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Precision GPS/GNSS based NTP Network Time Servers

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Network Time Servers

A brief explanation of Network Time Servers and what they are used for ?

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GNSS / GPS based Stratum 1 Network Time Servers explained

What is an NTP Network Time Server?


NTP stands for Network Time Protocol, which is a way of transferring data over an Ethernet (or other compatible network) LAN (Local Area Network). Accurate time information is acquired from a master clock and then converted to packet based information using a defined protocol (NTP) for transmission across a network.  Our range of network timeservers distribute highly accurate time information to all devices on a LAN requiring accurate time information.

Stratum 1 NTP Time Server

‘Strata’ refer to the hierarchical levels used by Network Time Protocol (NTP) to disseminate time information over a network.


Stratum 1 refers to a device receiving time information directly from the Stratum 0 device (e.g. caesium clock) via serial (RS232, RS422, etc) or timecodes (IRIG-B, AFNOR, NASA codes, etc).

The connection can be external, but some Stratum 1 timeservers have the Stratum 0 device built inside them for convenience. The time delay accuracy is generally less than 1 millisecond.


Stratum 2 refers to devices that are connected to the Stratum 1 timeserver via a network. For example, computers on a LAN are Stratum 2 devices. Each Stratum 2 device can be linked this way to more than one Stratum 1 time server to optimise the information it receives. The delay accuracy can usually range from 10 to 100 milliseconds.


Stratum 3 is the next level connected via a network path, and so on.

All our time and frequency standards and modular timing systems are Stratum 1, 2 or 3 NTP time servers.



What is a PTP Network Time Server?


PTP stands for Precision Time Protocol.  Similar to NTP, accurate time information is acquired from a master clock and then converted to packet based information using a defined protocol (PTP) for transmission across a network. PTP uses a more complex algorithm coupled with an exchange of time stamped network packets, which serve to reduce or eliminate network delays from the transmitted time information.  PTP is defined by IEEE-1588v2.