What is NTP jitter?

Written by darren johannsen
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What is NTP jitter?
NTP Jitter helps compensate for communication delay on a network. (rackmount server farm datacenter image by Adryn from Fotolia.com)

Network Time Protocol (NTP) protocol is used for synchronising the clocks of multiple computers on a network. When information is sent across a network, there is a small delay before it is received. NTP is a tool used to calculate and compensate for this delay.

NTP Jitter

NTP jitter is a measurement of the variance in latency on the network. If the latency on the network is constant, there is no jitter.


Network latency is the time delay between when data is sent on a network to when it is received. Latency can make it difficult to synchronise processes over a network, especially when the latency is variable.

Purpose of NTP

NTP allows computers to synchronise their clocks across a network. To do so, NTP requests the current time from a reliable reference clock. It then estimates the latency between the reference clock and the computer and then calculates the true time.

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