From almost the moment computers were invented, the digital systems and networks created between them has become increasingly complicated. Now, in the digital era, the Internet has grown to gargantuan proportions, fueled by millions of computers that all need to be held in sync with one another, despite operating simultaneously all over the world. One system that works to keep things in balance and organized is something known as Network Time Protocol or NTP. It’s entirely possible you haven’t heard of NTP before, but it’s important to computers in many ways. There are many things you should know about Network Time Protocol, and this article will take a look at a few of them.
- NTP Should Not Be Confused with PTP: One of the first things that you should know about NTP is that it is not the same as another system known as PTP. Network Time Protocol has been in operation since before 1985, and is one of the oldest Internet protocols still in use today. By contrast, PTP stands for Precision Time Protocol, and is used to synchronize clocks throughout a computer network. It was originally defined and standardized by IEEE in 2002. PTP servers were established long after NTP time servers were invented, and for that reason alone the two should never be confused with one another.
- NTP Is Used to Synchronize Clocks like GPS Clocks: Another thing that you should know about NTP is that the protocol can be used to create synchronized clock systems. In other words, this is the protocol that allows millions of digital clocks to remain closely synchronized within a few seconds of each other. NTP is also used to synchronize GPS clocks, in fact all 31 working satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS) have built-in, highly accurate atomic clocks, and NTP helps keep them running accurately.
- NTP is Used to Synchronize Computers: And finally, a third thing you should know about NTP is that it is used to synchronize computers. Like digital clocks, computers also have the capability of telling time, and for obvious reasons they need to be able to tell time accurately no matter where the computer is located. NTP makes it possible for computers to synchronize their clocks and maintain a relatively accurate time.
In conclusion, there are several things that you should know about Network Time Protocol. These things include: keeping in mind that NTP is not the same as PTP, knowing that NTP is use to synchronize digital clocks and GPS clocks, and knowing that NTP can be used to synchronize computers. These are just a few of the things that you should know about Network Time Protocol.