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Thread: USB wireless card...please help the confusion!

  1. #1
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    Question USB wireless card...please help the confusion!

    Hello all,

    I know there have been many MANY posts on which wireless cards work best with Backtrack. I however am confused because many posts bounce ideas back and forth never standardizing anything. After researching I am more confused than when I started searching for a card.
    I bought a Linksys WUSB54GC v3 which did NOT work with BT 4 Pre-final but does with beta after researching. I returned the card and have been looking for a card that WILL work out of box or with "slight" driver updates with BT3, 4 beta, 4 pre-final, and eventually bt4 final. In other words I would like some life out of the card as I continuously update everytime a new release is put out (and please do not post "well then keep the version that works"). I would like to do sniffing, p capturing, injecting, and frag attacks. Basically full exploitability over 802.11.
    I am sorry for the question that is p*ssing off everyone, but I would just like to be pointed in the direction of 1 usb card that will perform my above request. Then I will finally be happy.

    Thank you all for your replys and assistance!


    I have heard most people comment on the Alfa AWUS036H 1000mW adaptor. It uses a chipset Aircrack-ng recommends and has pretty good reviews. It even says bt2 and bt3 compatible. I wonder would anyone know if this device works with BT4 pre-final? What are your comments on this adaptor as I would like to buy one ASAP.

    Thanks,

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    Im trying to get the dlink dwa-110 to work at the moment. It uses a RT73 Chipset so it is compatible. But doesnt work out of the box, it needs driver upgrades.

    TP Link TL-WN321G is suppose to be a powerfull device, and work out of the box. I have one of them on the way, mine cost me 20$

  3. #3
    Junior Member Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Im looking for a new USB adapter also..Ive heard that the NETGEAR WG111v2 with Realtek chipset is a good, and compatible with BT4 but has no fitting for external antenna.
    After reading 1/2 dozen posts about the Alfa AWUS036H - I believe that this one needs driver updates also..bit confusing I was looking at getting an Alfa AWUS036H with a,b and g.

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    OP: I don't understand where you could have picked up such devices work out of the box. These vary from time to time and henceforth information provided should be taken like a grain of sand. In other words, don't simply stop at one resource saying that it works, google and find out more information.

    AWUS036H should work out of the box because it has gained support as of BT2, its exactly the same chipset but now is a higher powered version than its predecessor. If you're in doubt, please by all means do your own research before you start criticising others of your own shortfall.

    WG111v2 I personally would never recommend it, its a poorly designed dongle and there supposedly are two variants of WG111v2, the older generation and the newer generation. Adding more to the confusion is the WG111v3 which can look exactly the same as the later variant of WG111v2 but is equipped with RTL8187B instead of GW3887/RTL8187L. Read here for info:
    http://backtrack.offensive-security....etGear_WG111v2

    AWUS036H doesn't need driver updates, as of BT4 pre-final the driver is now part of the kernel, you can still use the legacy ieee80211 based driver but I don't think its going to be developed anymore. It has exactly the same chipset as Netgear WG111v2 (latter model) except its a much more higher powered device. Therefore this device cannot do 802.11a because the radio cannot pick up 802.11a signals (802.11a sits on a different band as opposed to 802.11b and 802.11g)

    If you're looking for a usb dongle that can do 802.11a, there aren't many, unless you look at the ones that can also do 802.11n (which has somewhat a fairly minimal support at this stage in backtrack): Drivers - Linux Wireless

  5. #5
    Junior Member Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatake_kakashi View Post
    OP: I don't understand where you could have picked up such devices work out of the box. These vary from time to time and henceforth information provided should be taken like a grain of sand. In other words, don't simply stop at one resource saying that it works, google and find out more information.

    AWUS036H should work out of the box because it has gained support as of BT2, its exactly the same chipset but now is a higher powered version than its predecessor. If you're in doubt, please by all means do your own research before you start criticising others of your own shortfall.

