Most of my activity is limited to lab experiments and after a while of "not doing something" it can be a real pain to remember just exactly what i did last time and playing about with wireless card setting is just one example.

i got myself an alfa highpower usb wifi adapted mainly for Back|Track and all works fine, however i stumbled across some forum post that discussed the "HighPower" setting for this device and a method of increasing you range using the txpower value so i decided to have a play with mine.

first off if your using Back|Track(4) which i am then your going to need to change the driver used by default for your device to the (35) Custom rtl8187 driver.

# airdriver-ng unload 36
# airdriver-ng load 35

once you complete the above the highpower setting becomes available, for more info about the why's and how's goto
# iwpriv wlan highpower 1

if you get no error message then it has worked! you can now change the txpower value to boost the range of your adapted, however i would advise against increasing the device's value above 30. to get better range i found that the default value of 6 works fine and a better antenna produces more stable results, on the flip side if your close to the target access point you can also reduce below the default txpower value and reduce some of that noise your making just in case your close to a "Wireless IDS".

# iwconfig wlan txpower 0-35

i tested several settings and found not only is the Alfa adapter a great device but its fully supported in Back|Track(4), there is no real need to change the default configuration as it works, but the reduction in power could be of use in the right situation.

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Comment by Leon van der Eijk on August 9, 2010 at 5:12am
Great write James !

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