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Linksys today announced that its line of Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers are now compatible with HomeKit, making good on a promise to introduce HomeKit support.

Unfortunately, support is being implemented on a rolling basis. A limited number of Velop Tri-Band users in the U.S. will be able to update their routers to add HomeKit support through a free firmware update made available in the Velop app for iOS and iPadOS.

linksysvelop.jpg

After the initial launch, a phased rollout will continue to bring HomeKit support to other users in the United States along with those in other countries.

With HomeKit integration, Linksys Velop routers will be able to be managed through the Home app on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, providing secure access to HomeKit-enabled accessories. There are options to define how each accessory is able to communicate within the home and through the internet.

linksysvelophomekit.jpg

Through HomeKit, Velop users can choose to firewall off HomeKit accessories to prevent them from communicating with other WiFi devices on a home network and untrusted internet services to prevent hacking attempts and provide better security for connected home devices.

HomeKit-compatible Velop Tri-band model numbers that work with ‌HomeKit‌ include A03, WHW0301, WHW0301B, WHW0302, WHW0302B, WHW0303, and WHW0303B.

Linksys has been working on HomeKit support for some time. Back in February, the company mistakenly updated its website with information suggesting the HomeKit update would roll out in the near future, but Linksys later clarified that the launch timing was inaccurate.

Article Link: Linksys Tri-Band Velop Routers Gain HomeKit Support
 

Maconplasma

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Sep 15, 2020
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I just spent 4 weeks working on upgrading my Comcast plan to 1Gbps and shopping for modems and routers. It came down to the Linksys Velop and the Netgear Orbi Wifi6 RBK852. The Orbi won hands down. Faster Wifi, more than twice the direct ethernet connection speed and no dead zones. The Linksys Velop doesn't have great coverage. I wish the Homekit was offered for the Orbi. It's the superior system.
And yes while it looks "cool" it does resemble the Xbox Series X. lol.
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
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I just spent 4 weeks working on upgrading my Comcast plan to 1Gbps and shopping for modems and routers. It came down to the Linksys Velop and the Netgear Orbi Wifi6 RBK852. The Orbi won hands down. Faster Wifi, more than twice the direct ethernet connection speed and no dead zones. The Linksys Velop doesn't have great coverage. I wish the Homekit was offered for the Orbi. It's the superior system.
And yes while it looks "cool" it does resemble the Xbox Series X. lol.

Did you look at Ubiquiti's Unifi gear? Their Unifi Dream Machine product looks awesome and is getting rave reviews.

After years of mediocrity, I just don't trust the home brands such as Linksys and Netgear.
 
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McKodiak

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Oct 20, 2014
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I've been considering this Amplifi router.
 
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CJ Dorschel

Cancelled
Dec 14, 2019
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Looks like all of these models are for the slower 2.2Gbps WiFi 5 models. Not the 5.3Gbps WiFi 6 ones...

Ugh I have WiFi 6 as my main nodes with a few tri-band nodes to cover some dead spots. I'm surprised they haven't been working on HomeKit for their WiFi 6 line - then again WiFi 6 is still "early" for the general consumer. Since I have Velop tri-band nodes that will get the firmware update, I wonder how this will work as my WiFi 6 nodes are acting as my main system.

As for the other comments on systems:

I used Apple routers for years, holding on to 5-6 last gen AirPort Extreme Base Stations for as long as I could. After Apple announced they were dropping their Airport line (which still baffles me as Apple pushes further into IoT support and streaming services, I don't know why they simply didn't update to mesh systems or at least buy out a company and focus on their wireless systems - even adding wifi to the Apple TV and/or HomePod would be perfect). I tested every system you could possibly think of as I had time and didn't want to invest in something that would end up not being up to par, bricked/ruined with firmware updates as Netgear's systems, etc. From Ubiquiti Systems (AmpliFi HD to UniFi Pro), Netgear Orbi, Eero, to Linksys Velop Tri-Band (at the time Apple's only approved systems sold via Apple). Handsdown, the Linksys velop's won every time (using fiber optic gig). I read too many forums with owners of Netgear's Orbi having continuous problems after numerous firmware updates. AmpliFi HD was the only other system I was considering but Linksys nodes have ethernet for a backhaul and I wasn't crazy about plugin nodes.

I haven't owned a Linksys product since the 90's so I was VERY cautious. In fact, I was surprised to learn Belkin now owns Linksys. I'm also surprised more people don't seem to give the Velop's a chance. I know I know, everyone's mile varies. Just thought I'd lend some help.

I've been considering this Amplifi router.

Figures AmpliFi would get into the WiFi 6 market now after I went with Linksys although I have no regrets. Honestly, try the Linksys WiFi 6. Best Buy has them on sale for $599.99. I grabbed them last year when I saw them for $499.99 and they're compatible with my Velop Tri-band nodes.