    WG111v2 I personally would never recommend it, its a poorly designed dongle and there supposedly are two variants of WG111v2, the older generation and the newer generation. Adding more to the confusion is the WG111v3 which can look exactly the same as the later variant of WG111v2 but is equipped with RTL8187B instead of GW3887/RTL8187L. Read here for info:


    AWUS036H doesn't need driver updates, as of BT4 pre-final the driver is now part of the kernel, you can still use the legacy ieee80211 based driver but I don't think its going to be developed anymore. It has exactly the same chipset as Netgear WG111v2 (latter model) except its a much more higher powered device. Therefore this device cannot do 802.11a because the radio cannot pick up 802.11a signals (802.11a sits on a different band as opposed to 802.11b and 802.11g)

    If you're looking for a usb dongle that can do 802.11a, there aren't many, unless you look at the ones that can also do 802.11n (which has somewhat a fairly minimal support at this stage in backtrack):
    hi Hatake,

    Im now convinced not to get WG111v2 and am considering purchasing Alfa AWUS036H 802.11b/g Wireless LAN USB Adapter for my purposes of using BT4 on wmware.

    What is your opinion about using 500 or 1000mw?

    I read one post someone said 1000mw could be harmful to your health
    On ebay- the "Alfa AWUS036H 802.11b/g500mW " is about $60 (AUD)
    "Alfa AWUS036H 802.11b/g 1000mW " is about $80 (AUD)

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    Valkyrie:

    I personally don't have the 1W (1000mW) version, I have 500mW version and a pair of 500mW to be exact.

    However, comparing Alfa AWUS036H to something like Netgear WG111v2 (latter model):

    1) Alfa has not tried sharing the same model number/version number with different chipset within their product range. It simply means that if one owner reports this chipset, every other owner of such device will not have to worry if their chipset is different, etc. As far as I know, Belkin and Netgear are the worst when it comes to `versioning their devices'. Then comes 3com, Linksys and Trendnet.

    2) This device has RP-SMA connector, great for using the device under various conditions, such as requiring directional antenna instead of omni-directional antenna, running amplifiers or surge protectors through it.

    If you're not handy with a soldering iron like I am, this device saved you extra efforts of having to manually solder external connector on and risk losing signal quality if not soldered properly.

    3) The chipset in this device has been in the linux community for quite awhile, so the issues with it are not usually not serious and unlike the other two chipsets within the same chipset family (RTL8187 is a family of three chipsets, the irony is that the name of the family is also the name of the driver under linux with mac80211 stack for these chipsets mainly. However the RTL8187 family itself consists of RTL8187L, RTL8187B and RTL8187SE) this chipset has two drivers, both work in different ways but it can also give you added flexibility (until the latter driver, i.e. RTL8187 is as stable as R8187).

    When you think about point 3, it sort of compliments point 1. At least you won't have to worry about the device featuring the less known chipsets.

    In regards to high powered devices that could cause harm to one's health. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you are worried of such possibilties, don't buy the device. Nobody is pointing a gun at your head forcing you to buy the product or your head will roll, and there's many ways you can get radiation apart from just using high powered devices.

    I haven't checked eBay recently but you have to be wary of sellers at times.. I was told the 1W version looks exactly the same as 500mW from packaging box right down to the external casing of the device itself. The only difference is that 1W device, when you pull it apart has lots more stuff on the PCB board than the 500mW. So there's a chance where for example you are paying top dollar for 1W but because you don't know the seller, you may get 500mW version. In other words, buy from a reputable seller like rokland, simplewifi, etc for example.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Valkyrie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I've gone with the 500mw Alfa.

    comes with..
    -Alfa AWUS036H 500mW Wireless USB adapter
    -Alfa 5dBi 2.4GHz dipole external antenna
    -Alfa 8dBi 2.4GHz dipole external antenna
    -U-Mount holder with suction cup
    -USB to mini USB cable
    -Driver CD

    I've read quite a few posts now about Netgear having dubious chipsets (same versioning)

    Re- the RP-SMA connector for the AWUS036H..
    I also have a Orinoco 8470-wd (uses a MC connector) I actually bought a 12dbi antenna (uni-directional) for that card.

    Cable used:
    N-male --> MC connector - RF cable.

    My thought is to get or make a:

    N-male --> RP-SMA connector - RF cable, so I can use the same antenna with the Alfa AWUS036H.

