Mycircle Meetcircle App Dashboard Reviews Login

Mycircle Meetcircle App Dashboard Reviews Login
Content List

The circle is a device and app for controlling screen time and filtering the internet. It is the easiest way to control screen time on all the connected devices in your family. Block inappropriate content and limit the number of time kids can spend online to keep them safe.

Download the Circle App - Manage Screen Time & Monitor Devices

Circle Parental Controls App - Apps on Google Play

Circle Parental Controls App on the App Store

parental controls for all your devices.

Circle's parental controls, which have won awards, let you manage screen time and keep an eye on not just some websites and apps, but ALL of them. With our all-in-one solution for at home and on the go, you can set rules for sites like YouTube, TikTok, Discord, and many more on all the connected devices in your family.

  • Family TV time is taken care of.

Start keeping track of what your kids are doing online, from social media to games. Change what you need to to keep your family safe online. From one simple app, you can set healthy time limits and filter content on all of your devices.

  1. Circle has safety and security features that will keep your family safe.
  2. Circle makes it easy to see what's happening on a network and stops people from going to dangerous sites on the Internet.
  3. Limits access to malicious sites to keep families from getting hurt. Finds and blocks network intruders by keeping an eye on every device on your network.
  • Circle Media, Inc.

The circle is the leader in its field when it comes to helping families manage screen time and set parental controls. Its goal is to make the lives of families better, both online and off.

The circle's goal is to help families get the most out of technology and from their relationships with each other. We imagine a world where families find balance, set healthy limits, build good habits, and get the most out of their digital experiences instead of being taken over by them. Circle's solutions for managing screen time and setting parental controls are the easiest and most complete way to manage all the connected devices in your family, no matter where they are. Circle also works with key partners to help more families use our service.

  • Get in Touch
  • Please get in touch with us.

Use the list of emails below to send your question, request for help, or question about a partnership or distribution to the right place.

meetcircle

Circle is the best family Internet filter for websites and apps.

With Circle, you can set up internet filter settings to limit what each family member can see, and you can apply those settings to iPhones and Android devices anywhere.

  • Internet and Website Filtering

You can change the settings to limit what each family member can see online by choosing age-appropriate apps and websites or blocking inappropriate ones for social media, video and gaming apps, and more.

  • Why Content Filters Are Important

For parents, the Internet has a lot of good things to offer, like ways for their kids to have fun and learn. It could even give you a chance to be creative! But it can also be scary to think about your kids being able to go wherever they want on the Internet. In this digital age, many parents want a family Internet filter that gives them more control over age-appropriate content and screen time than a router or even the settings on a mobile device can.

If you've ever used a router to set up parental controls, you already know that there aren't many options and that it's probably not worth your time to figure them out.

This is where Circle wins the game. By setting up the Circle content Internet Filter feature, parents can easily choose the apps, devices, games, streaming services, and websites that need limits or restrictions. Then, put the right filters on each family member's profile.

No matter where you are, it's easy to keep track of each profile. Just open the app and you're good to go. With a few taps on your phone, you can change how the Internet works.

Why Circles Internet Filtering on Apps and Devices is a Good Idea

It can be hard to keep track of and control what your kids do on the Internet. All the hard work can be done by the circle. Our parental controls let you set a different filter level for each family member based on their age and what they are interested in.

  • You want to let people use TikTok but not Facebook.

Want to make sure your child doesn't go on dating sites?

  • Want to block a particular website?

Want your kids to be able to listen to music without it counting as screen time?

We talk about all of these things and more. The circle divides the Internet into several well-known platforms and groups. Both apps and websites can be built on these platforms. When you set a content filter for YouTube, for example, it will affect both the website and the app.

If you know that your kids spend too much time on social media or video games, you can limit their access to those apps through their profiles. You can also block websites that you know your kids shouldn't be on, and you can always check on what they've been doing online.

Here's how the Family Internet Filtering from Circle works:

  • With Filter, parents can rest easy knowing that their kids will have a personalized online experience.

