Without the right tool, gathering network information is a challenge. The Android app NetX does an outstanding job of collecting more information than you'll probably ever need about the devices on your network; plus, it allows you to work with Wake On LAN features.
NetX lets you do the following and much more:
- gather device information (it displays CPU and RAM usage, and the available memory inside the disks);
- Wake On LAN (shut down or reboot devices remotely); and
- show information about the network (SSID, signal strength, channel, encryption, if the network overlaps channels, etc.).
This app works very well, though it does have a few minor design issues (such as odd spellings and missing icons). But if you're looking for a solid network discovery tool, NetX is it.
I'll illustrate how you can use Wake On LAN (WOL) with NetX. With this app, any device that supports the service can easily be shut down, sent into suspend, or started. Naturally, your mileage with this will vary depending on how much support your devices have for WOL.
Before you can work with WOL on NetX, you must install the app. Here's how.
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
- Search for netx.
- Locate and tap the entry by NetGEL.
- Tap Install.
- Read the permissions listing carefully.
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept.
- Allow the installation to complete.
Once installed, you'll find the launcher for NetX in your app drawer and/or on your home screen. Tap the icon to launch the app.
When you first run NetX, it will immediately scan the network your device is connected to and then report what it finds (Figure A).
NetX running on a Verizon-branded LG G3.
Tap on an entry of a device you know will support WOL (such as a laptop or a desktop). When the entry opens, you should see plenty of information on that device.
The only WOL icon will be the green Wake On Lan icon (Figure B); this is the button used to start a device (if supported by said device and configured properly). In order to use the WOL button and get the shut down/suspend buttons, you must set up the Wake On LAN section and (if available) the Secure Shell section.
The device information window ready to be set up for that machine.
Tap the Wake On LAN section. You will be required to enter the HOSTNAME/IP ADDRESS of the device being set up (Figure C).
Setting up the Wake On LAN options.
After entering the necessary information, tap the Save icon. Next, configure the Secure Shell options (if available); this is done in the same way as the Wake On LAN settings. All three Wake On LAN buttons should be visible (Figure D).
- Orange: Puts the device in standby mode
- Green: Wakes the device
- Red: Shuts down the device
All three WOL buttons ready to serve.
Your Wake On LAN options are now ready to be used...cautiously—the last thing you want to do is send a shutdown command to a machine where a user is working.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.