Stands for "Universal Naming Convention or Uniform Naming Convention."
UNC is a standard format for naming and accessing shared resources on a local area network (LAN). Using it allows an operating system that supports UNC (like Windows) to access files and folders over a network just as easily as on the local computer. UNC can identify many types of devices on the network — computers, printers, scanners, NAS devices, or any other device that can store and share files.
A UNC path consists of three elements: the server name, the shared directory, and the filename, separated by backslashes. A UNC can be entered anywhere in an operating system that a local file path would be to access a shared network resource.
A typical UNC path appears as follows:
- The server name can be a string that identifies a server set by the server's administrator using DNS or WINS, or it could be the server's IP address.
- The shared directory is a directory shared on the other device. Each share on the server is separate from the others.
- The filename is not necessarily only a file name. It can also contain subfolders of the shared directory to display the full file path.