Timekeeping is important for humans and computers. The internal clock of a computer is used for a wide verity of purposes. This includes providing correct timestamps in your online calendar to keeping detailed audit logs of system activities, and effectively communicate with other computers.
Computers are not good at keeping the correct time. The internal clock will slowly get out of synchronization, known as time drift. Therefore, computers regularly need to ask for the current time so they can adjust the internal clock.
This can be archived by asking servers using specialized software for knowing and delivering the current time. This time synchronization happens through a protocol called Network Time Protocol (NTP.)
FanCube operates a small pool of time servers (NTP servers) located in The United States. The time servers are part of the NTP Pool project. Generally, the time servers should not be added directly in your operating system or application. Instead, you should connect to the global pool of time servers provided by the NTP Pool project:
You can read more about using the NTP Pool at their website "Use the pool."
Please carefully read the "Access policy" below before you connect directly to the time servers.
Parts of this access policy is adopted from the Network Time Protocol project.
If the FanCube time servers are used directly in the configuration of a system (i.e if hostnames or IP addresses are explicitly included in configuration files,) the following restrictions must be adhered to. No prior arrangements before use are required as long as time requests are sent from a stratum 2 server and the "Usage guidelines" described below are followed.
All other use of the time servers (e.g. stratum 3 servers and below) must happen through an NTP Pool project hostname following the rules of the NTP Pool project.
There are no guarantees of availability and reliability of the time servers. Changes to the servers will be made without any notice.
A: Please read the "Access policy" above for details about using the time servers.
A: They are pretty reliable, but there are no guarantees. The first time server went online back in 2015. Since then, at least one server has at all times provided reliable time. This could change in the future, so these time servers should not be your only time source.
A: Most likely not, by default the time servers will only reply to servers that have sent an NTP request. Essentially, the time servers will only contact servers that have requested to be contacted. If you see unusual traffic chances are that your system is misconfigured, and is requesting an excessive amount of NTP request from one of the time servers. It happens from time to time that server admins believe they are the target of a malicious attack before figuring out that the server they manage is the problem.
Feel free to get in touch if you genuinely believe that one of the time servers are the source of unusual traffic. See "Contact" below.
A: The short answer is that this service is provided to serve the common good. Keeping accurate time on a computer is essential. If people and organizations around the world did not donate time, servers, and bandwidth, time synchronization could be unstable. This could cause a lot of problems, especially for people unable to pay for reliable time synchronization.
A: This is how the NTP Pool project describes itself:
"The pool.ntp.org project is a big virtual cluster of timeservers providing reliable easy to use NTP service for millions of clients. The pool is being used by hundreds of millions of systems around the world. It's the default "time server" for most of the major Linux distributions and many networked appliances."
Feel free to use the form below in case you have any comments or questions about the time servers.