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Information Security & Ethical Hacking


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Best Laptop for Hacking: Top 7 Picks in 2023

Posted in Information Security & Ethical Hacking
Best Laptop for Hacking

As the tech world progresses, hackers’ tools and methods grow more complex and advanced. And as hardware becomes equally more powerful, hackers are becoming increasingly capable of finding vulnerabilities in practically any system.

You won’t find any special “hacker laptops” out on the market — they simply do not exist. The fact is all hackers use the same hardware that non-hackers do. Not to mention, all types of hackers use the same kinds of machines, regardless of whether they’re a white hat or black hat, and no matter their views on cybersecurity.

When it comes to laptops for hackers, what’s most important is that the computer must be powerful enough to run tools like virtual machines, penetration testers, and password crackers. The computers must also be capable of handling tons of data and managing heavy multitasking.

But how exactly do you choose the best laptop for hacking?

In this article, we’ve put together a handy buying guide to help you get started. We also listed our top recommendations for the best hacking laptop in 2022. Let’s get to it!

Best Hacking Computers in Comparison

The best laptop for hacking 2022 has to offer may be different for you than it is for others. We put together the comparison table below to help you decide which suits your needs best.

Laptop

Description

Key Specs

Link

MSI Creator M16

Best for Hacking and Content Creation

  • 16" QHD+ display 2560x1600, 60Hz refresh rate, DCI-P3 100% color profile (Calman certified)
  • 14.13"x10.20"x0.94"; 6.06 lbs
  • Windows 11 Home
  • Intel Core i7-12650H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU
  • 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

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ASUS TUF Dash F15

Best Computer for Hacking Overall

  • 15.6" FHD 1080p, anti-glare, 144Hz refresh rate
  • 13.94″ x 9.88″ x 0.78″+; 4.41 lbs
  • Windows 11 Home or Pro
  • Intel Core i7-12650H (10-core) or Core i5-12450H (8-core)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, 3050Ti, 3060, 3070
  • 16GB, 32GB, or 64 GB RAM
  • 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

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Acer Aspire 5

Best Affordable Laptop for Hackers

  • 15.6" FHD 1080p IPS display
  • 14.29” x 9.36” x 0.7”; 3.88 lbs
  • Windows 11 Home
  • 12th-Generation Intel Core i5-1235U CPU
  • Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

Best for Hackers Who Game

  • 16" WQXGA 2560x1600, 165Hz refresh rate
  • 14.01” x 10.4” x 0.86-1.1”; 5.57 lbs
  • Windows 11 Home
  • 12th-Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (upgradeable to i9)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (upgradeable to 3070 or 3080)
  • 16GB, 32GB RAM
  • 512GB, 1TB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2

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MacBook Pro 13 M2

Best Value Apple Laptop for Hackers

  • 13.3” Retina display
  • 11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”; 3 lbs
  • macOS
  • Apple M2 (8-Core) CPU
  • Integrated 10-Core GPU
  • Starting at 8GB RAM; upgrade to 16GB or 24GB
  • Starting at 256GB or 512GB SSD; upgrade to 1TB or 2TB
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5

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Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3

Another Reliable Windows Laptop for Hackers

  • 14” FHD 1080p
  • 12.5” x 8.9” x 0.7”; 2.91 lbs
  • Windows 11 Pro + 11 Pro license
  • 12th-Generation Intel Core i5-1235U (deca-core) CPU

Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics

  • 16GB, 32GB, 40GB RAM
  • 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1+

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Dell Inspiron 15

Best Reliable Laptop for Hackers

  • 15.6” FHD 1080p touchscreen
  • 14.11" x 9.27" x 0.83"; approx. 3.65 lbs
  • Windows 11 Home 64-Bit
  • Intel Core i7-1255U 12th generation deca-core (10-core) CPU
  • Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics
  • 16GB or 32GB RAM
  • 512GB or 1TB m.2 SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

Check Price

 

How Is a Laptop Used for Hacking Different from an Ordinary Laptop?

A hacking laptop is exactly the same as any other laptop. There are no special specifications differentiating a hacker’s laptop from an ordinary laptop. The only important thing is that the laptop must be able to run the tools and processes the hacker needs — and be able to do so easily.

Laptops for hacking can run the gamut from low-end, low-spec machines to the top-of-the-line configured models with extra computing power. It all depends on what the hacker intends to use their computer for.

