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Belkin WeMo HomeKit Bridge review: WeMo's new HomeKit Bridge says hello to Siri for $40

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The Good Belkin's WeMo Bridge works as promised, instantly bringing your existing devices on board with Apple HomeKit and bringing Siri controls into play, too. It's easy to use, it's fairly priced and it supports first-gen WeMo devices that aren't even sold anymore.

The Bad You'll still need an Apple TV, a HomePod or a dedicated iPad in order to use WeMo's new HomeKit controls from beyond your home network. Support for WeMo's motion detectors is still a work in progress, and niche WeMo offshoots like its connected coffee maker, Crock-Pot and LED light bulbs aren't supported at all.

The Bottom Line With plug-and-play simplicity and a fair price point, the HomeKit-enabling WeMo Bridge is a worthwhile upgrade for the platform's iOS faithful.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.8 Overall
  • Features 7
  • Usability 8
  • Design 8
  • Performance 8.5

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EDITORS' NOTE, 7/19/18: WeMo has begun to implement Apple HomeKit's new software authentication, which lets WeMo devices connect to Apple HomeKit on their own without needing the WeMo Bridge at all. So far, the only WeMo gadget to get the upgrade is the WeMo Mini smart switch, though WeMo tells us that the WeMo Dimmer light switch should also take advantage by the end of 2018. It isn't clear yet if other Wemo gadgets will follow suit or not -- for now, you'll still need the WeMo Bridge to connect them with HomeKit. Our original review of the WeMo Bridge follows below:

After eight months of waiting, Belkin's bridge to Apple HomeKit is finally available for WeMo users. Plug it in and plug its Ethernet cable into your router, and it'll act as middleman between your WeMo gadgets and Apple HomeKit's iOS-and-Siri-based smart home controls. The cost? $40.

(Belkin tells me that the WeMo Bridge will also sell in the UK by the end of February for £50. No word on availability in Australia yet, though that price point converts to about AU$50.)

That's honestly less than I expected Belkin would sell it for, and it works with more WeMo gadgets than I thought it would, too. Along with current-gen devices like the WeMo Mini and WeMo Dimmer, Belkin's first-gen WeMo Switches (the big, bulky ones) get to come along for the ride as well, as does Belkin's WeMo Motion Detector (though full motion support is still in the works -- more on that in a bit). Neither of those are even sold anymore, so good on Belkin for not leaving them -- and the customers who still use them -- behind.

wemo-bridge-product-photos-2

You'll power the WeMo Bridge using an included Micro-USB cable and connect it to your router using an attached LAN cable.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The WeMo Bridge will show up in Apple's Home app as soon as you plug it in. Just tap and enter the device-specific code to connect.

Ry Crist/CNET

The addition of Siri controls completes the voice trifecta for WeMo, as its gadgets already work with Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant. You don't need an extra bridge accessory to connect with either of those voice assistants, though you will need a compatible voice device like the Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speakers, pictured above. With HomeKit, you'll just talk to Siri through your iPhone or iPad, and you'll be also able to give commands through the Apple HomePod smart speaker once that product arrives in the coming weeks.

To use WeMo's HomeKit Bridge, you'll plug it into a power outlet using the included Micro-USB cable, then plug it into your router using the attached LAN cable. One quibble: I'd like it a little better if there were an option for connecting with your router wirelessly -- especially since that attached LAN cable is only 9 inches long.

Still, the WeMo Bridge is small -- roughly the size of an individually wrapped Reese's Cup -- so don't expect it to take up too much space as it sits on the shelf beside your router. It weighs just under an ounce and a half, so feel free to leave it dangling off the back, too.

Before you do that, though, I'd recommend snapping a picture of the 8-digit HomeKit code on the back of the device. You'll need that code to pair the Bridge with Apple's Home app during setup (a security feature designed to keep hackers from taking control of the device from outside of your home). Apple lets you enter that code simply by pointing your phone's camera at it, but that might be a challenge with the bridge connected to your router. Fortunately, you can also just type the code in manually, which is where that reference pic will come in handy.

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