What is an APN? – Android Police

APN settings got you confused? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
APN or Access Point Name is a gateway between your mobile network service provider and the public internet. Each mobile carrier has its unique APN, which is automatically configured on your phone as soon as you put in your SIM card. Your mobile network operator uses the APN settings to connect to a secure gateway, assign your device an IP address, and connect it to the internet.
Most of the time, users don't need to interfere with their device's APN settings. However, if your device is getting a shoddy network connection or slow network speeds, you can change the APN settings on every smartphone, from budget Android smartphones to iPhones, to resolve these issues. This guide explains what an APN is and how you can customize it to solve network issues on your phone.
APN is important, as it facilitates the selection of IP addresses, applies suitable security measures, and ensures that your device adheres to carrier-specific network requirements. Put simply, without correct APN configuration, your device can't create a secure connection to the public internet, and you won't be able to access mobile data.
You don't have to change the APN settings as your device automatically generates these settings as soon as you put in a SIM card (or activate eSIM) most of the time. If you buy a carrier-locked device, it's possible that you cannot change APN settings on your phone.
But if your APN settings are not locked, there might be instances when changing APN settings can be beneficial for you. For example, if you are traveling abroad or changing your phone's carrier, sometimes the correct APN settings might not port on your device. If that happens, your device will not get mobile internet data. In such cases, you can manually enter the correct APN settings to mitigate the issue.
When you change APN settings on your smartphone, you will see a page with several fields, as shown in the screenshot. Here are some of the terms that you need to understand:
To change APN settings on your phone, you need to find the correct APN settings. You can find the APN settings for your mobile carrier on its website. Here's an example of APN settings for T-Mobile, which you can check by clicking on the link.
Now that you know how to find the APN settings for your mobile network provider, let's see how you can change APN settings on your Android smartphone. We use a Samsung device, so the steps might vary slightly if you use a non-Samsung Android smartphone.
If your mobile operator allows it, you can change the APN settings on your iPhone using the steps below.
In older iPhones, you might find the APN settings by going to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data Network or Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network.
If your device doesn't show APN settings by following these paths, contact your network provider.
APN is a necessary feature that allows your smartphone to connect to the public internet. It works without issues most of the time, and you don't have to pay attention to it. However, if you experience connection issues and low internet speed, it might be worth checking out.
We hope this guide helps you understand APN. We also recommend checking out our guide on troubleshooting your Android device if you experience overall system sluggishness.
Rachit is a voracious reader who loves technology and likes to help people get the most out of their devices.


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