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What is Wake-on-LAN?
Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is a feature that enables users to wake their offline computers that are in sleep mode (Windows & Mac) or powered-off mode (Windows) while they are plugged to a power source.
How does it work?
A specially formatted package of information (known as a “Magic Packet”) is sent to the network interface card of the computer that is to be turned on or woken up. The Network Interface Card (NIC) is a piece of hardware on a computer that is responsible for handling its Internet connections. The idea is that even if a computer is turned off or in sleep mode, the NIC card may still be active. The NIC card can then tell the rest of the computer to wake up or power on when it receives the specially formatted Magic Packet. Keep in mind that the computer must be plugged in for the NIC card to have power. If the computer is a laptop, it must be plugged in (i.e., not running on battery power alone) in order for Wake-on-LAN to work.
Does it work for Windows and Mac?
Yes. You can wake up a sleeping Windows or Mac computer with Wake-on-LAN. You can also turn on a powered-off Windows computer remotely (however, this will not work for Mac computers).
What setup is required for Wake-on-LAN?
You need to have a computer send the Magic Packet to wake up the computer that is powered off or asleep. The computer that you want to wake up needs to have its Network Interface Card (NIC) card configured accurately in order to be able wake up the computer successfully. Windows users will need to configure the driver for their NIC card to allow Wake-on-LAN and Mac users will need to configure their energy saver settings to allow this.
Windows users may need to do some additional configuration to get Wake on LAN to work. Some of the settings for the NIC card are not managed in Windows, but are managed in the computer’s Basic Input Output System (BIOS). The BIOS controls some hardware settings for the computer before the Windows operating system loads. When you first turn on the computer, you will see a screen that will display information from your computer’s manufacturer before the Windows loading screen appears. Pressing a certain key can allow you to get to the BIOS from this screen. In the BIOS, the settings for the NIC card and other power management settings can be configured to allow for Wake-on-LAN. The key to press to enter the BIOS as well as the BIOS settings that may need to be configured will vary based on your computer manufacturer and computer model. Consult your computer’s manual for additional details.
How does GoToMyPC help with the Wake-on-LAN feature?
GoToMyPC will install the software that sends the Magic Packet that can either wake up or power on a computer. This software will run in the background of your computer when installed and it will be able to send wake up requests to other computers in the same network.
Do I need a server to install GoToMyPC Wake-on-LAN server software?
No. You can install the Wake-on-LAN server software on a desktop or a laptop. You will receive wake up requests from the computer you install the GoToMyPC Wake-on-LAN server software so this computer needs to be kept ON at all times. It cannot be powered-off or kept in sleep or standby mode.
Can I set up multiple Wake-on-LAN servers?
Yes. You will need to setup a Wake-on-LAN server for each network that has a host computer in it that you want to wake up.
Can the wake up request come from any computer?
No. In order for Wake-on-LAN to work, there has to be a Wake-on-LAN server in the same network as the computer you want to set up.
Does setting up a Wake-on-LAN server use up a license (i.e., do you pay for each server)?
No. You can install as many Wake-on-LAN servers as you like with no additional cost.
Can you make a computer a “Wake-on-LAN server”, even if it’s already been setup as the host computer?
Yes. The Wake-on-LAN server software operates independently of the GoToMyPC host software. It is a program that runs separately and is installed or uninstalled separately from GoToMyPC.
Can you set up a Mac computer as a Wake-on-LAN server?
No. Currently, only a Windows computer may be setup as a Wake-on-LAN server.