As with any other thing you need to do on a computer, some hacking processes require more processing power than others. For example, password cracking programs may require better CPUs and a discrete GPU to run reasonably efficiently. On the other hand, running virtual machines may require you to have much more RAM than you’d typically expect. If you intend to run multiple intensive VMs, you’d need at least 2 to 3GB of RAM for each instance — and that’s on the low end of the spectrum.

It may sound confusing, but it’s not as complicated as you think. Read on for our ultimate guide to choosing your laptop.

 

Best Laptop for Hacking: Top Picks in 2022

1. MSI Creator M16 - Best for Hacking and Content Creation

Specifications:

  • Display: 16" QHD+ display 2560x1600, 60Hz refresh rate, DCI-P3 100% color profile (Calman certified)
  • Size and Weight: 14.13"x10.20"x0.94"; 6.06 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-12650H 
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 32GB (2 x 16GB)
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen1
    • 1x USB-A 2.0
    • 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1
    • 1x HDMI
    • 1x RJ45
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack
    • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

If you’re looking to use your laptop for gaming or content creation when you aren’t hacking, the M16 is worth a look for sure. The MSI Creator M16 (2022) is an incredibly capable machine, thanks to its powerful 12th-generation Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU. Plus, it has 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage right out of the box. The M16 also conveniently has an RJ45 port for when you’d rather connect via ethernet! 

Pros

  • Has a discrete GPU
  • 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD 
  • Beautiful display
  • Tons of ports, including an ethernet port

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy at 6 lbs

Buy It Here

2. ASUS TUF Dash F15 - Best Computer for Hacking Overall

Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6" FHD 1080p, anti-glare, 144Hz refresh rate
  • Size and Weight: 13.94″ x 9.88″ x 0.78″+; 4.41 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home or Pro
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-12650H (deca-core) or Core i5-12450H (octa-core)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX
    • 3050
    • 3050Ti
    • 3060
    • 3070
  • RAM: 16GB, 32GB, or 64 GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
    • 1x RJ45
    • 1x HDMI
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack
    • 1x Thunderbolt 4
    • 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
    • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

The ASUS TUF Dash F15 is one of the best laptops for ethical hacking in our book. In fact, it wins the title of best overall! If you’re a hacker who also likes to game, this laptop will serve you well.

We chose this laptop as our top machine thanks to its large, beautiful display and the fact that you can configure it with powerful internals. It has many ports, including Thunderbolt 4 and RJ45, giving you complete flexibility and versatility.

Pros

  • Powerful and configurable
  • Discrete GPU options make the laptop great for gaming
  • Still large but not as bulky as the MSI Creator M16
  • Has tons of ports!

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
  • White WASD keys on the keyboard may not appeal to everyone

Buy It Here

3. Acer Aspire 5 - Best Affordable Laptop for Hackers

Specifications:

  • Display: ​​15.6" FHD 1080p IPS display
  • Size and Weight: 14.29” x 9.36” x 0.7”; 3.88 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • CPU: 12th-Generation Intel Core i5-1235U
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe Integrated
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • 1x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
    • 1x HDMI
    • 1x RJ45
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack
    • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

If you’re looking for a lower-end machine to help get you through learning how to become a hacker, the Acer Aspire 5 might be enough for your needs. This affordable laptop can do most tasks, but you won’t be able to crack passwords efficiently or run more than two virtual machines comfortably.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Good enough for some types of hacking
  • Plenty of ports, including Thunderbolt 4
  • Large display

Cons

  • No discrete GPU
  • Only 8GB RAM
  • Battery life is not the best

Buy It Here

4. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro - Best for Hackers Who Game

Specifications:

  • Display: 16" WQXGA 2560x1600, 165Hz refresh rate
  • Size and Weight: 14.01” x 10.4” x 0.86-1.1”; 5.57 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • CPU: 12th-Gen Intel Core i7-12700H (upgradeable to i9)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (upgradeable to 3070 or 3080)}
  • RAM: 16GB, 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB SSD
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
    • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (with Always On)
    • 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
    • 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (with Power Delivery)
    • 1x Thunderbolt 4
    • 1x HDMI
    • 1x RJ45
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack
    • Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2

Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro is one of the brand’s gaming-focused laptops. This hardy machine is our choice for the best computer for hackers who like to game, thanks to its configurability and discrete GPU. The Legion 5 Pro features a large, beautiful display at 165Hz refresh rate, making it even better for gaming.