 
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Maconplasma

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Sep 15, 2020
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Did you look at Ubiquiti's Unifi gear? Their Unifi Dream Machine product looks awesome and is getting rave reviews.

After years of mediocrity, I just don't trust the home brands such as Linksys and Netgear.
Well I just went to their website and you're right, it's definitely very professionally designed. For me it's "too professional". That type of product I would say would best suit the user who needs more direct ethernet connections. It's more of an enterprise product. Also I prefer to have a mesh system. The Orbi RBK852 has also received rave reviews as well for people who need mesh. But I do understand your distrust for home brands. For me it's mostly the horrible customer service from Netgear. Sometimes it's shocking how great their products are but how horrible their customer service is. I did notice the Ubiquity Amplify Alien mesh system. I will check it out. I just got my Orbi a week ago. I am not hellbent on keeping it if I can find a better mesh system. I'm still within my return policy from Netgear. Thanks for the heads up!
 
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sirozha

macrumors 68000
Jan 4, 2008
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Did you look at Ubiquiti's Unifi gear? Their Unifi Dream Machine product looks awesome and is getting rave reviews.

After years of mediocrity, I just don't trust the home brands such as Linksys and Netgear.
I wouldn’t recommend UDM, and I have UniFi running in my house. At this Point, if you are buying new gear, purchase the WiFi6 or better. UniFi can’t support Gigabit wirelessly unless you use their beta APs that have WiFi6. They do not offer general availability for those yet, and unless you are in IT, UniFi is too complicated to set up. It’s not complicated for those who understand networks, but for an average consumer who wants simplicity and reliability, stay away from UniFi. Orbi and Velop WiFi6 mesh networks is the way to go for a non-technical consumer. Ubiquiti AmpliFi has a WiFi6 mesh system now, but it costs $699 for the main router and one mesh unit.
 
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Corsig

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
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Better late than never. I bought mine last December when they said HomeKit will be coming soon
 
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Aston441

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Sep 16, 2014
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1. Google mesh plugged in two years ago, never touched it since. Just works, always and perfectly.

Does Homekit work with Google Mesh?

2. Completely automated home for 3 (4?) years with Alexa. Just works. Messed with Homekit a few times. What a disaster Homekit compared to Alexa. Everything works with Alexa. Homekit compatible devices? Either don't exist, or $$$$$$$$$.

Aside from iPhone and Mac, Apple products and services seem to be only for the religious cult to the point of stupidity.
 
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gk4

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Mar 6, 2010
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Ugh I have WiFi 6 as my main nodes with a few tri-band nodes to cover some dead spots. I'm surprised they haven't been working on HomeKit for their WiFi 6 line - then again WiFi 6 is still "early" for the general consumer. Since I have Velop tri-band nodes that will get the firmware update, I wonder how this will work as my WiFi 6 nodes are acting as my main system.

As for the other comments on systems:

I used Apple routers for years, holding on to 5-6 last gen AirPort Extreme Base Stations for as long as I could. After Apple announced they were dropping their Airport line (which still baffles me as Apple pushes further into IoT support and streaming services, I don't know why they simply didn't update to mesh systems or at least buy out a company and focus on their wireless systems - even adding wifi to the Apple TV and/or HomePod would be perfect). I tested every system you could possibly think of as I had time and didn't want to invest in something that would end up not being up to par, bricked/ruined with firmware updates as Netgear's systems, etc. From Ubiquiti Systems (AmpliFi HD to UniFi Pro), Netgear Orbi, Eero, to Linksys Velop Tri-Band (at the time Apple's only approved systems sold via Apple). Handsdown, the Linksys velop's won every time (using fiber optic gig). I read too many forums with owners of Netgear's Orbi having continuous problems after numerous firmware updates. AmpliFi HD was the only other system I was considering but Linksys nodes have ethernet for a backhaul and I wasn't crazy about plugin nodes.

I haven't owned a Linksys product since the 90's so I was VERY cautious. In fact, I was surprised to learn Belkin now owns Linksys. I'm also surprised more people don't seem to give the Velop's a chance. I know I know, everyone's mile varies. Just thought I'd lend some help.



Figures AmpliFi would get into the WiFi 6 market now after I went with Linksys although I have no regrets. Honestly, try the Linksys WiFi 6. Best Buy has them on sale for $599.99. I grabbed them last year when I saw them for $499.99 and they're compatible with my Velop Tri-band nodes.


thanks for the detailed write up. I feel like my expectations are very similar to yours - where I value stability above everything else. I was actually in the market to replace my google wifi and my main factors are stability and the ability to do wired backhaul. I really need to be able to access through a web ui as well..
 
