Upcoming HomeKit Secure Router feature may be a major pain in the @$$

HomeKit Router splash screen displayed on an iPhone
HomeKit Router splash screen displayed on an iPhone (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

Apple's upcoming HomeKit Secure Router feature, which could be coming rather soon, may prove to be quite the hassle for HomeKit fans that have amassed tons of accessories over the past few years. Discovered today, an Apple support document detailing the set up process for the feature, which was published on February 11th, states that Wi-Fi based HomeKit accessories will need to be removed, reset, and then added back to HomeKit for "a more secure connection".

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.

The HomeKit Secure Router feature, which first debuted back in June at WWDC 2019, gives owners of supported routers a way to restrict the way that accessories access the internet and other devices on a network. The feature should be a major win for those looking to keep their accessories local and private, but the support document may keep some from utilizing it due to the potential hassle that it may cause.

Specific settings that will be available in the Home app once support is live include the following:

  • No Restriction: The router allows the accessory to connect to any internet service or local device.
  • Automatic: The router allows the accessory to connect to an automatically updated list of manufacturer-approved internet services and local devices.
  • Restrict to Home: The router only allows the accessory to connect to your home hub.

Removing, resetting, and adding accessories consists of more than just a few taps in the Home app and scanning the associated HomeKit code. Hardware resets typically require pushing some sort of physical button or combination of power cycling to set the process in motion. Then, once you are able to add the accessory to the Home app again, naming, assigning a room, and adding it back to automations and scenes will no doubt take some time, especially for those that chose Wi-Fi accessories like light bulbs based on their lack of a required hub.

Here's to hoping that the support document in question is somehow not accurate, or else, you may need to plan on taking the day off if you choose to update once the feature rolls out.

Christopher Close

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit and the Home app. Whether it is installing smart light switches, testing the latest door locks, or automating his households daily routines, Christopher has done it all.