WOL Tutorial

What is Wake-on-LAN (WOL)?

Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is an Ethernet computer networking standard that allows a computer to be turned on or woken up by a network message.

Wake-on-LAN is implemented using a special network message called a magic packet.

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How does Wake-on-LAN (WOL) work?

Wake-on-LAN is implemented using a special network message called a magic packet. The magic packet contains the MAC address of the destination computer. The listening computer waits for a magic packet addressed to it and then initiates system wake-up.

 

Wake-on-LAN (WOL) requirements

Wake-on-LAN usually needs to be enabled in the Power Management section of a PC motherboard's BIOS setup utility, although on some systems it is enabled by default. On older systems the bios setting may be referred to as "WOL", on newer systems supporting PCI version 2.2, it may be referred to as "PME" (Power Management Events, which include WOL). It may also be necessary to configure the computer to reserve standby power for the network card when the system is shut down.

In addition, in order to get Wake-on-LAN to work it is sometimes required to enable this feature on the network interface card or on-board silicon. Details of how to do this depend upon the operating system and the device driver.\n\nLaptops powered by the Intel Centrino Processor Technology or newer (with explicit BIOS support) allow waking up the machine using wireless Wake on Wireless LAN (WoWLAN).

If you use a router you need to set it to forward all broadcast traffic from some port (9 by default) on your PC.

 

Limitations

Wake-on-LAN (WOL) should always work when used from a Local Access Network (LAN), as long as the router/firewall does not prevent broadcast packets. Wake-on-LAN over the Internet is limited by the capability of your routers to support subnet directed broadcasts.

Due to Android security limitations, the ping functionality is usually implemented as TCP Echo Request instead of ICMP Echo Request. This means that it is not handled at the network interface level but by the target Operative System. Some routers/firewalls may disable TCP Echo Request even from within the internal network, effectively preventing the implementation of the application ping feature.