WoL (Wake on Lan)

WoL is useful for remote computers that perform specific tasks that do not require users. It can also be used for remote maintenance: if you shut down your computer and the technician needs access to it with WoL they can start it up, do their maintenance, then shut it down.

There is the problem of getting it to work, however. With the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft added a “Fast User Switching” feature. With this introduction came a system to completely shut down your computer without any monitoring. Imagine you turn off your TV then the remote will not turn it back on because it turned off even the circuit that monitors that. With “Fast User Switching” Windows does exactly that. You will need to go the power settings under “what the computer does when you press the power button” to turn off this feature.

Another problem with some computers that is not Windows related, but essentially does the same thing, is in the BIOS you can tell the computer to go into a very deep sleep. This effectively does the same thing but at the machine level. You will need to go into the BIOS and turn this off or to a less deep sleep. While you are there you will also need to turn on the network adaptors WoL feature.

You can find several good programs on the internet that will wake up a computer and some with timers that will turn them on and off on a schedule.