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Thread: Wifi Card Power

  1. #1
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    Default Wifi Card Power

    Hi

    I tried airodump-ng using my IBM T43's built in ipw2200 and an external wifi card WG511 T.

    I found that ipw2200 can detect more AP and the signals are much stronger when compared to using the Netgear WG 511 T extrernal wifi card.

    Does it mean that the built in ipw2200 wifi card is more powerful than external card such as the Netgear WG511 T ?

    Someone was telling me that the external wifi card should be more powerful than the built in ipw2200. Is that true ?

  2. #2
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    The fact that it can detect more APs does not mean it can transmit at a higher power. What it on the other hand does indicate is that it is more sensitive than your external card, which I find rather curious.

    Please do also remember that the PWR ratings given by for example airodump-ng can NOT be used to compare two different cards. It should only be used to compare different APs using the same card and same drivers. The difference between the two cards might therefore not be as extreme as the PWR ratings can seem to suggest.

  3. #3
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    Tron,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    So the conclusion is the built in card is somehow more sensitive than the external card but you are expecting it the other way ?

    Actually I tried another external card which is Linksys wpc11 and it is also less sensitive than the built in card.

  4. #4
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    Well my only personal experience with an internal wifi-card is of one with the horrible bcm4318 chipset so my view might be somewhat biased. However the built in antennas in laptops do usually have a worse reception than external antennas.

    While a high sensitivity certainly is preferable for sniffing traffic, you will need a good output power too to guarantee a solid connection and injection rate. In these cases it is not of much use to be able to hear the AP unless you can make yourself heard as well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    The antennas have a lot to do with it. IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads (I have several) have at least one, and usually, two built-in antennas. Those antennas are fairly large and are mounted in the screen/lid. Also, they are oriented in different planes to send and receive optimal signals.

    An external card, on the other hand, has much smaller built-in antennas and since they are in the portion of the card sticking out of the slot, by their very nature, they are going to be low and close to whatever surface the laptop is sitting on, so the orientation to the signal source is haphazard at best.
    Thorn
    Stop the TSA now! Boycott the airlines.

  6. #6
    Very good friend of the forum drgr33n's Avatar
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    Default

    Plus if you going by wlassistant with intel cards the readings are useless

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