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Ever wish you could turn your computer on remotely so it boots up while you’re on your commute home? Or set up a schedule so that all the computers in your office switch themselves on and off so that they’re as energy-friendly as possible An Energy Saving Masterclass For Computer Users An Energy Saving Masterclass For Computer Users About 10% of an average home’s power use is dedicated to computers. That is the average for the United States, however, and is only an average. Users who are computer enthusiasts may find that their... Read More ? You can do all that and more with software that takes advantage of a featured called Wake On LAN.

Wake On LAN (WoL) is a protocol that goes by a host of different names; Power On LAN (PoL), Remote Wake-Up, Resume by LAN. Its actual usage is straightforward: it’s a means of turning on or awakening a computer remotely via a Local Area Network.

The protocol works by sending a packet of information How To Setup Wake On LAN Using The MAC Address How To Setup Wake On LAN Using The MAC Address Read More around your desired network that contains the unique MAC address of the computer that you want to wake up. If a device is Wake On LAN compatible, it’ll be able to receive this packet even when the machine is in low-power mode — once it gets the message, your computer will burst into life. This is where the interesting part begins; many developers have taken this basic functionality and spun it into very useful programs — here are a few of the best on offer.

AquilaTech’s Wake On LAN

Straightforward software to use while you get to grips with Wake On LAN.

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If you’re looking for some basic Wake On LAN software to get started with, this AquilaTech package will likely offer just what you’re looking for. You’ll be able to control Windows machines remotely Remote Control Your PC With These Windows Phone 8 Apps! Remote Control Your PC With These Windows Phone 8 Apps! Do you wish your home computer would fit into your pocket? With Windows Phone 8 it does. These remote desktop apps give you access to your PC wherever you are. Read More , waking them up and shutting them down — even scheduling these processes for a time in the future.

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Aquila Tech’s Wake on LAN allows you to fine tune how and when your computer wakes up. It offers smart features like staggered start-ups to prevent power spikes on large networks. It’s a straightforward, no-nonsense way of testing out whether Wake On LAN can be a useful tool for your network — and it’s free.

WakeOnLan Tool 2

A more advanced tool for experienced users.

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Once you have an idea of what you can do with Wake On LAN, you’ll likely be looking for a program with a broad range of options so you can configure your network in a way that suits your needs. WakeOnLan Tool 2 by Marko Oette can do just that, and it does so with a clean interface that’s free from any needless clutter.

However, while a novice user could probably get up to speed with this software quite quickly, it’s clear that it has been designed with advanced and expert users in mind. This is a program for people who want to go beyond simply switching their machine on and off from afar. To that end, remote desktop software like VNC VNC Viewer: Control a Remote Computer From Your Chrome Browser VNC Viewer: Control a Remote Computer From Your Chrome Browser Read More and terminal utilities like MSTSC and PuTTY can be set up and controlled from within the program.

AMP WinOFF

An intuitive program that can help save power as you download.

amp-winoff

Looking for more practical applications of Wake On LAN technology? Here is a tool to automatically power off your computer when it completes a download Automatically Shut Down Your Computer After Downloading Has Completed [Windows] Automatically Shut Down Your Computer After Downloading Has Completed [Windows] Leaving your computer on to download files can be a smart move, but what happens when the download completes? Your computer will stay powered on, doing nothing but wasting electricity and costing you some money.... Read More .

With AMP WiinOFF can set up a protocol that identifies when download activity on your network ceases — meaning that your download has finished — and instruct your machine to power off automatically. Even better, you can combine this with other conditions; for instance, should you only want this to occur at the end of the day, you can stipulate that the rule is only in effect between certain hours.

TeamViewer

Comprehensive software well-suited for use in a working environment.

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For a Wake On LAN program that can really claim to be an all-in-one package, you’d be hard pushed to find anything quite as capable as TeamViewer 11 Tips For Using Team Viewer - The Best Free Remote Desktop Connection Manager 11 Tips For Using Team Viewer - The Best Free Remote Desktop Connection Manager Whenever you're in need of a free remote desktop client with advanced features, TeamViewer should be your first choice. Let us highlight its unique features. Read More . All the basic functionality that you would expect is here — turning computers on and off, controlling your desktop remotely — but it’s backed up by features that really put you in full control of your network TeamViewer 9 Beta Launches With Tabs, Notifications, Wake-on-LAN & File Transfer TeamViewer 9 Beta Launches With Tabs, Notifications, Wake-on-LAN & File Transfer TeamViewer, the program that turns you into a remote support superhero, has been updated to version 9. When it comes to remote technical assistance, there are few better software choices out there. Read More . You can transfer files, print remotely, and even host online presentations and meetings.

This might sound like an overwhelming amount of control, but the way that it’s presented to you ensures that you never feel swamped. That’s part of the appeal of this particular package; it’s all assembled in a way that’s very clear and accessible. Team Viewer is ideal for an office environment What Does Your Workspace Say About You? What Does Your Workspace Say About You? Do you prefer to work in a plain space, or do you prefer to keep your desk full? Turns out, what you have on and around your workspace can say a lot about you. Read More , because it gives you the control that’s required to look after a large quantity of machines, but presents it in a manner that anyone can quickly become familiar with.

VoiceWake Lite

Powerful Wake On LAN tool for your Windows Phone.

VoiceWake

Wake On LAN has plenty of applications in a working environment, but it can be just as handy as a means of controlling your own personal computer as it is when you’re looking after every machine in the office — especially when you can use your phone to do so. VoiceWake does just that, allowing you to start up your computer remotely via a slick smartphone interface.

You’ll need to be running Windows Phone 8.1 5 Cool Things You Can Now Do With Windows Phone 8.1 5 Cool Things You Can Now Do With Windows Phone 8.1 Windows Phone 8.1 offers new tools to help manage your digital and offline life. Get the most out of Windows Phone with our tips. Read More to take advantage of this, because one of the major features of VoiceWake is its Cortana integration How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More . Simply set up Wake On LAN on the desired computer and make sure you have forwarded the points on your router as the software stipulates, then it’s as easy as verbally telling your phone to shut down your machine — and it’s off. It’s simple stuff, but it puts you in control no matter how far from your rig you happen to be.

What uses for Wake On LAN have you found particularly beneficial? Are there any programs or pieces of software that we have omitted? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Remote control Via Shutterstock

  1. Jeff
    November 28, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I'm guessing there is no way to wake up or power your PC via Wifi? I live in an old house (I'm a renter) and the way the router is set up, there's no way to connect my PC through ethernet unless I drill some holes in the walls and buy a 50 meter ethernet cable.

    • Paul
      December 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      @Jeff, they make several relatively cheap wifi adapters for PC's, some even as simple as a USB dongle. Check into those and you could have your PC wireless in no time.

    • Jeff
      December 6, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      @Paul, I do have a Wireless adapter and have wifi on my PC. This article mentions that Wake on LAN requires my PC to be plugged in via ethernet as opposed to wifi and you are simply telling the router to wake your computer up.
      Looking for Wake on LAN via wifi solutions. Thanks though.

    • Greg
      January 26, 2015 at 1:55 am

      Typically wifi is off when pc is off, but wired is listening. Maybe with a wifi to ethernet adapter but not certain

  2. NSilvio
    November 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    + Alternitive way is LiteManager for remote control PC how you want it.

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