Having issues connecting to wireless? GPS location inaccurate? Can’t log into your Banks Website? Check your time and date!

The world runs on time. It may sound funny but it’s true. There are many technologies we all use daily that rely on YOUR clocks being accurate. It is SO important that we have your computers synchronise with four separate time servers to make absolutely sure they function as expected. You also cannot go in to change it as it requires an administrative password to change. However, we all have a number of devices that also rely on having accurate time, such as cell phones, TVs, GPS systems, etc. Below, are some reasons WHY having accurate time on those devices is critical and how to deal with it if they aren’t.

  • WiFi
    • If your clock is more than 4 minutes off, you WILL NOT be able to connect to BA’s wireless system. Most secured WiFI systems are far stricter than ours.
  • Secure Websites
    • Most websites now use a special security protocol called HTTPS. If you see HTTPS instead of HTTP in the beginning of a web address (Such as https://www.google.com) then you will not be able to access that site without accurate clock settings.
  • GPS
    • GPS systems calculate your position on earth by comparing the time it takes signals from satellites to reach you. If the time on your device isn’t accurate (we’re talking within 10 nanoseconds) then  your location and other information will be inaccurate. Most GPS units you have are also cellphones who’s time is set by your service provider and synced with one of the US atomic clocks.
  • Cell phones/mobile devices
    • This is kind of a moot point, but your phone wouldn’t be able to connect with your cellular provider if its clock wasn’t accurate to within a few seconds. Because of this, your cellular provider syncs your phones time with theirs as mentioned above. However, it’s important to know that this ONLY applies to FUNCTIONAL cellular devices. If your phone or tablet is NOT connected to a cellular provider then it may not be updating its time.
  • Servers (like BA-Files)
    • Similar to WiFi, any secured file server will NOT let you connect unless your device’s clock is within a certain allowable range. The more secure the server, the smaller the time allowance window. Brewster’s time window is HUGE – all of 4 minutes.
  • File Sync/backup
    • Here’s a nightmare scenario. Let’s say you backup all of you files on your computer. Then some time goes by and your clock resets to a few YEARS before now. Then you backup again. This process may actually KEEP your old files and delete the new ones because the computer thinks they are actually older.

These are only a FEW reasons it’s critical to keep your device’s clocks accurate. Here are the ways in which you can make sure your computer’s time is up to date.

  • Check your date and time to see if they’re correct.
  • For a Mac:
    • If they aren’t usually restarting the device is the best first step
    • If it’s a Mac computer. Check the “Date and Time” area in “System Preferences”
    • Screenshot 2016-03-31 08.26.48.png
    • Make sure to check “Set date and time automatically”.

Screenshot 2016-03-31 08.26.58.png

  • If this is checked and your date and time are still wrong:
    • Unlock the “lock” icon at the bottom of the screen, uncheck the “Set date and time automatically” box. This will now let you manually set the date and time. Make sure you use the time from another accurate device, such as a working cell phone.
    • Make sure you can connect to the internet.
    • Then, recheck the “Set date and time automatically” checkbox.
  • For a PC:
    • Open Date and Time by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Clock, Language, and Region, and then clicking Date and Time.
    • Click the Date and Time tab, and then click Change date and timeAdministrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    • In the Date and Time Settings dialog box, do one or more of the following:
    • To change the hour, double-click the hour, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.
      • To change the minutes, double-click the minutes, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.

      • To change the seconds, double-click the seconds, and then click the arrows to increase or decrease the value.

      • When you have finished changing the time settings, click OK.

    • To change the time zone, click Change time zone.
      • In the Time Zone Settings dialog box, click your current time zone in the drop-down list, and then click OK.