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Circle - Circle Home Plus - White-Front_Standard

Circle - Circle Home Plus - White

Model: CIR2001SKU: 6332928

Customer rating

Rating 3.8 out of 5 stars with 48 reviews

73%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Page 1, showing1-2 of 2 Reviews mentioning:
instructions
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    I’d give this minus stars if I could

    Posted
    stevefromtheburbs
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    As someone who has setup many networks, with various equipment from multiple manufacturers, this is the first one I'd say you'd be best looking for something else. The setup process should be easy, but isn't. It is filled with dead ends and useless help. Things that should work, like texting you the admin passcode, do not work. Why would they not provide a first time code with the requirement to change on first login and to setup the software? Sadly this is a fail as far as I'm concerned and again I'm very familiar with setting up networks and network monitoring devices. First time I could not get through the setup process despite multiple attempts and much frustration along the way. And the instructions that come with the unit do not match the app, so that is another fail. And as a last resort, plugging into the network jack is a fail.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Decent Option for Basic Parental Controls

    Posted
    CMCMom29
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    I have a son on the Autism Spectrum who is quite the tech wiz. He is also is a big fan of YouTube. Sadly, YouTube doesn't offer a kid's friendly site on the computer. Sometimes he stumbles on videos that appear kid-friendly but are not. After many conversations about content and relocating the PC to the kitchen so we can view what he's watching, the temptation has proven to be too much. I prefer to block it completely. However, YouTube makes that almost impossible. So, I started out with Norton Family filters, which proved too easy to beat. I enabled parental controls on Windows, and then on the wi-fi itself. Even with all of those filters enabled concurrently, he still found ways around it. Windows also doesn't allow you to block the ability to download free apps, so even if I was able to block something, he could use the app from the Microsoft Store to access the site. It was because of these experiences that I was looking forward to trying Circle. Circle offers another layer of filtering protection for members of your home on the Internet. It also gives parents additional controls, such as the ability to pause Internet access, set bedtimes (where the Internet is shut off to the devices), among other features. Setup started out to be easy. The package comes with a white cube, which is the Circle unit, an ethernet cable, power cable, and a small pamphlet with the setup instructions. Circle offers the ability to install to your router using the ethernet port or via your wi-fi. My cable modem only has one ethernet point, and that is used by my Velop mesh wi-fi system. The other port on the Velop nodule is being used by my work computer. The instructions say that the Circle needs to be as close to the router as possible. I tried to first install via wi-fi. You download the Circle app, follow the instructions, then you connect your phone to the Circle device. At first, I had a wheel running as if the unit was trying to connect the app to the unit. I let it run for an hour without any connection or error, so I shut down the app and tried again. I kept getting errors at that point, so I tried troubleshooting myself, then I had to contact Customer Support, as the factory password no longer worked as the instructions specified. The only fix was to try to do a factory reset. They provide a video to show how to do this. However, my unit just continued to blink without resetting. Even unplugging the unit and plugging it back in did nothing. The way to reset should be user friendly, such as a dedicated reset button or a way to reboot via PC or app. I had to wait a few days until I could unplug my computer long enough to use the ethernet connection. Using that, I was able to connect, then do a "wi-fi backup" so, in the even the connection is lost, the wi-fi connection kicks in. That was the only way I could get the device to work. I was told by Customer Support that mesh wi-fi could have been the'ssue. I have profiles set up for each child. You can set up profiles for anyone using your network, and then you can associate devices to the users and apply pre-set filters or customize the filters you need. You can block common apps (iOS or Android) such as facebook or Amazon. You can also track their device's location and set up timers so no Internet access during overnight, for example. Unfortunately, in my case, YouTube can still be accessed. The web site itself is blocked (it shows up as an error, not anything identifiable as Circle, which I would have preferred) but it can still be accessed via embedded videos on other sites, or a free video app available via Windows. In my case, the unit did not perform as I had hoped. I'm not sure if that is because parental control technology is outpaced by the ways around it, or a fault in the design of the unit. I did take away one star because of the technical issues, and the frustration I had with being told that the only fix was a reset that wasn't working.

    I would recommend this to a friend