ARCHIVED: What is UNC?
Universal Naming Convention (UNC), also called Uniform Naming Convention, is a NetBIOS naming format for identifying and specifying the location of servers, printers, and other resources on a local area network (LAN). Almost all LANs for PCs are based on NetBIOS, making a NetBIOS naming format an easy and compatible way to access files and resources across a network.
UNC names begin with \\ (two backslashes) and take the form:\\Computer_name\Share_name
For example, a share named Chips on a computer named Potato will have the UNC name:\\Potato\Chips
You can also use UNC names on Unix computers, where they originated, but you have to use forward slashes rather than backslashes, for example://servername/path
You can also use UNC to identify shared peripheral devices, such as printers. The goal of UNC is to provide a format for unique and easily remembered names to identify shared resources, so users don't need to remember an IP address to access resources.
Note: In some circumstances it may be necessary to
use the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for a computer (e.g.,
potato.ads.iu.edu rather than
Potato ). For
more, see What is a fully qualified domain name (FQDN)?
Last modified on January 03, 2013.