Windows power saving features make it easy for a person to save power when the computer is not in use. Nevertheless I always left these features disabled because I frequently need to access my computer remotely. I also like having my computer perform automated tasks such as backing up files, defragmenting, and running virus scans when I am not using it. This meant I left my computer on 24/7 so it would always be available. Obviously that was not a very efficient solution.

I was able to reduce my power consumption and still maintain availability with a little help from technology! By making use of DD-WRT and my computer's BIOS settings I am now able to access my computer remotely when needed and allow scheduled tasks to run without having to leave my computer on all the time.

I used the open source DD-WRT firmware to set up a wireless bridge between my access point and my PC which is in another room. That allowed me to use Wake On LAN (WOL) to power up my computer remotely. I then changed the settings in my computer's BIOS and in Windows to allow WOL to start my computer from whatever state it was in. Lastly I used a BIOS setting to power my computer on every night at 3AM for scheduled maintenance tasks.

To complete this project you will need:
2 Linksys WRT54GL routers or any other supported router
1 Energy Saving Smart Strip
A couple of short ethernet cables
A few hours
A bit of patience!

Follow along to see how it was done!

Step 1: Setting Up the Wireless Bridge for Wake on LAN Capability

Wake On LAN (WOL) is a feature of a computer's network card which allows the computer to be turned on when it receives a "magic packet". I had planned to hack my current router, a WRT54GL from Linksys, to use a third party firmware called DD-WRT. DD-WRT has a WOL functionality built into it.

WOL does not work over wireless so I needed a wireless bridge connected to my PC's Ethernet port. Buying a second router and configuring DD-WRT to act as a bridge was actually $20 cheaper than buying a true wi-fi bridge and it allowed me have 4 devices bridged instead of just one. Here's how you can create a bridge using two WRT54GL routers:

1. First thoroughly document your current network setup including SSID, WPA passphrases, MAC filters, port forwarding rules, etc.
2. Load DD-WRT firmware on one of the routers and connect it to your internet connection. This will be your Access Point.
*WARNING* Flashing your router's firmware with a third party firmware could turn the device into a "brick" if done improperly. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
3. Reconfigure the router with your original settings.
4. Test to make sure your newly flashed router works with all your computers.
5. Flash the firmware of the second router with DD-WRT and configure it with your wireless network's settings. Choose "Client-Bridged" in wireless mode. This router will be your bridge.
6. Add your second router's MAC address to the MAC filter list on your AP.
7. Connect your PC via Ethernet cable to the bridge and check for internet connectivity.
8. Change the settings on your AP to enable remote management. You can set them for whatever security level you prefer. I chose to use HTTPS only and not display an info page to un-authenticated users. These settings are available when you open the Administration page.

Check out the DD-WRT wiki for more detailed instructions on installing DD-WRT and turning your wireless router into a bridge.

If you don't want to buy two WRT54GLs you should be able to get by using one as a bridge and forwarding its managment port using whatever wireless router you currently have. Just a thought. YMMV.

