Online Date and time utilities
By Brian Pontarelli
Epoch time converter
This collection of online date and time tools will help you easily convert times. You can see an output of your local time and date, the time in seconds, as well as in milliseconds. You can then also convert time from seconds or milliseconds, or you can use the tool to convert a time string into time since epoch.
These values are based on the current instant when this page was loaded. The milliseconds and seconds are from epoch. You can copy these values but they aren’t editable.
Convert from seconds
These values are based on an instant, which is either milliseconds and seconds are from epoch. You can modify the top value to change the output below it.
Convert from strings
These values are based on a date in ISO format. You can modify the top value to change the output below it.
What is epoch time?
Whether you’re debugging an issue, manipulating logs, or scheduling tasks, an epoch time converter is an invaluable tool in your developer toolkit.
Epoch time is a way to represent time as the number of seconds or milliseconds that have passed since a specific starting point, known as the epoch (January 1, 1970 UTC). It plays a crucial role in various programming tasks, such as measuring performance, tracking file changes, or synchronizing events. When working with epoch time, having a reliable epoch time converter can be immensely helpful. It allows you to effortlessly convert those numerical values into a more human-readable format, making it easier to interpret timestamps and analyze time-related data.
UTC vs epoch time
As a developer, you often encounter two different ways of dealing with time: UTC and epoch time.
UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is a global standard for measuring time. It’s like a universal clock that everyone agrees on. It helps ensure that time is consistent across different timezones and regions. When working with date and time data, you’ll often see UTC used to represent specific points in time accurately.
On the other hand, epoch time is a way to represent time as a single numerical value. It measures the number of seconds or milliseconds that have passed since a particular moment in history called the
epoch. For developers, the epoch is always January 1, 1970, at 00:00:00 UTC (midnight). Epoch time is handy when you need to perform calculations or comparisons between different points in time, as it simplifies the process by converting time into a numerical format. Some computer systems are now representing epoch using nanoseconds for more precision. You can check the documentation for your operating system and programming language to see if it supports nanoseconds.
So, while UTC provides a human-readable representation of time with hours, minutes, and seconds, epoch time offers a numeric representation of time as the number of seconds or milliseconds elapsed since the epoch. As a developer, understanding the difference between these two concepts is crucial when working with date and time-related operations in your code.
Use-cases for epoch time
- Timestamping Events: Epoch time is perfect for timestamping events or capturing the exact moment when something occurred. Whether you’re logging events, monitoring system activities, or tracking user interactions, epoch time provides a standardized and precise way to record these timestamps.
- Time Calculations: Epoch time allows you to perform accurate time calculations. You can determine the duration between two events, measure the execution time of code or operations, or schedule tasks based on specific time intervals. Epoch time simplifies these calculations by representing time as a single numeric value.
- Version Control: Epoch time is commonly used in version control systems, such as Git, to track changes in code repositories. Each commit is associated with an epoch time, enabling you to precisely identify when a particular change was made, compare versions, and collaborate effectively with other developers.
- Debugging and Troubleshooting: When investigating issues or debugging code, epoch time can provide valuable insights. By logging events with epoch timestamps, you can analyze logs, pinpoint problematic areas, and determine the sequence of events leading to an error or unexpected behavior.
- Cross-Platform Time Representation: Epoch time provides a universal time representation that is not tied to a specific timezone or locale. This makes it easier to handle time-related data across different systems, programming languages, and databases, ensuring consistency and avoiding complications arising from time zone conversions.
- Data Analysis and Visualization: Epoch time can be used in data analysis tasks, allowing you to aggregate, filter, and visualize time-based data efficiently. By converting epoch time into more familiar date and time formats, you can create meaningful charts, graphs, and reports to gain insights from your data.
Unix timestamps and epoch time
Unix timestamps, also known as Unix time or POSIX time, are a way to express epoch time specifically in the Unix operating system and related systems. In Unix timestamps, the epoch is the same as in epoch time, January 1, 1970, at 00:00:00 UTC.
Unix timestamps are typically represented as a single integer value, which counts the number of seconds since the Unix epoch. This integer value continuously increments by one every second.
For example, if the current Unix timestamp is
1621453155, it means that
1,621,453,155 seconds have passed since the Unix epoch. By converting this Unix timestamp back to epoch time, you can determine the corresponding date and time.
Note that Unix does not use milliseconds as some programming languages do. However, the computer and the operating system will provide as much precision as possible. In many cases, this is nanosecond precision.
In summary, Unix timestamps are a specific implementation of epoch time that represents the number of seconds since the Unix epoch. They provide a standardized way to represent and manipulate time in Unix-based systems.