Configure NTP on a Cisco router

NTP (Network Time Protocol) is an application layer protocol used for time synchronization between hosts on a TCP/IP network. The goal of NTP is to ensure that all devices on a network agree on the time, since even a small difference can cause problems. NTP uses a client-server architecture; usually with one host being configured as the NTP server, and other hosts on the network are configured as NTP clients.

Cisco routers can be configured as both NTP clients and NTP servers. To configure a Cisco router as an NTP client, we can use the ntp server IP_ADDRESS command:

Floor1(config)#ntp server

To define a version of NTP, add the version NUMBER keywords at the end of the command (e.g. ntp server version 3).


To verify NTP status, use the show ntp status command:

Floor1#show ntp status
Clock is synchronized, stratum 2, reference is
nominal freq is 250.0000 Hz, actual freq is 249.9990 Hz, precision is 2**19
reference time is DE4AB2B7.0000037A (18:49:27.890 UTC Thu Apr 5 2018)
clock offset is 0.00 msec, root delay is 0.00 msec
root dispersion is 0.02 msec, peer dispersion is 0.02 msec.

To configure your Cisco router as an NTP server, only a single command is needed:

DEVICE(config)#ntp master

After entering this command you will need to point all the devices in your LAN to use the router as NTP server.

Prerequisites for 200-301

200-301 is a single exam, consisting of about 120 questions. It covers a wide range of topics, such as routing and switching, security, wireless networking, and even some programming concepts. As with other Cisco certifications, you can take it at any of the Pearson VUE certification centers.

The recommended training program that can be taken at a Cisco academy is called Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA). The successful completion of a training course will get you a training badge.

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