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The Difference Between a PoE and WiFi Clock Display

network time machine

Network time synchronization is a crucial part of any business’s efficiency planning. This is accomplished through a network time server, also known as a clock server. These servers will retrieve the actual time, usually through a GPS clock, and distribute that information across a network of computers and devices. If a network’s devices are not synchronized, an array of malfunctions can occur. Billing, emails, and digital security may be compromised. A properly synchronized network with all clocks displaying accurate time will ensure a more efficiently-run company.

An important part of setting up your network time machine is making the choice between a PoE or WiFi network display. When making this decision, there are many factors to consider, including size, format, color, single-sided or double-sided, and whether you need a clock or timer, a dot-matrix custom message display, or the flexibility of both. If you have already made up your mind, you are ready to purchase your network time machine. If not, you may need more information to help decide what network display is right for you.

In a nutshell, PoE network clocks are hassle-free when it comes to installation and maintenance. A WiFi clock can be analog or digital, battery or electric, and just requires a power source. However, the first step in deciding on a display is identifying your network configuration. Both PoE and WiFi network displays use Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP).

PoE Network Display

PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, a technology that allows network cables to carry electrical power. Therefore, a PoE display requires a connection to an enabled Local Area Network (LAN) through a Cat5 Ethernet cable. The power for the network clock is then managed with a PoE switch. If you do not have a powered LAN, you can purchase a PoE injector accessory separately.

Installing the PoE network display is a breeze. Insert the Ethernet cable and make sure the network is active. Once this is completed, it will display the synchronized time for your network.

WiFi Network Display

On the other hand, a WiFi clock is powered by a 12VDC power supply. This device has two options for sourcing synchronized time, the built-in WiFi capability or an Ethernet cable. The WiFi connectivity only supports a 2.4GHz frequency band and Open, WPA, or WPA2.

Both PoE and WiFi network displays rely on Network Time Protocol (NTP), which has been in use since before 1985, making NTP one of the oldest Internet protocols in use today. Every single PoE clock or WiFi clock is assigned a different IP address and can be synced to either an internal time source or an external time server such as NIST Internet Time Service. Either way, every one of your network clocks will display synchronized time no matter their location within your company.

If you or your company are interested in purchasing a network time machine, contact the experts at TimeMachines.

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