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Chapter 3. Putting the Gear Together: 802.11 Hardware

"You cannot fight to win with an unequipped army."

óMei Yaochen

When reading other books somewhat related to wireless penetration testing or just simple wardriving, the suggested hardware choice is both limited and amusing. It creates the impression that only this particular laptop brand together with that specific PCMCIA card type are useful for these aims. In reality, much depends on the hardware chosen, but there are precise technical reasons for such selection that are never listed in these sources. These reasons include client card sensitivity in dBm, client card chipset, the presence of connector sockets for an external antenna, client card power emission and consumption level, laptop/PDA battery power life and compatibility with UNIX-like operational systems, and so forth. That said, practically any wireless client card and PCMCIA/CF/SD slot-containing mobile computer can be used for wireless hacking with some additional tweaking and different grades of efficiency. This is the main message of this chapter.

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