Wednesday, 14 March 2018

How To Power PC ON And OFF Using Android & iPhone Smartphones

It is a common practice for people to leave their PC running most of the time, and in many instances, they go out without powering it off. A great news for people like this is that they can configure their android phone in such a way that it begins to function as a wireless controller for their PC. So in any event that your PC is left running, you can easily power it off, set it on sleep mode or boot it hands free with the aid of your smartphone.

If this piece of information applies to you and you wish to utilize it, then I have brought you a solution. In this article, you will be shown how you can power off your PC hands free and boot it again so long as you are close to the local area network.

Power off PC hands free via LAN 
In any case that you wish to power off a PC that is closely and connected to to the same local area network as your android device, you will be required to install the client version of an application on your android phone and the server version on your PC. Having done this, you will then be able to send instructions to perhaps shutdown, hibernate your PC or put it on sleep mode from your android phone.

Power ON - Off Computer using Android Phone

Many applications can be used to accomplish this feat but it is recommended that you use Shutdown Start Remote. This is because it is free and user friendly. All you need do is download the application on your smartphone and then proceed to download the server version of the same app from the official website on your PC (the link can be found on the app as well).

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Before the server can function, Java Runtime Environment(JRE) must be installed on your PC. If for any reason the server link is not accessible on your PC, then you would have to choose the right installer from the Java website to download and install JRE. 

After the installation of JRE, open the Shutdown Start Remote server on your PC (installation is not required) then equally open the app on your smartphone. If your android phone and your PC are both connected to the same network, then you would be seeing your PC name in the interface of the Shutdown Start Remote app. Click on it to gain a connection to your PC. 

You have the option of setting a timer to shutdown, hibernate or set your PC to sleep mode after a specified period of time. All these can be found on the main interface. Whenever you want to perform any of the actions mentioned above, all you need do is click on either the Shutdown, Hibernate or Sleep buttons which are found at the bottom of the main interface to promptly transmit the appropriate command to your PC. 

Power off PC hands free from anywhere
The instructions stated above is a good and simple solution, but it can only work with devices that are connected to the same network. If you wish to power off your PC from wherever you are, it can equally be done. For this, a Windows tool called Airytec Switch Off will be required. 

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The tool is somewhat primitive as its last update was in 2015 but it functions just right and accurately does what you need. 

After downloading Airytec Switch Off, install and open it. The tool functions from the taskbar, so its icon will be found on the system tray. At this point, you will need to enable the hands free access.
The steps are given below:

>> Right-click on the app’s(Airytec Switch Off) icon and choose Option from the menu.
>> Proceed to the Remote tab and click on the checkbox that is right next to Enable web interface.
>> You also have to click on the checkbox right next to Enable authentication option and then you provide a password. The password is optional but highly recommended without which anybody who gets hold of your external IP address can easily control your PC. The password is meant for protection against this form of attack.

  • Now click on the Apply button to confirm the changes that you made.
  • Next, click on the link View/Update static address and then copy the Current Switch Off URL. Save this somewhere that can easily be accessed by you.
  • This URL can be entered in a browser on any device anywhere and then the password would be required (if it was added in setup) to open up Airytec web interface. Now you can click on the Shutdown command to switch off your PC hands free.

If the URL is not going through for you, turn off your PC’s firewall and retry. You might also be required to open port 8000 in your router if turning off your PC’s  firewall didn’t work. 

Booting PC with smartphone

Starting your PC from your smartphone depends solely on your PC. The motherboard and network card on your PC must possess the WOL(Wake On LAN) feature, and of outmost necessity has to be connected to the internet through an ethernet cable. This form of support is not regular in PCs and just the slightest misconfiguration or the least support issue could result in you not being able to startup your PC hands free at all.

In general, the possibilities that WOL will function effectively on your system is very small. The most effective method is to access your PC’s BIOS setting (different manufacturers could do this differently so its best to make your enquiries online) and turn on the WOL option under the category of power management if it’s available. 

In order to be able to boot your PC with the aid of your smartphone, the app Wake On LAN is required. This app has to be downloaded onto your android phone and both your PC and your android phone has to be connected to the same network. Having done all these, follow the instructions stated below;

  • Click the “+” picture icon at the bottom-right corner and choose your PC from the preceding page.  
  • After that, select the Add device to join it to the list of devices that can be started on LAN.
  • What remains to do at this point is to click on your PC’s name from your smartphone and it will startup, hibernate or shutdown itself depending on your choice.

If you wish to startup your PC while it is in the state of shutdown, you have to make sure that your PC was shutdown in the right way by using the Shutdown option which is among the items listed in the power options. This invariably means that your PC has to be connected to a power source at all times.

It has to be noted that Airytec equally has an option to power off the PC and this can be found on the local network. But from my findings, it did not function effectively and refused to work most times when I decided to use a different device. So, it is more advisable to use Shutdown Start Remote as this is a better option for locally powering off a PC.
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