What should be the configuration of a laptop for hacking or network security? How much will it cost? Can I buy it online? This article is written to answer all such queries. For hacking or IT security, you need better network cards and hardware that can run heavy software tools or crack hashes.
The best laptop for hacking needs to boot to Kali from a USB drive, or alternatively, the laptop should also be capable of booting dual operating systems. Hackers and IT security professionals might want to run single or multiple VMs on their laptops.
Other features you will need to focus on are to include good battery life, powerful CP and GPU for coding, better resolution, and an FHD screen. Considering all these important factors, we have shortlisted the top 10 laptops in the year 2021.
If you are an IT professional or network and security administrator, definitely the below laptops will match your requirements. You are the one going to secure and protect your company’s network and systems against hackers, so you must have the same or better laptop than a hacker 😉
10 Best Hacking Laptops – Suitable for IT Security Too
1) Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
IT ethical hackers are always fond of the powerful, slim-trim laptops, which is snappier in performance and light-weight to carry whenever wherever needed. Acer did a good job in gathering the best hardware to a slim chassis with their cheaper aspire series 5 laptop. It comes with 8th gen Intel core i7 processor & 12 GB DDR4 RAM.
Windows 10 boots with lightning speed on Acer Aspire 5 thanks to the 512 GB NVMe SSD. Acer Aspire 5 has got a 15.6” FHD IPS panel to give you the ultimate viewing experience; NVIDIA GeForce MX250 2 GB dedicated GPU will take care of running coding and CAD applications smoothly.
Talking about the connectivity and ports, it has 1 USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (One with Power-off Charging), 1 USB 2.0 Port & 1 HDMI Port with HDCP support. Acer managed to delight its customers, providing the backlit keyboard, 802.11AC WiFi card for seamless wireless connectivity, and all-day-long battery with this budget laptop. Overall, Aspire 5 is one of the good choices for hacking and programming that meets all expectations.
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565u Processor (Upto 4.6 gram Hz) | 12GB DDR4 Memory | 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
2) Alienware M15 Laptop
Alienware flagship is known for the powerful hardcore laptops capable of handling intensive tasks and gaming. If you’re an ethical hacker with a strong passion for gaming, then you’ll surely love this beast. Powerful 8th gen Intel core i7 processor is coupled with the 16 GB DDR4 RAM for commanding performance.
It loads the OS faster and quietly all thanks to ultrafast 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD storage. M15 comes with a 15.6” FHD IPS panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz. Dedicated Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB DDR5 video card will smoothen fast-motion graphics during high-pressures on 300 nits brighter display.
Designed for hardcore gamers, Alienware M15 has got the Crya-Tech V2.0 which helps keep components fresh & maximizes the overall performance. M15 comes with an Alienware Command center to control the hardware and software environments. AlienFX lighting equipped keyboard will amuse you while playing your favourite games. Overall it’s an excellent package for ethical hacking and professional network security services.
- Display: 15.6 Inches FHD, Ultra Thin Bezel 144 Hertz Anti Glare IPS
3) Razer Blade 15
Razer Blade 15 is an aesthetically made laptop that professional hackers can easily use for performing routine tasks. The Razer Blade 15 Model shares Advanced Model’s thin bezels that go a very long way to make your laptop look modern and sleek. Razer Blade 15 base model is a bit chunkier but has similar features as other models.
As Razer 15 comes well-equipped with Intel Core i7-10875H & RTX 2080 Super, you will not have any issue using the latest and best apps, even at the max settings. The distinctly Razer Blade design elements include the black metal chassis, large touchpad, and speakers. What stands out is the flashing recognizable 3 headed serpent of a Razer logo. The Razer Blade 15 model still is thin than your average laptop due to Max-Q & Razer’s design chops. Overall the best laptop for performance and mobility.
- More power: The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor provides the ultimate level of performance with up to 5.0 GHz max turbo and 6 cores.
4) MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062
While light and thin laptops are all-time favorites of cybersecurity personals nowadays, there is still the market for mid-sized replacements of yore – it gets right with MSI GL65 Leopard that take things to a completely next level. MSI spearheads the lightweight environment in its MSI Stealth line, and with Leopard 10SFK-062, the company provides some weight to contain more power and swag than anybody can handle.
With the higher capacity of RAM and disk, you can easily host multiple VMs to run security and hacking tools simultaneously. Hosting several VMs will help you to run specific tools such as password cracking tools, DDOS testing, and SQL injection.
The main reason why MSI GL65 appears on the list of the best laptops for IT experts is plenty. An affordable price tag of this laptop may surprise you by looking at the premium performance and specs. The Intel Core i7 and 16GB DDR4 RAM provide seamless performance, whereas 512GB solid-state offers enough storage space. The MSI GL65 laptop features a 15.6inch HD display for a seamless work experience between PC and mobile. It is an ideal fit for the mobile experience.
