I have three kids in elementary school, and they love to play “educational games” on the laptop. The other day those educational games were interrupted by pop-up ads that were not welcome or kid friendly. My solution was to purchase Circle with Disney. I had read about it month’s ago and figured if it works half as good as advertised (and considering it’s backed by Disney) it’s worth a shot. So far I’m impressed. Here are my impressions so far:
- Setup was much easier than I expected. I just had to plug it in, download the app to my phone, and about 10 minutes later I was all set.
- Setting up all of the devices was easy, but did take a little thought because we have duplicate devices, and same of the devices came up with funky. The trick if you have more than one of the same device is to look for the MAC ID listed in Circle and then match it to the MAC ID of your device. Here are some links that should help.
- Each family member can have a profile with multiple devices on each profile.
- Each profile can have a custom level of protection. So, I can put my 8-year-old on the kids profile and then open up some access for him (like clash of clans), and I can put my 10-year-old on the teen profile and lock down some access for her (like having YouTube in restricted mode).
- I can custom add sites for me kids to have access. For example, the default kids setting doesn’t allow the device to access clash of clans, but I just had to put in the URL clasheofclans.com to allow my son to be on there, and now the app works great. Best of all, I can see how much he is on there, and I can limit his time 🙂
- I can set time limits for something as broad as Internet use or something as specific as Clash of Clans. So, I can let my son have 45 minutes of Internet time and limit him to 10 minutes on Clash of Clans.
- I can also set a bedtime and awake time for each profile, so I can make sure that my kids are offline when they need to be.
- I can get statistics on internet use for each user. It breaks down all of the sites they visited (via browser or app use) and tell how long the user was on the site.
- I get a push notification each time a new device connects to my wifi network.
- When a new device does hop on the network that device goes to the home profile, which is already pretty locked down.
- If Circle is unplugged I get a push notification on my phone letting me know.
Overall I’m very impressed by Circle with Disney. It’s a great device that protects my family while online, and for $100 I think it’s a no brainier.