At the previous WWDC, Apple announced HomeKit support for routers. However, Apple had not revealed the specifics until now. The company has published a new support document that explains how HomeKit enabled routers’ work along with the setup process.
Apple claims that HomeKit enabled routers are much more secure. It is designed to protect accessories by controlling which services and devices communicate with your Wi-Fi network and eventually the Internet. Furthermore, the router offers three levels of security, each one offering different degrees of security. If you choose the most secure option then all the communication between HomeKit accessory is carried over on your Apple device.
Here is how Apple explains different levels of connection available for the HomeKit accessory.
- Restrict to Home: Most secure. Your accessory can interact only with HomeKit through your Apple devices. The accessory won’t connect to the Internet or any local devices so any third-party services, like firmware updates, might be blocked.
- Automatic: Default security. Your accessory can communicate with HomeKit and connections recommended by its manufacturer.
- No Restriction: Least secure. This setting bypasses the secure router and allows your accessory to interact with any device in your network or Internet-based service.
Christopher, a HomeKit and smart home enthusiast has taken to Twitter and expressed displeasure at the complicated setup process.
— Christopher Close (@itschrisclose) February 22, 2020
Apparently, the setup process involves removing and re-adding all of your HomeKit accessories and the process is time-consuming if you happen to own more advanced HomeKit setups.
After setup, add your HomeKit accessories to the Home app. If you already have Wi-Fi HomeKit accessories added to the Home app, remove and reset them, then add them back to the Home app for a more secure connection.
Setting up HomeKit from the beginning is a cumbersome task. We wish Apple offered some sort of backup functionality for HomeKit accessories. It is also worth noting that there are no HomeKit-enabled routers as of now. Eero is said to be prepping its mesh router with the new functionality.