Remote access may have so many benefits. If you use remote desktop, remote file access, or other server software, you may leave your computer on at home or work when you leave the house. This uses more power. Instead, you could remotely power on your PC whenever you need to use it. Using can do it using Wake On LAN (WOL).
This takes advantage of Wake-on-LAN. In spite of its name, it is possible to set up Wake-on-LAN so that you can send magic packets that will wake a computer up over the Internet. Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is an Ethernet computer networking standard that allows a shut-down computer to be turned on remotely.
Almost all the recent motherboards have an integrated Ethernet controller that supports this feature. You can enable the Wake-on-LAN feature in the Power Management section of the motherboard’s BIOS. There are two ways of how Wake-on-LAN can work.
The first one is you want to turn on a computer on the same local area network and the second one is you want to turn on a computer in another location through the internet. Wake-on-Lan the target computer is shut down with enough power reserved for the network card to function.
What is Wake on LAN?
Wake on LAN is both a hardware and software solution to allow a computer to be woken up remotely. Much like a modern television set, a computer that is Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI) complaint can be turned on remotely.
Note that while you can currently only turn your television set on from within a certain distance WoL (and our WoL for ASP) allows you to remotely start a computer from anywhere in the world. That is as long as it has an internet connection. Unlike Wake on Modem, which doesn’t require any special software, WoL requires a special software program to send a signal to the network card to make it work.
The Magic Packet is at the heart of Wake on Lan although it is not as magic as would first appear. The basic premise is that a specifically formatted packet send over a network is sent to every network card and identifying features in this packet allow the network card to identify that the magic packet is intended for it. All the other cards, therefore, reject or rather dispose of the packet.
Setup Wake on LAN
For working properly you will have to set up Wake on LAN normally. You will typically find this setting in a computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings. In your settings of your PC, you must ensure that the Wake-On-LAN option is enabled.
If you will not find this option in your BIOS or UEFI. The computer may not support Wake-on-LAN or WoL may always be enabled and have no related options in the BIOS.
You may also have to enable this option from within Windows, Whether three is a Wake on LAN option in your BIOS or not. In your Windows open Windows Device Manager. Then locate your network device in the list. When you find your device then make a right-click. And, then finally select properties. After this click on the Advanced tab. You will see Wake on the magic packet in the list then finally enable it.
Technical Issues aka Problems with Wake on Lan
The Key Stages of Wake on Lan and the Magic Packet
Wake on Lan (WoL) relies on a WoL enabled network card, we currently use Intel Pro 100 cards and a motherboard with a WoL connector. With these items when you power down your computer a small charge remains on the motherboard, enough to power the network card. Your computer is now ready to be woken up.
A “Magic Packet” is sent from our WoL enabled programs, run on another machine or from an internal web server, to the network card which then powers on the computer. Great for starting machines before people get to work. WoL technology can be very beneficial to your business but please remember that this technology relies on many factors to work properly.
Best Ways to Remotely Turn on your Computer from LAN & WAN
Here is how you can turn on a computer on the same local area network using Wake-on-LAN. There are many Wake-On-LAN tools that can be downloaded on the Internet and of course, we always try our best to find the easiest ones to use.
Before using any tool you must know some important terms related to your system.
- MAC Address: Enter the MAC address of the network interface listening for the Wake-On-LAN packet.
- IP Address or Domain Name: Enter your router’s IP address on the Internet or a dynamic DNS address like you.ddns.com.
- Subnet Mask: You’ll also have to enter the appropriate subnet mask for the computer behind the router.
- Port Number: Enter the number of the UDP port you forwarded to the broadcast address.
- Nirsoft WakeMeOnLAN
- Fusion Wakeup on LAN
- Depicus Wake on LAN
- Nyxbull Wake on LAN
- Wake-On-LAN online
- Remote Wakeup
- Depicus Wake On LAN over Internet
It is useful utility from NirSoft that displays a list of computers on the network. And it allows you to switch one or all of them on with the click of a button.
You just need to scan the network by pressing F5 and it will display all the connected computers. It also shows the status as to they are currently working or not. Simply select the computer to wake and click the Wake button or hit F8.
The best part is, the list is saved and will be loaded the next time you start the program. Or you can rescan for new computers or their updated status. The range of IP addresses can be limited via the options.
In some previous, we have discussed Nirsoft tools. You may also know that NirSoft tools also use the command line. So, here you can also use the command line to fulfill the purpose. And a computer can be woken up by either its address, name, MAC address or even the predefined text description you give it.
It is a nice tool for shortcuts and batch files too. Just to mention, you have to run the program in the GUI mode first for the information to get saved to the .cfg file which the command line uses.
