
The Network Adapter is provided with a 5dBi hi-gain Antenna. Due to the nature of the WiFi RF, you do not need a ultra long range antenna, RF are bouncing between buildings and you can not expect to reach long distance: You line of sight is fairly limited, but the power of this USB adapter and it's sensitivity are more than enough. I get over 45 AP's with a 5dBi in the 'burbs
If you live in a Bunker, Deep Basement or a Cave.
Get this 15ft USB extension. It's almost cheaper than rope!
If your cave is really deep, get 2 + a hub, or an active USB . I know .... big expenses! and keep on reading, it explains why you should get a USB extension Vs. an Antenna Cable Extension (Cheaper & Better)
Suburb / Wardriving
The equipment provided in the box should suffice.
If your suburb is sparsely populated or if you are in a dense wooded area, you may want to use the 9dBi antenna.
Magnetic Mount Antenna : Easy Wardriving, or for having the antenna outside.
For Wardriving, you can add the GPS, always useful ;-) I am having a blast with it.
For GPS, I would avoid Holux like the plague: As soon as it's sold, you are on your own. They have no support whatsoever and the worst consumer service this side of the universe
How to get a better WIFI Signal Explained here
Cable Vs USB explained here
Not compatible with KisMAC
Alfa AWUS036NH (2000mW) has a different Chipset, (Ralink RT3070 ) NO drivers available for KisMAC yet.
Gsky Blue Proton should work, it's a knock off of the Alfa, But this card is known as junk. I do not endorse this card nor provide any support for it. when you buy it, don't forget the Kleenex: You Are Going To Cry.
Rokland N3 , not compatible
By experience, I came to realize that spending 8 hours to get a half baked fix in order to save $5 was not worth it. If you believe that your time is worth 62 cents per hour, feel free.......
Shipping back a junk card will cost you more than getting it right the first time.
Copies, Knock Off, Counterfeit Cards
Example of an Un-Authorized "Reseller" on eBay: Copies & Knock Off
For your own sake, only buy from Alfa Authorized Dealer: 3 only in the US
Example of an UN-Authorized dealer. I do not know if they sell counterfeit Products, but if you read the fine print..... I have highlighted that for you ; -)
...undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is applicable). Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag
and get a "big picture"
Copy of the comments left on the eBay page of an unauthorized reseller.