Congratulations. Now you have a wireless bridge in place. Time to work on configuring your computer to be turned on remotely.
Is it me that I don't see anywhere mentioned or you just forgot mentioning that there must be assigned a static IP into the router for the computer to be awakon?! If there isn't then it should have been mentioned before or at the latest after step 4. <br />
WOL does not use the IP address it's a broadcast packet that all devices receive and when the MAC addresses match that machine wakes up.
For general Info from the &quot;Windows Live OneCare&quot; website:<br><br>Windows Live OneCare is no longer available for sale and product support has ended<br><br>What's changing?<br>As of October 2009, Windows Live OneCare sales were discontinued in all markets. Product support ended on April 11, 2011. In addition, billing support will end on or before June 30, 2011, depending on the customer's subscription end date. View frequently asked questions about the end of sale and support for OneCare.<br>What do I need to do?<br>Because OneCare will no longer be actively helping to protect your PC after April 11, 2011, we recommend that you choose another antivirus solution (such as Microsoft Security Essentials, the no-cost, easy-to-use antivirus solution for home and small business customers with PCs running genuine Windows). Before you install another antivirus solution, however, you will first need to uninstall OneCare from your PC.<br>
Presumably the router stays on all the time?
carbon &quot;footprint,&quot; eh?&nbsp; Where exactly would this&nbsp;&quot;weight in carbon&quot; have gone?&nbsp; Did you use a scale?&nbsp; is it calibrated?&nbsp; What color would the carbon have been, had it been &quot;spent&quot;? &nbsp;Black?&nbsp; Does this mean that for $166, i can go out and by myself a couple hundred pounds of this &quot;carbon?&quot;&nbsp; My plants would definitely love that!<br /> <br /> Regardless, I commend your desire to save power which equals saving money which is always awesome.&nbsp; <br />
AGW Heretic!!&nbsp; Burn him!! LOL<br /> <br /> http://www.spaceandscience.net/id16.html&nbsp; (oops, sorry Mr. Gore)<br /> Brrr...feel all that global warming?&nbsp; Pass me a parka!<br /> <br /> But very cool Ible!&nbsp; I&nbsp;have a few routers that I will be flashing to DD-WRT.&nbsp; Another Ible has to do w/ physical mods to keep it cool.<br />
hey, this is pretty cool! i already have my router flashed with dd-wrt, so that part i can skip. infact, thats the EXACT same kind of router that i have! what do you think about the software?<br />
Hi<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; I want to connect two wirless netgear router with each other . How i do to do that
Are you still connecting them thru a CAT5 cable?&nbsp;If you are adding a&nbsp; 2nd wireless router, you can use it as an Access Point (extension of the Main Router) or as wireless router for another network.&nbsp; If you are planning to share files and printers with the original network on the Main Router, then you should make the second router an Access Point.&nbsp; You will need to disable DHCP server feature on the 2nd router and connect the CAT5 cable from one of the LAN ports(1, 2, 3, or 4) to one of the available LAN ports on the Main Router. If you want to extend your wireless connection without a CAT5 cable, they you should look into getting a Wireless Repeater.<br />
This is an excellent Project to control one's home energy costs. Here in central Iowa the local investor owned Power Company charges retail $0.0833 per kilowatt hour used. The rural coops charge from $0.11 to $0.15 per kilowatt used.
LOL, I feel like I'm in a third orld country. Here in Ontario, Canada, we pay 0.05 CAD$ a kilowatt. That's about 0.0375 USD$. It's outrageous what you have to pay. Just a thought, Taylor
Hey Taylor I'd laugh with you too but, our politicians are in bed with the Electric Power, Coal, and any other Special Energy Interest group representing big business, I cry. Thank God we have term limits otherwise we would have that "Peckerwood" from east Texas still in power. Basically Bush didn't do any thing for you unless you had a strip of coal or a pool of oil in your back yard! I have a friend that has a house in a rural coop service area and he is 1/3 mile from the nearest grid line. The coop wants to charge him $15,000 to run a line to his property and says that they would pay him back as others along the way hook on. Yeah, like that will happen in his next life!
i want to do this for an actiontec gt704-wg...HOW?! i went through the NIC and in vista, and it only says WAke on lan from power off....i also need to configure the router...any suggestions?
I like your instructions. I have a similar setup with a DSL modem and wireless router, but my main computer is directly connected to the router. I can use WOL and then I also have a SSH server called OpenSSH. This allows me to log in and run programs from remote places. I can also start up a VNC server and then have a remote desktop over the ssh 'tunnel'. Goggle ultravnc, openssh, and ssh tunnels.
Here are some excellent instructions on getting VNC going through SSH:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://members.shaw.ca/nicholas.fong/vnc/">http://members.shaw.ca/nicholas.fong/vnc/</a><br/><br/>I had been hesitant to do this as I was going to try to use the SSL VPN but decided to change firmware to the generic version so I could give Kai a whirl. Good times!<br/>
I think your calculations on the money saved are off - a kWh generally costs between 10 to 20 cents, not 1 to 2 dollars. So you would only save up to 20$ a year on this...or am I missing something in your calculation of saved money?
Sorry, that should have said 179 kwh per month. I just fixed it.<br/><br/>I used the calculator on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/">http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/</a> <br/><br/>I'm not sure exactly how much my computer uses per hour but it has a 450 watt power source and quite a few internal devices like two CD/DVD drives and a raid array so I am assuming it is on the high side of things. For that reason I selected the &quot;240(computer + 17&quot; CRT)&quot; running for 24 hours a day for 31 days a month on the calculator. That added up to 179 kwh per month costing $17.6 per month or $211 per year. I then compared that to using my computer for 3 hours a day which cost $26 per year plus an estimated $8 per year for running the router 24/7 (assuming it uses about 8 watts per hour).<br/><br/>$211-26-8=$177 saved in a year.<br/><br/>Let me know if that doesn't sound right an I will adjust it accordingly.<br/>
Looks right - just the month thing would have adjusted for it. I was more curious if it was right to find out where you lived that a kWh costs almost a buck! ;) Nice instructable too. I may use something along these lines for my HTPC.
I'd recommend adding a section detailing how to use/send WOL packets to your computer, especially remotely. You talk about WOL functionality and show how to enable it but then fail to show how to actually use it.
Done. I also added a quick tip on port forwarding.
Wowwww 3rugger! A very useful Instructable, makes me happy to see I can also use better my linksys and my WOL features on my PC been green as you said ;D Well, I will make some tests and will tell you. Thanks a lot for this very nice Instructable! Jairo. P.D: I recommend you the "Fly Trap" Instructable, a very useful one!

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