English: Intel Pro/1000 GT Gigabit Ethernet PCI Network card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you’re on a Gigabit LAN (Local Area Network), then you can do so many things that sometimes the extra efforts seem to be so redundant, but that is the whole idea!!! For an instance, on my Gigabit LAN, I had installed Fedora 16 virtual machine (VirtualBox type) onto FreeNAS box (my home Network Attached Storage server), but accessing this virtual machine from my other home computers. This way, I can centralize whatever virtual machines I have had in one location, and yet I’m able to access these virtual machines anywhere (i.e., any local computer which has VirtualBox installed). To run a virtual machine on FreeNAS box, I set up iSCSI and installed a virtual machine (using VirtualBox) on iSCSI drive (iSCSI ZFS dataset volume).
I wonder… what happen if two local computers access the same virtual machine at the same time? Probably something bad might happen. I don’t think there will be a problem for two local computers access the same virtual machine at different time. Nonetheless, why don’t you try this out and let me know, OK?
Other examples of how I have used a Gigabit LAN are doing backups for Windows 7, Macs, and other computers to FreeNAS box (e.g., CIFS, AFP). Without a Gigabit LAN, doing the many things I had mentioned previously would be tedious and slow. A Gigabit LAN pushes data ten to 40 times faster (at least that is how I feel) than slower types of LAN.
Getting Gigabit LAN going for your home isn’t hard at all! The requirements are, CAT6 cable, a Gigabit NIC (Network Interface Card), and a Gigabit router. That’s all you really need for having a Gigabit LAN going. I wish I can say more as if I’m very sophisticated, but there isn’t much more to say of how getting a Gigabit LAN going.
Nowadays, CAT6 cable isn’t expensive anymore. For an example, I looked on Amazon and saw a 50 feet CAT6 cable costed only $3.45. The same inexpensive story goes for Gigabit NIC. I saw a PCI-E Gigabit NIC priced around $32 on Amazon. Gigabit router is probably the most expensive item you have to get before you can have a Gigabit LAN going. I saw a Gigabit wireless router priced around $72 on Amazon, but few reviewers said this router had overheating problem. You definitely need to get a good Gigabit router which has few problems or else you might not get even close to the advertised Gigabit speed.
Feeling the urge to wake up your computer in office or at home remotely so you can either begin to do a remote desktop or transferring of files or whatever? Most modern operating systems and network cards and BIOS(s) will allow you to do this, but in this very blog post I’m going to show you how to do this specifically for Windows 7 operating system. Let not beat around the bush any further, because it’ll be awesome if you can get this to work as soon as possible, right? So check out the instruction right after the break.
- Some modern BIOS(s) (Basic Input / Output System) might allow you to enable Wake On LAN (or Remote Wake Up) manually or was enabled by default, but some BIOS(s) might be strict and disallowed users to disable Wake On LAN (or Remote Wake Up), consequently strict BIOS(s) might not even present an option where you can configure Wake On LAN feature within the BIOS. Every motherboard is different, therefore you might have to check with the motherboard’s manufacturer or just jump right into the BIOS and search for something similar to Wake On LAN or Remote Wake Up and so on. When you find this feature is enabled by default, you can safely exit the BIOS fast, but if it’s listing as disabled… you have to enable this feature within the BIOS before we can begin to enable subsequent features that are relating to Wake On LAN inside Windows 7 operating system. In the case you can’t really find this feature available within the BIOS, you can either check your motherboard’s manual or contact the manufacturer of the motherboard for the insight. Some people might be too lazy to contact their motherboards’ manufacturers, therefore they might cross their fingers and just go ahead enabling the subsequent Wake On LAN’s related features that are to be found inside Windows 7. Skipping step #1 might work if one has a very modern motherboard, but this isn’t always the case, I think.
- After exit the BIOS, you need to boot up Windows 7! Done boot up Windows 7?
- Let us right click on Computer and choose Manage
- Inside Computer Management window, choose Device manager on the left panel
- Expand the Network adapters and highlight your Ethernet network card — make sure it’s the one that is being used to connect the computer to LAN/WAN. (From my reading on various sources, wireless network card will not work with Wake On LAN — you can prove this wrong if you dare to try otherwise!)
