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I am using TP-LINK TL-WN722N v1.x for evil-twin penetration testing but the signal is not stronger than the target access point, so the attack is easily recognizable. I am trying to figure out how can I the strengthen the signal of the TP-LINK TL-WN722N v1.x. I have two options:

  • Wireless Range Extenders and Repeaters
  • Parabolic Antennas

I have done some research but I don't have any experience using parabolic outdoor antenna to ensure what I am doing and I don't waste my money on antenna if it will not work. Any guidance and advice are appreciated.

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Using high-power Ubiquiti wnics or cheaper ALFA variants is simplest. Both offer an effect of ~1W, although Ubiquiti is more trustworthy on specs. Using yagi antennas (google radiation patterns) is best, parabolics have a dot focus. A note on this: use a red laser pointer to aim the parabilic, keep the laser perpendicular to the centre of the dish. RXQ etc on your laptop displays with an annoying delay, so laser really is best if you don’t have a signal-meter (for 2.4/5.8GHz... it’s flooded anyway).

I use a yagi that is quite small, about 15cm long. You can use one with more directors but the focus becomes smaller... 2-3 are adequate. A parabolic dish’s dot focus may be visible to your target router but not target client. They are best for PtP links, not eviltwin against several targets. Note that patch antennas are very good, if placed in an elevated position and pointing down ~25°, so depending on your locale these may be an option... They can be had cheaply, and I recommend you buy one produced by Ubiquiti if possible.

Ubiquiti has MMCX ports, whereas ALFA has RP-SMA. You can use short pigtails to connect MMCX/RP-SMA to the typical N-connector on most quality antennas. The ALFA USB wnics I have used run stupidly hot, I have lost one to just heat. The ones with Ralink chipset seemed to perform best, but Realtek is OK. Add some cheap heatsinks or they won’t perform decently after a few hours.

DD-WRT is highly flexible, with the right router can also output ~1W, and is easily configured as a repeater... Have a look at a few high power Ubiquiti APs on eBay. The default WebGUI on Ubiquiti is complemented with a linux environment accessible via SSH/serial, though DD-WRT (using OpenWRT package repos) has more software available.

Get an FTDI/USB-TTL for 3.3V if you accidentally fail firmware changes, it will help tremendously to have a console when you restore it.

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