Connect vs mount - terminology question

I would like to connect PC’s with Rocky linux to a synology NAS ( through a switch )
Now in my mind the word for what I want to do is connect. In Linux terms does this mean Mount?
Or is there a difference?

Also in case anyone has done this before me - is Samba the best way? Thanks

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A filesystem has files and directories. Filesystem is typically in a partition or LVM logical volume (LV).

On Windows each filesystem is show as separate, and represented with drive letter (C:, D:). On Linux, there is only one directory tree, where one filesystem “starts” from / and others are seen as subdirectories. For example, on default Rocky /boot, /home and /boot/efi “start” three distinct filesystems that are separate from the /. We say that we mount filesystem to mount-point. E.g. “mount to /boot” or “mount the root filesystem to /”.

Some protocols can share files or entire filesystem (usually called volume) over network to other computers. Examples of protocols are CIFS (that Samba implements), NFS, SSHFS, and iSCSI. The machine that has the physical storage does run server component and other machines run client component.

The client forms a network connection to the server and data is transferred over the connection as you access the files on the share.

On Windows (client) you “use network share”. You get one more drive letter – one more filesystem, whose files you can access with all your programs. Windows uses the CIFS.

Linux (client) can mount a share from server. The protocol to use does depend on which protocol(s) the NAS server has. Furthermore, if more than one machine will access the share, the same files, then it is better that all clients do use the same protocol.

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Thanks for that in depth explanation.

So when you mount a drive is that the equivalent of mapping a network drive on Windows?