What is an APN and How do I Change it?

What is an APN

If you have an unlocked phone and are planning on fitting it with local SIM abroad, then you may need to adjust the APN settings. Be aware that if your phone is locked, or has been locked, then access to configure APN settings may also have been blocked.

What is an APN?

The Access Point Name (APN) settings are the gateway between your provider’s network and the public internet. As such, they need to be correctly adjusted for you to access data.

They consist of text fields that need to be configured according to network setting of your provider. Otherwise you are likely to suffer from connection issues.

It is likely that your phone has preset APN settings for your existing network, but you can also add another APN yourself.

The APN consists of these fields:

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

These fields may appear complicated, but many of them can be left blank, or are optional depending on the network.

How to change the APN?

If you buy your SIM from an official provider, then they should be able to configure these settings for you. If not, then the SIM package should provide instruction. Be careful, as it needs to be completely accurate.

To access these settings:


Settings > Cellular (Mobile) > Cellular (Mobile) Data Options > Cellular (Mobile)Network

You may need to reapply your settings after an iOS update.

What is an APN
Image courtesy of B-mobile Japan

Settings>Mobile Networks>Access Point Names>Menu Button>New APN

What is an APN

Windows Phone:

Settings > Cellular & SIM > SIM settings > Add Internet APN.

what is an APN
Image from geeksquad.co.uk

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