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When I am traveling I would like the ability to remote into my home computer from my laptop rather than transfer all of my tools/data to my laptop. However I don't want to leave my home computer on 24/7 while I am gone (also there is risk of a power failure turning it off).

Is there any simple/cheap technology like wake-on-lan that will let me remotely power up my home computer and login ?

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Great question. I'm also interested in any simple/general purpose solutions to this problem. Feel kinda bad not using any sort of power management on my home/work machines. –  Luke May 7 '09 at 18:25
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I think you gave yourself the answer... wake-on-lan. –  MikeyB May 7 '09 at 18:27
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Just note that with some hardware combinations, wake-on-lan simply does not work all of the time. And I've seen it fail per-boot session. That means sometimes when I turn my computer off, it will never wake-on-lan until I manually turn it on again, and turn it off. –  Neil May 7 '09 at 19:04
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closed as off topic by Sam Jan 19 '12 at 12:01

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7 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

This web site has excellent information. Essentially you will want to leave your router on and enable Wake On LAN in your computer's BIOS or network card settings. Put both the router and the computer on a battery backup to mitigate any minor power issues to keep them running. Ensure the router is configured to forward packets to the internal IP of your computer through NAT routing so the WOL packets can find your computer. Also be sure to forward the appropriate ports for remote desktop, ssh, etc.

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Something like this, or similar will work. Coding Horror has a post on this same topic. :-) A Google search also renders plenty as well.

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With DD-WRT on your router you can send out a wake-on-lan message. I suspect the same is true with tomato and several other of the open firmwares. I find that it tends to be much more reliable then transmitting the WOL across the Internet. NATs and Firewalls sometimes get in the way of a WOL sent from some random wifi hotspot.

Another option is to forward some port and then use a site like http://www.wakeonlan.me/. You can be pretty sure that they have made sure that their WOL packets get out.

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Call your wife and ask her to turn on your computer.

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I like it, however Im sure many people will fall under the 'lacks required equipment' category. –  Sam152 May 8 '09 at 5:05
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Draytek routers have a WOL feature also, this allows you to send a WOL packet to your sleeping PC.

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As an alternative to DD-WRT firmware, is the Tomato firmware. This guide mentions the wake on LAN capabilities and how it compares with DD-WRT.

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