- 15.6" FHD IPS-Level 144Hz 72%NTSC Thin Bezel close to 100%Srgb NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8G GDDR6
5) Premium Lenovo ThinkPad T480
Lenovo ThinkPad line was almost endeared series for most of the ethical hackers as they are specially designed for the professional hackers rather than solo gamers or designers. Experts will always recommend T480 14” for the professional, but the powerful hardware from this beast won’t disappoint the game player in you as well if you love to play the games on weekends.
It runs on an 8th gen Intel i5 processor with 6 MB cache, 16GB DDR4 RAM & powerful Toshiba 256 GB SSD for a fast boot. 14” HD Anti-glare Display gives you a premium viewing experience while the graphics supported by the Integrated Intel UHD 620 card.
When it comes to ports & connectivity, it has got Intel wireless 8265AC (2X2) wifi card & Bluetooth 4.1 for seamless wireless transmission, HDMI port with support up to 4096×2160@30hz & USB Type C supporting independent displays with Max 4K resolution up to 4096×2304@60hz. You can use this laptop for virtualization; it runs multiple VMWare workstations smoothly to get your personal as well as corporate level work done. We’ll recommend Lenovo T480 for all the ethical hackers who love to play games sometimes.
- Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM, storage: Toshiba 256B PCIe NVMe 2242 M. 2 SSD (seal is broken for upgrades only, Professional installation Service included)
6) ASUS VivoBook Pro Thin & Light Laptop, 17.3-inch Laptop
If you are planning to run multiple tools and VMs on the larger screen, Asus VivoBook 17.3 is one of the best choices to consider. The laptop comes with plenty of premium features that will tempt you to grab this machine. It is equipped with a powerful 8th Gen i7 Processor with a 4.6 GHz turbo in addition to 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD, and a powerful 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050M graphic card.
The backlit keyboard lets you continue your development task even in the low-light environment. The larger screen with powerful resources can allow you to run multiple security venerability scanning tools at the same time. The laptop has all the required hardware to convert it into a workstation. Buy this without giving a second thought, if you are into software development.
- Latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.6 GHz)
7) Dell Gaming G5
Dell is quite famous for producing professional laptops, but recently it has managed to amuse the gamers with their G series laptops. This model comes with the latest 9th gen Intel core i7 with 12 MB cache and clock speed as high as 4.5 GHz, 256 GB SSD for faster loading of the OS, 16 GB RAM coupled with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 will support the HD graphics while you can enjoy your gaming sessions with friends online.
Dell G5 is bundled with the high performing hardware to get all your virtualization needs sufficed. You can run multiple VMWare workstations at ease with this Dell G15. Dell’s 15” FHD Anti-glare LED Backlight display is up for the premium viewing experience while you are competing with your friends on a PUBG adventure. Dell comes with an advanced cooling thermal design & innovative dual fan technology to keep your device cool while you do multitasking on your laptop. Overall it’s a decent pick not just for ethical hackers but for programmers & gamers too.
- Lead the pack with an elegant sleek design that keeps heads turning
8) Acer Predator Helios 300 (Best Windows Laptop)
You would see the Acer Predator Helios 300 in many reviews and top lists, because of the price and amazing hardware specification it got. We can’t leave Helios 300 latest model without mentioning hacking and network security professionals. It is equipped with the latest 9th Gen Intel 6-Cores i7 Processor and 16GB DDR4 RAM. Surprisingly, it has a 6GB display VRAM on GeForce GTX 1660 Ti to cater to the video/graphics processing requirements. The faster 6-cores processor, 2666MHz DDR4, and 256GB SSD should be able to crack plenty of hashes in quick time when you do hacking or complex tasks.
As an IT professional I can understand the need for a full-size keyboard. Acer Predator Helios 300 has a numeric keypad that is helpful to use keyboard shortcuts for coding. It got Gigabit Wi-Fi for a faster wireless connection. The cooling system of the laptop taken care of well by Acer, which is going to help you when you run highly complex processing tasks on this laptop.
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core Processor (Up to 4.5GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
9) New Apple MacBook Pro
Most of the hackers like to code on Mac OS X rather than Windows OS. Apple is the most renowned producer of amazing personal computers & laptops. Many professionals are fantasized about Apple devices. Apple MacBook Pro comes with a sturdy aluminium body design and power-packed hardware inside to run all your ethical hacker tasks.
This latest device comes with the 9th generation Intel core i7 processor with a 12 MB cache. 512 GB Ultra Fast SSD will load the OS with lightning speed. 16” Retina display will amuse you the ultra HD viewing experience while dual switching graphics between Integrated Intel UHD 630 & dedicated 4GB AMD Radeon Pro DDR6 video card.
