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Use routers secured with HomeKit

Add more protection to your home accessories by controlling which services and devices they communicate with on your home Wi-Fi network and over the Internet.

Set up your secure router

  1. Find your router's iOS or iPadOS app in the App Store and use it to set up your router. Wait for the app to ask you to add the router to the Home app, then tap Accept. If the app doesn’t prompt you to add your router to the Home app, use your router manufacturer’s instructions. 
  2. Continue setup in the Home app by following the onscreen instructions. When you're done, you'll see a notification that says the setup was successful. 
  3. After setup, add your HomeKit accessories to the Home app. If you already have HomeKit accessories added to the Home app, they will continue to work and benefit from most HomeKit network protection features. For even more security, remove and reset your Wi-Fi accessories then add them back to the Home app. This creates a unique passkey known only to the router and each accessory.

Customize your security

You can control the amount of protection that your router gives your HomeKit accessories. To change security settings in the Home app:

  1. Go to the Home tab, tap  in the upper-left corner, then tap Home Settings.
  2. If you have multiple homes, choose the home where you put your router. 
  3. Scroll down and tap Wi-Fi Network & Routers. Then tap an accessory to change the level of connection security.
    • Restrict to Home: Most secure. Your accessory can interact only with HomeKit through your Apple devices. The accessory won't connect to the Internet or any local devices so any third-party services, like firmware updates, might be blocked.
    • Automatic: Default security. Your accessory can communicate with HomeKit and connections recommended by its manufacturer.
    • No Restriction: Least secure. This setting bypasses the secure router and allows your accessory to interact with any device in your network or Internet-based service.

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I’ve been trying to put together the ultimate HomeKit Smart Home for a long time now and to that end, I decided to pick up a few Google Nest devices. They’re note-worthy and reputable so I gave them a shot.

Unfortunately, it turned out that they didn’t natively support HomeKit integration, but I really wanted the Nest Learning AI, Nest Protect, the Nest Hello doorbell, and Nest Indoor Camera to complement the customizability and automation capabilities of HomeKit.

And so I decided to hop online to figure out how to connect Nest to HomeKit.

It took me a couple of hours of research, but I managed to find a solution that fit my needs and put together this comprehensive article detailing the setup process.

Nest works with HomeKit using a homebridge hub or device. However, Nest products cannot natively or directly integrate with Apple HomeKit.

How To Integrate Nest With HomeKit

While Nest does not offer native integration with HomeKit, you can set it up with Homebridge, a platform that essentially emulates the iOS API to act as a bridge between HomeKit and almost any other product on the market.

We can use Homebridge to get our Nest Devices to show up on the Home App on the Apple Device we’ve set as our Home Hub.

There are two ways to integrate Nest devices with HomeKit using Homebridge:

  1. Set up Homebridge on a computer that you can run 24/7.
  2. Buy a Homebridge hub and let it do the job for you.

I chose not to set up Homebridge on my computer because I didn’t want it up and running 24/7.

Moreover, setting up Homebridge requires following a lot of very technical instructions.

This isn’t easy for a lot of people, myself included, so I went with the second option.

I went and got myself a standalone Homebridge hub. This was because I needed a set and forget solution that wouldn’t need maintenance or fiddling further down the line.

Also, it was incredibly easy to set up with no need for any technical know-how.

All I had to do was connect the hub to my router and log in, and it was smooth sailing from there.

Using a Homebridge Hub for Nest-HomeKit Integration

Homebridge is a server that acts as a HomeKit-enabled bridge, to link non-HomeKit-enabled products to HomeKit.

A smart Homebridge hub can be one of the best solutions for home automation. It can keep up with all your devices from one interface.

After researching a ton of Homebridge hubs, I went for the Starling Home Hub.

This hub makes linking Nest products with HomeKit dead simple. All you have to do is connect the hub to your network and log in.

Boom! all your Nest products will show up on the Home app.

Starling Home Hub For Connecting Your Nest Products To HomeKit

The Starling Home Hub is a compact device designed to help users connect their Google Nest devices to HomeKit.

