If we have to talk about an invention that revolutionized the use of television in the 1980s, it was undoubtedly the remote control, which avoided having to get up several times to raise or lower the volume or switch between two channels. at this moment. available in our country.
Of course, if we decided to build an HTPC to connect it to the television in the main room and use it to watch high-quality content or play video games, we will be interested in having the possibility of turning on and shutting down the computer remotely, as is the case with consoles, where they turn on with the push of a button on the control knob.
Today, there are very few consumer electronic devices that do not have their corresponding remote control to control their functions, but above all to start them up or go to sleep, depending on the need at any given time. However, what about being able to turn your computer on or off remotely? Below we show you the two simplest methods that exist for this.
How to turn on the PC remotely via the network
Wake-on-LAN is a feature of wired networks that allows us to turn on or off a device connected to a router with this feature that is connected to our computer through an Ethernet port. This function will allow us to activate or put our PC to sleep through a simple mobile application.
The concept is based on sending the so-called magic packets, which can be transmitted from any program running on a device within the same local network or even from the Internet, and which uses UDP ports 7 and 9 for this task. This is possible because when a PC is in sleep mode, it is not completely powered off and one component that is always on is the network card.
However, they are not recommended for use in business or data-sensitive environments, as sensitive information is added to these packets that are transmitted over the network and can be captured by software capable of sniffing them. . So you need to make sure that you have a well-protected network even if you are in a home environment with the function of turning the PC on or off remotely.
Does my PC support it? How to activate it?
You have as easy as accessing your computer’s BIOS to find out if your PC supports Wake-On-LAN by looking for the option in the BIOS where you can find it, so you’ll need to browse to find the option, if you can’t find it, it means your PC doesn’t support this feature.
Remember that each manufacturer’s BIOS layout is different and therefore you will have to search a bit until you find the feature to be able to activate it. This is a preliminary step to be able to activate it from the operating system.
How to enable Wake-On-LAN from Windows
If you don’t want to enter the BIOS and use the Windows operating system, just select reactivate Magic Packet in the advanced properties panel of our Network adapter. This option is the most suitable because today all motherboards support Wake-On-LAN.
The last thing to do to get everything enabled is without leaving the properties of the network card, go to the power management tab and check the corresponding boxes. As seen in the picture above these lines.
Apps for Android or iPhone
To turn your computer on or off from your mobile, you can use apps such as Wake On LAN in Google Play or Wake Me Up in the App Store if you are an iPhone user. With this, you can easily turn the mobile on or off comfortably from the sofa.
Unfortunately, this method will only allow you to control the switching on or off of your PC and you will not be able to control other parameters such as the volume or even navigate between the menus of the different applications. You will therefore need to have a separate wireless keyboard and mouse to perform these tasks. However, there is a more elegant solution that will allow you to enjoy the content stored on your HTPC more comfortably.
A TV remote control to turn on your PC remotely
A simpler option to be able to remotely control the ignition of your PC is the use of Flirc USB. It is a small USB key with an infrared sensor on the back. This allows us to use a standard remote to control our computer and is ideal for an HTPC placed in our living room as a Media Center.
It is the easiest option to use and will allow you to take advantage of that remote control in a drawer of your old video player or plasma television that you forgot and give it new life to control what is happening in your PC. converted to media center.
Its only drawback compared to the previous option is that you will have to buy the device separately and have a remote control. So if it is the easiest to use, it is also the most inaccessible of the two. Although you should take this into consideration if your router or PC does not support Wake-On-LAN as a method to turn on your PC remotely.