Managing your HomeKit router in the Apple Home app: A step-by-step guide

Cupertino, December 1, 2023

HomeKit-enabled routers are a great way to improve the security of your smart devices, but managing them can be tricky. We'll show you how to set restriction levels and more for your HomeKit router in the Apple Home app.

While our complete HomeKit Secure Router guide covers the ins and outs of Apple's network security features, there are a few basics you should know before you dive into your router's settings. Chief among them is that you can only manage HomeKit-specific features in the Apple Home app. Options available in the Apple Home app include setting restriction levels, changing the name and location of your router, and turning HomeKit accessory security on and off for your devices. For other tasks, like changing DNS settings or assigning static IP addresses, you'll still have to rely on your router's app.

While most settings in the Home app are purely for organizational purposes, restriction levels are at the heart of the HomeKit Secure Router features. Restriction levels act as a custom firewall for your HomeKit smart devices, providing three levels of protection: No Restriction, Automatic, and Restrict to Home. The No Restriction option allows your HomeKit accessories to communicate with any internet service or device on your network, just like always. Accessories set to Auto follow a vendor-approved list of services and devices. And finally, Restrict to Home ensures that your accessories can only communicate with your Apple Home Hub. This level provides the highest level of security by keeping traffic local, but can have unintended consequences such as flashing status lights or missing features.

HomeKit assigns new and existing devices to the automatic restriction level by default. However, you can change settings for individual accessories in the Apple Home app. How to Disable HomeKit Router Accessory Security in the Home App.

While restriction levels are great for monitoring network traffic for a single accessory, changing them can be annoying, especially when troubleshooting connection issues. Luckily, the Home app offers a quick toggle that will instantly disable HomeKit accessory security on all your devices. How to Rename Your HomeKit Router in the Home App.

Similar to renaming your devices in the Apple Home app, taking the time to properly name your HomeKit router can help organize your smart home. If you missed this during the installation process or you've recently made a change to your home, you can change the name of your router in a few simple steps.

Another way to keep your smart home organized is to assign your accessories to HomeKit rooms. While the process is similar to changing device rooms, you'll first need to navigate to Home Settings in the Home app to find your HomeKit router.

You can also use the Apple Home app to remove your Wi-Fi router from HomeKit at any time. Removing HomeKit will not affect your existing Wi-Fi network configuration; it only disables the Home app integration.

With convenient controls and easy-to-understand restriction levels, HomeKit Secure Routers take the guesswork out of managing your smart home. Whether you want to completely lock down your smart accessories or only allow vendor-approved services, with just a few taps in the Apple Home app you're all set.

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