HomeKit-protected routers aren't dead

HomeKit-enabled routers may not be the first accessories that come to mind when you think of smart home gadgets. However, routers are still alive and well as an accessory category in the HomeKit world. This is despite a post on Reddit this week stating that HomeKit is no longer available for businesses as far as routers are concerned.

In the thread it says it has been unofficially confirmed that “manufacturers can no longer supply new products to Hong Kong”, a reference to HomeKit secure routers. However, 9to5Mac has confirmed that router makers can continue to create new HomeKit-secured routers. The MFi licensing program allows companies that develop and distribute routers to integrate Apple HomeKit technology into their products.

Apple offers HomeKit-equipped routers to add “ Increase the security of your HomeKit accessories by controlling which services and devices they communicate with on your home Wi-Fi network and across the Internet.”” according to company documentation.

While there are other methods of limiting smart home accessories' interaction with the Internet, HomeKit-secured routers are simpler. They offer customers in the Apple ecosystem an out-of-the-box experience that doesn't require networking knowledge, but still provides benefits that more technical users can customize.

One theory that comes out of the misinformation. It was published that Matter could replace the need for HomeKit-secured routers. However, Apple-backed Matter is still making its way into smart homes, so HomeKit-equipped routers will continue to play a role in Apple's privacy-focused smart home strategy. Whether companies will continue to invest in HomeKit compatibility when making future routers remains an open question, but Apple is leaving the door wide open for new HomeKit-secured routers.

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