- Sometimes known as machine access or random access, direct access is a term used to describe the ability of a computer to locate and retrieve data immediately from a storage device without having to start at the beginning and read all information until the requested data is found.
For example, a
hard drive is capable of directly accessing data. However, a tape drive must access all information before the requested data is retrieved, which is referred to as linear access.
- When referring to
a telephone call, see local bypass.
Also see: Hard drive definitions, Random-access file, Sequential access