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What Is an APN and How Do I Update It?

An APN (Access Point Name) connects your device to the internet via your mobile network. It might need updating with a new SIM or eSIM. Roamless users can find/update APN settings in device settings. If using a Roamless eSIM, check installation page for APN details.

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Nov 15, 2023

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Have you ever pondered how your mobile provider identifies the exact network to connect you to? Your answer lies in the APN. This guide delves deep into understanding APNs and the circumstances under which you might need to tweak the settings when you get a new SIM or eSIM.

In this article, we will explore:

  • What is an APN?

  • How does an APN operate?

  • Why might I need to adjust my APN settings?

  • Discovering your APN settings

  • Essential APN settings to be aware of

  • Updating your APN settings for a Roamless eSIM

  • Adjusting APN settings on iPhone

  • Modifying APN settings on Android

What Is an APN?

APN stands for Access Point Name. Think of it as a bridge that provides your device with the necessary information to link to the internet via your mobile network.

How Does an APN Work?

An APN comprises two main elements: a network identifier and an operator identifier. The first points to the external network, and the latter specifies the MNO (Mobile Network Operator) or MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) linked with it.

For mobile data usage, your MNO or MVNO consults your APN to decipher:

  • The IP address to be assigned to your device.

  • The appropriate network to connect your device to.

  • The security protocols to adopt.Consequently, this facilitates a connection between your carrier’s network and the internet.

Why Would I Need to Change My APN Settings?

Typically, your APN settings are auto-configured by your carrier. Yet, with a new SIM or eSIM, you might have to manually adjust the APN within your device settings.

Where To Find Your APN Settings

Here’s the roadmap to locate the APN settings on iPhone and Android:

For iPhone:

  • Navigate to Settings.

  • Tap Cellular or Mobile Data.

  • Choose your Roamless eSIM.

  • Click on Cellular Network or Mobile Data Network.

For Android:

  • Head to Settings.

  • Select Mobile Networks.

  • Click on Access Point Names.

  • Pick the APN you wish to inspect.

APN Settings to Know

Your APN settings might appear complex initially. However, for most new SIMs or eSIMs, only a few fields need editing.

Here's a brief rundown of some settings:

  • APN: Your access point name.

  • APN type: Four APN types exist: Generic, SUPL, MMS, and WAP. Generic is the default for most carriers.

  • MMSC: Stands for Multimedia Messaging Service Center.

  • Proxy: Used by certain carriers to establish a proxy connection.

How To Update Your APN Settings for a Roamless eSIM

Certain Roamless eSIMs might require you to modify the APN settings. These can be found on your eSIM installation page. To begin:

  • Log into your Roamless account.

  • Click on My eSIMs.

  • Press Details.

  • Select Install eSIM/Access Data.

  • Navigate to Step 2/2 Access Data.

If the message "the APN is set automatically" is displayed, your APN settings will auto-update during eSIM installation.

However, if a specific APN is indicated (e.g., global data), those settings must be updated. Copy the APN details and follow the respective steps for your device:

For iPhone:

  • Head to Settings.

  • Tap Cellular or Mobile Data.

  • Choose your Roamless eSIM.

  • Select Cellular Network or Mobile Data Network.

  • Input or paste the updated APN in the relevant field.

  • Leave other fields untouched.

For Android:

  • Navigate to Settings.

  • Choose Mobile Networks.

  • Select Access Point Names.

  • Pick your Roamless eSIM.

  • Input or paste the new APN.

  • Keep other fields unchanged.

You should now be connected to your eSIM network upon reaching your destination! If issues arise, our support team is available around the clock. Simply contact us here and we will get back to you.

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