It's easy to set up and use the Filter feature. Once you're in the Circle app, choose the profile of the right family member. From there, tap Filter and scroll down to change what you can and can't do.

Each Filter Level has its apps and default settings for Category and other settings based on how appropriate they are.

mycircle.meetcircle dashboard

Circle lets you set different default filter levels for each member of your family. You can put a profile in one of four levels: Kid, Teen, Adult, or None.

  • Explaining Circle Filter Levels

Kid - Works for children under the age of 12. By default, apps or websites that teach or keep kids safe are available, while sites like social media that are meant for older people are blocked.

Teen - Made for teens ages 13 to 17. Most apps, websites, and categories are available, but many popular apps and websites that are 18+ are not. By default, inappropriate categories are filtered out and hidden.

Adult: Good for people over the age of 18. You can get to almost all apps, websites, and categories, but by default, explicit and mature content is blocked.

None: The "none" filter level is unique because it turns off all of Circle's tracking and tracking features for that profile. It can be useful when filtering isn't as important, like when adults are in the house. Here, you can find out more about the "none" level of filtering.

Each of these levels of filtering has a set of popular apps, websites, and categories that are turned on by default. The more restrictive a Filter Level is, the more categories, popular apps, and websites will be left out of the default lists.

What the Internet Filtering Function of Circle can do for you

Circle uses a database with millions—yes, millions—of websites and groups them into a few easy-to-understand categories, like Education or Online Games. You can filter websites and apps on the Internet by category or by specific websites, apps, or platforms.

  1. With Filter, you can control or block apps, websites, and Internet categories.
  2. Platforms and categories can be set to "allowed," "not allowed," or "unmanaged" in the default settings for each age group.

Permitted vs. Not Permitted

Content that is "allowed" for them to use is available, and you can also change the Time Limits. On the other hand, "not allowed" content will never be online, no matter what. So, if you don't want your tween to be able to use YouTube at all, you can switch that app to "Not Allowed."

  • Unmanaged

When you choose the "unmanaged" option, the content you choose will always be available and will not be recorded in the Usage/History section. For example, if you want your tween to have unlimited access to music streaming or educational content, you can set those apps, websites, or categories to "unmanaged." They can always get to this content, no matter what time it is or how much of their online time they've already used.

  • How to Filter a Category

Some examples of categories are social media, education, music, news, and even games. Want to know what's on a certain platform or in a certain category? Just tap on that category to see an easy-to-understand list of what it has. If you can't find a profile's category on a certain filter level, that means it's always filtered for that level. It's also important to know that the settings for each app or website will take priority over the settings for the category.

  • Custom Filters

It's also easy to be more specific about what your kids can do on their devices. Check out the Custom Filter. Here, you can add specific websites that you want to allow, block, or leave unmanaged. Check out this helpful guide to learn more about how to manage filters for each family member's profile.

Circle also has Safe Search and YouTube Restricted Mode, which automatically remove sexually explicit content from search results.

  • Filter

Circle has built-in Kid Filters, Teen Filters, and more to meet the needs of your family. You can change the filters for each family member's Profile, so you can choose which apps and websites are allowed and which are not.

  • Usage

Watch how much time your family spends online. Compare how you act online to how you did it yesterday, last week, or a month ago. You can see how much time your family spends on different websites and apps by using Usage.

  • History

Get a detailed look at the sites that each family member visits throughout the day on every connected device.

  • Time Limits

Worried that your kids spend too much time on one app or game? With Time Limits, parents can decide how much (or how little) time their kids should spend on certain websites, games, or apps.

  • Bedtime

Stop people from scrolling late at night. Set an internet bedtime for everyone in your family, including yourself. You decide when each Profile should cut off its Internet connection.

  • Pay Attention

Make a schedule for screen time that works for everyone in your family. Set times when you won't be online, like when you're practicing the piano or having dinner with your family.

