Circle is an internet monitoring an accountability program designed for families to monitor time and content used on any device. It’s brought to you by Disney, one of the most trusted names when it comes to family-friendly content.
One of the biggest advantages of Circle is that it works across a variety of different devices. This is important given that families typically provide children with tablets and phones before they get full laptops or computers. Moreover, you can track users across multiple platforms. That means your children can’t get around their time restrictions by changing the device they’re on. Another great thing about Circle is that it works off of your Wi-Fi network. That means you don’t need to install the software on every device in your house to get coverage.
Circle also manages screentime, in addition to site restrictions. You can establish bedtimes and maximum screen time allotments to that your children don’t spend all day staring at their phones or devices. That means you can rest easy knowing that your child won’t be up all night playing on their phone or device, and you won’t have to fight with them to turn the physical device over to you. After all, it can be hard enough to keep track of your own devices, much less every phone and tablet for every member of your family.
Circle also provides lists and data for the websites your family visits, so you can see what sites people go to and how long they spend on them. As a result, you can be sure that your child is actually using the internet for homework rather that playing games or watching videos.
There are some drawbacks to Circle. Because it is a device that filters your home Wi-Fi network, you don’t get access to all of the features when your family is away from home. You can get CircleGo, which allows you to track device usage across all networks. However, this is a subscription service, and costs another $5 per month for up to 10 devices. As a result, you’ll have to pay closer attention to screen time when you’re traveling or away from home. Additionally, at $99, the price point is a bit high for some families.
Circle is a good choice for most families. It comes from a company that most families trust. Moreover, the device itself is easy to install, and the reviews have been positive. Overall, Circle is a great choice for families that are looking for internet monitoring and filtering applications to protect their children from harmful content or too much screentime, but isn’t a good option for employers.