It is another free tool. But the best part of the tool is it has the ability to get MAC address from the IP address. If the target computer is off, you can still try the Get MAC button. Because it can search in the cache. As for the password box, you can leave it blank.
When you are trying to enable to remotely turn on your computer using any of the tools. But you are not able to do so then you have to make sure that your computer is Wake-On-LAN ready by checking your BIOS settings. And network adapter properties as well that you can be found on page 2 together with 5 more ways to remotely turn on a computer from LAN/WAN.
First of all, you will found that the tool is able to boot up a computer using Wake-on-LAN over the internet. Subnet Mask entry of the tool may you find very confusing. It somehow modifies the entered IP address to become something else.
Eventually, we came across a simple solution to this issue. Just use the subnet mask and it will send the magic packet to the IP address and MAC Address that you have specified.
How to calculate the subnet-directed broadcast address
1) Convert machine address to binary e.g. 10.208.20.1 = 00001010.11010000.00010100.00000001
2) Convert the Subnet Mask to Binary e.g. 255.255.240.0 = 11111111.11111111.11110000.00000000
3) Invert the Binary Subnet Mask e.g. 11111111.11111111.11110000.00000000 becomes 00000000.00000000.00001111.11111111
4) Or the machine address and the inverted subnet mask e.g. 00001010.11010000.00010100.00000001 Or 00000000.00000000.00001111.11111111 = 00001010.11010000.00011111.11111111 = 10.208.31.255
Nyxbull Wake on LAN
Only the MAC address of the target computer is required for this tool to work on the LAN. To find the MAC address, double click on the network icon located at the tray bar. Go to the Support tab and click on the Details button. The physical address is your MAC address.
Another way is to open up a command prompt and type “arp -a“. The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) command can only display the MAC address of another computer that is turned on. You can’t use it to display your own MAC address.
You must know the external IP address, MAC address and also the Port. The default port for WOL over the Internet is 9. Some use port 7. Enter the correct information, hit the “Wake Up!” button and it’ll send the magic packet to turn on your computer.
You can also set up a schedule to turn the computer on at a specified time and date.
Depicus Wake on LAN over the Internet
An IP directed broadcast is a datagram which is sent to the broadcast address of a subnet to which the sending machine is not directly attached. The directed broadcast is routed through the network as a unicast packet until it arrives at the target subnet, where it is converted into a link-layer broadcast.
Because of the nature of the IP addressing architecture, only the last router in the chain, the one that is connected directly to the target subnet, can conclusively identify a directed broadcast. Directed broadcasts are occasionally used for legitimate purposes, but such use is not common outside the financial services industry.
In a smurf attack, the attacker sends ICMP echo requests from a falsified source address to a directed broadcast address, causing all the hosts on the target subnet to send replies to the falsified source. By sending a continuous stream of such requests, the attacker can create a much larger stream of replies, which can completely inundate the host whose address is being falsified.
If a Cisco interface is configured with the no IP directed-broadcast command, directed broadcasts that would otherwise be “exploded” into link-layer broadcasts at that interface are dropped instead. Note that this means that no IP directed-broadcast must be configured on every interface of every router that might be connected to a target subnet.
It is not sufficient to configure only firewall routers. The no IP directed-broadcast command is the default in Cisco IOS software version 12.0 and later. In earlier versions, the command should be applied to every LAN interface that is not known to forward legitimately directed broadcasts.
If Wake-on-LAN does not work for you, try using Wake on Lan Monitor/Sniffer. You can use this tool to test if the magic packet is reaching your computer or not.
There are some routers that support Dynamic DNS. This is a very useful feature where if your IP address changes, you can still keep track of your current IP address. My Belkin N1 wireless router has this feature and it’s easy to configure. I only need to sign up with DynDNS.org and enter the information in my Belkin router.
You also need to make sure the LAN driver in Windows has the WOL feature enabled. Right-click on (My) Computer -> Manage -> Device Manager -> Network adapters. Double click on your Ethernet controller and look in the Advanced tab for a “Wake on LAN” or “Wake from shutdown” option and make sure it is enabled.
Also, go into the Power Management tab and tick “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”, “Allow this device to wake the computer”, and optionally “Only allow magic packets to wake the computer”.
Also, while the system is switched off, make sure power is still getting to the network adapter by checking to see if the light is on near the connector on the motherboard or card. If not there is no power going to it then other settings may need adjusting. Something else which could stop power getting to the network adapter is a motherboard jumper.
Some ASRock boards have a LAN power-saving jumper which needs shortening for network adapter power to remain on.