Access Point Names For All Networks

APN

WHAT IS ACCESS POINT NAME?

The Access Point Name (APN) is the name for the settings your phone reads to set up a connection to the gateway between your carrier’s cellular network and the public Internet. … An APN has the network settings your phone needs to connect to your provider

Quick definition: APN stands for Access Point Name. It’s a gateway between a cellular network and the Internet. Any time a cell phone or IoT device uses data, its Mobile Network Operator (MNO) reads the APN to assign the device an IP address, determine what kind of network access it needs, and implement security measures.

An Access Point Name is the name of a gateway between a GSM, GPRS, 3G or 4G mobile network and another computer network, frequently the public Internet. A mobile device making a data connection must be configured with an APN to present to the carrier. 

Basically, your APN defines your connectivity settings. And any time you change carriers, you need a new APN—because the name is specific to each MNO.

Here’s what an APN looks like:

It may look somewhat random, but it follows a standard APN structure that makes it easy to tell some basic information about the gateway, such as what network it’s a gateway to and which MNO it’s associated with.

APN types

There are four main types of APNs. They each have to do with whether the Access Point Name connects to a public or private network, and whether it uses dynamic or static IP addresses. The different APNs we used in the past to provide different level of security, separate subscribers and corporates, and deal with different use cases. 

Public APN

Public APNs allow devices to access the public Internet, and they assign a dynamic IP address to any device that uses the APN. The address comes from a pool of available addresses within the public network, and when the device no longer needs a connection, the IP address it used returns to the pool. The next time it needs a connection, it receives another IP address from the pool of available ones, which may or may not include the address it used last time.

Public APN with public static IP

Public APNs with public static IP addresses will assign an IP address based on the pool of available ones, but once a device has been assigned an address, it uses that address every time it connects to the gateway.

Private APN

Private APNs have been used for corporate devices users to give more security and have different settings than the public internet. For example access to the private APN can require a password or filter specific web pages. Usually the private APN was then also connected to the corporate network via a VPN. As with public APNs, a private APN assigns devices a dynamic public IP address from the pool of available ones.

Private APN with private static IP

With a private APN devices may still use a dynamic / shared public IP address when talking to the public internet, but they can get a private static IP for connecting to another remote private network. In order to communicate with or access the device over this private IP address a virtual private network needs to be established from the other private network.  

APN structure

Access Point Names have two main components:

  1. A network identifier
  2. An operator identifier

The network identifier specifies which external network the gateway connects to, and the operator identifier tells you which MNO the gateway is associated with. The operator identifier includes two parts as well: the Mobile Network Code (MNC) and the Mobile Country Code (MCC). The MNC is unique to the carrier, and the MCC is based on the region a carrier operates. Usually, the MNC and MCC are three digits each.

Additionally, every APN ends with either “.gprs” or “.3gppnetwork.org”, which associates the APN with a data standard.

APNs can also have custom names, which makes them easier to enter and remember. This is especially helpful in cellular IoT applications, where manufacturers have to manually set their APNs. When you use EMnify as your connectivity solution, your APN is simple: “em”. Custom APNs still use network identifiers and operator identifiers, but they get translated from the unique domain into the standard APN format. (This happens on the backend, so you don’t have to worry about it.)

How do I find my access point name?

How do I check my APN (mobile internet) settings?

  1. 1 Swipe up from the home screen, to access your apps.
  2. 2 Tap the Settings app.
  3. 3 Tap Connections.
  4. 4 Tap Mobile networks.
  5. 5 Tap Access Point Names.
  6. 6 Tap the Access Point you would like to check.

ADVANTAGES OF APN

Advantages

:1. More users access

An ordinary wireless router can only support 10-20 users access, while AP is able to allow over 50 or even hundreds of users access, and what’s more, it has stronger ability to send and receive signals. Especially in a large area needing wireless coverage, an AP has more advantages than a wireless router

.2. Broader range of transmission

Generally, the range of signal transmission that a wireless router can cover is just dozens of meters, and if beyond this range, signal will be lost. Nevertheless, an AP can cover further distances, up to 100-300 meters, and the increase of wireless access point will extend signal coverage proportionally, which enables users to roam freely in the network. Especially for enterprises, their office space is usually larger, and even some need to communicate across the buildings, and the number of users accessing the network is so large that they need a larger wireless network coverage, thus avoiding management of cabling.

3. Flexible networking

It is known that except home networking, wireless networking in commercial locations often involves the use of many wireless devices, and different networking patterns should be adopted based on the environment and requirements. The networking mode of the wireless router is relatively single with low flexibility. On the contrary, an AP has a variety of modes for you to choose, which meant to be very flexible, such as Simplex AP, Wireless Client, Wireless Bridge, Multi-point Bridge, etc. and it can be managed in a centralized way with the cooperation of wireless AP controller.4. Multi-AP interconnection

The enterprise can design the wireless program flexibly according to its actual situation. Multi-AP interconnection can give full play to its advantages. Multi-AP applications are typically found in businesses but rarely exposed at home. In the business, the coverage of single AP is limited, so in order to extend the coverage of wireless networks and allow clients to roam seamlessly in the network, multi-AP interconnection will be a favorite for an enterprise.

Disadvantages:1. High cost

Some people think that wireless AP is a little bit expensive, because for enterprises, when the scale of enterprise wireless network is larger, the more wireless APs are needed, thus the higher cost that enterprises will undertake. So the priority for an enterprise is to control cost, which leads many people to be reluctant to use wireless AP, instead, they prefer using home wireless routers with lower performance.2. Inability to be used alone

Now, many people would firstly think of wireless routers instead of wireless AP at the mention of building wireless networks, unless it’s a large hotel, or public places. The main reason is that a wireless AP can’t be used alone, can’t be directly connected to ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Loop) modem and it needs to be used in conjunction with other equipment like switches, controllers, ethernet hubs, etc. Therefore, many people would find it very troublesome and less convenient as a wireless router.

3. Poor stability

Poor stability is aiming at cable networks. Wireless networks take air as transmission medium while cable networks take cables as transmission medium. It’s not difficult to know that the cable network is faster and more stable than wireless network. Wireless AP only functions well when failing to build a cable network.Conclusion

Wireless AP and wireless router are facing different targeted groups, a wireless router is aimed mainly at home users and students with low cost and good performance, and it’s able to meet the basic needs of the general family users. Wireless AP is mainly for business users, and its transmission range is wider and broader, it supports more users access, and has stronger signal sending and receiving capability. At the same time, it also has better safety performance, of course, the price will be far more expensive accordingly.

CONCLUSIVELY

Conclusion

Wireless AP and wireless router, are facing different targeted groups, a wireless router is aimed mainly at home users and students with low cost and good performance, and it’s able to meet the basic needs of the general family users. Wireless AP is mainly for business users, and its transmission range is wider and broader, it supports more users access, and has stronger signal sending and receiving capability. At the same time, it also has better safety performance, of course, the price will be far more expensive accordingly.

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