Mac vs PC For Hacking: Do Hackers Use Mac or PC in 2024?

By: Editorial Team

Do hackers prefer Mac or PC? One of the most asked questions when getting in hacking, cyber security, and pentesting.

Both OS do fine but have their advantages and disadvantages. The short answer is hackers prefer Linux over Mac and Windows.

But that only applies to professional hackers or when you move from beginner to intermediate. Here’s everything you need to know before choosing Mac or PC for hacking.

Is Mac or PC Better for Hacking?

Linux is the preferred OS for hacking. But between Mac and PC, most hackers prefer using PC for hacking.

Here are the reasons below for why most hackers prefer PC:

Now for reasons why other hackers might prefer Macs are:

  • More secure than Windows.
  • Closer to Linux than to Windows.
  • Although MacBooks or iMacs can’t be upgraded or easily repaired. The Apple environment and experience make them have decent performance even as years pass by.

To summarize, it all boils down to personal preference. Some hackers just prefer PCs over Macs or vice versa when it comes to hacking.

What Kind of Computer Do Hackers Use?

Hackers use affordable computers, fast processors, easily upgradeable RAM and storage. These reasons make the Lenovo ThinkPad and Dell Inspiron/Latitude series one of the most laptops for hacking.

Because they are cheap, have decent processors, have strong build quality, and can be easily upgraded. At least hackers aim for the minimum system requirements in a laptop:

  • Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or higher.
  • 8GB RAM minimum with 16GB RAM being the recommended amount.
  • At least 512GB storage or higher.
  • A display resolution of 1920 x 1080.
  • At least 6 hours battery life.

Which Is Safer Mac Or PC?

Mac is safer than PC because it’s a Unix-based OS. Although it can still be hacked, it’s more secure than Windows making it difficult to hack compared to the latter.

You still have to take the necessary precautions against malware, viruses, phishing, etc.

Is Mac Good for Pentesting?

For most hacking purposes and pentesting, yes, a Mac is a good option. To be specific, a MacBook Pro. However, the price of a Mac makes it an expensive option.

If you have the budget to get a Mac to go ahead. You can get far cheaper laptops that have decent performance and can be upgraded easily unlike MacBooks.

And if you are thinking about getting Macs that are 4-6 years old.

You will be shooting yourself in the foot because the hardware is outdated, RAM and storage can’t be upgraded. So before getting a Mac for pentesting ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I afford it?
  • Are the specifications good enough to run virtual machines and demanding applications?

If you answer yes to all these questions. Then by all means go for a Mac. We recommended the MacBook Pro for hacking and pentesting.

Do Any Hackers Use Macs?

Yes, hackers use Macs but are not restricted to them. However, Linux is the preferred OS for hacking because of the customizations, open-source, and command-line interface that makes it easy to exploit or take control of the system.

Moreover, although Macs are less vulnerable to hacks and more secure than Windows.

It’s not open-source and you might lack some important commands or customizations compared to Linux.

A major reason why most hackers prefer Linux over Mac and Windows.

Do Hackers Use Windows?

Yes, hackers use Windows but are not restricted to it.

However, Linux is the preferred OS for hacking because of the customizations, open-source, and command-line interface that makes it easy to exploit or take control of the system.

Moreover, although Windows is the most user-friendly OS it’s also the most vulnerable. A major reason why hackers prefer Mac and Linux over Windows.

Best OS For Hacking

Laptop vs Desktop for Hacking?

Laptops are the preferred devices for hacking because of their portability. A laptop allows you to hack from anywhere.

A desktop puts you in one place but has the advantage of upgradeability and performance.

Having both is a good idea because you can take advantage of the performance of the desktop remotely while moving around with the laptop.

Moreover, the upgradeability of the desktop means you can fit it with the best processor, lots of RAM, and storage.

To summarize, a laptop if you move around a lot or prefer portability and a desktop if you don’t and want to maximize performance.

Which Laptop Is Best For Hacker?

A laptop that has good processor speed, lots of RAM, and plenty of storage is a good option for hacking.

However, there are so many laptops that fit these criteria and some laptops brands are better suited for hacking than others, for example, Lenovo, Dell, and Apple.

Fortunately, we have a guide on the best laptops for hacking you can read.

How Much RAM Do You Need For Hacking?

For good performance, at least 8GB RAM is needed for hacking, 16GB RAM is the recommended amount for best performance, and 32GB if you want excellent performance and to run several virtual machines.