  8. #8
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    Not a bad choice, though the driver cd can be useless unless you have plans to use windows as well. I've chucked mine away awhile ago.

    Though Netgear isn't the only company that does this sort of stupid ordeal, its a funny irony that they couldn't simply put some sort of marking on the packaging box to make life any easier for those of us who don't use windows and to make versioning very handy. At the same time its a good thing they don't provide as yet USB wifi devices with external antenna connectors, goes to show that you're paying extra for those already built-in but at the same time can come from a much more reputable company.

    I never made cables, N male --> RP-SMA male shouldn't cost too much and probably the good thing is that its pre-made. I bought awhile ago a pair of 15dbi omni that had N connectors on them but the seller chucked in RP-SMA adapters at no extra cost. Hence the beauty of it all.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Valkyrie's Avatar
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    OK- finally got my AWUS036H 500mw card..

    Im using BT4 beta on vmware.
    Im used to using my atheros card, so I guess theres a few things to learn about the RTL8187 chipset. Have been doing fair bit of reading this morning thought I'd give forums a shot..

    Firstly, when I installed the driver CD contained a number of drivers
    -Linux driver kernels 2.6x
    - Windows xp
    - vista
    - mac osx
    (i just installed the windows driver)

    putting in monitor mode..

    root@bt:~# airmon-ng start wlan0

    Interface Chipset Driver

    wlan0 RTL8187 rtl8187 - [phy0]
    (monitor mode enabled on mon0)
    Any idea why "wlan0" doesnt go straight to monitor mode?

    Can anyone explain why if its normal to show [phy0] in the driver name?

    DO I need ieee80211 driver?

    xxx.aircrack-ng.org/doku.php?id=r8187


    I have started airodump-ng with 'mon0' & it seems to generate negative PWR signal.

    root@bt:~# ifconfig mon0 down
    root@bt:~# macchanger --mac 00:11:22:33:44:55 mon0
    Current MAC: 00:---------(Applitek)
    Faked MAC: 00:11:22:33:44:55 (Cimsys Inc)
    root@bt:~# ifconfig mon0 up
    root@bt:~# iwconfig
    lo no wireless extensions.

    eth0 no wireless extensions.

    wmaster0 no wireless extensions.

    wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:""
    Mode:Managed Frequency:2.422 GHz Access Point: Not-Associated
    Tx-Power=27 dBm
    Retry min limit:7 RTS thrff Fragment thr=2352 B
    Encryption key: off
    Power Management: off
    Link Quality:0 Signal level:0 Noise level: 0
    Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag: 0
    Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon: 0

    mon0 IEEE 802.11bg Mode:Monitor Frequency:2.422 GHz Tx-Power=27 dBm
    Retry min limit:7 RTS thrff Fragment thr=2352 B
    Encryption key: off
    Power Managementff
    Link Quality:0 Signal level:0 Noise level:0
    Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag: 0
    Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon: 0
    Eg... negative PWR?
    root@bt:~# airodump-ng mon0

    BSSID PWR Beacons #Data, #/s CH MB ENC CIPHER AUTH ESSID

    00:xx:xx:xx:xx:xxx -25 58 0 0 11 54 WEP WEP xxxxxxx
    00:26:18:90:00:EA -51 32 7 0 6 54e WPA TKIP PSK OPTUSV9F005A
    00:24: D2:43:68:30 -59 14 0 0 1 54 OPN Pres
    00:22:B0:CF:88:8D -62 18 0 0 1 54 WEP WEP Bartner
    00:1E:2A:61:EB:6E -64 12 1 0 11 54 . WEP WEP NETGEAR33
    00:1C:F0:F0:36: D4 -65 8 0 0 1 54 . WEP WEP Bartner



    is probably an obvious problem but would appreciate someone can point me in the right direction. THanks..

  10. #10
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    The PWR shows the dBi and it's normal to be a negative number. If you see some wireless card data sheet you will notice that the sensibility is an negative number meaning that from -XX dBi your card will "hear" the AP. The greater the number, the closer you are: -50 is greater than -83.
    Great minds have purposes, others have wishes

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