Pros

  • Uses the latest wireless protocol
  • Beautiful display
  • Great for gaming
  • Discrete GPU
  • Configurable

Cons

  • Not the cheapest

Buy It Here

5. MacBook Pro 13” M2 - Best Value Apple Laptop for Hackers

Specifications:

  • Display: 13.3” Retina 2560x1600, 227 PPI, P3 wide color
  • Size and Weight: 11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”; 3 lbs
  • Operating System: macOS
  • CPU: Apple Silicon M2 (8-Core)
  • GPU: Integrated 10-Core
  • RAM: 8GB; upgrade to 16GB or 24GB
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB SSD; upgrade to 1TB or 2TB
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
    • 2x Thunderbolt 4 (supports charging and DisplayPort)
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack

If you can get past some of the hacking limitations brought on by macOS, or if you don’t mind having to find some workarounds now and then, the MacBook Pro M2 is a mighty yet portable machine. It also still has the touch bar that people either love or hate!

Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 M2 perfectly balances portability and power. Although it has nearly the same internals as the MacBook Air M2, the Pro’s advantage is that it has cooling fans. These fans can help prevent thermal throttling, ensuring that your machine runs optimally as much as possible. 

If you want an Apple laptop but don’t quite like the pro, you can also consider one of the below:

Pros

  • Perfect blend of portability and power
  • Top-notch battery life
  • Small and lightweight

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not ideal for running other operating systems

Buy It Here

6. Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 - Another Reliable Windows Laptop for Hackers

Specifications:

  • Display: 14” FHD 1080p
  • Size and Weight: 12.5” x 8.9” x 0.7”; 2.91 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Pro + 11 Pro license
  • CPU: 12th-Generation Intel Core i5-1235U (deca-core)
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe Integrated
  • RAM: 16GB, 32GB, 40GB
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB SSD
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • 2x Thunderbolt 4
    • 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 
    • 1x microSD card reader
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack
    • Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1+

The Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 is another excellent machine that’s great for general productivity and certain types of hacking. You won’t be able to get a lot of password cracking done very efficiently with no dedicated GPU, but for everything else this laptop is more than capable. If you’re looking for reliability, you’d be happy to know that the ThinkPad line of laptops is well known for that.

Pros

  • Known to be durable and reliable
  • Plenty of ports
  • Uses the latest Wi-Fi protocol

Cons

  • On the pricey side

Buy It Here

7. Dell Inspiron 15 - Best Reliable Laptop for Hackers

Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6” FHD 1080p touchscreen with anti-glare
  • Size and Weight: 14.11" x 9.27" x 0.83"; Approx. 3.65 lbs
  • OpeWe put together the comparison table below toting System: Windows 11 Home 64-Bit
  • CPU: I (10-core)
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics
  • RAM: 16GB or 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB or 1TB m.2 SSD
  • Ports & Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
    • 1x USB-A 2.0
    • 2x USB-A 3.2 (Generation 1)
    • 1x SD card reader
    • 1x 3.5mm combo jack
    • 1x HDMI

Dell’s Inspiron line of laptops is one of the longest running on the market, with the first one coming out all the way back in 1997. Since then, the Inspiron line (as well as Dell) has proved to be well-built, reliable, and moderately affordable for all.

One of the best things about the Dell Inspiron 15 is that it comes with a full numpad for those who simply cannot live without it. Of course, the 15” screen also makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a bit more in terms of screen real estate — you won’t need to squint or lean in as much with this machine, for sure. Plus, Dell included the ExpressCharge feature that allows you to get to 80% battery in only 60 minutes.

The Dell Inspiron 15 is a decent laptop for hackers, but if you plan to run tools and processes that require a discrete GPU, you may need to choose a different machine. Otherwise, the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics can be more than enough for your needs.

Pros

  • Moderately affordable
  • Available in 32GB RAM
  • Plenty of ports 
  • Fast charging and decent battery life

Cons

  • No discrete GPU
  • Somewhat bulky

Buy It Here

Best Laptops for Hacking: The Ultimate Buying Guide

When you’re on the hunt for the best hacking computer, how do you know exactly what you need? There are so many laptops out on the market, and it’s easy to feel overcome with decision paralysis — especially when they all seem so alike.

Choosing your new laptop is just like shopping for any other item — it’s all a matter of considering every factor possible. Consider the criteria below as you shop.

CPU

The CPU or central processing unit is your laptop’s brain. It’s responsible for doing all the calculations and processing your computer needs to do. Without it, you essentially have an expensive brick.

If you intend to do a lot of penetration testing and run multiple (5+) virtual machines simultaneously, you’ll need a higher-end multi-core CPU. Think Intel i5 or i7 with 6-8 cores (or the AMD equivalent). However, if you don’t think you’ll be doing work this intense, you can get by with any modern processor with two to four cores (like the Intel i3 or Ryzen 3).