  • Pause

There is now a "Pause" button on the internet. By quickly pressing one button, you can stop your family from using the internet and get their full attention. Parents can pause just one Profile or all of the Profiles in the house.

  • Location

Keep track of the mobile devices your family has. Turn on location services to keep track of your kids' mobile devices and where they go.

  • Rewards

Give kids more time online when they do their chores or get good grades. Parents can extend Time Limits, turn off Focus Time, or make Bedtime later by using Rewards.

  • A few more things
  • Search Safely

Safe Search makes it so that when you search on Google or Bing, explicit content is taken out of the results by default.

  • Every Thing

Circle knows everything that is connected to your home network, whether it's a tablet, smartphone, or game console.

  • Guest Devices

Circle can even tell when someone joins your Wi-Fi as a guest. All new devices will not be managed until they are given a profile.

  • Unmanaged

Circle also gives you the option to not use the Circle App to manage a device or profile.

  • Notifications

When a family member reaches a time limit or when a new device joins your network, you can get push notifications.

  • Safety on the Internet

Circle makes the Internet safer and more secure for your family by finding network intruders and blocking adult and dangerous sites.

  • Use-Friendly

After you plug it in and get the app, it's ready to go. You don't need to touch it ever again.

  • Everything is covered

Circle Home Plus lets you control every connected device in your homes, such as phones, tablets, smart TVs, game consoles, and more.

meetcircle login

Unlimited Profiles That Can Be Changed

You can set and change each family member's settings separately, giving them access to different kinds of content as you choose.

  • Works Turned Off

Circle Home Plus works even when it's not plugged in because it has a backup battery built in. You'll get a message telling you that it's been turned off.

  • Super Fast

With a 1GB Ethernet port, Circle Home Plus is made for fast networks.

  • Device Identification

Circle finds and identifies all of the connected devices in your home. This lets you block devices you don't know about and keep intruders out of your network.

Questions People Usually Ask

What comes with the subscription?

A Circle subscription gives you access to all of the following features: Filters, History, Usage, Time Limits, Bedtime, Focus Time, Pause the Internet®, Location, and Rewards.

Prices for subscriptions are $9.99 per month or $89.99 per year (USD).

People who don't want to worry about monthly subscription fees can sign up for a lifetime subscription.

Choose your Circle Home Plus device and app subscription package to control all of your devices from anywhere.

Try the Circle Parental Controls App for free for 14 days to take care of only mobile devices. Download the Circle Parental Controls app to get started.

How does Circle handle different kinds of screen time?

Once Circle Home Plus is connected to your router, it can keep track of how much time each device on your home network spends online.

As long as the Circle Parental Controls App is installed on an iOS or Android mobile device, or on many Chromebooks and Kindle Fire tablets, you can also manage online screen time on that mobile device when you're not at home, or on any network, or data connection.

Does Circle show which websites are visited?

With the Usage and History features, you can track how people use the web.

Usage shows you all of your Internet activity by category, app, and site, and by day, week, and month.

History shows all the sites you've been to, what Circle has filtered, and lets you make your filters.

Popular sites like YouTube, Google, Netflix, and Facebook, on the other hand, are fully encrypted, so Circle can't see what was searched for or what was on that site.

Does Circle watch what people text?

No. The circle doesn't look at texts, phone calls, iMessages, emails, or in-app messages from Instagram, Snapchat, and other apps. Since SMS-based text messages and phone calls are sent through your cellular carrier, Circle can't see these types of communication.

The circle can stop Snapchat, Instagram, and other in-app messages from being sent or received.

What makes Circle different from other solutions?

Circle's award-winning device and app for parental controls is the most complete way for families to control screen time and content on all devices, including iOS and Android mobile devices.

With Circle, you can control all of your Internet-connected devices from one app, whether you're at home or away. Circle has the most customizable features, so you can set limits and manage content on an unlimited number of devices, like computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles.

What kinds of websites and apps can Circle block?

