Wake-on-LAN (WOL) & Wake-on-Ring (WOR / WOM) Technologies:
Either of which provides for Remote PC Wake-Up. WOL from the Network through the LAN Card and WOR (Wake-on-Ring) from a DialUp Modem (WOM - Wake-on-Modem). This requires Motherboard Bios, EtherNet LAN Card (NIC - Network Interface Card) Hardware and Software (Drivers) to fully implement. To further simplify the transparency of Remote PC Wake-Up Technologies, some LAN (Local Area Network) Cards have the ability to Plug-In a Preprogrammed ROM Chip to execute remote instructions without local User Intervention. These LAN Card ROM Chips can cost more than a new Motherboard. The Term EtherNet LAN Card & NIC's (Network Interface Card) are interchangeable and mean the same thing.
This ability to remotely call a PC, validate the User and allow access was around with us under Windows For Workgroups 3.11, circa 1993 or there about. We found one particular product which performed this task very well. The name of which currently escapes me.
The concern was always Security then as it is now for this type of device. In the early days, certain Remote PC Wake-Up devices utilized a call back system. This implementation was used by some BBS's (Bulletin Board System) to validate Users. Remember those... BBS's? AOL is currently the only BBS still successfully running on a large scale. And you thought you had a direct Internet Connection through them? Guess again!
Wake-on-Ring (WOR) was a big deal until the Internet explosion moved us from DialUp Devices (Modems) into Broadband Connectivity. Most all of the PC Wake-Up Technologies are firmly rooted in Wake-on-LAN (WOL). WOL works for SOHO, Corporate & Consumers or anyone with a PC and a LAN Card utilixing the BootP Protocol. Whereas, Wake-on-Ring was for Dialup (Modems - WOR / WOM) and not considered the future, only the past. If your PC turns On when the Phone rings, this is why.
Remote PC Wake-Up is by no means limited to these (2) Technologies previously mentioned. Currently, ACPI allows other devices besides a LAN Card (WOL) or Modem (WOR / WOM) to cycle a system on / off such as a Mouse (Pointing Device) or Keyboard (Input Device) - Wake On Keyboard / Mouse.
We've provided a few links to help you in your Quest to understand Remote PC Wake-Up.
PC Wake-Up Activation Technologies:
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Web Development, Gill Boyd & Team - Posted 04/29/2001; Updated 04/25/2008