7 Things You Should Know About the Access Point Name
The access point name is a unique identifier for your wireless network. It provides the details your phone needs to connect to the internet. The APN has several main components: the SSID, which identifies your WiFi signal; security settings such as WPA-PSK or WEP; and Channel Number (2.4Ghz). To connect to a wireless network, you may need to enter the access point name.
As a consumer, checking the access point name is not something you have to do very often unless your phone is connecting to multiple networks or there has been changing in service. Here are 7 things that will help you understand what the access point name is and why it is important.
#1. APN is The Connection Point Between Two Networks
The access point name is a unique identifier for your wireless network that helps you connect to the internet. The APN has several functions beyond just identifying your network, it can store information to authenticate you for services and even the type of data being sent. By associating your device with a specific APN, you can ensure that you never connect to someone else’s network.
Most phones will ask you to enter the appropriate APN information when you first connect, and some even save it for future use. If you are using a prepaid service with your phone or tablet, then your APN is what determines which types of paid services are available to you. For access to regular cellular data, you will need to set up your device with an APN.
#2. Helps You Reduce Data Spend
When you use a single access point APN for different SIM cards and devices, you get to reduce your data spend. This is because the APN solution will automatically compute your data usage with any device that you use, in effect reducing the amount of money spent on things like streaming videos.
This is in fact why most carriers recommend using an access point for business purposes especially when each employee has their own device to connect to the company’s Wi-Fi network.
You get to save on bandwidth, increase the quality of your users’ video streaming experience and benefit from a reduced number of dropped calls. APNs prove to be extremely useful for companies with many employees and users, especially when they are used on a large scale.
#3. APN Registration Can Take A While
The first time you connect to the internet with mobile data, your phone or tablet must register itself with your network’s mobile service provider. This can take up to five minutes, so be sure not to turn off your cellular connection before this is complete.
The APN registration process is not necessary for most people but is required if you are on a prepaid service. If your device does not have an APN set up yet, then it will automatically register itself under your provider’s name.
When traveling abroad with cellular data, make sure that your device is registered to the correct country or region. If you are in an area without reception, then your phone may take up to 30 minutes before it can register itself to the network. Once that is done, then you should be able to connect to the internet via cellular data right away.
#4. Good to Use In Business
It is pretty common for businesses to use an Access Point Name (APN) in their day-to-day operations, but there are still many users who do not know what it does or how important it is. The access point name in simple terms is a gateway between your phone and carrier network. Without the APN your phone will not be able to send or receive calls, text messages, pictures, and other multimedia.
It allows you to send data like text messages or multimedia messages that are sent out when you surf the web on your device. You can think of it as your microchip’s home address; without knowing where the sending address is, no data will be sent out successfully.
Since most phones are sold with an APN set for a specific carrier, it is important that you change the default settings as soon as possible. The wrong APN can cause some serious issues such as dropped phone calls and slower connection speeds.
#5. Access Point Name Protocols
The APN protocol is a communication standard used to send and receive information from mobile communication devices. Currently, there are two major protocols that are being used for communication: GPRS and Evolved Packet System (EPS). GPRS is the older of the two protocols, and it is only in use in some parts of the world. Meanwhile, EPS can be used anywhere in the world.
If you want to operate your network using GPRS (for example), then your APN information should contain “GPRS” or “internet” written down in there somewhere. This means that when your microchip tries to connect to your network using GPRS, it will be able to do so without any problems.
#6. APN is a Unique Identifier
Every time you switch SIM cards, your APN changes. This unique identifier is connected to the carrier and ensures that your device’s microchip can successfully send and receive data over a mobile network.
The APN helps in connecting with nearby towers which in turn use radio frequencies to transmit and receive information from your phone. If there is no connection between your SIM card and the local tower, then you get no signal.
#7. APN Settings
Access Point Name (APN) settings are unique terms that your carrier uses to communicate with other networks such as cellular or internet service provider.
Your access point name is usually set by default when you purchase a phone from your carrier, but it is advised that you change it if you want to receive the highest quality of service. APN settings are usually used by mobile operators like Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile or companies that offer wireless broadband services like Verizon or Comcast.
There are some instances when you may need to change your APN settings if they are incorrect. Most of the time you will be able to do this on your phone, but there are times when you have to visit your carrier’s website and update them from there or call customer service for help. This is especially true if you want to use a mobile hotspot with a different carrier.
The Access Point Name is the name of your wireless network. When you’re setting up a new Wi-Fi connection, it should be at least eight characters long and include numbers or letters (no hyphens). The SSID needs to match with what is displayed on your router so that when people are in range they can connect automatically.