Circle comes with Amazon, Disney+, TikTok, YouTube, and other popular apps and websites already installed, which makes it easy to use. You can change the settings for these in the Filter menu. Check out our Filter help article for more information.

Can Circle control apps like YouTube, TikTok, or Netflix?

Yes. The circle can manage access to popular sites and apps like YouTube, TikTok, Fortnite, Instagram, Netflix, Snapchat, Disney+, Zoom, and more. It can also set time limits for these sites and apps.

Does Circle sort the results of a search? What about searches for pictures?

Circle adds another layer of safety on top of the rules that are already in place. Use the Circle app to turn on SafeSearch settings and Restricted Mode. You can even make it so that SafeSearch is turned on for certain family members and their devices, so that when your kid searches, only appropriate results are shown.

The search engines are in charge of this feature's functionality.

Can I customize Filters?

Yes. Circle has four different Filter levels: Kid, Teen, Adult, and None. By default, apps and websites are blocked on all of these levels. In the Filter settings, you can change these defaults as well as those for other apps and websites.

Can Circle handle games and other content that aren't online?

No. The circle keeps track of how much time is spent online, but it can't keep track of games that can be played without an Internet connection or movies that have already been downloaded.

How does Circle handle devices at home? What kinds of tools?

Circle Home Plus manages the Internet traffic on your home network through your router. This lets you keep an eye on how much time you spend online and what you're looking at on all of your Internet-connected devices, such as:

  1. iPads and iPhones
  2. Phones and tablets with Android
  3. Windows and Mac desktops and laptops, Chromebooks, and Kindle Fire tablets are all supported.
  4. Smart TVs
  5. Consoles like the PS4 and Xbox
  6. Kindles or Kindle Fires
  7. Devices for streaming, smart assistants, and more

Installing the Circle app and setting it up as a "kid device" lets you control iOS and Android phones, as well as many Chromebooks and Kindle Fire tablets, no matter where they are. This includes all cellular, data, and Wi-Fi networks.

Can Circle control my mobile devices when I'm not at home?

The circle can control iOS and Android devices, as well as a lot of Chromebooks, no matter where they are. The Circle Parental Controls App gives you more ways to manage mobile devices when you're not at home. You can use it on any data or Wi-Fi network to do this. The circle doesn't take care of laptops when they are away from home.

Once Circle is installed, its parental controls can be used on any device through a VPN (Virtual Private Network). You can keep an eye on and control online activity on any data network, even Wi-Fi networks when you're not at home.

Can Circle keep Chromebooks in order?

With Circle Home Plus, families can manage Chromebooks both on their home Wi-Fi network and when they are away from home. Once Circle finds your Chromebook, you can put parental controls on it by assigning it to a separate profile in the Circle app. Install the Circle app and go to "Set Up as Kid" to manage your child's Chromebook when you're not at home. Learn more.

Can Zoom be run by Circle?

Circle's settings can be changed to suit your needs. Circle's powerful filtering system lets you directly allow or block Zoom. Look in a profile's Usage details for the Zoom app, and then use the management options to allow, block, or unmanaged it. Find out more.

Do Google Classroom and Google Meet work with Circle?

With Circle's Custom Filters or by changing your standard Filter Level settings, it's easy to let apps like Google Meet or Classroom run. Find out more.

Can I only let people access school websites and not other apps or sites?

With the Focus Time feature, you can set up times during the day when only certain Apps or Categories of sites are allowed and Circle blocks all other Apps and Categories. So, you can be sure that only educational and learning sites are available on your kids' profiles and that other apps or sites that could be a distraction are not.

Can I change the settings so that certain school sites are always accessible?

With Circle, it's easy to set websites, apps, or categories to "always available," "always blocked," or "always allowed." You can also set up Custom Filters for any sites that Circle doesn't automatically manage. Find out more about filtering.

Does Circle Home Plus work with my router?

Most routers can work with Circle Home Plus. You can also turn on Compatibility Mode in the Circle app to make sure you have the best experience and connection.

What does the Circle piece of hardware do?

