The Network Time Protocol is an often-overlooked protocol vital to any network. Without accurate, synchronised tracking of time across all the systems on a network, logging entries will be incorrect. Troubleshooting is difficult to perform when three systems say a particular issue happened at three different times. Several public time servers exist to solve this problem.
NIST Time Servers
The National Institute for Science and Technology administers a pool of time servers that are available to the public. The NIST time servers only support authenticated NTP requests using the encryption methods outlined in the NTP documentation.
Windows Time Service
Microsoft offers a time server at time.microsoft.com. It is recommended for domain environments to synchronise with time.microsoft.com to enable the use of different time-sensitive policies and restrictions. These include access to files by certain users or groups based on time of access, for instance, a particular group may only be able to access a file server between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
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