How To: Save Energy With An Always-On Computer

Power Management Tab

Reader Aaron keeps his computer on for easy remote access and for nightly scheduled tasks (like backups and defrags), but didn’t want to waste the energy an always-on computer would. So he hacked together a network setup that uses power-saving settings and Wake on LAN technology to get both energy efficiency AND constant availability. He estimates this new setup saves him almost $200 a year in energy bills and reduces his carbon emissions by 234lbs. (!!) Here’s how he did it:

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.

If you want to take the plunge into smart wakeups with Aaron’s setup, be sure to check out Adam’s take on installing the DD-WRT firmware on a compatible router. Power Saving Remote Computing [Instructables]

How To: Save Energy With An Always-On Computer

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