Pentesting is also known as Penetration Testing, and it is something used in Ethical Hacking. It is an approach to evaluate the security of computer systems, web applications, or networks. It helps identify the potential vulnerabilities and loop-holes in the system so that they can be fixed beforehand.
Pentesting is done by Ethical hackers. They try to hack into the system or network to know all the loopholes so that they can be fixed before the system gets exploited by actual hackers.
There are many tools and programs required while doing Penetration testing. Thus, you must have a laptop that can be good for such tasks. In buying guide, I am going to list down 10 best laptops for pen-testing which can also termed the best laptops for ethical hackers as well. So, continue reading to find the best ones.
Factors to Consider While Buying the Laptop for Pentesting
The processor should be at least higher than i3, as with the later versions it becomes easier to use various tools and do multiple things on the system without getting memory clogged or suffering from storage stalling. Hence the ability to power your cores to run tasks efficiently requires a bit of processing power. I would suggest for optimal results i7 is the ideal choice.
High Memory Demands
RAM should be optimal and at least should be 8 GB. Why this is important you may ask, well anything beyond 8 GB is a great choice because it assists in running multiple tasks to understand underlying impacts laying out on the system. These implications are important to decode hence solidifying the need to have better RAM.
HDD and SSD are the two main types of storage that come with your laptop. As compared to HDD, SSD is fast and agile in its time frame and can provide access to files in a much quicker fashion which in the long term helps tremendously.
Best Laptops for Pentesting [Ethical Hacking] Comparison Table
|Product Name||RAM||Storage||Processor||Display||Check Prices|
|HP Newest FHD IPS Flagship Laptop||16 GB||256 GB||Intel Core i5-1135G7||15.6” diagonal FHD Brightview display||Check Price|
|ASUS VivoBook S14||8 GB||512 GB||Intel Core i5-1135G7||14” Full HD NanoEdge bezel display||Check Price|
|Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i||8 GB||512 GB||Intel Core i5 12th gen||15.6″ FHD IPS display||Check Price|
|HP Pavilion FHD IPS Laptop||16 GB||1 TB||Intel Core i5-1135G7||17.3″ diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS, anti-glare||Check Price|
|HP 2023 Newest HD Thin Laptop||16 GB||1 TB||Intel Core i5-1235U||17.3″ HD (1600 x 900) widescreen LED backlit IPS non-touch Display||Check Price|
|ASUS TUF F15 Gaming Laptop||8 GB||512 GB||Intel Core i5-10300H||15.6” Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Type Display||Check Price|
|Dell Inspiron FHD Touchscreen Laptop||16 GB||512 GB||Intel Core i5-10300H||15.6” Full HD 144HZ(1920 x 1080) IPS Type Display||Check Price|
|HP Touch-Screen Laptops||32 GB||1 TB||Intel Core i5-1135G7||15.6″ HD Touchscreen Display||Check Price|
|HP 2022 Flagship Touchscreen IPS Laptop||16 GB||1 TB||Intel Core i5-1135G7||1366 x 768 HD resolution, SVA, anti-glare, micro-edge display||Check Price|
|Apple 2021 MacBook Pro||16 GB||512 GB||Apple M1 Pro chip||14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display||Check Price|
10 Best Laptops for Pentesting [Ethical Hacking]
1. HP Newest 15.6 FHD IPS Flagship Laptop
The HP Newest 15.6 FHD IPS Flagship Laptop is a high-performance laptop that is designed to meet various computing needs. It boasts an Intel 4-Core i5-1135G7 processor that is capable of reaching speeds of up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost. It surpasses the capabilities of the i7-1060G7. The processor is so powerful that it ensures smooth multitasking and productivity.
The laptop features a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display that delivers vibrant colors and sharp details. The IPS technology guarantees wide viewing angles, allowing you to comfortably see the screen from different positions.
16GB RAM offers more than enough memory for seamless multitasking and running multiple applications simultaneously. The 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) offers enough storage along with fast boot times and rapid data access.
The powerful processor, enough RAM, and fair pricing, make this HP laptop suitable for pentesting.
- Comes with 15.6” IPS display.
