HomeKit Support Coming to Tri-Band Linksys Velop Routers Soon [Updated]

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,052
9,053



Linksys is planning to release a firmware update for its Linksys Velop routers that will enable HomeKit functionality, according to a notice from Linksys spotted by HomeKit News.

The notice says that Linksys is rolling out a HomeKit firmware update for the Velop system "in the next several days."


After the firmware update is installed, the next time the Linksys app is opened, it will invite users to link with the Apple Home app. All Velop nodes must be tri-band for the integration to work. Tri-band model numbers that work with HomeKit include A03, WHW0301, WHW0301B, WHW0302, WHW0302B, WHW0303, and WHW0303B.


Apple introduced HomeKit support for routers with the launch of iOS 13. According to Apple, HomeKit for routers firewalls off each HomeKit device, so if one happens to be compromised, the others remain safe.

Linksys' tri-band Velop routers are priced starting at $199 and can be purchased from the Linksys website or at a discounted price from Amazon.

Update: Linksys says that the information shared on its website was inaccurate and the launch of HomeKit support is not imminent, though HomeKit support is in the works and will be coming in the future.

From Linksys: "Inaccurate verbiage on timing and availability of Linksys HomeKit-enabled routers was shared on our website today. We are excited to bring these features to market soon, and will reach out when we're ready to announce availability."

Article Link: HomeKit Support Coming to Tri-Band Linksys Velop Routers Soon [Updated]
 
Last edited:

JWD

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2012
58
117
Nice to see the rollout starting. I have Netgear AX8, don’t think I’ll see HomeKit support ever. Netgear seems heavily into PC, I can’t even access my router settings in Safari, need Chrome... otherwise it’s pretty decent for wifi 6 with iPhone 11
 
  • Like
Reactions: H3LL5P4WN

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
159
I have their newest ones, but I don’t see why I will need HomeKit support added? I set them up and they work and I forget about them. 🙂
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ballis

LeeTom

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,535
93
“HomeKit router integration will firewall off all smart home accessories to isolate them from each other, so if one got compromised it couldn’t snoop on your wider network. Users will be able to manage these new security features through the Home app on iPhone and iPad.”

“Apple's HomeKit Secure Video in iOS 13 allows smart home device users to encrypt security camera feeds end-to-end and securely store those videos within iCloud.”

You’re essentially getting a little security bump, and putting more of your trust in Apple rather than a third party with these features. For now, I think that’s a good thing. Apple has better privacy and security out there than many top tech companies. How long that continues is anyone’s guess. Look how far Google has fallen...
 
Last edited:

Jarman74

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2009
151
220
At the WWDC 2019, Apple announced HomeKit-enabled routers from Eero and Spectrum too, but as far as I know they are nowhere to be found.

Disappointing as I was really looking forward to getting one to replace my (still rocking) AirPort Time Capsule.
 

austinmcguire

macrumors newbie
Apr 30, 2006
28
41
Sorry, but can you explain this to someone that has no HomeKit devices and no idea what an offline hub would be used for?

I’m normally up to date on tech but I just don’t get this stuff.
Without Homekit, you are right, this has no bearing on you. However if you have Homekit devices it gives you two benefits.
1) Homekit devices are kept on a seperate network, so if a device gets hacked it can not threaten your main network. Even Amazon with all of their resources, had security issues in the early Echos.
2) Cameras send their video to the local hub and then to iCloud. This way you do not have to worry about who can see the video in / around your house.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,158
2,635
I'm staying with Airport until they give out and I cannot find them on eBay any longer. As it is, most of my smart home devices live on the guest side of my wireless and my routing is done via Netgate firewall with VLAN for those guest services. The only thing my smart devices have access to is the internet. I have some exceptions. Still, if this is meant to work with a device that will be used as a router it would not benefit me since all I use these for is wireless access points.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaveN

kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,559
699
Brunswick, MD
Yeah.... for HomeKit capable cameras, this seems like a pretty nice feature. Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of those on the market yet, and definitely not real inexpensive options. I have some HomeKit automation set up in my house, but have taken a pass on the security cameras so far, for that reason.

I already invested in Orbi as my router of choice after upgrading from Airport Extemes, though, so not likely to switch to the Linksys Velop. For the people still running Airport Extremes though? You really should consider upgrading. I used to think, "They still work great, so why switch?" - but there are some technical limitations with them that not everyone is aware of. For example? Although they do support 802.11ac wi-fi? One of the big features of the "ac" version of that standard is supposed to be the "beam forming" capability, where it "aims" the signal at your device instead of just broadcasting an omnidirectional signal.