Users can simply connect Starling Home Hub to a spare Ethernet port on your router or network switch and plug the hub’s adapter into a nearby wall outlet.

Why Use Starling Home Hub For Integrating Nest With HomeKit?

I’ve had a great time using the Starling Home Hub to integrate my Nest devices with HomeKit.

I’ve come to appreciate all the benefits of the Hub that the Starling Team incorporated in the design of the device.

Some of them include:


If you are as paranoid as me about privacy and security, Starling Home Hub is most likely the best choice for you. They don’t use a cloud service and they don’t harvest any user data.

This means your passwords and browsing history are safe and secure. It connects to your network only to integrate your Nest products and to download firmware updates from time to time.

It is also comforting to know that the Starling Hub uses enterprise-grade IoT device security and is fully protected against CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures).

Extensive Compatibility

It is compatible with all modern home Internet routers including mesh routers.

It is compatible with all models of Nest Thermostat, Temperature Sensor, Protect, Cam Indoor/Outdoor/IQ, Nest Hello, Nest × Yale Lock, and Nest Secure.

It also supports Dropcam and the Google Nest Hub Max’s built-in camera. Additionally, it is compatible with Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch that were released in the last 5 years.

A Host of Features

It not only helps in the management of your Nest devices, but also exposes very useful features such as motion, temperature, and home occupancy sensors which could be utilized for HomeKit automation services.

Below are a few examples :

  • Turns on lights when triggered by any motion or when smoke is detected in the home. This is done using the Nest Protect.
  • Different colors of light to indicate the type of package delivered/received using Nest Hello.
  • On/off option in the camera sensor to switch on specific cameras when you leave home.
  • Use “Siri” to turn on and off the Google Nest services.
  • Unlocking “August lock” using live camera feed with the help of the Room control feature. You can also use this for controlling lighting and security systems. This can be very helpful, especially for people with disabilities.

Exclusive Benefits

They also have two-way audio, additional security services, and shortcuts to many of the features.

For example, Hello Doorbell Press activates a light when someone comes to your doorstep at night.

Face recognition features added for some of the Nest apps like Nest Cam IQ, Nest Hello, Google Nest Hub Max, and Nest Aware to support HomeKit.

It now supports Nest Thermostat’s humidifier/dehumidifier control sensor when it is connected to a compatible heating system.

It works with both Google accounts and Google Nest, and also supports two-factor authentication.

It is almost available in every part of the world and is compatible with all countries’ power requirements.

How To Set up Starling Home Hub to Integrate Nest and HomeKit?

Setting up Starling Home Hub is easy and can be done in a couple of minutes:

  1. Connect the supplied Ethernet cable to a spare port on the back of your Internet router or switch.
  2. Connect the supplied power adapter between Hub and power supply.
  3. Open using any computer device on your home network, and follow the on-screen instructions to connect to your Nest account and with your Apple Home.

After completing the steps, all your Nest devices will appear in your iOS Home app and any other HomeKit-enabled apps.

A Quick Start Guide is included in the box. You can also download the Quick Start Guide.

What Can You Do With Nest-HomeKit Integration Using Starling Home Hub?

After completing the Nest-HomeKit integration using the Homebridge hub, you can control all your Nest devices by accessing the Home app on your Apple device.

Let’s look at how Google Nest Secure works with HomeKit integration.

Nest Thermostat with HomeKit

With Starling Home Hub, you can integrate your Nest Thermostat with HomeKit, and monitor and control your home’s heating, air conditioning, and/or humidifier/dehumidifier system from anywhere in the world.

It is compatible with all models of Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E (US/Canada), and Nest Thermostat E with Heat Link (UK/EU).

You can use the following commands when you are trying to access it with Siri on your Apple device:

  • Hey Siri, set the thermostat to 68 degrees.
  • Hey Siri, set the thermostat to cool.
  • Hey Siri, turn on the Living Room thermostat fan.
  • Hey Siri, set the humidity to 50%.
  • Hey Siri, turn on Eco Mode.
  • Hey Siri, what’s the temperature in the Front Room?

Nest Protect with HomeKit

The Starling Hub allows you to integrate your Nest Protect with HomeKit hassle-free.