It’s a good idea to stay within the current gen as this may allow you to use your laptop for longer before replacement. However, you can also try buying a computer using a processor from the past 1-2 generations to help you save some cash.

It’s worth noting that AMD’s latest Ryzen 6000 series processors came out around February 2022, so you’re likely to see laptops powered by the latest AMD generation for sale nowadays. Unfortunately, it will be more challenging to find laptops powered by the latest 13th-generation Intel chips, as the Raptor Lake chips only came out in October 2022. Manufacturers are probably already working on machines carrying these new chips, but you’ll have to wait a few months for them to start hitting the market.

What About Apple Silicon?

Considering there are only two generations of Apple Silicon, picking between them is much simpler. The M1 chips are now the past generation but are still quite powerful, especially if you purchase the M1 Pro or M1 Max available on the MacBook Pro 14” and 16”. Apple has yet to release its M2 Pro/Max variants, and if you’d rather have those instead, you may end up waiting until sometime in 2023.

That said, as a hacker, you’ll likely need to be able to work with other operating systems. That’s not too big of a problem if you only need Windows 10 or 11 since you can install either on a virtual machine running via Parallels. However, you’re out of luck for older versions as they are not compatible with the Apple Silicon.

Thus, if you know you’ll need to run other operating systems, it’s a good idea to double-check whether they are compatible with Apple’s M1 or M2 before you commit to purchasing a Mac.

GPU

Whether you need a discrete GPU or not depends on the type of hacking you intend to do. If your work is somewhat on the lighter end of the spectrum (i.e., no heavy password cracking), you probably won’t need to worry as much about having a discrete GPU.

However, if your hacking work or penetration testing involves a lot of password cracking activity, a dedicated GPU with multiple GPU cores will significantly speed up the process.

So what kind of GPU do you need?

It’s probably best to stick with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20XX or 30XX series (or their AMD equivalents). NVIDIA and AMD have also recently released their newest generation, but since the 40XX series is so fresh, it hasn’t made its way into laptops yet. 

You can hold off on buying a laptop now if you’d like to wait for the newest cards, which should start showing up on laptops within a few months. However, remember that the 30XX cards are also perfectly capable and powerful enough for gaming if that’s something you like to do in your free time!

RAM

For most people, we would recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM. 8GB can be more than enough for most general productivity needs. And in some cases, for example, if you don’t need to run more than two virtual machines, you can probably get by with just 8.

Quite honestly, we’d still say that 16GB is the recommended minimum for a hacker laptop. After all, even if you don’t need to run more than two VMs now, that doesn’t mean you won’t later on. If you ever need to run a virtual penetration testing lab with many more VMs, 8GB won’t cut it. Plus, you’ll want the extra RAM for some headroom for multitasking.

Do you need more than 16GB? If you need to run five or more VMs at a time, then yes — consider 32GB of RAM. 64GB will probably be overkill for most, but if you have the money to spare, you can never truly have enough RAM!

Operating System

The vast majority of laptops in our list of recommendations below use the Microsoft Windows (10 or 11) operating system. 

The operating system you choose for your machine doesn’t necessarily matter as much because you can always set up a virtual machine running Kali Linux. It’s simply much more convenient to use Windows machines because you won’t need to worry too much about software compatibility and the like, though if you’re willing to deal with having to find some workarounds once in a while, you can just choose the OS you prefer! 

Storage

For once, you won’t have to worry too much about storage space. Hackers’ laptop specs don’t really require that much storage. In fact, you can probably get by on as little as 128GB — though that’ll only allow you enough space for your hacking activities. If you also intend to use your hacking laptop as a personal machine, we’d recommend at least 512GB to 1TB. You can always invest in cloud storage or external drives if you run out of storage.

What about hard disk drives vs. solid-state drives?

Today, the best option for any computer is an SSD. SSDs are faster, silent, and far less delicate than mechanical hard disks. They used to be much more expensive, which is why HDDs stuck around for a while. Nowadays, SSDs are far more affordable, so there's really no reason to buy HDDs. Most laptops nowadays use SSDs.

Display and Screen Size

Displays are another thing that don’t necessarily matter much to hackers. Thus, besides recommending a minimum of FHD 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels), we leave the rest up to your discretion. Choose whether you prefer a touchscreen or if you want a higher-resolution display.

As for screen size, we recommend choosing a size that will allow you to balance screen real estate and portability. The most popular sizes are 13”, 14”, 15”, and 17”.

