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Introduction to NTP

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Executive Summary

By far, the most widely used and accepted method for maintaining accurate time across entire networks is an implementation of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). NTP is one of the oldest, most-used protocols on the Internet and is built on the Internet Protocol (IP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). It is specifically designed to maintain time accuracy and reliability, even when used over typical Internet paths involving multiple gateways and unreliable networks. Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) is a simpler version of NTP which is compatible with NTP. NTP is not based on the principle of synchronizing machines with each other. It is based on the principles of having all machines get as close as possible to the correct time - Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

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