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Hi Mi Fans,
Today let's take a look at what an APN is and how you go about changing or adding one and its types.
What is an APN?
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.
Your carrier reads these settings, then makes sure to determine the correct IP address, connect to the correct secure gateway, and see if you need them to connect you to a private network like a VPN. All the heavy lifting is done on the carrier side, but we need to make sure the right settings are in place to get on the network we need, in the way we need to connect.
An APN has the network settings, your phone needs to connect to your provider. Depending on how your carrier's network is structured, different settings are mandatory. The rest can be slightly altered to change some of the parameters, but for most of us, we will need to use the exact settings provided by our carrier.
How to change your APN
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The first thing you'll need to do is find the right APN settings for the network you want to use. You'll be able to find these at the support pages at the carrier website.The settings will look like
These are the settings you'll need to enter for a new APN that can use internet service for data and MMS. Now we just need to find where to enter it.
This field specifies what types of data connection should use this APN configuration. This is the second most important setting after the APN field itself.
If your carrier allows all data (including MMS, if you use it) to use the same APN configuration, then this field may contain the special value of "*" (an asterisk; the actual field should not contain the quotation marks). This explicitly tells your device to use the same APN configuration for all types of data.
Otherwise, you may direct different types of data to different APN configurations by specifying differing values in this field for each APN configuration. Note that you can specify multiple values in a single field, by separating them with commas. As usual, you should follow your carrier's recommendations for what to include in this field for each APN setting.
Default: The APN configuration you want to use for general internet data should have "default" in this field. This value indicates that your device should use this APN configuration by default for all types of data communication, unless specifically overridden elsewhere. When using the value "default", it is not required to add additional values. For example, "default,supl" will be functionally the same as using just "default", assuming "supl" is not explicitly specified anywhere.
MMS: The APN configuration you want to use for MMS (Multimedia Messaging System) should have "mms" in this field. This indicates that your device should use this APN configuration for MMS communication. MMS communication requires additional fields to also be configured, such as the MMSC field and in some cases the MMS Proxy / MMS Port fields.
SUPL: Indicates the current APN configuration may be used for Secure User Plane Location (SUPL) data, a feature that allows your phone to determine its geographic location from the carrier. Normally, SUPL data will be able to use the same APN configuration as general internet data, so there will be no need to specify this value explicitly: it will be covered by "default" and will still work fine.
Less common values
DUN: Indicates the current APN configuration may be used for Dial-Up Networking connections. This refers to an outdated method for using your phone to emulate a dial-up modem and is not the way that modern smartphones do tethering anymore. There should be no need to use this value.
HIPRI: Indicates the current APN configuration should be used when applications request a HIPRI connection. This value never has any effect in a normal setup.When making a connection, Android applications may specify a connection type of "HIPRI", which affects the way Android itself routes the data. Normally, HIPRI data will just use the same APN configuration as general internet data, and there will be no need to specify this value explicitly. Specifying this value would only have an effect if you place it in an APN configuration other than the one marked "default", and carriers are unlikely to ever require such a thing.
APN protocol / APN roaming protocol
Android devices which support both IPv4 and IPv6 networks will have entries here for APN protocol and APN roaming protocol. These specify whether your device should enable IPv4, IPv6 or both on your device.
IPv4 is required to access most of the Internet, and this is unlikely to change in the medium term, but if your carrier supports IPv6 as well, then you can enable it as well. IPv6 support will be more useful in the future if and when more sites or other services begin to adopt it.
You will gain the ability to access sites which only have an IPv6 address (very few such sites at the moment) and may also benefit from more efficient access to sites which support both.
If your carrier does not support IPv6 and you enable it, then it will probably just have no effect and you will continue to use IPv4 as normal, except in some rare cases where your carrier's network is mis-configured.
What is IPv4 and IPv6?
For most of the Internet's life the fundamental protocol underlying Internet communication has been IPv4. This protocol allows sending packets from one machine to another over the Internet based on numerical addresses for each machine on the Internet.
IPv4 allows around 4 billion unique addresses, and are assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to ISPs in various countries according to need. Unfortunately, the world has already allocated most of the 4 billion possible addresses, and action is needed to ensure the Internet can grow beyond any limits this may impose.
IPv6 addresses this by using a much longer unique address, 128 bits long instead of 32 bits. This increases the number of possible addresses worldwide from around 4 billion to 340 billion billion billion - way more than the number of atoms on our planet and enough to give each machine on the Internet not one, or a small number, of addresses, but potentially an address space larger than the entire number of IPv4 addresses.
Information about this setting is hard to come by, but it appears to relate to devices and carriers that are capable of switching between CDMA technologies (including EvDO) and LTE. This should be set to the setting that is supplied by your carrier or listed under the recommended APN settings on their website. If it is set incorrectly, data may not work at all.
In a nutshell
The most important setting in the group, Whenever your phone needs to open a data connection with your carrier, it quotes an Access Point Name. This is then used by the carrier to determine various settings on their end. The Access Point Name is a short string of letters and other characters intended to identify a particular connection class. The APN you configure must match one of the APNs your carrier accepts, and this varies by carrier, so you should ask them (or search for their recommended APN settings on their website) to find out the correct name to put in this field.
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