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Computer Time Synchronization
A Beginner's Guide to Network Time Protocol (NTP)

Note: This page is still accurate.

Why Synchronize Computer Times?

Why does it matter if computers have the same time as other computers on their network or the correct time? It's important for the security of networks and also a growing number of communication and application protocols that require synchronized and/or accurate time on the computers on which they run.

A key component of any computer security system is regular review and analysis of both certain standard system log files as well as the log files created by firewalls and intrusion detection systems. If computers are running on different times, it becomes almost impossible to accurately match actions logged on different computers. If you've suffered an intrusion, even if your computers all have the same time, it might be difficult to correlate logged activities with outside actions if your computer times are wrong.

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