- Right click on the Ethernet network card you highlighted above and choose Properties
- Choose Advanced tab
- Make sure you choose anything that is resembled Wake Up (something) and WOL (something). Try to either enable or pick the most appropriate values from the Value boxes for these elements. Of course, the appropriate values have to make sense in a way that the values somehow allow you to wake up your computer through a magic packet later.
- Now, choose the Power Management tab
- Make sure you check all boxes within the Power Management tab, especially the one that labels as Only allow a magic packet to wake the computer.
- Click OK button at the bottom to exit the configuration window of the Ethernet network card.
- Let us now enabling Simple TCPIP Services!
- Go to Control Panel
- Go to Programs
- Go to Turn Windows features on or off
- Scroll down till you see Simple TCPIP Services (i.e., echo, daytime etc) and enabling it by check the box next to this label
- Click OK button to exit Windows Features window
- Let us now start Simple TCPIP Services and make sure it will start automatically whenever Windows 7 boots up
- Right click on Computer
- Choose Manage
- On the left panel of the Computer Management window, expand Services and Applications
- Highlight Services
- On the right panel of the Compter Management window, you’ll see bunch of services, highlight Simple TCP/IP Services and right click on it and choose Properties
- Inside Simple TCP/IP Services Properties (Local Computer) window and under General tab, click Start button to start this service and make sure you choose Startup type as Automatic. Click OK to exit this window.
- The source link I’ve used to write this very blog post suggests that you should open up port 9 of UDP port type for Windows firewall so Wake On LAN can work correctly, but you can ignore this advice if you don’t use Windows firewall. Some people can skip this step #5 just fine when they use third party firewalls such as Norton’s firewall.
- I’m not recommending you to wake up your computer from the Internet for security reason, but sometimes you have to wake up your computer from the Internet so you can work with your computer from afar. So, in order for you to be able to wake up your computer from the Internet, you must do a port forwarding for port 9 of UDP type to a local computer which has had Wake On LAN enabled. How do you know which local computer to wake up?
- First of all, you need to know the IP address of your network from the outside looking in, and to find this out you can just open up a web browser and go to Google and type in the search phrase/terms of [what's my ip address] — don’t use the square brackets in the Google search box. Few top links within Google search result page might be able to help you figure out your Internet IP address for your network. You need this Internet IP address of your network to be able to send a magic packet to your very network (i.e., from Internet to WAN interface and usually this means a router’s Internet IP address or an ISP’s modem/router Internet IP address). Don’t confuse the Internet IP address with local IP address for each computer that resides within your local area network, OK? Local IP addresses are usually starting out with 192.168.x.x or 172.16.x.x or 10.x.x.x. So, your network’s Internet IP address should not start with those values/number-sets that represent the local IP addresses, OK?
- Whatever Wake On LAN application or tool or utility you use to either remotely wake up your computer from the Internet or local area network, these tools might want you to enter the local IP address and MAC address of the Ethernet network card of the computer you want to wake up. How to find these information? If you have an iPhone, you can use an app which is known as Fing to discover your local network from within (i.e., by connecting your iPhone to a local area network first and then use Fing). Otherwise, you can also use command prompt utility which comes with Windows 7 by default (inside this command prompt utility, you need to type in the command ipconfig /all and look for the local IP address and MAC address of the Ethernet network card).
- Now, we need to test to see if your computer will be able to wake up by a magic packet.
- You need to put your Windows 7 computer to sleep now!
- Unfortunately, iPhone Fing app’s Wake On LAN feature doesn’t work for me and so I’m not sure you should use Fing to wake up your computer or not, but you can always use iPhone Mocha WOL app to wake up your computer. iPhone Mocha WOL app works for me! You might also need to restart your Windows 7 computer at least once before testing out to see if your computer can be wake up by a magic packet through the usage of iPhone Mocha WOL app or whatever Wake On LAN utility/tool. Unfortunately, I don’t know any tool or application that isn’t iPhone app which can help you test the Wake On LAN feature for your computer. Nonetheless, you might want to Google to see what tool there is available for the device you want to use to wake up your local computers with Wake On LAN feature.
For your information, turning off NetBIOS will not affect Wake On LAN feature. I’d my netBIOS disabled, and Wake On LAN feature worked for me anyway!