Time Server Sync Your Computer

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The Alarm Clock Blog teaches you how to sync your computer's clock to an internet time server.

The Alarm Clock Blog teaches you how to sync your computer's clock to an internet Time Server.

Hey, did you know that Online Clock can show the correct time up to the nearest second?

This is because our clocks are all set to show you the time based on your computer’s own time settings. Since all modern computers give you the option of syncing your computer’s time settings with a time server over the internet, this also enables us to show you truly accurate time on OnlineClock.net!

To start with, you might not yet know what a Time Server is.

A Time Server is a computer with access to a highly accurate clock that it reads the time from. After getting the accurate time, this computer called a Time Server then then distributes the current time to all kinds of computers over a network. Time servers can be set up to communicate the time to all kinds of different computers over the internet; but some of them instead serve just the computers found in their own local networks.

The most common protocol, or formatting rules, used to transmit time information to and from Time Servers is called NTP, which is an abbreviation for Network Time Protocol.

But you don’t have to geek out with all of this information in order to get truly accurate time displayed on your computer and on our Online Clocks.

All you need to do is follow our instructions below.

For our demonstration purposes we’ll be using the Windows Operating System, but similar procedures are also available if you use a Mac or some kind of Linux Operating System (even Clockux, haha!). The screenshots below are from various flavors of Windows (i.e., Windows XP and Windows Vista). Although the individual dialog boxes may look a tiny bit different from one version of Windows to the next, they all look quite similar.

So, how do you sync your computer’s time settings with the very accurate time of an internet Time Server? Just follow these simple steps.

Step One: Locate the small digital time display on the bottom right of your Windows Task Bar.

Step Two: Right-click on the clock and choose “Adjust Date/Time“.

(Alternately, you can simply double-click on the small digital clock in your Task Bar.)

The Date & Time Properties dialog box pops up:

Date Time Properties

Step Three: Click on the tab at the top labeled “Internet Time“.

(Note:  in some special cases, if your computer has been set up in a particular kind of network, this tab will not be visible for you. If this is the case, contact your computer administrator for assistance.)

Step Four: You have to then choose an Internet Time Server. It seems that time.windows.com and time.nist.gov are listed by default. We highly recommend selecting time.nist.gov, because nist.gov are truly the experts when it comes to keeping accurate time!

Step Five: Finally, make sure the checkbox next to “Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server” is checked. This is necessary in order for your computer’s clock to sync to the Time Server’s time:

Time Server Sync

Time Server Sync (Windows XP)

That’s it – you can close all the dialog boxes and be assured that your computer will sync it’s time regularly in the future with the Time Server you’ve chosen. Just be sure that you computer continues to have regular internet access.

To test it, you can click on “Update Now” Button and your computer’s time will begin to sync with your chosen Time Server.

If your computer had been showing the incorrect time previously, it should now be corrected.

Also, the next time you access one of our Online Clocks, it will also instantly show the correct time.

Online Clock updates itself simultaneously with each correction to your computer’s clock settings – feel free to test this and watch it in action!

Is anyone else interested in summing up how you sync a computer to an internet time server when using Linux or Mac? If so, we’d be thrilled if you’d share your tips via the comment form below.

Until next time…the Online Alarm Clock wishes all of you a very accurately good time!

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