NTP And Time Server
NTP is widely used to synchronise the time on computers on the internet. NTP provides the ability to access time services, organise the time synchronisation subnet and adjust the local clock in each participating subnet computer. Typically, NTP provides accuracies of between 1 and 50 milliseconds depending on the time source and network paths. Network Time Protocol can be utilised to synchronise the time on computers across a network.
A time server is utilised to obtain the correct time from a time source and adjust the local time in each participating computer. The time source used by the NTP time server is extremely important as this forms the basis of all time updates across the network. Recent studies show an alarming number of stratum 1 time sources on the internet are bad time keepers.
A reported 391 of 957 supposedly stratum 1 NTP time sources had time offsets of over 10 seconds. Incredibly, one time source was offset by a staggering 6 years. Only 28% of the internet based stratum 1 clocks actually appears to be useful, based on research by Nelson Minar, MIT Media Lab Cambridge, MA USA.
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