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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:


For example, a share named Chips on a computer named Potato will have the UNC name:


You can also use UNC names on Unix computers, where they originated, but you have to use forward slashes rather than backslashes, for example:


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., rather than Potato). For more, see About fully qualified domain names (FQDNs)

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Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:47:44.