Circle Media - Circle with Disney - White

Circle allows your family to manage all of your home's connected devices with ease. With Circle, parents can now filter content and limit screen time as well as set a bedtime for every device in the home. Circle can even pause the Internet and share what kids are up to online.
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Overview

What's Included


  • Circle with Disney
  • USB cable
  • USB power adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Owner's manual

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
91% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (347 out of 384)

Features


Manage Every Device

Circle recognizes and manages every device on your home Wi-Fi using the free iOS or Android companion app.

Set Time Limits

Create daily time limits on apps and popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Filter Content

Set Individual filter levels by age - Pre-K, Kid, Teen, and Adult - for each member of your family.

Set a Bedtime

Choose a Bedtime for your family's devices to avoid late night surfing.

Content filter

Has four preset age-levels and allows for further customization by platform, app, website and content category.

Discover Insights

See where your kids spend the most time online by app and category.

Pause the Internet

Pause the internet for a single family member or the whole home with a single tap.


Overall customer rating

4.3
91%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great tool for every parent!

    Posted
    MikaelPe
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    After using the Circle for three weeks I'm willing to give it 5-stars as it has changed, for the better, how our kids are using internet. We have three kids at home, an 8-year and two 11-year olds (twins). I purchased the Circle router after doing extensive research on the web as we wanted to know what they are watching, just as we do with TV and Movies. We also wanted to have a "start time" (7 am mornings) and "end time" (8.30 pm at night) of the wireless connection. Certain apps, like Minecraft, is time limited to 1-hour per day for the boys and it's great not to have to keep track of this as the App does it for you and shuts down access after exactly the 60 minutes. The circle does all of this and more... 1. INSTALLATION: There is no traditional user manual in the package. So, instead of looking at a printed card you only need to download the free App and follow the easy set-up instructions. Basically it took 15 minutes to set up and add all the devices in the house (couldn't believe we had that many devices...). However, this is just the beginning.... 2. CONFIGURATION: Each device must be added to either a "Personal Profile", "Home" or "Unmanaged Devices". This is quite logical and very much follows the concepts used on any Mac OS X or Windows computer. On each profile you can then set with the appropriate Filter setting, along with a start time and end day daily. There is no start and end times for weekends or separation between "play time" and "home work, but I am quite confident these two settings will be added over time as the App development work proceeds. They are the main missing features. 3. SETTING UP EXCEPTIONS: This is the most important phase in order to have a good user experience for the kids. I would strongly recommend to make the initial set up on a day when everyone will be home.. After installing Circle and adding their device to their profile, sit down with each child and ask them to go to every website, open every game and do anything/everything they want to do on their device. This way you can easily create the "exceptions" they need to the standard filter system. There is no way around this as unfortunately internet URL's was never set up with "PG 13" or "R" ratings etc. 4. UNMANAGED DEVICES & HOME PROFILE: In our family we have set my wife's and my cell phones/Tablets to be "unmanaged devices", which means there is no block or limitations. The computers in the house are on the "Home" profiles as multiple users log on to them and there is no technical way to tell which kid is using it (not Circle's fault, just technical limitations). 5. PAUSE BUTTON: The "secret sauce" in this product!!! With the "pause" button you can easily pause the internet for either all managed devices OR for an individual profile (all devices attached to this profile will pause). With this powerful tool in my iPhone I can say "dinner in 2 minutes, internet is going off when the clock hits 6:15" (for example). Prior to having Circle it was a pain to make three kids shut down and end whatever they were doing on their devices. Now everyone immediately "saves" and logs out of their activity as they know that the internet will indeed be shut off when I said it was... The Kids despise this new level of control but as a Parent I smile as I'm finally in charge again! After dinner is done, simply press "paus" a second time and internet is back on. SUMMARY - NEGATIVE POINTS: The App lacks 7-day individual scheduling of times and the ability to do multiple blocks of time during each day. SUMMARY - POSITIVE POINTS: Overall this is a tool that every Parent should have and I have been wanting for years. It gives Parents control of what is being watched, when and by whom. It also serves as a great way to get the kids away from the "Tablet Trance". I've told them the Circle device will stay "on" as long as they live at home and I'm paying for them:-) + The App is very simple and easy to use. + Pause button is a "killer app" by itself for Parents. + The Profile system is logical and nicely laid out + The hardware is compact and looks nice + It features a terrific "backup battery". Kids already tried to unplug it twice without effect as the battery kicks in. Parent will also receive notification to iPhone when device goes off line.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Frustrating for kids. Frustrating for parents. NO!

