Are you planning to get into hacking but don’t know where to start? This guide fully explains what you need to get started with hacking.
In other words, the ultimate hacker setup guide. This covers hacking laptop requirements for PC, laptops, internet, and hacking room setups.
Hacker Laptop Setup
Laptops are already pre-built so instead of setting up one. You have to look for one with the best hardware configuration for your budget.
Below is a detailed guide on each hardware and OS play an important role in finding the best hacking laptop.
Kali Linux, macOS, and Windows are the preferred OS when it comes to hacking.
Kali Linux is used by intermediate and experienced hackers, macOS and Windows are used by beginners, intermediates, and professionals.
Kali Linux can be installed on any laptop or MacBook and dual-booted. There is also the option of using a virtual box or machine to run Kali Linux on a MacBook or Windows laptop.
The same applies to running Windows on macOS using a virtual box or dual booting.
However, installing a macOS on a Windows laptop is complicated and this method is called Hackintosh.
The operating system plays a big role and Kali Linux is the top choice for serious hackers and cybersecurity due to the large amount of control you can access in the system.
The brain of the laptop and the more powerful it is the faster your laptop. Just like the higher your IQ the smarter you are.
Laptops that have CPUs with high clock speeds and core counts are highly recommended. It makes it easy to run demanding applications and several programs at the same time.
You should be looking at the high-performance Intel Core and AMD Ryzen CPUs. Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5, and higher should be the minimum.
Moreover, these processors should have H denoting high-performance as their suffix. Processors with U suffix denote ultra-low power and sacrifices performance for better battery life.
Avoid these types of processors. Ideally, you should get a laptop that has a high-performance Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or higher.
For MacBooks that have M1 chips rather than Intel chips. You should consider the Apple M1 Max or Pro found in the MacBook Pro 16 and 14 inches respectively.
You might think that GPU is only important in games, video editing, CAD, etc. but not hacking. On the contrary, GPUs add a massive amount of processing power to the laptop.
Because they have several thousand more cores than CPUs. This number of cores become indispensable for brute force hacking or doing large amounts of small calculations.
It’s this main benefit of a GPU that makes it important hardware in AI, machine, and deep learning. However, knowing how powerful a GPU isn’t straightforward.
You have to look at different things to know its performance: VRAM, clock speed, cores, and memory bandwidth.
However, you can guess correctly by comparing the names of the GPU. For example, the NVIDIA RTX 3070 is more powerful than the RTX 3060.
But this isn’t always true because the RTX 3050 Ti is less powerful than the RTX 2060 even though it has a high number.
Checking the benchmarks of GPUs is the best way to compare and determine the performance.
The more RAM the better. A high amount of RAM makes it easy to multitask and run demanding applications.
RAM temporarily stores a program’s information and if it isn’t enough the program might crash or not run at all.
At least 16GB of RAM should be the minimum and 32GB RAM is recommended for the best possible performance.
As a hacker, you will spend most of your time looking at the display. Bad laptop displays will stress your eyes quickly.
Laptops that have a matte 1080p resolution or higher are recommended. The higher the resolution the sharper the display.
And matte displays have been designed to be stared at for long periods. Because glare which is the cause of eye strains is greatly reduced.
Finally, a laptop should allow connection to several external display monitors.
Unless you find yourself moving around a lot. Battery life is not that important though a laptop with a minimum amount of 6 hours battery life is recommended.
Laptops are not upgradeable friendly but MacBooks are not upgradable. You need to consider how long you plan on using the laptop or MacBook.
Because with laptops you can upgrade the SS, RAM, and Wi-Fi card. When it comes to MacBooks you need to max out the specifications provided you have enough budget for it.
You need to consider the long term when it comes to laptop upgradeability. An easy to upgrade laptop is recommended but if not max out the specifications of the laptop or MacBook.
Hacker PC Configuration Setup
There are two ways in setting up a PC for hacking: buying a pre-built PC or building one yourself. Either way, you need to know the minimum hardware requirements a PC has to meet.
