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Definition: time server

A device that obtains the time of day for synchronizing PCs, servers, routers and switches on the local network. It picks up the time from the GPS satellites as well as NTP servers on the Internet. GPS time is the most accurate, but Internet time is used for backup. Using GPS time as a benchmark, time servers can monitor various Internet NTP servers and determine which is the most accurate. See NTP, UTC and GPS.

GPS Time Server
Network time servers such as this unit from Symmetricom provide the most accurate time for synchronization. The small, white GPS antenna (in rear) is like the one used in car navigation systems. (Image courtesy of Symmetricom, Inc., www.symmetricom.com)