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Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is an Ethernet computer networking standard that allows a computer to be turned on or woken up by a network message. The message is usually sent by a program executed on another computer on the same local area network. Equivalent terms include Wake On WAN, Remote Wake-up, Power On By LAN, Power Up By LAN, Resume by LAN, Resume on LAN, Wake Up On LAN.

In case the computer being woken is communicating via Wi-Fi, a supplementary standard called Wake on Wireless LAN (WoWLAN) must be employed.[1].

The WOL and WoWLAN standards are often supplemented by vendors to provide protocol-transparent on-demand services, for example in the Apple Bonjour wake-on-demand feature.[2]


Technical details

System requirements

Wake-on-LAN support is implemented on the motherboard (BIOS) of a computer and the network interface (firmware), and is consequently not dependent on the operating system (and NIC drivers) running on the hardware. Some operating systems can control Wake-on-LAN behaviour via hardware drivers. If the network interface is a plug-in card rather than being integrated into the motherboard, the card may need to be connected to the motherboard by a cable. Motherboards with an embedded Ethernet controller which supports Wake-on-LAN do not need a cable. The power supply must meet ATX 2.01 specifications.

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