Connectivity

One thing that is important in hacking laptops is connectivity. You’ll want a recent wireless (Wi-Fi) card that uses the latest wireless protocols, AC 802.11 or AX 802.11. AC 802.11 is Wi-Fi 5, while AX 802.11 is Wi-Fi 6. This is because the recent protocols are more likely to be compatible with older ones, so that you can run pen and vulnerability tests in any protocol.

Ports

For any laptop, we always recommend going for a model with the ports you need. They’re not critically important to have anymore, thanks to cloud storage and wireless…well, everything. But on days you need to connect to a second screen or don’t have a wireless solution handy, you will want those ports. A laptop with few ports isn’t bad, but you’ll have to make some compromises — in other words, you’ll need dongles and USB hubs.

Battery

If you know you’ll be bringing your laptop with you everywhere, then you’ll definitely need to choose one with enough battery life to last you through what you need to do each day. It’s worth noting, however, that you’ll likely need to carry your laptop charger around with you. Hacking activities can be power-hungry, so even with the best battery life estimates, you may still need to plug in sooner than initially thought. And if your laptop has a discrete GPU, you’ll eat through your battery faster!

Why Trust Hackr.io?

We aim to always provide valuable information to our readers, no matter the subject. We understand the importance of accurate information, especially when it can influence major purchase decisions like choosing a good laptop for hacking.

We understand hardware and software, including as they relate to hacking and penetration testing. We also know how vital it is to have the right tools for the job.

And so whether you’re just starting and enrolling in ethical hacking courses or you’re more experienced and looking to replace an aging machine, we do our best to provide you with helpful information and recommendations.

How We Selected the Best Laptops for Hacking

To come up with our list of recommendations, we first made a massive list of the best computers for hacking. We started narrowing this list by checking specifications, manufacturer reputation, features, and more, including the factors we listed in our buying guide above.

We took additional steps to ensure the laptops above are up to par. Looking beyond our own experiences with some of the machines on this list, we also did a ton of research into which hacker laptop we should include and which we should skip.

We asked several penetration testers and ethical hackers which hacking laptops they thought were best. We surveyed many professionals to see which laptops came up most often. Finally, we looked at reviews and joined forums to see what people’s thoughts were before we finally compiled our final list.

Conclusion

Hackers’ hardware needs vary depending on their intended use. If you don’t need to run any virtual machines, for example, you can get by with a basic laptop — and it doesn’t even need to be powerful! But if you do need to run several VMs, you’ll want a laptop with beefier specs.

No matter your reason for hacking, you’ll need suitable hardware to ensure you can do everything you need painlessly. The best laptop for hacking is one that ticks all the boxes while fitting perfectly into your budget.

We hope our recommendations (and buying guide) have helped you find the best computer for your needs. If you think we missed a laptop that should be on this list, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

Unsure which operating system you want to run on your machine? 

Check out our Windows vs. Linux comparison to help you decide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the MacBook good for hackers?

Yes and no. Intel-based MacBooks (which are now starting to age out) can more easily run other operating systems like Windows and Linux. If you’d rather have one of the newer M1/M2 Apple silicon MacBooks, you can still run different operating systems using Parallels, though you’ll need a $99/year subscription. Even with Parallels, your M1/M2 chip will limit which OS versions you can use (so you’ll likely be stuck with Windows 10/11, and so on). If you don’t need older OS versions, we’d say get the MacBook!

Is it harder to hack a Mac or Windows?

There’s a misconception that Macs are harder to hack or less vulnerable than Windows machines. However, both operating systems are just as “hackable.” You don’t hear as much about Macs getting hacked because malicious hackers get more value from hacking Windows systems as it holds nearly 90% of the computer user market share. In a way, Macs are safer because they aren’t targeted as frequently, but Macs and their users are technically just as vulnerable.

Do hackers need a powerful PC?

You’ll need more computing power if you intend to run password cracking tools and virtual machines. You may even need a discrete GPU to help speed things up. If you’re doing less intensive activities, such as learning how to become an ethical hacker or learning how to hack websites so you can report vulnerabilities, you can probably get by with a low to mid-range machine.

How much RAM do you need for hacking?

Some hackers can get by with as low as 8GB RAM, the bare minimum for laptops and computers these days. You can even run a few basic virtual machines with as little as 8GB. However, if you intend to run multiple resource-hungry VMs, we’d suggest a minimum of 16GB. You can reasonably go to 32GB for more headroom or 64GB if you want more headroom (though this is overkill for many).

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