Posted by Richard N Williams on February 15th, 2012
GPS time servers are a highly accurate and secure method of synchronising a computer network to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). GPS time servers are simple to use and ensure a network is synchronised to s secure form of time. However, many network administrators don’t see the need to use a GPS time server and continue to put their network at risk by using an online source of time for synchronisation. Here are five reasons why a GPS time server is crucial for computer network synchronisation.
GPS Time Server Security
The GPS time signal is external to a network. This means malicious users can’t manipulate the time and the firewall doesn’t need to have a port left open to allow through the signal. Online sources of time can’t be authenticated, which means that the time can be altered by malicious software or even worse, be used to gain access to a network through the firewall.
GPS Time Server Accuracy
GPS time signals are directed by atomic clocks onboard the satellites. This means that a GPS time server is communicating directly with an atomic clock, without an intermediary in between. Online time servers are intermediary time servers, in other words they receive their time from another time server. This means the accuracy isn’t as precise as a direct link with an atomic clock. Furthermore, distance and lack of regular calibration can lead to an online time source from being inaccurate, often sometimes by as much as several seconds.
GPS Time Server Availability
GPS signals are always available, no matter where you are on the globe. Unlike online sources of time that can go down due to errors, a GPS signal is always working and is never turned off for maintenance or because of connectivity problems. This means there is never any downtime, guaranteeing accurate time all the time.
GPS Time Server Simplicity
GPS time servers are simple to install and begin using. All that is required is that an antenna is installed so it can see the sky, and the GPS time server is then plugged into the router or other switching device, where it can begin synchronising the network.
GPS Time Server Reliability
Because GPS time signals are always available, there is little that can go wrong with a GPS time server. Once installed and locked on to the time signal, a GPS time server will continue to work 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. This enables peace of mind that the time on a computer network will always be accurate to within a few milliseconds.