For intermediates and professionals, Kali Linux is the best OS for hacking. There are three ways to access Kali Linux either by installing it as the main OS, dual-botting, or using a virtual machine.
It’s also the same for Windows and macOS. However, macOS is exclusive on iMacs and if you want macOS on a PC it requires what you call Hackintosh.
Windows and macOS are used by beginners, intermediate, and professionals.
OS doesn’t really matter as much unless you are a professional where Kali Linux is widely used for pentesting and hacking.
CPUs for PC are more straightforward than laptops. Most do not have letter suffixes, prefixes and all of them are high performance.
However, if you see a desktop processor with a K or E suffix. It denotes ‘unlocked’ and ‘extreme’ respectively.
An unlocked CPU means you can overlock it and an extreme CPU has insane high clock speeds and numerous cores compared to the other CPUs. Extreme CPUs are meant for heavy-duty purposes.
Because PCs have better cooling systems than laptops maximum performance is more consistent.
Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs or higher are recommended.
GPUs have an insane amount of processing power and help immensely when it comes to brute force attacks or handling large amounts of calculations. The more powerful the GPU the better. Below are guidelines on how to determine the power of a GPU aside from benchmarks.
- Clock Speed
This metric is pretty straightforward and provided on the spec sheet. The higher the clock speed the more powerful the GPU.
However, clock speed is not the only determining factor in GPU performance.
For example, it is well known that the RTX 2060 is more powerful than the GTX 1650. But when you take a look at their clock speeds (MHz).
They are almost similar. So, clock speed shouldn’t be the only thing that you should use to gauge a GPU’s performance.
Just like how CPUs have their own cores. GPUs also have cores except that GPU cores are more numerous than CPU cores.
The more cores a GPU has the better its performance.
Just like how having a lot of RAM helps in system performance and multitasking. VRAM is RAM specifically used by the GPU.
That means the more VRAM a GPU has the more it can handle graphical loads and processes.
Graphic cards with a high amount of VRAM are powerful cards and can handle a lot of graphics data and high-resolution external monitors.
Lots of RAM make it easy to multitask and run demanding applications. RAM temporarily stores a program’s information and if it isn’t enough the program might crash or not run at all.
At least 16GB of RAM should be the minimum and 32GB RAM is recommended for the best possible performance. A good amount of RAM allows you to allocate enough memory to virtual machines.
As a hacker, one monitor may not be enough. You might need two or three and these should be high-resolution monitors.
Multiple monitors increase your productivity and efficiency because. Multiple monitors increase your productivity and efficiency because you split your work into multiple windows.
Keyboard and Mouse
Mechanical keyboards should be your go-to. Their great tactile feedback and travel make it the top choice amongst programmers and gamers.
They last much longer, are more ergonomic and you have the option to choose several types of switches that have their own benefits when it comes to typing.
Mice with high DPI and programmable buttons are recommended.
You can’t hack without an internet connection. Fast and stable internet connection provided by ISPs, modems, and routers shouldn’t be overclocked.
A bad internet connection might cause your hacks to fail to resulting in setbacks. The routers should also have a built-in firewall and security features that prevent them from being hacked.
Recommended routers and modems for hacking are Netgear and Arris.
Hacker Room Setup
A good chair and desk make a major difference in ergonomics. The right desk and chair height ensure you are comfortable and there is less chance of an injury happening.
Desks that can have their heights adjusted i.e., from sitting to a standing position should be on your list. Comfortable chairs with adjustable heights and neck rests should complement the desk.
Your desk might be great but if the chair sucks you won’t be comfortable. The same is true vice versa.
That’s about everything when it comes to PC or laptop hacking setup. The next is to learn the basics of hacking if you are a beginner or continue with your work.
You also need to have good internet connectivity for effective hacking. Imagine having to wait hours while data is being downloaded over a slow connection.
With hacking, you mostly need to be in and out as quickly as possible. The faster your connection the better. You may wish to check your WiFi speed to see whether or not your network is good.
In general, anything better than 25 Mbps is great.