When it comes to computer storage, direct access is a technique of finding data on a disk by directly reaching its physical location on the device rather than looking for the file sequentially from one location to another. The assumption is that each element of the data you want to access can be accessed efficiently regardless of the number of the elements in the data set.

This means that your computer can calculate exactly where the data is stored and can go straight and access it instantly. It doesn’t have to start accessing the data from a certain point and then work through it bit-by-bit as it is the case with the serial access approach. Note that a direct access storage device feature both electromechanical and electrical means that are instantly positioned to read and write any addressable location on the device.

To understand the difference between the direct access method and the sequential access method, think of how the film-reel movies and DVD movies work. A DVD movie allows you to ‘jump’ directly to your desired scene. However, the film-reel movie requires you must move through every ‘chapter’ or scene until you reach the one you need. From this example, the direct access method is faster than the sequential access method.

Therefore, you can perceive direct access method as random access because it allows you to easily access any selected destination randomly. Somewhat like traveling by the Star Trek transporter instead of cycling along the freeway and pass the exit at the same time, which is what you will get with the sequential access.

If you happened to interact with computers in the 1990s when the web was invented, you can recall that “hypertext” was the buzzword at the time. Note that HTML is an acronym of hypertext markup language. Hypertext, a text that features links to additional content that can be instantly accessed, made the web work as an interconnected media. The hyperlink and hypertext are perfect examples of direct access method when it comes to web data.

When to use direct access method

The direct access method can be used when you want to access data stored in compact disks and DVDs. Also, you can directly access the data that you have stored in your computer hard disk drives.

Besides, direct access methods can be used in environments where fast data access is crucial. For example, point-of-sale terminals in shops and online booking systems require fast data access. Of course, you don’t want to wait for about an hour at the shop checkout just because the system was trying to access the price of rice!

Moreover, the direct access method is applicable when access data stored in flash memory (like in mobile phones and digital cameras), Blu-ray discs, and USB memory sticks.

The huge size of modern files has necessitated an easier way of accessing information. However, for your computer to access information faster, you need DriverAssist to scan and review all your drivers and fix any problem associated with the drivers.