Posted by Richard N Williams on July 29th, 2009
Most Windows operating systems have an integrated time synchronisation service, installed by default that can synchronise the machine or indeed a network. However, for security reasons, it is highly recommended by Microsoft, amongst others, that an external time source is used.
NTP time servers securely and accurately receive the UTC time signal from the GPS network or the WWVB radio transmissions (or European alternatives). NTP time servers can synchronize a single Windows machine or an entire network to within fractions of a second of the correct UTC time (Coordinated Universal Time).
A NTP time server provides precise timing information 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year anywhere on the entire globe. A dedicated NTP time server is the only secure, safe and reliable method of synchronizing a computer network to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). External to the firewall, an NTP time server does not leave a computer system vulnerable to malicious attacks unlike Internet timing sources via the TCP-IP port.
A NTP time server is not only secure, it receives a UTC time signal direct from atomic clocks unlike Internet timing sources which are really time servers themselves. NTP servers and other time synchronization tools can synchronize entire networks, single PCs, routers and a whole host of other devices. Using either GPS or the North American WWVB signal, a dedicated NTP time server from will ensure all your devices are running to within a fraction of UTC time.
A NTP time server will:
• Increase network security
• Prevent data loss
• Enable logging and tracking of errors or security breaches
• Reduce confusion in shared files
• Prevent errors in billing systems and time sensitive transactions
• Can be used to provide incontestable evidence in legal and financial disputes