Circle Home Plus links up with your home router. Circle Home Plus finds devices on the network once you're connected and lets you add them to your family's profiles so you can manage them while you're connected.

Can I use the Circle Parental Controls app without a device?

Yes. The Circle App can manage Android, iOS, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire phones and tablets on any data or network, no matter where they are.

Without Circle Home Plus, you can't control things like smart TVs, game consoles, Kindle Fire devices, desktop and laptop computers, and other Internet-connected devices on your home networks.

Can I use Circle with my router?

Yes. The circle is made so that as many home routers as possible can work with it. You can run Compatibility Mode when setting up your Circle Home Plus to make sure it will work on your network.

What kind of Android or iOS device do you need to use the Circle app?

  1. App requirements:
  2. iOS 13 and newer
  3. Android 6.0 or later (Marshmallow)

How do I set up Circle Home Plus (2nd generation)?

Download the Circle Parental Controls App to set up and run Circle Home Plus (available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store).

How do I set up Circle with Disney (1st generation)?

Download the Circle 1st generation app to set up and manage a Circle with a Disney device (1st gen) or a Circle on NETGEAR. If you try to pair the Circle app from the first generation with the Circle Home Plus, you will get errors.

What's the difference between Circle Home Plus and Circle with Disney?

Circle Home Plus (2nd generation) is better than Circle with Disney (1st generation) in several ways:

Coverage will be expanded to include the management of mobile devices.

New features for mobile devices include Chromebook management, Focus Time, and tracking where they are.

  • Faster connection to the network

Fewer disruptions (upgraded hardware, parent notifications, and app deletion restrictions) (upgraded hardware, parent notifications, and app deletion restrictions)

  • More options and safety so that settings are always saved

How do I put Circle Home Plus together?

Download the Circle Parental Controls app from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store once you have Circle Home Plus. Follow the app's instructions for the easiest way to set up.

You can also look at our User Guide or Get Started for a step-by-step guide on how to set up.

meetcircle netgear

Parents, do you think Circle is helping your family?

92% of Circle users agree that it makes it easier to control how much time their family spends on screens.

92% of Circle users agree that it keeps their kids safe online.

84% of parents agree that Circle has helped their family form healthier online habits.

More than 1,000 Circle users who have used the app at least 10 times and set a time limit or paused a profile were asked to fill out a survey.

What features does Circle have and how much do they cost?

Filters, Usage, History, Time Limits, Bedtime, Focus Time, Pause the Internet®, Location, and Rewards are all things that can be done with the app.

Circle subscriptions cost $9.99 a month or $89.99 a year and give access to all features (USD). People who don't want to worry about monthly subscription fees can sign up for a lifetime subscription.

How do I send something back?

Circle Home Plus can be returned for any reason within 30 days and your money will be refunded  (in the US and Canada only).

If you bought your Circle device from a store other than Circle, please contact that store to find out how to send it back.

What comes with the lifetime membership?

With a lifetime subscription, you always get all of the features. Don't pay a monthly fee for anything.

People who have already bought a 3-month or 1-year bundle with the Circle Home Plus device are the only ones who can get the Lifetime Subscription upgrade. This doesn't work for the first generation of Circle or Circle on Netgear.

Circle: Is it available in other countries?

At the moment, the circle can only be bought and shipped in the United States and Canada. Check back from time to time to find out what's new with international availability.

Get the Circle app to control screen time and keep an eye on devices.
You can start tracking screen time right away by downloading the Circle app. Circle helps keep kids safe online and stops them from getting into trouble. Start keeping an eye on your family's devices right now.

Circle Parental Controls App

You can manage Circle from anywhere with the Circle Parental Controls App. Start today by getting the Circle Parental Controls app.

  • How things work

Easy to set up. To get started, download the Circle Parental Controls app so it can show you how to set it up. Use the cable that comes with the Circle Home Plus to connect it to your home Wi-Fi and plug it in to turn it on. Circle Home Plus will start managing all of the devices on your home network right away.

