Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017

APN Settings

Smartphones are once again changing the game, with almost everyone preferring to access the internet via their portable devices through their APN settings. Surfing the web has become and activity for people on the go – from waiting on their morning commute, working in the office, or relaxing on social media after a long day.

This new preference has been driving up demand for mobile data over the years. Everyone wants excellent, affordable, high coverage internet – and they want it now. Cellular providers are working hard to deliver excellent services to their customers for this top product.

However, there are some additional settings you must be aware of to be able to connect to the internet through your mobile data. If you don’t follow these special settings, - so called APN Settings - it may result into a weak or nonexistent connection. These configurations may seem like stressful mumbo jumbo to your right now, but with Vsenn’s comprehensive guidance, we’ll explain what you have to do to set up your connection in easy to follow steps!

We have listed the most important providers and their APN Settings for you

What is an APN?

Perhaps it is best to explain what an Access Point Name is when you understand why they are needed. Their function is fundamental to accessing the internet – which is probably what you are doing right now!

The Access Point Name acts as a gateway between your mobile network and another computer network. Your mobile network is of the type that you see above your data connection, ranging from GSM, GPRS, 3G or 4G/LTE. The other network that you are usually trying to access is that of the public internet. When your smartphone or tablet is not locked to a particular company and you can change your SIM to your own preferences, you usually have to fix these settings for yourself.

Think of it as a setting that you need to change, each detail lining up to allow a good and smooth connection between your carrier’s network and the public internet. You can liken it to a set of keys you need to insert into the right keyhole, so that you may open the door into the world wide web. In this case, you are simply just setting and turning these keyholes, but it is your carrier that ultimately turns the door knob after it has determined that everything is in its right place and you are free to access the internet. Your carrier does more of the activity – it determines the proper IP address, ensures the connection is secure, and ironing out other preferences on your end. Through fixing the APN settings ourselves, we direct our connection to a manner we prefer or are comfortable with.

We mentioned that this setting is usually defaulted and there are some devices where you don’t even need to visit this field and still get a great connection. Why would you still want to learn about cell phone APN then? You should still figure it out because APN settings are helpful for troubleshooting your connection. Imagine in times where you travel, want to avoid some extra carrier charges, or even if you change your device’s settings and so forth, you’ll want to take a close look at this list in case your connection goes funny.

Your MMS APN doesn’t so much depend on your device, as much as it depends on your carrier service. There are differences from iPhones and Android phones, and so on. Some carriers don’t even allow you to view your settings so you cannot unlock APN and have to follow their data rules and restrictions strictly. If you find that your device doesn’t automatically configure APN (this is especially true for unlocked phones), then you need to do a bit of research to figure out how to correct these settings for an optimal surfing experience.

What are APN Settings?

Under the APN are a lot more details that you need to pay attention to effectively go through the connection process. Some are determined by your carrier, others will be your preference, and maybe a few would not matter so much. What is important is that these settings are right by our carrier, so that our data plan can be supported by their company.

The APN settings are as follows:

  • Name
  • APN
  • Proxy
  • Port
  • Username and Password
  • Server
  • MMSC
  • MMS Proxy
  • MNC
  • Authentication Type
  • APN Type
  • MCC

What are the Access Point Name Settings for your Carrier?

Before you go around tinkering with your APN to be able to connect to the internet properly, you should know that all carriers have different APNs. 

The bigger telecommunications companies have some default APN settings, and are willing to lend you a hand through their customer service hotline if you find you are stuck on some steps. The top providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular will help you navigate the APN maze. You might even find this on their websites. Even if this is not the case and you’re not with the above providers, you will still find yourself able to find the right settings with a quick search.

What are the Android/iPhone APN Settings?

While the APN settings mentioned above are important to your connection no matter what kind of phone you have, the difference in the process could be how to access your APN settings list through your phone.

Search for your phone’s APN Settings by finding it in Wireless, Network, Cellular or the equivalent category pertaining to data and network carrier.

Android APN Settings

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Mobile Networks.
  • Select Access Point Names.

iOS APN Settings

On an iPhone:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Cellular.
  • Select Cellular Data Options.
  • Select Cellular Network.

On an iPad:

  • Got to Settings.
  • Select Cellular Data.
  • Select APN Settings.

Once you find these settings, you’ll realize some parts are greyed out or not editable, meaning this standard has been kept that way and should not be changed, so best to leave it as it is. Be careful with editing these fields if you don’t know exactly what to do. It should be noted that whatever you input in these fields may be case sensitive or character sensitive. Making a mistake could mean a bad connection you’ll have a hard time untangling.