Wake-on-LAN (WoL) definition
Wake-on-LAN (WoL) refers to a feature that allows a computer to be turned on remotely through a network connection. WoL is available on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux computers, servers, and NAS devices.
See also: remote desktop
How does wake-on-LAN work
- The user configures the target device to support WoL in the BIOS settings and the network adapter settings.
- The user sends a magic packet to the target device, a specially formatted network message that contains the MAC address of the target device.
- The magic packet is sent over the network to the network adapter of the target device.
- The network adapter checks the incoming network traffic for the magic packet.
- If the magic packet is detected and matches the MAC address of the network adapter, the network adapter wakes up the target device from a low-power state or a powered-off state.
- The target device boots up and becomes available on the network.
Benefits of wake-on-LAN
- Reduced energy consumption. WoL allows a computer to be turned on only when it is needed, reducing energy consumption and lowering operating costs.
- Remote access. WoL allows a computer to be accessed remotely, even if it is not physically accessible at the time of access. This can be useful in situations where a computer needs to be accessed for maintenance or troubleshooting.
- Centralized management. WoL can be used in combination with other network management tools to provide centralized management of a network of computers.