In 1991, the NTPv1 architecture, protocol and algorithms were brought to the attention of a wider engineering community with the publication of an article by David L. In 1989, RFC 1119 was published defining NTPv2 by means of a state machine, with pseudocode to describe its operation.
It introduced a management protocol and cryptographic authentication scheme which have both survived into NTPv4.
Often a stratum 2 computer will query several stratum 1 servers.
Stratum 2 computers may also peer with other stratum 2 computers to provide more stable and robust time for all devices in the peer group.
It drew on the experimental results and clock filter algorithm documented in RFC 956 and was the first version to describe the client-server and peer-to-peer modes.
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In 1985, NTP version 0 (NTPv0) was implemented in both Fuzzball and Unix, and the NTP packet header and round-trip delay and offset calculations, which have persisted into NTPv4, were documented in RFC 958.
Despite the relatively slow computers and networks available at the time, accuracy of better than 100 milliseconds was usually obtained on Atlantic spanning links, with accuracy of tens of milliseconds on Ethernet networks.