How to build Network Hacking Or Penetration Testing Lab . (Hardware Requirements)

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   In this post, I'm going to share on how to build network hacking or penetration testing lab for free. This post can be used as a guideline for a beginner who wants to explore the world of network security .

   In the last decade,network hacking or  penetration testing would cost you considerable amount of money and time  to prepare and set up the networking lab.All of this change after the advancement of  virtualization technology that make penetration testing possible from a single laptop!! . How cool is that??

  In Computing, Virtualization refers to the act of creating  virtual hardware platform, operating system,storage devices and network  resources. Software such as Virtualbox or VMware allow Virtual Machine (VM) to emulate a particular computer system and run a network virtually . 

  To cut the story short, I will share in this tutorial and my up and coming tutorial how to set the network hacking lab practically and more hands on stuff. In order to run a successful virtual penetration testing lab, you need to have the right  hardware and system requirement. You can use below details as a guide to buy your new hacking laptop .

System Hardware Requirements .

1) Random Access Memory (RAM) .
2) CPU or Processor .
3) Hard Drive .

1) Random Access Memory (RAM) .

  RAM is the most important part to build a successful hacking lab . Running multiple system on your host will require your system to utilize  a big chunks of the system memory. To put in perspective, Below I give a simple example  on what you should expect when buying a laptop to run a successful hacking lab.
My Ubuntu System Default Memory Usage

Windows/Linux/Mac OS X "Host" Minimal Memory Requirement's
          2 GB or more

Kali Linux  "Guest " Minimal Memory Requirement's
          512 MB/1 GB or more

Metasploitable  "Guest " Minimal Memory Requirement's
        256 MB/512 MB or more

Windows "Guest " Minimal Memory Requirement's
        512 MB or more
My Ubuntu System Memory Usage On Running Kali Linux,CentOS and Windows In Virtualbox
I would suggest you to use a system with at least 8 GB of RAM .

2) CPU or Processor .

   Virtualbox/VMware both support  Intel and AMD processor. You can get anything  from either company. Just remember that when you run multiple system in Virtualbox, the processor speed will be divided among the virtual machine .Thus the faster it is, the better it will be .
I personally suggest something that runs on Intel i7 with 2.20 GHz at least  .

3) Hard Drive .

  For the hard drive size, you will be using the Host to run multiple Operating System (OS) and each OS will consume your system space.On top of that, during  your course of exploring the network, you might want to clone the guest machine to do testing. 

  The minimum size for the hard drive I would suggest to be around 40 GB . Storage size although is a big part for the hardware requirements in running a successful hacking lab,  I would say that it is the least important as compared to RAM and CPU requirements . 

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