- 256GB Fast SSD.
- Includes Ultra Fest processor i5-1135G7
- CPU can attain a maximum speed of 4.2 GHZ
- Intel Iris XE Graphics included
- Has a strong DDR4 16GB RAM
- Comes with Windows 11 OS
- Comes with 14” Full HD NanoEdge bezel display
- Includes 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7
- 8GB DDR4 RAM.
- 512 GB SSD Storage.
- Has Thunderbolt USB.
- Has AI noise cancellation feature when attached to Mic
- Comes with a fingerprint sensor and backlit keys
- Has an installed Windows 10 copy
3. Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is a high-performing laptop built for efficient and reliable performance. Equipped with an Intel Core i5 12th generation processor, a 15.6″ Full HD display, 8GB memory, and 512GB storage, this laptop provides the necessary processing power, display clarity, and storage capacity to meet the demands of pentesting.
Running on Windows 11 Pro, the laptop offers enhanced security features and seamless compatibility with a wide range of tools and applications which are used in Pentesting.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is well-suited for conducting effective and comprehensive pentesting engagements.
- Comes with Intel i5 Processor
- Has a processing speed of 1.3 to 4.4 GHz with turbo activation
- Has 250GB storage and 8GB DDR4 RAM
- Comes with Intel Iris Graphics
- Has a 15.6” HD screen
- USB 3.2 embedded port for file exchange
- Comes with Windows 11 Pro installed
4. HP Pavilion 17.3″ FHD IPS Laptop
- Comes with i5 11th gen
- Has 16 GB RAM included
- Has DDR3 1TB RAM
- Has intel iris SE graphics
- Has 300 nits 17.6” beautiful display
- Runs on 4.2 GHZ CPU speed
- Includes Windows 11 Home
5. HP 2023 Newest 17.3 inch HD Thin Laptop
The HP 2023 Newest 17.3 inch HD Thin Laptop is an excellent choice for a pen-testing laptop. Powered by an Intel Core i5-1235U processor with 10 cores and a maximum clock speed of 4.4GHz, this laptop offers significant processing power that is highly required for running intensive pen-testing tools and applications.
The Intel Iris Xe GPU boosts graphical performance which helps you when you need data visualization or any 3D photo work.
With 16GB of RAM and a spacious 1TB PCIe SSD, it provides huge memory and storage capacity for multitasking, storing testing data, and running virtual environments. The WiFi6 and Bluetooth5 connectivity options ensure reliable and fast wireless connections, allowing for seamless integration into various network environments during pentesting engagements. Running on Windows 11 Home, This laptop offers a secured environment for pen-testing.
- Wide screen of 17.3”
- LED Backlit IPS Display included
- Iris Xe Graphics embedded
- CPU strength maximizes to 4.4GHZ with Turbo boost
- Uses an Intel Core i5-1235U processor
- Comes with a 1TB storage capacity
6. ASUS TUF F15 Gaming Laptop
The ASUS TUF F15 Gaming Laptop is a great, secure and reliable choice for pentesting. With a 15.6" 144Hz FHD IPS-Type display, Intel Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD, it offers powerful performance and fast storage access that is required for pentesting. The GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card enhances graphical capabilities and helps for data visualization when required. With Wi-Fi 6, Windows 11 Home, and its gaming-oriented design, this laptop provides a secure and efficient platform for pentesting tasks.
- It has an i5-10300H 8M cache processor.
- It has 8 GB DDR4 RAM.
- It has NVIDIA’s GEFORCE GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 Graphics.
- Comes with a power-packed 4.5 GHZ CPU strength.
- Best-in-class military TUF line MIL-STD-810H included.
- 512 SSD storage included.
7. Dell Inspiron 15.6" FHD Touchscreen Laptop
- Comes with a finger-touch navigation screen
- The screen size is 15.6”
- Attached is 16.4 GB DDR4 RAM
- Includes 512 GB PCIe SSD
- Windows 11 (S) OS Included
8. HP Touch-Screen Laptops
- Runs in i5 1135G7.
- CPU strength can reach 4.2 GHz.
- Has a massive storage capacity of 1 TB.
