Imagine being able to control what your kids watch, and when they watch it.
Instead of arguing about when your son stops playing that game on his tablet, imagine disabling it with the touch of a button.
Rather than worrying about your daughter seeing things she shouldn’t on her iPhone while she’s out with friends, you can rest easy knowing she’s protected – even away from the house.
All this and more is available with my new favorite Internet control device, Circle with Disney.
We set up Circle at our home a few months ago and it has been wonderful. It is a small device that connects to your Internet router and manages all of the devices in your home. It allows you to control both content and time on computers, tablets, phones, televisions, and just about anything else connected to the Internet. All of this without installing any software.
Setup Is a Breeze
It was very easy to setup. I plugged it into the wall near my router, downloaded the Circle app, and followed the setup instructions in the app. The app manages everything, so I suggest only putting it on parent phones.
Once it is installed, you then create a profile for everyone in your home. You can set different levels of filtering based on age and maturity. This is managed inside of each profile. Here is a screenshot of the main screen on my Circle app:
You access each profile by clicking on one of the pictures. Pretty cool! The setup of your profiles is simple. For each profile you can set time limits, content filter levels, and a bedtime for their devices. Once these are set, you’re ready to go.
The features of Circle that I love the most are the ability to limit what my kids can see online, the ability to set time limits on their devices, and the ability to pause the Internet.
The Circle is a very robust content filter. It monitors every device on your network and makes sure it can’t access inappropriate content. When a new device connects to the network, you receive a notification on your phone. Simply go to the Devices menu and assign it to a profile. That device is now being monitored.
One good thing about the content filter is that it captures everywhere your kids go online. They call it Insights. This section of each profile contains a list of websites visited, and a list of websites that have been blocked. That’s a good place to look every once in a while to see what people are doing online. This is also the place you would go to allow access to a site if it is blocked unnecessarily.
Another great feature is the ability to control when people can access the Internet. Inside each profile are options to set both a bedtime for devices, and daily time limits for each user. This comes in handy if you have someone that likes to sneak their iPod into bed. You can also use it to disable your Roku or Apple TV. Time limits can be extended as a reward for finishing homework early, or for good behavior.
Did you see the big Pause button on the screenshot above? That is another great feature of Circle. You can disable the Internet for the whole house using the pause button. The feature is also available inside of each profile. That gives you the ability to pause every device for one person. Perfect for when someone doesn’t come down for dinner. 🙂
Circle Goes With Them
One limitation of most Internet safety devices is that as soon as you leave the house, or whenever you disable WiFi, the monitoring is lost. A great feature of the Circle platform is the ability to monitor devices when outside the home. This is handled by a feature called Circle Go. Circle Go is a subscription-based service that installs a small program on your mobile devices (phones and tablets.) Your device is now covered wherever your child travels, regardless of the network. It even works over their phone’s cell signal.
Like I mentioned, Circle Go is a subscription service. It currently costs $9.99 per month. This covers up to 10 devices. Compared to other monitoring services, it’s reasonably priced.
Circle Sale Happening Now
The Circle is a great device to get anytime, but they are running a sale just in time for Christmas. If you are getting any new devices for your kids for Christmas, or you want to monitor things they have currently, I would highly recommend this device. It is easy to set up, easy to use, and gives you peace of mind when your kids are online.
With everything, this is not the only thing you should be doing. I also think OpenDNS is a great backup solution, and it’s free. The best thing you can do, above all, is talk to your kids about what they do online. Ask them if they’ve seen anything they want to talk about. Walk with them as they use the Internet. That’s the best way to guard and protect their hearts.
If you have any questions about Circle, or run into issues when setting it up, please ask for help. I love being a resource for you and your kids as you walk along this journey. You can find Circle regularly for $99. For the next few days it’s $15 off. That’s a pretty great deal!
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