[ntp:questions] NIST vs. pool.ntp.org ?

David Woolley david at ex.djwhome.demon.invalid
Wed Mar 27 21:45:38 UTC 2013

Robert Scott wrote:
> I am confused about the proper usage of pool.ntp.org and NIST.
> pool.ntp.org seems to be a collection of private sector time servers
> offered for all to use, but with registration expected for regular

The pool system has no provision for enforcing registration.  It 
wouldn't make sense to hand out a random server address if most of them 
then refused to serve you because you hadn't registered.

> users.  And NIST has a government run set of time servers.  Neither
> group (NIST or pool.ntp.org) seems to include or referece the other.

I would hope all the pool servers ultimately reference their national 
equivalent of NIST and therefore what becomes, after the fact, UTC.

I think you will find that Navstar (GPS) and WWV times are traceable to 

MSF times are traceable to NPL.

> Are they in competition?  Who normally uses the NIST servers and who
> uses pool.ntp.org?

The open NIST servers are heavily overloaded, so probably don't serve 
the highest quality time, but they are likely to be around for a long time.

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