- Comes with USB 3.0 HDMI ports.
- 15.6” screen with sleep touchscreen accessibility.
9. HP 2022 Flagship 15.6 HD Touchscreen IPS Laptop
- Comes with Windows OS 11 (S)
- 1366 x 768 HD resolution, SVA, and the anti-glare display included.
- Embedded 16 GB RAM.
- CPU speed of 4.2 GHz.
- I5 1135G7 included.
- Smooth and sleek touchscreen.
- Iris Xe Graphics installed.
10. Apple 2021 MacBook Pro - The Best Laptop for Pentesting
It's important to save the best for the last right, and here is, Apple Macbook Pr. It is suitable in every way for Pentesting or any kind of CPU-intensive work but the price is almost around $2000 which may or may not look affordable to many. It comes with the M1 pro chip which competes with the likes of the i7. It's an 8-core processor. Its GPU speed can run to 32 cores with its strength.
- Fast processor with M1 pro, comparable to the likes of i7 of intel
- Has 512 GB SSD
- It has 16 GB RAM
- Screen size is good in terms of Apple with 14.2 inches
- 17 hours battery life
- Six speakers sound system included with force canceling woofers included
- Includes 14-inch liquid XDR Retina display
- 1080p Fast HD camera
Apple MacBook Pro is like the next-gen laptop where the technology only gets pushed ahead. You get a good narrow ethical hacking net here. Apple Laptops are very hard to break in. Hence, it's hardly impenetrable. In terms of security, Apple is the boss.
Pentesting and Its Stages
Pentesting is ethical hacking, a process that’s done to check how defensive your own application/web portal is in case a cyber attack happens. Pentesting has various stages, let us know about them.
Planning and Reconnaissance
Planning and Reconnaissance is the first stage where you plan out your tests and also make a tally of the tools you will be using to run the test. You become more in tune with the functions and controls you will apply to run the test. The 2nd aspect of the stage comes from gathering intelligence for the entire test to know what kind of observations became apparent on the test. The implications of the mail servers, and network servers as How did they get affected?
Scanning is another typical stage where the system of code analysis is used. It can be static and check how the application reacts to coding in a stable system. Similarly, another practical solution is to see How the application reacts to changing of code while running at the existing time. This is a much more dynamic analytical process.
After all the prior attempts, the last bastion remains to gain access. Access is obtained through backdoor penetration, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting. The hackers escalate website privileges making it more vulnerable and susceptible to attacks. They steal confidential data. They also try their best to intercept the current traffic and gain access to potential source points in the large web of connectivity.
Maintain the access
Data changes with time and penetrating a very sensitive server requires a bit of stay time or halt time for it to fruition into impactful stealing and gaining access to much-needed sensitive information. Here Ethical hackers try to understand, How long the threat can exist in the system and remain there for a long time without anyone knowing.
The backbone of the analysis hinges on three primary assessments.
- Nature of the breach done.
- Level of manipulation, altercation, and changing in code done to the servers, frontend, and backend. It can be all the factors or one single factor that will be kept in mind by a malicious hacker.
- Time is taken for the vulnerability to exist in the system without getting detected.
What is pentesting, and why is it important?
Pentesting, short for penetration testing, is a proactive security assessment technique that evaluates the security of computer systems, networks, or web applications. It is important to do because it helps identify security vulnerabilities and loopholes that could be a reason for getting hacked by malicious hackers. Thus, it is good to do pentesting to find the issues, and fix them.
How often should pentesting be conducted?
Pentesting should be conducted annually at least. Moreover, it may depend on various factors, and different organization as well. In short, what I would recommend is pentesting should be performed on regular basis to keep finding the loopholes, and patch them.
What qualifications and certifications should a pentester have?
Pentesters should possess a strong understanding of computer systems, networks, and security principles. Common certifications include Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). However, practical experience and continuous learning are equally valuable in this field.
Is pentesting legal?
Yes, Pentesting is legal because it is done to test a system for security loopholes. It is a kind of intentional hacking to find loopholes and patch them for better security. Still, before performing there should be proper authorization and consent may be required.