    Posted
    RedRi0t
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This device can be a bit buggy at times with blocking and unblocking apps (unfortunately you can set a schedule for all or none access, but you can't set a schedule for specific apps/sites, so those of us who have kids in virtual school, or ones that need to do homework on their pc without distractions are left to manually blocking and unblocking apps). Sometimes it works flawlessly, sometimes not so much. The custom filter option is also painfully buggy. If you need to add a specific website that isn't listed on the predefined list of stuff to block, you can add it with the custom filter. This sounds great until you need to turn off the filter for whatever reason (in our case, it's discord. It doesn't always need to be blocked, but when my son is working on school work, it does.) The button to "allow" or "block" is buggy in that if you click the next "allow" button in the list before the first has fully "saved" the new setting, the line will completely disappear and you have to add it all over again. (Good luck to you on remembering long or complex URL's!) Additionally, I had to have this device RMA'd with the manufacturer due to it repeatedly disconnecting or not staying connected to the app on my phone. The last nail in the coffin for me for this device was network speed. Because of the way this device works, all traffic on your network is routed through it. Unfortunately over wireless, it is PAINFULLY slow, and the suggested solution to make it faster is to plug it in via Ethernet. However, the Ethernet port is only 100Mbps. In the age of pretty much everything being gigabit as a standard, to see this device come out with a 100Mbps port is disappointing. Routing my entire network's traffic through a 100Mbps port was absolutely a no go. That being said....if you are looking for parental controls like this, I beg of you, GET A NETGEAR router that has Circle built in! I ended up replacing this nightmare with a Netgear Nighthawk, which runs MUCH faster, since it's actually using gigbit ports and the filter is integrated into the router. Not a single slowdown since I did this.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Easy parental control - practically plug & play

    Posted
    Plato
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    We were looking for a solution to keep our kids from stumbling on (or intentionally searching for) inappropriate stuff on the internet. While we had some basic parental control software enabled via OpenDNS and Microsoft Family Safety, we found that it was not always effective in blocking, say, Google Image search results. We wanted something that would always force SafeSearch mode for google on our kids' devices but there didn't seem to be any easy way to do that -- it seemed like we were going to have to go do something complicated like run our own in-house DNS server - yikes!!! Then my sister suggested we look into the Circle. We did some research and it seemed almost too good to be true -- plug it in, hook it up to your network, and magically control every device in the house, including phone and ipad wifi? Even the Xbox console? Set time limits across devices? And the seemingly impossible achievement of forcing google safe search on all the kids' devices all the time???? Yes, the circle actually does all this and more. It was very easy to set up - just plug it in and you are off and running. The hardest part was figuring out which kid owned which MAC address (the unique identifier that belongs to each device on your network). We created a default level of security so that when our kids' friends come over and hook into our wifi, they are also bound by the safe search and other parental controls. It is also easy to set up a device or group of devices to be exempt from any parental controls -- so our rokus, tv streaming devices, and adult-owned laptops are exempt (The Circle was a bit overeager about blocking relatively innocuous things like Cosmopolitan magazine so I removed my personal PC from its filtering.) I have tested it by going onto my kids' computers and trying to search for inappropriate things and I have not been successful - it does a nice job of blocking out things that should be blocked. My husband was worried that it would negatively impact our wifi speed since we just shelled out for an Orbi and ramped up the speed to 250 mbps in the house. But the Circle really didn't impact the speed at all -- we are zipping along just as fast as before, only now I am confident that my kids are not viewing things they shouldn't be viewing. The only downside is that there is nothing to prevent the kids from making an end run around the circle by switching their phones to the 4G data plan. The circle does offer an app that extends its filtering to cell phones but it costs a monthly fee. If it turns out that we need that, we'll add it. I highly recommend the circle - we have tried several different parental control packages and this one was the easiest to set up and performs as promised. I wasn't expecting much given the price but I am truly impressed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Disney Circle = Family Peace & Harmony restored

    Posted
    Hollyheeb
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Parenting is hard enough...add to it technology in your kids bedroom and it takes it to all new heights of difficulty. We use to do the 'bedtime device roundup' every evening at 9pm to keep the world out of our kids rooms at night. NO MORE! Set your kids individual accounts a bed time parameter and ALL of their devices shut down and wake up when you specify. It's as easy as making an appointment in your iCal on your iPhone. That alone might have convinced me to spend the $100....but there's more. You can see where your kids have gone on the super-internet highway. Filter their access to the internet by age categories AND fine tune those settings if they are too strict. Time limits and or restrictions on specific apps like Facebook, minecraft, Instagram, snapchat are so wonderful. Talk to your kids about what a reasonable amount of time would be on these apps during the very busy few hours they have before bedtime and set those time limits to each app specifically. Now I don't hear at 10pm, "I'm not done with my homework yet" when I know that one kiddo of mine was likely on YouTube for 60% of the eve! Nope...not with the 1 hour restriction on YouTube! If he has to use this app for homework....he better not squander his time watching grown men play video games. Your kid doesn't come to dinner when you've called them ..once...twice or 3 X's....no problem....just hit the PAUSE button on his or her account and they will magically appear! LOVE THIS device!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Not perfect, but better than anything else so far.

