What is NTP?


NTP is an open standard for synchronizing computer clock times. This protocol uses the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as its basis. It is more accurate than the rdate protocol and is better suited for smaller networks. It synchronizes computer clocks to within a millisecond on local area networks and tens of milliseconds over the Internet. However, it doesn’t account for time zone differences and is not suitable for large networks. To synchronize the clocks, NTP relies on the host for calculations. The resolution of the synchronization protocol is measured in milliseconds, whereas the popular rdate protocol is one second.

NTP uses a hierarchy of time sources called strata. The number at the top represents the distance from the reference clock. The lower the stratum, the higher the quality of the time source. In addition, the number of strata does not necessarily indicate the quality of the time source. A higher-quality time source in stratum two may be of lower value than that on a higher-quality system. For this reason, NTP provides a brief description of the different time sources.

In order to ensure accuracy, NTP uses a multi-layer time-stamping scheme. The time-stamps are one millisecond to one second. In other words, the accuracy of these timestamps reflects the order of events. In a technologically advanced world, one millisecond difference in time is incomprehensible. Despite the complexity, NTP provides an excellent solution for many of your problems.


During an NTP session, the network time is automatically adjusted to a standard time. Once a network is synchronized, the system clocks are reset and resynchronized. The process takes about one minute per second, but the process is automatic. The NTP daemon can be configured to use several independent reference time sources. It queries each source periodically and then classifies them into groups. A group of good time sources overvotes the bad ones. A group of truechimers selects a system peer from this group and updates it based on a selection algorithm.

To make sure the network time is always accurate, a network needs multiple NTP servers. Having three primary masters in three geographically dispersed locations is ideal. Each of these servers would be able to serve the organization’s time and provide its own time. It is also recommended to have collocated secondary masters. In addition to ensuring the accuracy of the time, an NTP server can also prevent the loss of data.

Among the many advantages of NTP, it is compatible with various network protocols and has the added benefit of being a highly secure standard. The accuracy of the clock depends on the number of hops between the client and the server. It can also be more reliable over long distances than over short distances. The accuracy of the time can be up to one millisecond on WANs. But, there are some downsides. The reliability of NTP depends on the frequency of the communication between the server and the client.

Moreover, NTP is not dependent on any single network device. A network administrator can configure this protocol on every router. A smart home can have multiple NTP servers. For example, a household with many clocks may have the time incorrectly set at night. This is dangerous, as it can lead to vandalism, theft, and more. If a suspect can produce an alibi, he will not get away with the crime.

PTP is more reliable than NTP and is prone to security problems. Its benefits are low cost, compared to its disadvantages. While both methods have their pros and cons, the advantages of PTP outweigh the cons. For example, PTP is a free service that requires no configuration. It works on all major platforms. For more security, a switch can detect a server at any time. This feature is not available on NTP.

If you are concerned about the security of your network, NTP is an excellent choice. It automatically determines the time of day, regardless of the location of the network devices. Its use is not limited to the internet. Using NTP, you can configure an entire enterprise to run a single server. It is free to join an existing network. The only disadvantages of using NTP are the risk of malware attacks, which are a major security concern.

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