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Eero Router Integration with HomeKit

Eero and Apple just announced a new integration with HomeKit which has a decent shot at improving your Smart Home Security. I’ve got it up and running, and it looks pretty good. Check it out below.

What’s Eero?

Eero is a brand that makes a newer type of a home networking system called a mesh network. They provide a slick and easy-to-setup process, where customers buy individual nodes for their network, plug them in, and that’s it. You can also combine these nodes together to extend you WiFi range throughout your home, removing the need for WiFi extenders.

Last year Amazon bought Eero for the hefty sum of $97 million, so it’s not surprising to see deeper support for Alexa within Eero. But it is surprising to also see deeper integration into HomeKit.

What’s New?

This new integration has the potential to increase privacy and security with your Smart Home tech. By adding your Eero router to the Home App, you can setup rules to allow your smart devices to communicate only with specific addresses on the internet.

Since I already use Eero for my home network, I’m able to check out the update pretty quickly. Here’s what my own Eero setup looks like:

What my Eero config in the Home App looks like

With my setup, I’m given the option to assign security settings for three different devices on the network. Here’s what the settings for each device looks like:

Network setting options for each smart device

The first option, called Restrict To Home, ensures your device can’t talk to anything on the internet. If you only use your device while you’re home, and with HomeKit, this setting should work just fine for you and is the most secure. The next setting, called “Automatic”, is what most devices will likely be set to. Apple has a list of pre-approved addresses that each device can talk to while blocking all others. The last option, called “No Restriction”, is basically the same as having no rules setup. That’s what you have without this integration.

Why Does It Matter?

Smart Home Security is pretty rough these days. Many Smart Home devices can be controlled by an Attacker if they can gain access to your home network. Eero’s goal is to stop Attackers from getting access to your network, which then stops them from getting any further.

The goal with this integration to is make sure your smart devices only talk to trusted devices out there, not just anyone. For example, an Attacker may try to install some new software on one of your devices. To do that, an attacker needs to communicate with your device somehow, usually from an internet address. But if that address isn’t allowed by your router, you block the Attacker and save some of your data.

What’s Missing?

It doesn’t look like HomeKit supports adding rules for many Smart Devices yet. With my setup, I only see rules for three different devices out of twenty-ish. Hopefully Apple plans on adding more of these rules in the near future.

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