When I was growing up, the biggest “electronics” challenge my parents had was getting me to turn off the light and stop reading when it was time to go to bed. (Yes, I was a nerd thankyouverymuch.) I didn’t have a TV in my room – heck, we only had one for the whole house. I lived out in the boonies, so we didn’t even get cable TV until I was in high school. Until then, there were only about 5 channels to choose from. There was no internet, no streaming entertainment, no YouTube. You younger folks are probably wondering what they heck we all did back then! I played outside a LOT.
These days, I feel like I have to constantly be aware of what the different devices in my house are capable of doing. People can stream content on so many different devices these days – gaming systems (including handheld ones), tablets, even some watches now. While my kiddo is generally very responsible about his online activities, I know how easily something not-so-good can pop up on a screen. (I once landed at a very, um, “interesting” site myself when trying to look up something at the White House.)
Circle with Disney is a great tool for keeping a watchful eye on what your kids are doing online and for keeping them away from places on the internet you would rather they not visit. We were given a Circle with Disney to review from Best Buy. My main concern was setting it up. In all honesty, I am not the most tech-savvy mom on the block when it comes to things like setting up routers and modems and other computer stuff. Luckily, Circle is made for people just like me! It is literally a five minute process where the most complicated step is plugging it in. Even I can handle that!
Once you have plugged in your Circle and downloaded the app, it walks you through the remaining steps one at a time (and they are super easy already).
Once Circle has paired with your router, you can set up profiles for each person in your family and create individual rules for them. You can control everything from how long they are allowed to stay on a particular app to what time you would like their devices to go to sleep. Sorry kids, no sneaking iPads under the covers after bedtime!
Does your child have a device with data where they could access the internet without your wifi? You’ll want to check out Circle Go! Circle Go takes all of the settings your kids’ devices have at home, and extends them to 4G LTE and any other WiFi network they join outside the home. It is a subscription service and covers up to 10 devices.
In short, Circle provides a single view of the family’s online experience all from an app.
USING THE APP CIRCLE ALLOWS FAMILIES TO:
• Set Time Limits — Create daily time limits on apps and sites
• Filter Content — Set individual filter levels by age
• Set BedTime — Choose a BedTime for your family’s devices
• Pause the Internet — With a single tap, pause Internet activity
Plus Circle offers Insights which allow you to check out where your family spends their time online―by platform, category and website. With Insights, you can see the total time spent online and where, either by day, week, or month!
The Rewards function allows you to reward good behavior with extra screen time or a later device “bedtime”.
All this for just $99. No recurring fees or subscriptions needed.
The reviewer (me) has received the product/service for free. All opinions are my own.