This setup helps you keep your family safe with smoke notifications, carbon monoxide notifications, motion notifications, and automation.

Motion sensors aren’t always available on the battery-powered models of Nest Protect.

Nest Camera with HomeKit

Starling Home Hub is compatible with every available model of Nest camera, the original Dropcam, and the camera in the Google Nest Hub Max.

It helps you hook your Nest Camera with HomeKit, and view live video from all your cameras, with two-way audio, on any Apple device.

With the help of automation you receive notifications when it detects motion, a person, sound, package delivery, or doorbell alerts, when you turn your camera on and off, and control other devices.

You also receive notifications when you run iOS Shortcuts or when your camera detects specific faces (requires Nest Aware).

You can use the following commands when you are trying to access it with Siri:

  • Hey Siri, show me the Living Room Camera

Nest Secure with HomeKit

Integrating Nest Secure with HomeKit helps to arm and disarm your Nest security system from anywhere.

It also helps you check on open windows or doors using Nest Detect at a glance.

It creates automation to add convenience, like automatic disarm when you arrive home while keeping your home secure.

You can use the following commands when you are trying to access it with Siri:

  • Hey Siri, set my Nest Guard to away (or stay, or off)

Nest x Yale Lock with HomeKit

Using the Starling Hub to hook up your Nest x Yale Lock with HomeKit helps you lock and unlock your Nest × Yale Lock from anywhere.

It also creates automation to add convenience while keeping your home secure, like automatically locking your door when you’re the last person to leave.

You can use the following commands when you are trying to access it with Siri:

  • Hey Siri, unlock my Front Door

Google Home Mini with HomeKit

You can integrate the Google Home Mini with HomeKit using the Starling Hub and listen to music from any Apple Device on your Google Home via AirPlay.

You can even connect two Google Home Minis in a stereo pair, or group multiple speakers together to get Whole-Room Audio, and enjoy a similar experience to Multi Room Audio on multiple Alexa Devices.

You can even control it with Siri using voice commands like “Hey Siri, play The Fox by Ylvis”

Nest vs HomeKit

Google Assistant vs Siri

The Nest Ecosystem is bound together by Google Assistant, unlike HomeKit.

While HomeKit does offer Voice Control in the form of Siri, the hype revolves around the platform itself, which supports many Smart Home Accessories.

Google Assistant has an objectively better Voice Assistant from my own experience.

It recognizes Human Speech better, it offers more features than Siri does, and its search feature is powered by Google, giving it an edge over the competition.

Siri has the funnier jokes though, and has an actual personality, unlike Google Assistant.

Activating Siri is also faster and easier than activating Google Assistant. The automation is also a lot smoother to set up and use with Siri.

Most devices you set up with HomeKit automatically work with Siri, while the same may not be the case for Google Assistant.

Google Home App vs Apple HomeKit Home App

Google’s Home App is not the easiest to use or navigate, while Apple’s HomeKit Home App has been streamlined to ensure you spend less time setting up your devices and automation and more time actually using said automation routines.

Compatibility with Smart Home Accessories

Apple has stringent conditions and prerequisites that must be met before a Smart Home Accessory is deemed compatible with HomeKit.

The downside of this is that there are fewer accessories in general out there, whose parent companies can afford the compulsory microchip and certification required to have a device work with HomeKit.

Luckily, this becomes a non-issue if you get a Homebridge Hub like the Starling Home Hub or HOOBS, which are compatible with thousands upon thousands of accessories and can integrate them with HomeKit.

The upside is that a Smart Home Accessory that has been deemed compatible with HomeKit will remain so for a long time.

This is an important factor if you’re in it for the long haul and are trying to build a Smart Home for the long term.

When it comes to Google Nest, however, while the barrier of entry is low, Google themselves are very fickle and shut down their ongoing projects willy-nilly.

Take the case of the “Works with Nest” program, which very soon got replaced with the “Works with Google Assistant” program, rendering thousands of Smart Home Accessories incompatible when the new format came out.

One needs to be on their toes in this regard when it comes to building a Smart Home solely on the Nest platform.

Does Google Nest Work With iPhone?