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gk4

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2010
177
256
1. Google mesh plugged in two years ago, never touched it since. Just works, always and perfectly.

Does Homekit work with Google Mesh?

2. Completely automated home for 3 (4?) years with Alexa. Just works. Messed with Homekit a few times. What a disaster Homekit compared to Alexa. Everything works with Alexa. Homekit compatible devices? Either don't exist, or $$$$$$$$$.

Aside from iPhone and Mac, Apple products and services seem to be only for the religious cult to the point of stupidity.

the whole point of HomeKit routers is that they block devices from being able to contact the internet. So it’s unlikely they’ll ever work with Google/Nest wifi. Google wifi is so bound to the internet, that if your network is having issues and you fire up the google home app while standing right beside your router - you can’t do anything because you need to go out to Google’s servers then back down to that router an arms length away from you to use the app whatsoever (and for anyone who doesn’t know, there is no web UI - it’s only the app). This is actually the main reason I’m looking to replace it with either Orbi, Linksys or Ubiquiti.

As for HomeKit, using mostly ikea gear in my house now. Seems cheap enough to me. You can get standard, chandelier and even GU10s for under $8 CAD per bulb. And that’s buying in singles, not even packs.
 
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CJ Dorschel

Cancelled
Dec 14, 2019
407
806
Berlin
thanks for the detailed write up. I feel like my expectations are very similar to yours - where I value stability above everything else. I was actually in the market to replace my google wifi and my main factors are stability and the ability to do wired backhaul. I really need to be able to access through a web ui as well..

The ethernet backhaul was one of the deciding factors in going with Linksys Velop. My Stateside home has roughly 6000 sq ft and a thought I had a few dead spots running three tri-band nodes. In actuality it was one August Smartlock and Connect that I thought wasn't getting enough signal but ended up being a defective Connect that was replaced. Last year, I decided to try out the WiFi 6 system instead of buying more tri-band nodes as they're compatible and simply swapped the main tri-band node with one of the two wifi 6 nodes (also like the ethernet ports in the wifi 6 system - wish they would add more ethernet ports to their Velop systems but I get it, they want to keep them as small as possible - the wifi 6 nodes are about twice the size but not much larger than an AirPort Extreme Base Station and have a USB port with 4 Ethernet ports in addition to the main Ethernet port for the modem). It's been perfect. Haven't had any issues or need to restart the system since. The only issue I had was the app as it lacked a few things and I used the web portal and logged in via Safari for port forwarding, etc. However, they've since revamped it and I haven't had the need to use a web browser. They even improved the UI/graphics so it's much more in-line with what you would expect for such a product line.

I made use of BestBuy and other company return policies when testing out systems. Only the AmpliFi HD was one I couldn't return as it had a 14-day return window and I wanted at least 21 days or more of testing (sold it online for what I paid for it). BestBuy has 30 days, 90 days for Elite, etc members which made it much easier to test systems.

Hope my long posts help :)
 
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n-evo

macrumors 65816
Aug 9, 2013
1,485
1,053
Amsterdam
1. Google mesh plugged in two years ago, never touched it since. Just works, always and perfectly.

Does Homekit work with Google Mesh?

2. Completely automated home for 3 (4?) years with Alexa. Just works. Messed with Homekit a few times. What a disaster Homekit compared to Alexa. Everything works with Alexa. Homekit compatible devices? Either don't exist, or $$$$$$$$$.

Aside from iPhone and Mac, Apple products and services seem to be only for the religious cult to the point of stupidity.
All my IKEA smart bulbs and plugs work just fine with Home Kit. Everything is being routed through my Google Nest Wifi. I'm not experiencing any issues. Everything just works on both my iPhone, MacBook Pro and Google Nest Hub. The lights are pretty inexpensive too and setting it up was a breeze on both Apple and Google's side.
 
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xmach

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2020
48
33
At this Point, if you are buying new gear, purchase the WiFi6 or better. ... Orbi and Velop WiFi6 mesh networks is the way to go for a non-technical consumer.

Could you clarify what you mean by "WiFi6 or better"? Are you referring to Wi-Fi 6E, for which routers are not yet widely available?

A related question: I currently have zero WiFi 6 devices, and this will probably remain the case at least in the immediate future. Is the backhaul in mesh networks based on WiFi-6 more reliable (and/or faster, and/or has greater range) compared to the backhaul in mesh networks based on WiFi-5? If so, would this be a good reason to upgrade to a WiFi 6-based mesh network even in the absence of any WiFi 6 end point devices?
 
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xmach

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2020
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the whole point of HomeKit routers is that they block devices from being able to contact the internet.

I assume this blocking function is accomplished by way of a firewall. If so, don't almost all modern routers come with firewall functionality? What more capability does HomeKit bring to this?
 
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