ntp – what time it is?

How often do you wonder what time it is? A simple look at the classic wristwatch, the Smartwatch or -phone. Today we are more dependent than ever on a correct time.

I myself go crazy when my watches go wrong. With computers it is very easy to keep the time synchronized based on different time server protocols. Especially “new” devices offer this. This service is very important for any kind of devices and services, e.g. nextcloud.

Therefore I have been running ntp time servers for several years now. These are also part of the public ntp server pools pool.ntp.org.

I want to give something back to everyone on the internet. As many services still exists mostly through volunteers providing them publically without any fee/profit. Providers like orange and sfr use these public time servers also for their dial-up lines. We are nearly all users of pool.ntp.org.

In some location like Singapore, my server(s) are one of under 100. This means, having time servers available globally is still a major topic for these decentralized services.

my public ntp servers

You can reach my servers as following via IPv4 and IPv6:

New York (USA) – clock.ny.us.service.f2tec.de
Los Angeles (USA) – clock.la.us.service.f2tec.de
Sydney (Australia) – clock.sy.aus.service.f2tec.de
Toronto (Canada) – clock.tor.ca.service.f2tec.de
Paris (France) – clock.pr.fr.service.f2tec.de
Tokyo (Japan) – clock.ty.jp.service.f2tec.de
Frankfurt/Main (Deutschland) – clock.ffm.de.service.f2tec.de (* currently offline)
Singapore (Singapore) – clock.sg.sg.service.f2tec.de

Or just use clock.service.f2tec.de for using them round robin.

But where do these servers get their local time from? All my ntp servers can be classified as stratum 2. The number indicates the distance from the timer. In most cases these are atomic clocks of local universities and technical institutes. A stratum 0 is therefore the timer itself. Stratum 1 is the first server after the timer. I recommend to use stratum 4 at the most, but better 3.

For most of you, a time server from the internet will be sufficient. Therefore use mine gladly. Maybe you already do this, as mentioned before! All servers are part of pool.ntp.org and the local sub pools.

I myself use DCF77 and GPS receiver within my home network.

For more NTP topics I recommend the book Expert Network Time Protocol: An Experience in Time with NTP from Peter Rybaczyk. It’s a great book if you are looking for more details ….

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