Talking about the ports & connectivity, you won’t face any lag taking everything wireless with Wi-Fi, 802.11ac & Bluetooth 5.0. 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports will be supporting charging, DisplayPort, and transfer speed up to 40 Gbps. You will be getting one extra one USB 3.1 Gen 2 port with 10 Gbps data transfer speed. The new MacBook Pro comes with an all-day-long battery life, which lasts more than most of the workstations. Everything you will get in the beautiful finish 0.6 inches thin body weighing just 4.3 pounds. Overall it’s an excellent package for ethical hackers with a passion for gaming & multimedia work.
- Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
10) Acer Aspire 7
If you are looking for a supercomputer and that too under $1000, we would definitely recommend you to look at the features of the Acer Aspire 7. The laptop comes with an Intel i7 (8th Generation) processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, and NVidia GTX 1050 graphics with 4GBvideo memory. Isn’t this amazing! The storage section comprises 128 GB SSD and 1TB mechanical HDD. Since the memory is upgradeable, you can increase it to 16 or 32GB if needed.
It has twin wireless connection to make the Wi-Fi connection stable and faster. If you run network scanning and auditing tools through the wireless network, it is going to help in a better way with this feature.
The laptop can be used for virtualization, coding, and hacking and that too at a budget price. It is sleek and stylish with textile texture on the outer cover. Other amazing features include a backlit keyboard, USB Type-C ports, a 15.6” FHD screen producing enticing colors, and longer battery life of 12 hours. Pre-loaded with Windows 10, it is a full powerhouse for high-level coders. As it has many good reviews from existing customers, I suggest you have a look at this model before selecting a suitable laptop for you.
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz)
Minimum And Recommended Hardware Requirements for Kali Linux
Installing Kali is quite a simple task. You just have to ensure you have compatible hardware. Kali Linux is well supported on the amd64, i386, and ARM (ARMEL & ARMHF) platforms. Even the hardware needs are minimal, though better hardware can naturally offer you better performance.
- A minimum of 20GB disk space for Kali Linux install will be enough.
- RAM for i386 & amd64 architectures and minimum: 1GB and recommended: 2GB and more.
- CD-DVD Drive or USB boot support or VirtualBox
Kali Installation Prerequisites
- RAM: RAM plays a very important role in running any kind of operating system. You need to consider RAM for i386 & amd64 architectures and minimum: 1GB and Recommended: 2GB and more. If you use more RAM, then you can get better performance at the time of using the Kali Linux. My suggestion is 4GB RAM.
- Hard Drive: Suppose you do not wish to install any third-party program and store data; you do not require a huge amount of media. You may install Kali Linux if you have a minimum of 20GB disk space for Kali Linux. If you have more space, then it can give you an opportunity of storing more data. It is recommended to have a 32GB hard drive.
- CD-DVD Drive: When you’ve got CD-DVD on the system, this is not a problem or necessary. Suppose you have got CD-DVD Drive; you have the alternate option of installing Kali on the system using the CD-DVD drive.
- USB Port: Today, majority of the computer has got the USB port. Having a USB port won’t raise any issues. You can get another way of transferring data from one device to another. You may use the port for installing Kali Linux using the USB pen drive.
- Dual-core or Core to due every CPU will be compatible with Kali.
Kali Linux can run on very low-end specs; however, depending on what you want to do you’re your system, you might require a robust computer. Think again, the Kali Linux developers do not give us any official information; however, they have listed the following as minimum and recommended system requirements.
- 128MB (512MB optimally) RAM
- 2GB of disk space
Looking at the low requirements, 1 GHz CPU must be adequate, all along with foregoing the desktop environment to reduce the load. For such kind of build, you have to use SSH and a terminal for interacting with the system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We usually suggest a minimum of 8GB RAM for personal computers for hacking purposes, but the more the better. If your budget permits you then go with the higher RAM at least 16 GB or 32 GB RAM.
Yes, there are multiple certification courses available online for ethical hacking, otherwise called White Hat hacking practiced by the IT ethical hackers. You can attempt the C|EH exam for International ethical hacking certification.
You can get any laptop with the minimum hardware configuration for hacking. Our editor has picked the above ten laptops for your comfort; you can choose anyone and start your journey.
Linux OS is endeared to not just hackers but for programmers as well as it is a free open-source OS which makes their job easy to modify or customize. Also, there are multiple Linux distros available online; hence it is the most popular among ethical hackers as well as malicious black hat hackers.
Of course, most of the organizations are employing ethical hackers whose job is to find the flaws in the security breaches in the systems or software developed by them and provide improvisation suggestions to prevent it from any attacks.
So the above 10 laptops mentioned in this article are best for both amateur or seasoned hackers and IT security professionals. If you do programming or even playing games, these laptops going to work well for you.
These machines are dependable since you can run multiple OS, VMs, and run any tool that requires heavy computational processing without any lag on these laptops.