What does APN stand for? What are the types of it? What are the differences between it and VPN? If you are looking for the answers to the above questions, this post is what you need. Now, kepp on your reading.

What Does APN Stand for

What does APN stand for? APN is Access Point Name, which provides the mobile phone with the information needed to connect to the wireless service. It can be changed by adding a new APN profile containing carrier information in the phone settings. Now, you can continue to read this post from MiniTool.

There are two main components of an access point name – network identifier and operator identifier.

The network identifier specifies which external network the gateway is connected to, and the operator identifier tells you which MNO the gateway is associated with. Operator identifier also includes two parts: mobile network code (MNC) and mobile country code (MCC). MNC is unique to the operator, and MCC is based on the area operated by the operator. Generally, MNC and MCC are both three-digit numbers.

In addition, each APN ends with “.gprs” or “.3gppnetwork.org”, which associates the APN with the data standard. APNs can also have custom names, which makes them easier to enter and remember. This is particularly useful in cellular IoT applications, where manufacturers must manually set their APN.

Types of APN

There are 4 types of APN. Now, we will introduce the details.

Public APN

Public APNs allow devices to access the public Internet, and they assign dynamic IP addresses to any device that uses APNs. The address comes from the available address pool in the public network. When the device no longer needs to connect, the IP address it uses is returned to the pool. The next time it needs to connect, it will receive another IP address from the available address pool, which may or may not contain the last used address.

Public APN with Public Static IP

A public APN with a public static IP address will assign an IP address based on the available address pool, but once the device is assigned an address, it will use that address every time it connects to the gateway.

Private APN

Private APNs have been used by corporate device users to provide higher security and have different settings from the public Internet. For example, access to a private APN may require a password or filter specific web pages. Usually, private APNs are also connected to the company network via VPN. Like the public APN, the private APN will assign a dynamic public IP address to the device from the available address pool.

Private APN with Private Static IP

Devices using private APNs may still use dynamic/shared public IP addresses when communicating with the public Internet, but they can obtain a private static IP for connecting to another remote private network. To communicate with or access the device through this private IP address, a virtual private network needs to be established from another private network.


A private APN is the identifier of your MNO cellular network gateway to which certain policies are assigned. This APN usually has a policy that allows or prohibits the public Internet.

A VPN is a virtual private network that works on top of a public Internet connection to establish a private connection between two different networks. Virtual private connections encrypt any data sent over the Internet between these networks, so their connections are more secure than public Internet paths.

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Final Words

Here is all the information about APN. What does APN stand for? What are the types of it? What is the difference between it and VPN. I believe that you have found the answers.

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