    Posted
    SpudPug
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    For context, I'm the parent of a 13-yr-old with a cell phone and a 9-yr-old without. We purchased the Circle based on reviews after trying to reign in our kids' internet access through software, router, and ISP solutions. None offered the flexibility, access, and reporting we were looking for. The Circle comes the closest to our idea of a perfect solution, and it is priced below other less-featured solutions. The major features that attracted us to the Circle were the ease of access using the iOS app, the kid-proof-ness of the design, the fact that it works with the router we already bought to do this (for 3x the Circle price), and the ability to set up multiple groups with multiple on/off times each day. Being able to put each kid's personal devices into their own group allows us to switch off the younger child's access for an earlier bedtime without affecting the older one. We also have separate groups for family-wide devices like the primary homework computer - these get different schedules for accessing entertainment vs educational websites. The ability to also exclude devices like our security cameras and thermostat from the user pool is helpful for when anarchy breaks out and we have to lock everything else down until the tantrums end (you other parents know what I'm talking about). While it's not perfect (the interface can be clunky at times, and you can't undo a reward given to a child, for example) the overall experience is leaps and bounds above anything else we've tried. Improvements are always coming, and connections to multiple additional apps have been promised. It's great as-is, and hopefully it will just get better. Note: We have not yet tried the paid service that controls devices on a mobile network, but it is supposedly an extension of the included home wifi service.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    AMAZING!

    Posted
    harrkev
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is how parental control SHOULD be. Period. I am amazed by how easy it is to configure and to control individual children. This is what I have been looking for! If you have kids, buy this. Protection is great, and no monthly fees. When your kid gets blocked, they can scroll down to see a bunch of Disney advertisements, but no big deal. Now, for the down sides... It uses "ARP spoofing" to do its magic. This means that if you use it wirelessly, all traffic will go over you network three times (once from device to router, once from router to Circle, once from Circle back to router). This may slow your wireless network speed. However, you can get around this by simply plugging the device in. The down side is that if it is where the kids can get to it, they can unplug it. The final down side is that there ARE ways around ARP spoofing, but the vast majority of kids out there will not know how to do this. Also, you should know that this ONLY manages devices on your network. If your child's device has a data plan, they can turn WiFi off and get around it. If they go to a friend's house, no protection. Can the get on a neighbor's WiFi? If so, no protection. What I **REALLY** want to see is for Circle to make their own router.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Your family needs Circle

    Posted
    SpazDude
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    As a father of seven (yes SEVEN) children and a technology professional, I've worked hard to protect my family from the junk that is out there on the internet. I've had from transparent proxies, custom firewalls, and DNS servers; but I've never been able to share it with my friends and family because it took too much expertise to manage it and keep it up to date. Enter Circle with Disney. This is the device I've been wanting for years. I retired the other devices. I still use OpenDNS as a first layer of defense, and of course malware protection, but Circle adds the time limits, targeted filtering, and everything else in a really easy to use application. The application, by the way (on Android) is improved and more stable than when I first got it (otherwise I would have only given four stars). They still could do more... like integrating controls with shared devices that have logins (like my kids homework desktop computer), but overall I'm thrilled.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nothing comes close to circle. Outstanding

    Posted
    Fatherof4
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Truly outstanding. I have been blocking my teenagers for over a year using router settings and it is a constant hassle. I also use Microsoft Family to manage time on Microsoft devices. My kids have found some ways around microsoft family but could not beat the router easily but it was a hassle for me. Circle has changed everything. My kids, who are very smart technically (I am a CIO) are now stumped. I set this up in a matter of 30 minutes. Setup should be easier but it is easy enough. I do think most people will benefit from a friend who is technically aware for setup. There were hiccups and a few issues with setup but once the setup is done it is amazing. If there was anything close, I might give this 4 stars for the setup. Circle is the ONLY option right now that does ANYTHING close to what it does. Buy it, set it up and begin to adjust the settings. It is extremely powerful.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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