Linksys appeared at first glance to be the first vendor to make available a HomeKit router, with the inadvertent release of information surrounding a firmware update enabling the functionality leaking out.
After several false starts, firmware updates for routers to make them HomeKit Routers upgrades will start arriving soon. Text was erroneously posted by Belkin suggesting that one for Linksys Velop line was coming soon.
"We're rolling out a firmware update to your Velop system in the next several days. Once your system updates, the next time you open the Linksys app, it will invite you to link with Apple Home," Linksys says in an update note. "All of your Velop nodes must be tri-band for this integration to work."
"When your Velop system is linked with the Apple Home app, it can monitor HomeKit accessories and prevent them from communicating in ways that might be harmful in the event an external threat from the internet gets through," Linksys added. "This can stop viruses and malware from spreading, or your data from being sent to the wrong places."
The entire Velop line with not get the update. The update is limited to the following models.
- WHW0301 & WHW0301B
- WHW0302 & WHW0302B
- WHW0303 & WHW0303B
The update notification was first spotted by HomeKit News on Thursday evening.
AppleInsider reviewed the Velop router in December. At the time, we found that it delivered significant real-world speed on our iPhone 11 Pro Max because of Wi-Fi 6. Other devices show minor speed improvements as well because of the power of the router itself — but with the price still so high for Wi-Fi 6, it was hard to justify for the vast majority of people. HomeKit Router certification and compatibility may change that, however.
Update February 14, 2020 12:32 P.M. Eastern time Belkin has responded to the reports of the firmware, and denied the release was imminent.
"Inaccurate verbiage on timing and availability of Linksys HomeKit-enabled routers was shared on our website [on Thursday]," Belkin told AppleInsider "We are excited to bring these features to market soon, and will reach out when we're ready to announce availability."