Network Time Protocol (NTP)

Document revision 19-Nov-2002
This document applies to the MikroTik RouterOS V2.6


NTP protocol allows synchronizing time among computers in network. The best is if there is internet connection available and local NTP server is synchronized to correct time source. List of public NTP servers is available:

Contents of the Manual

The following topics are covered in this manual:

NTP Installation on the MikroTik RouterOS

The ntp-2.6.x.npk package ir required. The package can be downloaded from MikroTik’s web page . To install the package, please upload it to the router via ftp and reboot. You may check to see if the packages are installed with the /system package print command.

NTP Client

The NTP Client setup is under /system ntp client

[admin@MikroTik] > system ntp client print
	  enabled: no
	     mode: unicast
	   status: stopped
[admin@MikroTik] >

NTP client synchronizes local clock with some other time source (NTP server). There are 4 modes in which NTP client can operate:

Status of NTP client can be monitored by looking at status parameter. There are several possible statuses:

NTP Server

The NTP Server setup is under /system ntp server

[admin@MikroTik] > system ntp server print
      enabled: no
    broadcast: no
    multicast: no
     manycast: yes
[admin@MikroTik] >

NTP server activates only when local NTP client is in synchronized or using-local-clock mode.

If NTP server is disabled, all NTP requests are ignored.

If NTP server is enabled, all individual time requests are answered.

If broadcast is enabled, NTP broadcast message is sent to every 64s.

If multicast is enabled, NTP multicast message is sent to every 64s.

If manycast is enabled, NTP server listens for multicast messages sent to and responds to them.

CAUTION! Using broadcast, multicast and manycast modes is dangerous! Intruder (or simple user) can set up his own NTP server. If this new server will be chosen as time source for Your server, it will be possible for this user to change time on Your server at his will.


NTP changes local clock to UTC (GMT) time by default. To specify different time zone, time-zone parameter under /system clock has to be changed.

[admin@MikroTik] > system clock print
	 time: aug/12/2002 18:31:20
    time-zone: +00:00
[admin@MikroTik] >

Time zone is specified as a difference between local time and GMT time. For example, if GMT time is 18:00:00, but correct local time is 19:00:00, then time-zone has to be set to +1 hour:

[admin@MikroTik] > system clock set time-zone=3
[admin@MikroTik] > system clock print
	 time: aug/12/2002 21:31:57
    time-zone: +03:00
[admin@MikroTik] >

If local time is before GMT time, time-zone value will be negative. For example, if GMT is 18:00:00, but correct local time is 15:00:00, time-zone has to be set to -3 hours:

[admin@MikroTik] > system clock set time-zone=-3
[admin@MikroTik] > system clock print
	 time: aug/12/2002 15:32:20
    time-zone: -03:00
[admin@MikroTik] >

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