Problem with the Airport Extreme's implementation is it can only do the beam forming for the first wireless 802.11ac device that connects with it. If you have a second or third device that share the connection, they'll tend to see REDUCED signal strength because it already beam formed for the first device. A lot of the newer wi-fi routers have multiple antennas and can beam form for more than one device at a time.



Without Homekit, you are right, this has no bearing on you. However if you have Homekit devices it gives you two benefits.
1) Homekit devices are kept on a seperate network, so if a device gets hacked it can not threaten your main network. Even Amazon with all of their resources, had security issues in the early Echos.
2) Cameras send their video to the local hub and then to iCloud. This way you do not have to worry about who can see the video in / around your house.
 

e-coli

macrumors 68000
Jul 27, 2002
1,841
802
I hope we’ll one day see Apple release a similar firmware update for their own legacy AirPort line of products, to enable the same functionality.
Unsolicited advice, get a new router. I was a die-hard AirPort devotee until I bought a Google Wifi router. I now realize how completely terrible Apple routers are. They should be allowed to die.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,292
5,392
Linksys' tri-band Velop routers are priced starting at $199 and can be purchased from the Linksys website or at a discounted price from Amazon.
I recently purchased the dual-band ones from Best Buy for my baby boomer parents to use to replace their aging AirPort network.

I have been a long time AirPort user, for almost 20 years. A while back, it was really easy to set up and use compared to the competition.

But, I was really impressed with how easy the Linksys Velop system was to set up. It was really easy, painless, and didn't take too long.

I liked it so much, that I am thinking of replacing my current AirPort network with the Velop system. Maybe I will look into the tri-band, although it is a lot more $$ than what I paid for the dual-band.

Here is the link for the dual-band on Best Buy, it is currently on sale, 3-pack for a little more than a single tri-band:

 
  • Like
Reactions: Stargher

gcmexico

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2007
850
54
Littleton, CO
these are a piece of crap, DO NOT BUY THEM! look at the bad reviews on amazon and bestbuy, tried these for a weekend....could not get them to work, constant drop offs and constant no response from devices on homekit, which are the complains from everyone that hates this router...it was a nightmare...I have over 100 devices on my network all with homekit integration, this router destroyed my whole setup took me days to get going again, I don’t think this router can handle that many devices on the network...returned them for 3 eero pro’s (the other router that is homekit compatible) everything went back to normal instantly...hate the fact that eero is owned by amazon, but they are truly GREAT! if you want homekit compatibility for a router eero is the best option right now
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Stargher

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2006
2,267
188
Alice, TX
Without Homekit, you are right, this has no bearing on you. However if you have Homekit devices it gives you two benefits.
1) Homekit devices are kept on a seperate network, so if a device gets hacked it can not threaten your main network. Even Amazon with all of their resources, had security issues in the early Echos.
2) Cameras send their video to the local hub and then to iCloud. This way you do not have to worry about who can see the video in / around your house.
Interesting! I was looking at cameras for the house but the wireless ones weren’t HomeKit enabled. So this could solve that?

I didn’t want to go through the trouble of running wires.
 

kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,559
699
Brunswick, MD
Well, FWIW, I have HomeKit working just fine with the Orbi router as well. They had a LOT of issues with older firmware revisions, including a specific HomeKit bug they had to rush a patch out to get around.

But all of that mess seems to be straightened out now. I have their RBK43 setup with the primary router and 2 satellite units ... but they have more advanced models, including weather-proof outdoor satellites, too.

If you're a little more tech savvy, the Ubiquiti UniFi wireless gear is also a really good choice.


these are a piece of crap, DO NOT BUY THEM! look at the bad reviews on amazon and bestbuy, tried these for a weekend....could not get them to work, constant drop offs and constant no response from devices on homekit, which are the complains from everyone that hates this router...it was a nightmare...I have over 100 devices on my network all with homekit integration, this router destroyed my whole setup took me days to get going again, I don’t think this router can handle that many devices on the network...returned them for 3 eero pro’s (the other router that is homekit compatible) everything went back to normal instantly...hate the fact that eero is owned by amazon, but they are truly GREAT! if you want homekit compatibility for a router eero is the best option right now