# Direct vs. Random Access

Would someone please clarify for me the difference between direct and random access?

Specifically, why does this Wikipedia article on Direct Access Storage Devices distinguish between the two:

The direct access capability, occasionally and incorrectly called random access (although that term survives when referring to memory or RAM),

In computer science, random access (sometimes called direct access) is the ability to access an element at an arbitrary position in a sequence in equal time, independent of sequence size.

• It seems like you're asking about the "Direct access method" but your title says otherwise :p – keyser Nov 7 '12 at 19:35

Both seems same. We use Random Access when for primary memory (RAM) and Direct Access for secondary storage.
The access methods for DASD are Sequential, Indexed and Direct.

So, here Direct means Random only