Review: Alfa AWUS051NH WiFi Adapter

By |2017-02-08T10:45:02-05:00October 24th, 2016|Categories: Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments
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Alfa AWUS051NH








Ease Of Use





  • -Packet Inspection
  • -Packet Injection
  • -2.4GHz & 5GHz Compatible
  • -Support A, B, G, N Standards
  • -Works Well With Kali Linux


  • -No Support For 802.11AC
  • -Some People Have Chipset Issues

alfa-awus051nh-300-mbps-5-8ghz-2-4ghz-wireless-b-g-n-dual-band-1103-06-tunglt3 Most older USB WiFi Adapters that have worked well with Kali Linux or Backtrack don’t support the 5 GHz range which most routers support now. As dual band routers gain popularity in homes and offices, the
Alfa AWUS051NH WiFi Adapter filled a gap by supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range for the 802.11n standard. The
Alfa AWUS051NH that uses the Ralink RT2870 / 3070 chipset and works with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.

If you’ve found this review, you probably know that Kali Linux is a distro that is mostly used for penetration testing. The Alfa AWUS051NH WiFi adapter works well with packet capturing as well as packet injection. You can use this adapter with a standalone Kali Linux install, or as a virtual machine in VMware Workstation or Virtualbox.

802.11ac Support

One downside is that it does not support the newer 802.11ac protocol. Wireless N or 802.11n is the only 802.11 standard that works in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz range, while 802.11ac only works in 5 GHz and the old 802.11g works only in the 2.4 GHz range. As of this writing, I have not found a reliable Kali compatible 802.11ac adapter. It’ll be a while before homes and businesses only use 802.11ac though, and most will still have 802.11n enabled.


I’ve seen some discussions regarding the chipset of the Alfa AWUS051NH WiFi adapter. The one I received (the one linked in the article through Amazon) came with the Ralink 2870/3070 chipset and works very well with Kali Linux.

Run the lsusb command to see the correct chipset then load the correct chipset with rmmod and modprobe commands if there is a problem.

What’s In The Box

  • USB Cable
  • Holder
  • Clip
  • Suction Cup

Tools used

  • airmon-ng
  • aircrack-ng
  • reaver
  • ettercap

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  1. Valued Team Member November 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    RE: 51NH -> “Some People Have Chipset Issues”?… seems to be kind of an important detail? Shame to leave it at that.. But thank you for the information.

    • Robert Russell November 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      In the body of the article, I explain the chipset that works correctly with Kali and that the device I received through my Amazon links had the working chipset.

      Apparently Alfa has different revisions that have different chipsets so it is important to try to find one with the Ralink 2870/3070 chipset as mentioned in the article.

  2. Dave December 7, 2016 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Above it states the awus051 is 300mbps but i thought its 150mbps and the awus052 is 300mbps with the dual antennas? Was under the impression that that was the main difference between the two.

    Have you compared the 051 and 052? I’m in the market for a good g/n dual band with a reliable chipset for pentesting so i’ve been looking at the awus051 and awus052 but i’m town on which to get. Even though they both use the rt3572 chipset i’ve heard of people having issues with reaver with the 052, not sure why. Any thoughts?


    • Robert Russell December 7, 2016 at 6:45 am - Reply

      I have not compared the 051 to the 052. When I was looking for which one I wanted to purchase, I read about similar issues with the 052 which is why I opted for the 051.

      For the speed, 802.11n on the 5GHz network should support 300mbps regardless of multiple antennas or not. If the wireless network is only configured for 2.4GHz then you’ll only get 150mbps.

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