Simple Network Time Protocol

What Does Simple Network Time Protocol Mean?

Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) is a simplified version of Network Time Protocol (NTP) that is used to synchronize computer clocks on a network. This simplified version of NTP is generally used when full implementation of NTP is not needed.

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Techopedia Explains Simple Network Time Protocol

SNTP is a simplified access strategy for servers and clients using NTP. SNTP synchronizes a computer’s system time with a server that has already been synchronized by a source such as a radio, satellite receiver or modem.

SNTP supports unicast, multicast and anycast operating modes. In unicast mode, the client sends a request to a dedicated server by referencing its unicast address. Once a reply is received from the server, the client determines the time, roundtrip delay and local clock offset in reference to the server. In multicast mode, the server sends an unsolicited message to a dedicated IPv4 or IPv6 local broadcast address. Generally, a multicast client does not send any requests to the service because of the service disruption caused by unknown and untrusted multicast servers. The disruption can be avoided through an access control mechanism that allows a client to select a designated server he or she knows and trusts.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.