The Nest app is available for all iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads. Recently, Nest also released a version of the Nest app for the Apple TV (4th gen or later with tvOS 10.0).

The Nest app allows you to check in on the live footage from the cameras, as well as rewind to see what happened before.

You can also deactivate the smoke alarm in case of false alarms, for when you burn something in the kitchen.

Does Dropcam Work With HomeKit?

Dropcam was acquired by Nest in 2014 before HomeKit was released. Nest also recalled a few Dropcam units, replacing them with more modern versions.

Currently, Dropcam is not compatible with HomeKit and it is unlikely that support for it will ever come in the form of plugins from third-party developers like those at Homebridge or HOOBS, because of how few existing Dropcam units are out there.

It’s also not really possible to buy new ones anymore, since the company was absorbed and their existing users were transitioned to Nest.

Troubleshooting Starling Home Hub Setup For Nest-HomeKit Integration

Device Not Certified

A problem that may occur during the installation process is a notification that reads “this accessory is not certified by HomeKit”. Both Nest Secure and Starling hub are not certified by HomeKit.

However, you can safely ignore the notification while adding Starling Home Hub to HomeKit by clicking on the ‘add anyway’ option to complete the integration process smoothly.

You don’t have to worry about the error itself, as Starling provides support to Nest for HomeKit, which it doesn’t do natively, so naturally, it wouldn’t be certified by HomeKit.

Camera Not Responding

Whenever you face an issue where you can see snapshots from your Nest Hello, but cannot get the live stream to work, there is most likely a connection issue between your Apple device and the Starling Home Hub.

So, check your router settings to see if a firewall is blocking the hub, or check your VPN settings in case you are using one.

Can’t Find Device

During the installation process, if you get a prompt stating ‘can’t find my device’, just make sure that your iPhone or Mac is connected to the router properly. In case you are using a VPN or if you are on LTE, try connecting using WiFi.

iOS Compatibility

Starling Home Hub works is compatible with all Apple devices launched in the past 5 years. It works with all iOS versions including iOS14.


Starling Home Hub makes it easier and the most effortless way to integrate your Nest Secure with HomeKit.

Now I can control all my Nest devices for that matter from anywhere in the world from my iPhone.

But the main attraction has to be automating all my Nest Devices to work in sync with each other, from getting my Nest Camera and Nest Secure to work together, having my Nest Thermostat change the temperature according to the weather, just to name a few.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nest compatible with Siri?

By integrating Nest to HomeKit using the Starling Home Hub, you can control your Nest Devices from your Nest Thermostat, to Nest Protect, and Nest Indoor Camera using Siri by using voice commands like “Hey Siri, set the thermostat to cool.”

How to add Nest to a HomeKit Scene?

You can add Nest devices to HomeKit Scene by creating a custom one on the Home app by tapping “Add” , and selecting “Add Scene”. You can choose one of the suggestions or create a custom one by giving it a unique name.

Tap “Add Accessories” and choose the Nest Devices that you want to add, then tap “Done”.

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In the not-too-distant future, maybe even before 2021 is out, you'll be able to do something no one's ever done before: connect products made by Google Nest with Apple's HomeKit ecosystem, quickly, easily and -- get this -- directly. Or, you might want to incorporate Google devices into your Amazon Alexa-controlled smart home instead. That'll be fine, too. 

In fact, this newfound ability to link previously incompatible devices will work in any direction, meaning you'll also be able to set up Amazon's Ring doorbells or Blink cameras on your Google-based smart home -- and control them the same way you would using Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri.

No janky workarounds, no third-party services like IFTTT to bridge the gap. Just you, your smart home gadgets and the smart home platform of your choosing, all living in harmony.

Sound like fantasy? It won't be, if Google's vision of the smart home's future, outlined in a blog post published last week, comes true. 


According to Google, communication will eventually open up between Google-made devices and rival companies' smart home ecosystems and products thanks to Google's adoption of a new connectivity standard called Matter, (formerly known as Project CHIP).

"All Nest displays and speakers, like the Nest Hub and Nest Mini, will be automatically updated to control Matter devices," according to the blog post. "Plus, we'll update the newest Nest Thermostat to support Matter -- meaning for the first time it can be controlled on other platforms that have certified with Matter." 

