Knowledge — 4 months ago

What's an APN (Access Point Name) and How Do I Change It?

by Garry S.

APN, What is APN, How to Change APN

APN Explained in Full

Cell phones have become an important tool in our lives that allows us to communicate with other people, get information, play games, watch content, and even wake up in the morning. With a snooze, please. Like people, cellphones have several identifying feature and numbers, one of which is the APN. Most of you have probably seen this name in your phone's settings, but how many of you know what it means? If you don't, it's time to find out what is an APN and how, if necessary, you can change the APN in your phone.

What is APN?

APN (Access Point Name) is a name in your phone's setting that the phone "reads" to connect the device to the gateway between the public internet and your carrier's cellular network. After the APN is set up, your phone's carrier reads the APN settings to make sure it provides you with the right IP address and a secure gateway.

How to Change APN
The APN is also used by carriers to find out if you need to be connected to a network like VPN. So, for your phone to operate properly and give you secure access to the internet, you have to have the right APN setting based on your carrier.

There are different settings for different carriers based on the way their network is structured, so you need to have the right ones. In most cases, cell phones will have default APN settings so you will be automatically connected to the right network. The most important thing to remember with APNs is that they must be accurate according to the settings determined by your carrier; if you enter or do not have the right APN settings, you won't have an internet connection. This is true for the big networks that have worked out the kinks with APNs, but with smaller carriers, you will likely need to change the APN settings on your phone.

APN

However, there are some cases where you will not be able to change your phone's APN settings; some carriers block the changing option, even in unlocked phones, so might have some problems when you try to change your APN. You can work around the block with guides provided online, but you might end up not being able to access a network altogether. So, you can either stick to your carrier or buy a new phone that allows you to change the settings when you need to.

How to Change an APN?

Now that you know what an APN is, it's time to find out how you can change your APN. The most important thing when changing an APN is to use the right network settings for your phone. You can find the settings in carriers' support pages on their websites. As an example, we will use Verizon's APN changing settings.

APN Name

Verizon

APN

vzwinternet

Proxy

 

Port

 

Username

 

Password

 

Server

 

MMSC

http://mms.vtext.com/servlets/mms

MMS Proxy

 

MMS Port

80

MCC

310

MNC

12

Authentication Type

 

APN Type

internet+mms

APN Protocol

 

APN Roaming Protocol

 

Bearer

 

MVNO Type

 

MVNO Type

 


What is APN
Alternative Verizon APN settings:

 

 

APN Name

Verizon

APN

internet

Proxy

 

Port

 

Username

 

Password

 

Server

 

MMSC

http://mms.vtext.com/servlets/mms

MMS Proxy

 

MMS Port

80

MCC

310

MNC

12

Authentication Type

 

APN Type

internet+mms

APN Protocol

 

APN Roaming Protocol

 

Bearer

 

MVNO Type

 

MVNO Type

 

To change your phone's settings, go to the settings menu ("Access Point Names" section) featured above, and change the parameters according to your carrier's requirements. If your current APN is not working, you can add another one and type in the correct settings. As you can see, there are several fields that are left empty, and that's fine because not all of them need to be completed. So, you should only fill out the fields your carrier provides – no more, no less.

what is apn

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is correct typing; you need to enter the parameters exactly as they are features in your carrier's website. You should take special notice of parameters that do not have any spaces between them, like internet+mms, which is different from internet + mms. If you add or subtract spaces, your carrier will not be able to provide you with the network. Why? Because carrier's systems are set to read parameters exactly as they are typed in, meaning they have an expected set of values. So, if you add or subtract certain values, you will not be properly connected.

After you enter all the values and make sure all of them are correct, you need to save the new APN settings. To save the settings, click on the three dots on the top right part of the APN screen and select "save." If you have another menu key for saving, click it.

Access Point Name

As mentioned before, changing an APN can be performed only with unlocked devices. If you have a locked device, you can take it to someone who can unlock it, but take into mind that it could cause other problems when you use your phone. So, the best way is to get a phone that is sold when it is unlocked or to use a carrier that does not block the option to perform changes.

Cell phones help us perform an endless number of tasks, and for most of them, we need an active network and an internet connection. To have these, you need a correct and active APN that will make your phone work with your carrier's network. If there are problems with your APN, change the settings according to the guide above. If you can't fix the problem on your own, contact your carriers and ask them to solve your network issues.


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