Connecting to your office PC remotely via VPN? You need not keep it ON all the time! Save Power!

If you work from home and connect to your office PC via VPN, but keep it turned on when you leave for home, so that you'll be able to connect to it from home, then think again! You can save so much of Power by turning it off, and on remotely, from your home!

I occasionally work from home over VPN (and do remote desktop to my office PC).

For saving power, I was wondering if I fully turn off my office PC, can I turn it on from my home easily, whenever I need? I had heard of something called Wake-up on LAN, but never used it until today, and it worked very well for me, so wanted to share it across, in order for us to help save Power consumption!

Wake-up on LAN is a BIOS feature available available on most of the modern hardware. If you enable this feature, basically, the NIC card doesn't fully turn off itself. And when it receives a special network packet, it sends a request to BIOS to turn on the PC. By default, this feature is turned-off for security reasons.

I found this feature to be available on my office Dell Desktop(3-4 years old), and enabled it. On your home PC, all you need is a small utility to send that "special packet" to the office PC to turn it on (from fully power down state). Of course, you need to know your office PC's MAC address, IP Address and netmask.

Step-1: Go to your office PC's BIOS settings and enable the Wake-up on LAN feature. (this is typically there in Power Management menu). This typically asks you whether you need wake up from standby support or from full power down state. This may vary across BIOS versions and vendors. The one I've supports both and I selected Wake up from full-turn-off state. Of course, don't forget to save your BIOS settings.
Step-2: Note down your Office PC's MAC Address, IP Address and Netmask. (you can find out using the command: ipconfig /all)
Step-3: Turn off your office machine
Step-4: Turn on your Home PC and connect to your VPN which you generally use to connect to office/Client network on which your office PC is.
Step-5: Download a small utility called WolCmd ( to send the "Wake Up" packet to your office PC. Extract only the exe file, without folder directly to your Windows directory (typically, c:\windows) so that it is there in PATH

Step-6: launch your command prompt and just run this command: (all these of your office PC)

Port no should be entered as 8900
(note that there should not be any spaces or any special characters when you enter your MAC Address)

Please see the link:
Once this works, you can always add this command to a bat file, and just run the bat file everytime!

Step-7: Wait for sometime: typically the time it takes to boot your office PC. Then try pinging to your office PC as:


If you see a reply, it means your office PC just started!! After that you'll need to wait further until windows starts. Now you can do what you want with you office PC, like connecting via Remote Desktop.

Note: to shutdown your office PC from Remote Desktop, you'll need to shutdown via the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del will give you access to Local PC's task manager, or security screen, not of remote system. So for that, Right-click on taskbar of remote system and click on task-manager. Go to the Shutdown Menu and choose Turn-off or stand-by, whatever you want. The other way of doing it is from command prompt/run dialog: shutdown -s -t 10 (this will wait for 10 seconds before starting shutdown. if u want to do it immediately, make the last argumanet as 0)

Hope this helps to save good amount of power!


Sunil said…
Indeed it is useful information, hope people who remotely log in to PC would use this feature.
Vivek Malewar said…
Lifehacker had covered this a while back too ..
embeddeduser said…
Hey this is a good reminder. Probably we all knew about this but never took the pains to explore it.
Thanks Kundan.

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