Time synchronisation is vital for the modern computer network particularly when computer networks across the globe need to communicate with each other.
A lack of synchronisation would make impossible many online activities such as Internet auctions, seat reservation and trading in stocks and shares. It can also leave a system open to security threats and even fraud.
The NTP server (Network Time Protocol) can provide the most secure and accurate method of synchronising a network. Many NTP servers are rack-mountable devices that can connect to a network and distributes time information between all devices on that system.
They work by using a single time reference, most commonly a source of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), which NTP then checks all the system clocks to ensure all devices are keeping the same time. When it finds a computer or device that is drifting it advances or retreats the system clock until it matches UTC.
A NTP server will receive a timing source from either across the Internet (although not very secure or accurate), a specialist long-wave radio transmission or from the GPS network (global positioning system).
By utilising dedicated NTP server, not only can all devices on a network be synchronised together but also by using UTC the network will be synchronised with millions of computer networks all over the world.