Want to manage your kids' mobile devices but don't have Circle Home Plus?

If you sign up for the Circle app, you can control what your kids can do on any data or Wi-Fi network they join.

  • PROS
  1. The setup is easy.
  2. The web is reliable and has time limits.
  3. Finds devices on the network and puts restrictions on them quickly.
  4. Easy-to-use apps.
  5. It works with any number of devices.
  • CONS
  1. Expensive.
  2. It doesn't have the best features, like geofencing and the ability to lock the device completely.
  3. There is some risk with a physical device.

With a parental control service, your kids won't be able to use their devices too much or go to sites that aren't good for them. Circle Home Plus can watch over devices on your home network at the router level or through an app on your child's phone. Circle's combination of hardware and software is easy to set up and is a good choice for parents who want to keep track of everything their kids do online at home. Still, Circle doesn't have as many features as some of its competitors, and a subscription costs a lot.

Circle Home Plus: Pricing and Parts

The Circle parental control system is made up of two parts that work together: a hardware device (the Circle Home Plus) and a mobile app (the Circle App). The Circle Home Plus is a white, three-and-a-quarter-inch-square cube made of plastic. It is not round. Except for the Circle logo on the front, most of its sides are blank. On the back of the device, a grey rubber ring protects the power button, charging port, and Ethernet jack. The rubber ring doesn't come off all the way, which is annoying. If you plug in an Ethernet cord, as the setup instructions suggest, the ring folds up awkwardly on the back of the device. It's like the Circle With Disney product we reviewed before, which costs C$118.70 at Amazon Canada (Opens in a new window).

The Circle App helps you set up your Circle Home Plus and make an account for it. With this app, you can control network devices that Circle Home Plus is in charge of and put limits on your kids' devices that have the companion app installed. I talk about the app in more depth later.

The Circle Home Plus costs $129 and comes with premium membership for one year. A premium plan costs $9.99 per month after the first month is free. Then, it will cost you around $120 per year to keep the service going. If you don't renew your subscription, your account will go back to the basic level, where you can only use filters, see your usage history, and see what you've used. In addition to these features, premium members can limit the amount of time they can spend on the internet, set a bedtime, and block or pause internet access for all devices or just one. Parents can also track where their child is and give them more time on the Internet as a reward. The Circle Home Plus can keep an eye on as many devices as you want.

The Circle Home Plus package is more expensive than other software for keeping kids safe. Kaspersky Safe Kids costs $14.99 per year at Kaspersky and lets you keep an eye on an unlimited number of devices. Qustodio costs $54.95 a year to manage up to five devices. Norton Family Premier costs $49.99 a year and doesn't limit the number of devices that can be monitored. Locate costs about $20 per year for three device licenses, and Boomerang costs $30.99 per year to watch 10 mobile devices.

Putting the Circle Home Plus together

To set up the Circle Home Plus, you must first download the Circle App on a device with Android version 5.0 or later or iOS version 10.0 or later. You can't control the restrictions and profiles from the web; you have to use the mobile app for everything. Then, you need to make a Circle account by entering your email, first name, last name, and password. You also have to confirm your account by entering a code that was sent to you by email before you can move on.

How you do the next step will depend on how you want to keep an eye on your child's devices. You need to put the companion child app on your child's phone or tablet if they use it outside of your home network. The installation process is similar to other parental control options. On both platforms, you need to download and turn on a Circle-managed VPN profile for the Circle App to properly monitor outgoing web traffic. On Android, users can avoid being found by switching accounts or adding a guest account. If your child tries to uninstall the Circle App, you will get a message. On both Android and iOS devices, there is a way to protect against uninstalling. To get rid of it on Android, your child would need your password. On iOS, you can use the Settings > Content & Privacy Restrictions menu to stop your child from uninstalling the app, which would turn off the VPN.

