Project, Research, Virtual Frontier, VR

Waking PCs to Remote Access via Oculus Quest VR: Wake on LAN (mobile/rpi) + VNC Server/Viewer

While I really enjoy the Oculus Quest games, I find myself enjoying my Steam library even more by streaming it to my headset around the house. No longer do I need to go into my cold, dark basement to game. Now I can use my VR headset to game on an imaginary home theater from the comfort of my couch.

It’s so beautiful…I love the future

In my last post, I went through using Virtual Desktop and its Streamer application to remote access my computers when at home. When the computers are powered on the application works well, but if they are asleep then they don’t show up as available connections. Now one way to fix this is by physically walking downstairs and turning on the computer–but what am I, a magician?

There is an irony here that I’m using my VR headset for exercise and yet I don’t want to walk downstairs to turn on my desktop

Since it’s 2020, I firmly believe I should be able to wake my computers up from their slumber on command WITHOUT touching their power buttons. Below are steps to not only wake your computer via mobile phone when you are at home, but also instructions on how to use a raspberry pi server and VNC viewer to remotely wake your PCs so they can be available for remote access anywhere in the world!

Why??? BECAUSE I CAN! MWAahahaha

First, you need to enable the “Wake on LAN” setting in your BIOS. If you don’t know how to do that then look up your user manual or use Google. After that you need to enable your OS as well. I am back to using Windows 10 64-bit because it is compatible with pretty much everything these days. For more information on “Wake on LAN” and how to enable on MAC check out this handy article from HowtoGeek.

To enable “Wake on Magic Packet” on Windows 10 64-bit:

  1. Go to Device Manager
  2. Right-click on the network adapter that you connect to your wifi network and select “properties”
  3. In advanced enable the “Wake on Magic Packet” option
  4. Go to the “Power Management” tab and select all 3 checkbox options

After “Wake on LAN” is enabled in the BIOS and the OS, next is to determine the software you want to use to wake the computer. Originally I was going to check out this comparison between TeamViewer vs. Splashtop vs. Windows RDP, but instead I went with Depicus since it has a phone app available for $1.99.

To set up Depicus iPhone app, just download the app and fill out the interface. To look up the IP and MAC address of your PC, go to the Command Line and type “ipconfig /all“. I highly recommend reserving a static IP for any computers you are looking to add this option to so you don’t need to look it up each time.

Fill out the app as follows:

  • Physical Address = MAC address
  • IPv4 Address = IP Address or FQDN
  • Subnet Mask = Subnet Mask
  • Port = leave blank and it will default to 4343

Now that I’ve got “Wake on LAN” configured for the phone, I now need to configure it for the times I’m not connected to my home network. I started by downloading and installing the VNC Server to my laptop, desktop, and raspberry pi. This allows me to remote access them securely from the VNC Viewer app (which can even be installed on phones FOR FREE!).

Yes, I said it is 100% free!!!

My laptop and desktop are both set to sleep after a period of time, which means they will be unavailable to access. To solve this, I’ll use the Depicus Wake-On_LAN service and use it on my Raspberry Pi controlled via VNC Viewer.

Before I can use that, I’ll need to set up port forwarding as well as set an external IP DNS solution. Steps on how to achieve this can be found in this very handy guide. Unfortunately, after a lot of tinkering I couldn’t get it to work as Google Wifi either does not currently support WOL features or it is flaky.

So annoyed at how many hours I sunk into this……..

Fortunately, I eventually discovered how to use a raspberry pi to wake up the computers on the same network with the following commands:

sudo apt-get install etherwake
sudo etherwake -i wlan0 AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF 'only replace the MAC address with the one to wake

Now that I can use my raspberry pi to wake up the other computers on my network, I’ll be able to remote access into my PCs via VNC Viewer anywhere in the world! Next I sideloaded VNC Viewer ontothe Oculus Quest itself by downloading its apk and installing via SideQuest. Now I can not only wake up and use my sleepy computers from anywhere, I can do it all in my Oculus Quest!

VICTORY SCREECH!

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