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Wake-on-LAN (WoL)

Wake-on-LAN (WoL)

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.

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