The APN or Access Point Name is the network or carrier your cell phone or tablet accesses for data. Usually you don't have to touch the APN setting because it's configured for you automatically. There are cases, however, where you'll want to visit the APN settings screen on your device: For troubleshooting, for example, when you can't get a data connection after switching to a new network, to avoid data charges on a prepaid call phone plan, to avoid data roaming charges, or to use a different carrier's SIM card on an unlocked phone. Here's where to change the APN settings (or at least view them) on your Android, iPhone, or iPad:
Note that changing the APN can mess up your data connectivity, so be careful when editing it! (Mangling the APN actually is a strategy for blocking apps from using up data, though.)
For troubleshooting, tap "Reset Settings" to get back to the default APN information if for some reason you've messed up the APN settings.
iPhone and iPad APN Settings
If your carrier allows you to view the APN settings, you can find it on your device under these menus, according to Apple's support document:
- iPhone: Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network
- iPad: Settings > Cellular Data > APN Settings
If your carrier does not allow you to change your APN on your iPhone or iPad, you might try a service/site like Unlockit NZ. Point your mobile browser at http://www.unlockit.co.nz on the iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions. The site was developed so you could use unofficial SIM cards from other carriers on your Apple device..