From the companion app, a child can see their filter level, how much internet time they have left, a countdown to bedtime, how much time they've spent using the device, and any rewards or unrestricted time they've gotten that day. The child will also get a message if you turn off their internet or do something like ask for their location. The child app doesn't have a panic button, which is something that many other parental control services do have. A panic button could let a parent or other trusted contacts know where a child is if they are ever in danger. This feature is in both Qustodio and Family Time Premium.

Setting up Circle Home Plus is a little more complicated, but it's still easy to do. First, tap the Add Circle Home Plus button to scan the QR code on the bottom of the device and add it to your account. This step turns on the features of the premium account. After that, use the power cord that came with the item to plug it into an outlet and turn it on. Then, connect the Circle Home to your router with the Ethernet cord that came with it. Circle suggests that you also connect the device to your Wi-Fi network as a backup in case the Ethernet connection is lost for some reason. Note that the first steps of setting up an account and the pairing process won't work if the mobile device you're using to set up the account is connected to a VPN.

Once that's done, Circle Home Plus can scan your home network to find out which devices it should be in charge of. In my experience, Circle found all the devices on my network and made it easy for me to rename them and set them up with unmanaged, Home, or child-specific profiles. My Wi-Fi is only connected to three things, so this was easy. But I think it would be a pain to look up each device by its MAC address or manufacturer's name for a whole house full of them.

Setting a device to "unmanaged" is helpful because you probably don't want to be limited to the same browsing and time limits as your child. You can use Circle to cut back on how much time you spend on certain sites or how much time you spend online, though. Still, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all offer free and first-party ways to do this.

Does the Circle Home Plus's physical shape make it more likely to be hacked? Absolutely. But Circle thought of ways to make some of these problems easier to deal with. For example, if a child just unplugs the Circle Home Plus, the built-in battery will keep it running for another hour or two. That gives a parent plenty of time to get the message and plug the device back in. But if your child turns off the device, there's no way to turn it back on remotely. You'll have to do it yourself. In the same way, if a child destroys or takes away the Circle Home Plus, you won't be able to keep an eye on devices that don't have the child profile installed. If this worries you, you could put the Circle Home Plus in a cabinet and lock it.

If you set up the Wi-Fi backup option, your child can unplug the Ethernet cord and it won't matter. A child can turn off the protections by unplugging the router, but unless the dependent devices are LTE-enabled, none of them will be able to connect to the internet without the router. The profiles they put on their phones work even without Wi-Fi, so switching to a cellular connection won't let them get around the rules.

Privacy and Getting Things Done

As with any device that can monitor or record your network data activity, you should be concerned about what data the device keeps and who has access to it. This is especially true for Circle Home Plus because you can't use it with a VPN. Circle's full privacy policy can be found on its website. (Opens in a new window)

One part of the policy says, "If you are on the Circle Network, whether you are a registered user or not, we collect certain information about you and your device that is connected and associated with the Network." This includes "without limitation, Navigational Information, network preferences, Personal Data, and sensitive data collected by Circle from users." Circle gets points for explaining all of the big words it uses in different parts of the book.

Circle Home Plus uses a method called ARP Spoofing, which, in a nutshell, lets it act as a gateway to internet traffic and enforce rules at that level. This method is often used in attacks that aren't good, but you can read all about how Circle uses it on its website. In that way, it works the same as the old Circle with the Disney device, but now your profile and account settings are taken care of in the cloud.

Could Circle be a good choice?

The Circle App and Circle Home Plus device offer a unique way for parents to control their kids' devices, with most of the same features as other solutions. Its best feature is that it makes it easy to manage an unlimited number of devices on your home network. With the help of a companion app, you can also keep an eye on Android and iOS devices when you're not at home. But the Circle platform is more expensive than other services and doesn't have top-tier features like geofencing, restrictions on device use (it only blocks internet access), and a panic button. It is also vulnerable to the usual workarounds, like VPNs and the Tor browser, and even more so because the Circle Home device can be accessed by the people being watched. Qustodio is our Editor's Choice in this category because it can monitor more things and is more flexible in general.