UNC – Universal Naming Convention or Uniform Naming Convention

The UNC is a standardized method for naming servers, files, and directories in shared computer networks and for identifying the location of shared peripheral devices, such as printers, scanners, or other such resources.

The format of a UNC file name usually uses two backslashes (\\) to designate a server and a single backslash to name the path or directory on the computer drive.

The format can be illustrated as follows: \\ servername\resourcename
where servername is the host directory name of a network file server, and resourcename is the name of a networked or shared directory.

This is not the same as a DOS directory, although the format is similar.

Considering that the goal of a UNC is to reduce confusion and standardize the format, it’s ironic that Windows (and DOS) and Unix actually use different slashes to separate the components of a UNC. Unix uses forward-slashes (//), whereas DOS and Windows use backslashes (\\) to affect that separation.

With the explosive growth of the Internet (and of Web-based applications in general), UNCs are becoming more common. This makes sense because it means that a browser can refer to data that’s not stored on one particular Web serve