Best Laptop For Pentesting 2021 Reviews
Pentesting is used by many people and large companies. But sometimes the best laptop for pentesting is hard to find, you need a good, fast and affordable machine. Some people suggest purchasing refurbished laptops or systems, there are pros and cons to this idea so let me explain them first:
So why do I actually prefer buying new hardware?
You will always be sure of no physical damage. You get some warranty. The same performance as if you were getting a “new” model (well maybe with slight difference in speed). You don’t have to worry about old security issues released long time ago and which might have been fixed on newer models.
So I was thinking about writing this blog post for more than during the last year. There are a lot of articles out there that will cover laptop buying guides, but they do not talk about pentesting specific needs, and I thought it would be useful to write a guide on what to look for when you need a laptop being used as an offensive security testing device. So let’s get some of the buyer’s guide before jumping directly on our main topic.
Best Laptop For Pentesting Comparision table
Best Laptop For Pentesting Our Choice
Lenovo Legion 5 Laptop For Pentesting
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop is one of the best laptop for pentesting. It contains a well-configured Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, which is almost the best configuration you can get on a laptop.
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop comes with 16GB RAM which is more than enough for pentesting. It’s very smooth, without any lag even if you’re running multiple virtualization software such as VirtualBox, Hyper-V, etc.
The display resolution of the Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop is 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) at a 144Hz refresh rate. The screen size of this laptop is 15 . 6 inches wide display. It supports both VGA and HDMI outputs so that we can connect a monitor to it while doing our pentestings.
It comes with a 256Gigabyte Solid State Drive, which is almost enough for our pentesting purpose as we only need storage for Virtual Machines and files uploaded from target’s website etc.
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop supports modern Wi-FI technologies such as 802.11AC and dual-band 2.4/5GHz frequency bands. Also, this laptop has Bluetooth 4.2 support built into it.
Thus we can use external keyboards and mice even if the operating system doesn’t natively support them (Windows 10 Pro). This laptop contains two very good quality speakers and an integrated microphone.
Pros and Cons Lenovo Legion 5 Laptop For Pentesting
Verdict for Lenovo Legion 5 Laptop
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop is an amazing laptop that you can use for pentesting purposes. It comes with a well-configured processor and GPU, which means you can do anything on it without any lag.
It’s specially designed for gaming but I’ve used this laptop for almost 2 years and haven’t faced any issues till now.
This laptop contains a 256Gigabyte Solid State Drive, so storage will never be an issue even if we store lots of files in it. Also, due to Solid State Drive, booting up and opening files will be pretty fast compared to other hard drives.
It has a good overall performance and will fulfill your need and expectation. Thus I recommend this laptop.
At last, all the above-mentioned laptops are best in their own way. They all are equally eligible and best performing. You can pick up anyone according to your choice.
We are sure that you won’t be regret for picking the laptop. We hope you would have enjoyed this article.
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Buying Guide On Picking Best Laptop For Pentesting
There are some things to keep in mind when you’re picking a laptop, these can be categorized under hardware and software. The Hardware part is less important than the Software parts but still very important, so I’ll start with it:
Some of the things to look out for are:
Screen Size: at least 15inches if you want your findings to be reliable and look good on presentations, 10-14 inches if you’re looking for a small lightweight machine for travelling.
Ram: 8GB is enough if you’re not planning anyway to use it intensively, 16GB+ is needed if you’re into pentesting but don’t forget that more ram means heavier hardware and power consumption.
Hard Drive: SSD drives are the best nowadays, they load everything faster, especially virtual machines created by VirtualBox or VMware which will be used extensively during your pentest projects.
Battery life: This depends on how will you be using your laptop throughout the day; I have experienced good results with 6 to 8 hours of battery life.
Processor: Intel processors are the best choice at the moment, but some ARM CPUs or MIPS can be used too, you can check if they’re supported by your distribution in their website wiki pages (example for Kali Linux ).
Additional Things To Consider
Windows vs Linux : you’re probably going to need Windows for testing purposes, but it’s possible using a virtualization system like Virtualbox or VMware Workstation Player. If I absolutely needed Windows, then I would pick the one without 3rd party security software and then install afterburner from the burnintools.org website.
This is an excellent tool used for monitoring CPU functions once you set up core control options on your laptop. Another thing I was wondering about was if should I use SSDs or traditional HDD drives or also something different? My choice was strictly for 1TB SSD drives since they load everything quicker than any other drive type; this includes the Windows boot time, virtual machines startup time, etc.
I/O Ports vs USB ports: The difference between them is that I/O ports are the physical ones (Ethernet, HDMI, PCMCIA and a number of others) while USBs are virtual ports to attach external hardware like ethernet adapters or any other extension you need.
The thing about this issue is that some systems have more I/O ports than USBs available (for example ThinkPads usually have only 1-2 full size USB 3.0 slots). On my personal laptop I’m using an HP 15 G3 which has 2 xUSB 3.0 and 4 xUSB 2.0 slots but no dedicated Physcial Serial ATA slot; it uses a special USB-SATA III hybrid port built in to the motherboard.
USB 3.0 ports are faster than 2.0 and it’s highly recommended to have at least two of them on your laptop but if you only have one full size slot available then just get any external HDD drive and avoid having a SSD as the main storage drive for Windows OS since they need regular security updates which means more work for you to do while installing or updating your OS or virtual machines.
Bonus Tips From My Experience
The network connection between your laptop and network switch/router is crucial; so make sure that whatever you’re buying has Gigabit Ethernet capabilities, I don’t know about other countries but in my country, there are no speeds near 1000mbps (which can be achieved with Gigabit technology) since the ISP companies believe that their provided internet speeds are enough for everyone to use (they usually range from 10-100mbps).
I have a personal laptop I bought and installed all these things on it, so far no issues except the startup time which is around 20 minutes.
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