A glance at Matter's partner list provides a clue as to what "other platforms" that may include: Apple's HomeKit, Amazon's Alexa, Samsung's SmartThings -- plus devices and services from the likes of Signify's Philips Hue, Comcast, Huawei and more.

Matter smart device logo on a networked light bulb

Google Senior Project Manager Kevin Po confirmed this feature in an interview with CNET. Speaking specifically about the latest Nest Thermostat, he said, "If a user chooses to have it set up and interoperate with another platform, then we will support them through it."

When will this brave new world come to fruition? Not until later this year, or maybe even early 2022, according to the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which developed the Matter standard. But preparations are underway already.

Google's mind is made up on Matter

Google in particular has gotten out ahead of the pack on this one. The company has detailed some of the steps it's currently taking -- or will take soon -- to ready its Google Nest smart home gadgets and Android mobile operating system for Matter's primetime debut.

Android 12 logo

For starters, not only will the entire line of current Google Nest smart speakers and displays receive an update to control Matter devices, some of Google's more well-equipped gadgets will also serve as connection points, aka hubs. 

Basically, the Nest Wifi router, the latest Nest Hub and the flagship Nest Hub Max will use a technology Google helped develop -- called Thread and part of the Matter standard -- to connect to other Thread-enabled devices in a way that's even faster and more secure than Wi-Fi alone.

"Thread is great for low-powered, mesh, reliable, scalable communication," said Po. But most mobile devices can't communicate directly with Thread gadgets. "Say you wanted your phone to interoperate with, say, a Thread device," Po added. "You need a special type of Thread device that can kind of bridge between Wi-Fi and Thread, right, to provide that connectivity." That's where Thread connection points come in.


Some other notable strides Google announced include:

  • A new smart home directory, including a catalog of Hey Google-compatible smart home devices as well as available Google Assistant Actions, aka commands that Google's digital voice assistant can perform.
  • Support for an open-source communication protocol called WebRTC, which Google says reduces latency and improves video and audio streaming between security and doorbell cameras, TVs, smart displays and mobile devices.
  • More expansive options for Home & Away Routines, allowing for the automation of Nest cameras and thermostats as well as smart lights, plugs and switches based on whether or not anyone's home.

Eventually, Google expects to implement the Matter standard deeply within its Android mobile operating system. The goal will be to simplify the Matter-certified smart home device setup process down to just a few taps and to provide ways to instantly control new devices without having to download additional apps.

"With Android, we'll be actually building the Matter functionality into Google Play services, and so it'll effectively be an app that other Android apps can leverage and really kind of make it really easy for a user to set up a Matter device," Po said.

Bring your home up to speed with the latest on automation, security, utilities, networking and more.

How to Choose the Best Router for your Smart Home

Switching from Google Home to Apple HomeKit: A costly, privacy-centric change

After a solid few years of running my smart home on Google’s platform, I’m starting a transition to Apple HomeKit. For several reasons, it’s not going to be a cheap or seamless endeavor. And it’s going to take some compromises on my part as well.

Why am I doing this? Part of the reason is to offer more HomeKit reviews, tips, and experiences here on the site. But the main reason is due to my recent decision to switch phones. 

Long story short: After testing a de-Googled Android phone over the past few months to up my level of data privacy, I’m impressed by Apple’s recent efforts on this front. While the company still has the personal data of its users, it doesn’t rely on that information nearly as much as any other big tech company for monetization, particularly through third-parties. The new app “nutrition labels” showing what data the software collects or tracks are also useful for choosing which mobile software I want to use.

So I now have an iPhone 12 and while I could simply use Google’s apps for everything, including my smart home, that would defeat my data privacy approach. Therefore, it’s HomeKit time!

Switching is going to cost me

Right off the bat, I found that most of the connected devices in my smart home don’t natively work with HomeKit. I expected this, of course, but it was still jarring.

In fact, only the HomePod, HomePod mini, and Ecobee thermostat appear in the Home app on my iPhone. Technically, my Vizio TV does as well, but that’s limited to AirPlay 2 support.

