Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is an Ethernet computer networking standard that allows a shut-down computer to be turned on remotely. Most recent motherboards that 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.
This is how Wake-on-LAN works; the target computer is shut down with enough power reserved for the network card to function. The network card listens for a specific packet called the “Magic Packet”. The listening computer receives this packet, checks it for the correct information, and then boots if the Magic Packet is valid. A magic packet is data consisting of “FF FF FF FF FF FF” followed by 16 repetitions of the listening network device’s MAC address.
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.
1. Nirsoft WakeMeOnLan
WakeMeOnLan is a useful little utility from NirSoft that displays a list of computers on the network and allows you to switch one or all of them on with the click of a button.
All you need to do is scan the network by pressing F5 and it will display all connected computers and the status as to whether they’re currently on or off. Simply select the computer to wake and click the Wake button or hit F8. The good thing 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.
As with many NirSoft tools, WakeMeOnLan can be used via the command line and a computer can be woken up by either it’s address, name , MAC address or even the predefined text description you give it. For example, to wake a computer using it’s MAC address:
WakeMeOnLan.exe /wakeup 40-48-81-A7-34-27
Or, to wake a system using it’s IP:
WakeMeOnLan.exe /wakeup 192.168.1.7
Great for shortcuts or 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.
2. Nyxbull Wake on LAN
Only the MAC address of the target computer is required for this tool to work on the LAN. To find MAC address, double click on the network icon located at tray bar, go to Support tab and click on Details button. The physical address is your MAC address. It is in 00-11-22-33-44 format.
Another way is to open up command prompt and type “arp -a“. The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) command can only display MAC address of other computer that is turned on. You can’t use it to display your own MAC address.
3. FUSION WakeUp on Lan
Another Free utility. What I really like about this tool is it has the ability to get MAC address from 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.
Important Note: If you’re unable to remotely turn on your computer using any of the tools listed above, you need to make sure that your computer is Wake-On-LAN ready by checking your BIOS settings and network adapter properties which can be found on page 2 together with 5 more ways to remotely turn on a computer from LAN/WAN.