Belkin’s Linksys brand has confirmed that it is now rolling out support for HomeKit integration to users of the Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers. This gives Velop users additional security controls over the smart home accessories connected through HomeKit.

The benefits of HomeKit-enabled routers are primarily related to additional security features, including the ability to firewall off accessories to prevent them from accessing your entire network. Apple describes it as the ability to “enhance security by monitoring the network activity of your Home accessories and preventing unsafe connections.”

In the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac you can customize the level of connection security for each HomeKit accessory. The most secure option will ensure that your HomeKit accessory can only interact with HomeKit through your Apple devices. Here’s how Apple explains the options:

  • 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.

Amazon’s Eero was the first networking company to add support for HomeKit routers, bringing the feature to the Eero and Eero Pro systems. Linksys was touted as a partner for HomeKit router functionality when Apple announced the platform and WWDC 2019, so today’s rollout has been a long time coming for Linksys Velop users.

The full press release from Linksys is below. If you use the Velop Tri-Band mesh routers, you can check for the HomeKit software update in the Linksys app for iOS. Linksys says this will be a “phased rollout” and that it will roll out slowly to a “limited number of users in the United States” to start.

Linksys Velop Tri-Band Mesh Routers Now Support Apple HomeKit For Added Security

A Free Software Update Offers More Secure Management of Smart Home Accessories Connected to Linksys Velop Routers

LOS ANGELES – Sept. 22, 2020 – Linksys, the connected home division within the Belkin International and Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) (HK: 6088) entity, today announced HomeKit support for its Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers, providing customers even more privacy and security of their smart home accessories. 

Using the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh router customers are able to manage secure access to their HomeKit-enabled accessories and define how each accessory is allowed to communicate inside the home and through the internet. With HomeKit support, Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers can firewall HomeKit accessories, preventing them from communicating with other Wi-Fi devices connected to the home network and untrusted services via the internet. 

“At a time where much of the world continues to work, live and learn from home, we’re excited to offer our customers a simple way to enhance the security of their Linksys Velop Tri-Band routers with HomeKit to offer even more robust privacy features within the home,” said Matthew Keasler, senior global product manager, Linksys. “These routers are powered by our Intelligent Mesh Technology so we can continue to additionally serve users with value-adds such as software security, health and wellness services like Linksys Shield, Linksys Aware, and more to come over time.”

Linksys customers can enjoy these added security and privacy features available through HomeKit with a free software update to their Velop Tri-Band mesh routers, which will soon be available in the Velop app for iOS and iPadOS. This feature initially will be available to a limited number of Velop Tri-Band users in the United States and later in a phased rollout to most countries worldwide. Security settings for all HomeKit accessories are available in the Apple Home app on iPhone and iPad.  

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