I have a wide range of smart bulbs from various manufacturers that aren’t HomeKit compatible. There are some from Cree, Cync (formerly known as C by GE), Samsung, Sylvania, and Wyze. I do have one LIFX bulb, a few hand-me-down Philips Hue bulbs from Stacey, and a Hue bridge so I did connect those to HomeKit.

But I’ll be looking to replace at least a dozen bulbs with HomeKit support in the near future. That will cost me a minimum of $20 per bulb, depending on the brand and features.

My smart home has a few door/window sensors from Samsung and some smart outlets, so those too will need replacing. I have three Wyze cameras, both inside and outdoor models, which will cost a pretty penny to swap out.

And then there’s my front door. We love both our Nest Hello video doorbell and our Nest x Yale smart lock. With the word “Nest” in the product names, you already know that there’s no HomeKit support for either of these. I’d expect to spend at least $400 if we replace these two devices.

Third-party workarounds to save money and ease the transition

There actually is a way to cut the spending here and it comes in the form of Homebridge, the open-source platform that adds non-HomeKit devices to HomeKit. I recently tested HOOBS, which does this using Homebridge and I may use it where possible.

I was able to add my Wink lights, for example, to HomeKit using HOOBS during my testing, for example.

The lights appear like any other HomeKit lights, support HomeKit automations, and worked well with Siri. There are 2,000 available plugins to support many non-HomeKit devices, including some from Nest. Unfortunately, current support is limited to Nest devices that I don’t have; I can’t add my video doorbell or front door lock to HomeKit using HOOBS at this time.

Still, any of my current connected devices that work with HOOBS would let me replace devices over a longer time period. Or I could simply just rely on HOOBs to add HomeKit support for my supported devices and not replace them at all.

What I’ll miss the most and what I’ll gain

There’s one aspect of HomeKit that confounds me and will be the biggest pain point: Apple doesn’t make smart displays like Google and Amazon do. We’re so used to using the ones we have for seeing who just rang the doorbell or for tapping an icon to turn off lights without using our voice.

Live video from the front door can be seen in the HomeKit world if you have an AppleTV, but we don’t plan to add one of those to our home. I guess we’ll just use our iPhones in lieu of the smart displays.

On the positive side, once we’re fully equipped with HomeKit gear, we’ll be gaining some nice features. 

HomeKit Secure Video support ensures that the feed from our cameras is end-to-end encrypted. HomeKit Adaptive Lighting is already supported on the Philips Hue lights and I’ve seen it in action: Early in the morning or late in the evening the bulbs slowly transition to a warmer white than from the midday daylight color temperature. 

And the HomePod mini, which we’re using as our HomeKit hub is already Thread enabled. Once we get devices with Thread support, they’ll respond faster than we can say “Hey Google… I meant hey Siri” during our transition. It also doesn’t hurt that Apple is finally allowing Spotify to be a default music service option in the next release of iOS 14. Good-bye AirPlay to the HomePods!

Is it going to be worth the cost and lack of smart displays? In the end, I think so. 

We won’t be losing much if any functionality in our smart home. We’ll be able to benefit from the response time and low latency of Thread devices without having to buy a new hub.

And we’ll feel better about our private, in-home data, knowing that Apple isn’t going to offer that data to third-parties. I’ve always said once you give up that data, you’ve completely lost control over how it’s used and by whom.

I’m sure some of you have made the transition from Google, or Amazon, over to HomeKit. Was it worth it to you?

Filed Under: Featured, How-ToTagged With: Apple, C by GE, Cync, google, Google Home, homekit, HomePod, HomePod mini, iOS, nest, Philips Hue, samsung, smart home, smart lock, Thread, video doorbell, Wyze


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Long and happy life. And we will die in one day, just like in fairy tales, somewhere after the fortieth Congress of the CPSU. Eh, dreams, dreams, where is your sweetness.

How to Choose the Best Router for your Smart Home

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Masha spread her legs wider and leaned back on her back.

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I finished on their faces. They licked my cum off each other. Then again a triangle, but now I was sucking a member of Vadik.

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