Everything You Need to Know About Windows NTP Server

Dear Dev, are you tired of experiencing synchronization issues within your network system? Do you want to enhance the reliability of your network time? Look no further than Windows NTP Server! This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to understanding how it works, how to install and configure it, and how to troubleshoot common issues.

What is Windows NTP Server?

Windows NTP Server stands for Network Time Protocol, which is a protocol used to synchronize the time of computer systems within a network. This protocol ensures that there is uniformity in the timekeeping of all devices within a network.

Windows NTP Server functions as a time source for other devices, ensuring that all the devices within the network keep the same time. This server is an excellent tool for enhancing the efficiency of any system that requires accurate and synchronized time.

How Does NTP Server Work?

To understand the workings of NTP Server, it is essential to understand its architecture. The architecture of NTP server comprises of two components;

  1. Time Servers
  2. Clients

The time server is responsible for synchronizing the time of all devices within the network. Clients, on the other hand, access the server and adjust their time settings to the time obtained from the server. This process of synchronization is continuous, ensuring that all devices within the network are in sync with the correct time.

NTP uses a hierarchical structure of time servers, where the lower stratum servers obtain their time from the higher stratum servers. Stratum 1 servers are the most precise and accurate and obtain their time from an atomic clock or GPS. Stratum 2 servers acquire their time from Stratum 1 servers, and this chain continues to lower stratum servers.

How to Install and Configure NTP Server on Windows?

Before installing NTP Server on your Windows machine, you must first identify the version of Windows that you are using. Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows 10 provide the most straightforward method of installing and configuring NTP Server.

Step 1: Install NTP Server

  1. Open Powershell as Administrator
  2. Enter the following command to install the NTP server package:
    Install-WindowsFeature -Name “NTP”
  3. Press Enter to install the feature

Step 2: Configure NTP Server

After installing NTP server, you need to configure it to synchronize with a reliable time source. You can configure the server either through the registry or the group policy editor.

  1. Open the registry editor on the domain controller
  2. Navigate through the following directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpServer
  3. Change the ‘Enabled’ key to 1
  4. Navigate through the following directory:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config
  5. Change the ‘AnnounceFlags’ key to 5
  6. Close the registry editor and restart the w32Time service


What is NTP client?

An NTP client is a device that accesses an NTP server to synchronize its internal clock to a precise and accurate time.

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How does NTP server synchronize time?

NTP server synchronizes time by comparing the time on its internal clock to the time obtained from a reliable time source. The server then adjusts its time to match that of the reliable time source.

What is the difference between NTP and SNTP?

NTP stands for Network Time Protocol, while SNTP stands for Simple Network Time Protocol. The primary difference between NTP and SNTP is the level of accuracy and the features that they offer. NTP is more precise and offers more robust features than SNTP.

What is a Stratum 1 server?

Stratum 1 server is a time server that is connected directly to a precise and accurate time source like GPS or atomic clocks. These servers provide the most precise and accurate timekeeping within a network.


In conclusion, Windows NTP Server is an indispensable tool for maintaining a synchronized and accurate time within a network. This guide has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of how the server works and how to install and configure it on your Windows machine. With this knowledge, you can enhance the efficiency of your network by ensuring that all devices within the network keep the same accurate time.