If you’re going to be spending your time hacking, you need a powerful and robust hacking laptop. Hacking involves cracking passwords, penetration testing, DDoS attacks, and intruding networks. These activities require your hardware to handle heavy amounts of data, be able to run virtual machines, have access to programming environments, and be able to do all of this without freaking out. Having a laptop that looks cool is also a bonus.
What Specs are Important on Hacking Laptops?
For a hacking laptop, 8GB RAM should be the absolute minimum. 16GB or 32GB is more realistic, especially if you’re running multiple virtual machines and can see yourself expanding your hacking activities as time goes on. If you’re unsure you can get a 16GB laptop which is extendable to 32GB.
You want SSD over HDD if you can. 250GB and onwards is optimal since you’ll want enough storage for applications and data sets but a huge amount of storage isn’t needed for hacking.
2GB minimum but you’ll feel the difference with 4GB. If you intend to use your laptop for brute force hacking you’ll want a minimum of 4GB and possibly more depending on your hacking operation.
These aren’t specs but rather other important factors you should consider when looking for a hacking laptop. You’re going to want a laptop with a long battery life so you can maximize portability and hack on the go. You’re also going to want a lightweight laptop for the same reason – you’ll be less likely to carry your laptop around if it’s heavy and cumbersome.
You’ll also want to invest in a mouse for your laptop. Using a mouse makes it much easier to quickly dart across the screen than using a trackpad does.
Most gaming laptops also make great hacking laptops so you’ll see some crossover on our list.
If you buy something through this post, HWN may get a share of the sale.
Top 5 Hacking Laptops
Alienware Gaming AW17R5-7405SLV-PUS
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core, 9MB Cache, up to 3.9GHz w/Turbo Boost
- 8GB 2400MHz DDR4, 1x8GB
- 1TB [Hybrid] HDD, + 8 GB SSD, No Optical Drive
- 17.3-inch FHD 1920 x 1080, IPS Anti-Glare, 300-nits
- Windows 10
- 9.74 Ibs
Alienware laptops are well known in the gaming community and are popular with hackers. Alienware is actually Dell’s high-end laptop brand that sports customized and powerful motherboards, processors, graphics cards, and RAM. With a mammoth 17.3 inch display you’ll have an amazing viewing experience with this laptop. There’s also no doubt that Alienware laptops are stylish and sleek looking. If that’s something you look for in a laptop then this may be the laptop for you.
However, many people believe that the best hacking laptop is one that doesn’t attract much attention and one you’d be ok with losing if things go south. Alienware wouldn’t meet these criteria because as high-end laptops, they are expensive, usually $1,200 upwards. Although this mainly applies to black hat hacking, which we don’t recommend or condone.
HP PAVILLION 15
- Intel Core i7-7500U (up to 3.5 GHz)
- 12GB DDR4 RAM
- 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) display
- Intel HD Graphics 620
- Windows 10
- 4.51 pounds
- Battery life: 7 hours
There is a range of HP Pavillion laptops which have varying specs. RAM on the Pavillion range starts as low as 4GB and goes up to 16GB, but there is always an option to upgrade yourself. These laptops are competitively priced (usually around $600+) for a solid hacking laptop.
Acer Aspire E 15
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)
- 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-lit IPS Display
- 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD
- Up to 15-hours of battery life.Adapter: 65 W
- 256 GB Flash Memory Solid State
- Windows 10 Home
- Battery life: 15 hours
This is the perfect hacking laptop for hackers on a budget. At under $600 this hacking laptop is affordable and fit for purpose for hacking. The laptop is powerful enough to be able to perform most moderate hacking operations comfortably and the huge 15 hours of battery life is amazing!
ASUS VivoBook S
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U (Turbo up to 4.0GHz) quad-core processor and dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics 2GB
- 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD
- 14″ Full HD WideView display with up to 178° WideView and ASUS NanoEdge bezel for a stunning 77% screen-to-body ratio
- Slim 12.8″ wide, 0.7″ thin and portable footprint with metal cover and backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor
- Comprehensive connections including USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, & headphone/mic combo port
- Item weight: 3.2
This extremely thin and lightweight laptop is popular with cybersecurity professionals due to its power, durability, and portability.
Lenovo ThinkPad T480
- Core i5-8250 Up to 3.4 GHz
- 14” TN HD
- 500GB-1TB HDD or SSD
- 16-32GB DDR4 RAM
- Battery life: 10 hours
Lenovo laptops are very popular with penetration testers and cybersecurity professionals, and that means they are popular with ethical hackers too. One of the ThinkPad’s main advantages is that they can handle Distros more easily than other models or brands.
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