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Wake-on-LAN over internet is all but impossible

I have a new MacBook Pro that I want to be able to log into through ssh or vnc, but no matter what combination of things I try nothing seems to work. Even tried LogMeIn

How do I set-up my MacBook so that I can remote into it, even if it's asleep

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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 4 '11 at 9:49

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

marked as duplicate by grawity, Diago Jan 4 '11 at 15:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
I don't believe Wake-On-LAN works unless you are on the same physical segment. –  user3463 Jan 4 '11 at 5:00
    
There's supposed to be ways to set up your router to forward the magic packet. I just can't get it to work –  JoeCortopassi Jan 4 '11 at 5:05
    
I think DD-WRT has the capability to send a wake-on-lan magic packet to a remembered client, probably wired only. –  SpacemanSpiff Jan 4 '11 at 6:01
2  
It would be nice to know in detail what combination of things you've tried. –  Wesley Jan 4 '11 at 6:09
    
Please don't cross-post. –  Dennis Williamson Jan 4 '11 at 7:13

4 Answers 4

Wake on LAN works on layer 2 (MAC addresses). For anything to work on the internet, it needs to operate on layer 3 (IP addresses). You're out of luck. Set it to never sleep or remote into another computer that's on the same network as the mac in order to wake it up.

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It's possible to get WOL to work over the internet. However, does WOL even work on the LAN? Check a few things:

  • Is WOL enabled in the network card's settings?
  • Does WOL need to be enabled in the laptop's firmware?
  • Is your laptop's software firewall blocking WOL packets?

If it works on the LAN, you're well on your way. You now need to have a router and forward the WOL traffic to the internal PC in question. Perhaps give the internal PC a static IP or a DHCP reservation so it never changes and the forwarding rule is always valid.

You can then use either this Windows based app or this web based app to wake your MacBook up remotely. There are a few other apps available to do the same thing, but you can search for those on your own.

At what point does this process break down for your?

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The main issue with WOL over the net is that the router/gateway at his house (or whatever the last hop is) needs to know that if it can't ARP the MAC of the destination computer that it should simply broadcast the packet. Some routers this can be fairly easily configured; in every SOHO COTS router I've seen it's impossible. –  Chris S Jan 4 '11 at 14:39

pfsense and openwrt have WOL feature also.

But, generally, you have to have an active device (running all the time) in front of the MacBook. Add a router with WOL feature or linux shell that can be used to send the magic packet inside your network.

I have used this method a while ago.

HTH

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Wake on Lan does work over the internet, you just need to set your router to forward subnet directed broadcasts to your lan.

So in your routers firewall add a rule to forward data from UDP port (say) 7 to the internal networks broadcast address

i.e. if your internal ip is 192.168.1.8 and subnet 255.255.255.0 then your broadcast address would be 192.168.1.255.

Then it's just like being on your local network.

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