Netgear releases special firmware to address HomeKit issues with Orbi mesh routers

Netgear says it is tracking issues related to using HomeKit accessories with its Orbi mesh routers. Apparently, a recent firmware updated was intended to fix an issue with Google Home integration but accidentally broke the Apple HomeKit protocol in the process. The company is releasing special firmware updates, downloadable here, as an interim fix.

The issue is causing many users to see ‘No Response’ errors for most accessories connected to the HomeKit home, when running off a Netgear Orbi network.

The affected firmware is version 2.1.4. If you are affected by these issues, you can download new firmware for the RBK50 and RBK53 router base station and satellite units (you can read my review of the system here). Unfortunately, you have to do this manually.

There are two downloads; one firmware for the router, and one for the satellite. To install the new firmware, you have to visit the Orbi router web portal (type into your browser), go to the Advanced tab, and select Manual Update.

Netgear warns that you should only attempt to use this alternate branch of firmware if you are noticing issues. This is meant as a workaround whilst Netgear engineering works on a more long-term solution. Check here for more information.

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