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Short for Network Time Protocol, an Internet standard protocol (built on top of TCP/IP) that assures accurate synchronization to the millisecond of computer clock times in a network of computers. Based on UTC, NTP synchronizes client workstation clocks to the U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clocks in Washington, DC and Colorado Springs CO. Running as a continuous background client program on a computer, NTP sends periodic time requests to servers, obtaining server time stamps and using them to adjust the client's clock.

The latest version of NTP is defined in RFC 1305.

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