For computer networks, accurate time is essential for preventing errors, fraud and ensures security. Everything from internet banking to air traffic control relies on precise and accurate time, but many organisations take unnecessary risks when it comes to the time on their networks and rely on online time servers instead of a dedicated NTP server
NTP GPS time servers are becoming an essential tool for business networks. With the ability to synchronise hundreds of computer, switches and routers, an NTP GPS time server can keep a network accurate to within a few milliseconds of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
UTC is an atomic clock time reference used to ensure all PCs and computer networks, no matter where they are in the world, are all running the same time. NTP time servers are used to receive a times source and distribute it around a network but there are various choices for locating a source of UTC for time reference for synchronisation.
Ethernet NTP digital wall clocks plug into an NTP times server using an Ethernet cable. This means that the time signal is sent from the NTP time server directly to the Ethernet NTP digital wall clock, maintaining its accuracy. The Ethernet digital wall clock never needs setting as it is automatically set by the time signal sent from the times server, which means it will always be accurate, and the Ethernet NTP digital wall clock requires no mains power or batteries as it gets its power form the Ethernet.
To keep precise time, computer networks have to find a source of accurate, precise and secure time, which enables all devices to be synchronised together. One of the most common used devices for achieving this are radio time synchronisation receivers.
NTP POE wall clocks use Network Time Protocol (NTP) to maintain accuracy and synchronisation. NTP is a computer algorithm that works by taking a single master time source that it distributes to all devices on a network. In the case of most NTP systems, the time is received via a NTP time server that is hooked up to a computer network.
There are various solutions for synchronised office clocks, suitable for use in offices of all sizes, even those spread out across the country. The simplest solution is to use atomic clock radio receiver clocks. These come with either digital or analogue displays and they use radio transmissions to receive a source of atomic clock time (UTC – Coordinated Universal Time).
As the name suggests, GPS time servers receive their time from the GPS system (Global Positioning System). The GPS signal is basically just a time code sent down from the satellites’ onboard atomic clocks. This time signal is what satellite navigation systems use to triangulate positioning, but because it is generated by atomic clocks is extremely accurate and precise.
The big advantage of a digital network wall clock is that they never have to be set as the time is kept and maintained by the network time server, which ensure the wall clock is accurate to the millisecond. Furthermore, most digital network wall clocks use the power over Ethernet system to provide the clock’s power, so there is no need to wire them up to the mains or install batteries
Because health care is based on multi-disciplinary teams, treatments, meetings, operations and procedures often require strict coordination to prevent wasting time and provide an efficient service. Making sure everybody has access to a synchronised and accurate time is part of this process, which is what makes precise and reliable digital wall clocks for hospitals so important.