Having parental controls or your home wifi & network is really important. This product filters Youtube, mac, windows Netflix and more. It’s available on its own or with a Netgear Router.
We have tried a lot of web filters around here. Up until this one — my son has always found a way around them.
He’s 16 and the internet is his everything.
Do I like it that way?
Nope, not at all.
Sometimes I wish we could shut the internet off and live in a log cabin.
But, then I remember I run a blog.
And my son is going to college in just over a year (!).
I had heard so many good things about The Circle. From several friends I saw that it would be the device that could make living in the 21st century a little easier.
And then they sent me one.
I was doubting at first. I have a smart kid who hates limits.
I was sure it wouldn’t work.
But by JOVE it does!
Parental Controls Software
The circle runs through your router — so it protects all the wifi in the house! You don’t actually install software on your computer, because it protects your entire network.
Separates each child into their own account
And also separates each device.
I am able to pause or limit the internet to a person, or to a device
I am able to place limits on people or devices.
- Filtering by age (teen, toddler, adult)
- Filtering by type (social media, videos)
- Filter by sites/apps (Netflix, Facebook)
I can limit the amount of internet time used by the person or the device.
I can also move devices easily between people. We have a homework computer that I have set to strict filtering (but is able to do homework) — if the kids want to play games on it, I switch it to their profile and let it filter that way (also limiting the total time they spend on the internet).
I run all of it on my phone.
I can tell when new devices are added to the network (and can easily add them to one person’s profile)
I can also allow things like our TV, our phone or our printer have free reign on the internet. Easy peasy.
The one way my son has gotten around it is by getting on a neighboring internet, but that can only be accessed in a specific area of the house and he has promised he won’t do that.
I just want them safe, and I want them to make the majority of their own choices… but I like the safeguard of a great filtering device.
And The Circle seems to be the best.
Parental Controls Windows or Mac
I have found that the windows Parental Controls unit is pretty bad. It’s easy for kids to get around, it’s hard for parents to update and make work. I find that the Circle is WAY better for Windows, and it works well on Macs as well.
YouTube Parental Controls
The Circle has special options JUST for YouTube to restrict it to family-friendly content. It’s great!
The Circle on Netgear
Some Netgear routers can use Circle software within the router, so check to see if yours is included in that (that does incur a monthly charge, vs the one time cost of The Circle Device).
Parental Control Apps
This is where I think Circle really shines. Their app is SUPER intuitive, easy to use and they make it easy to cherry pick which stuff is OK and which isn’t. I love their app. Super awesome.
Things I don’t love about Circle: Things continue to suck internet if you’re logged in. For instance, our downstairs computer used up its 2 hours at 2 am this morning, probably because someone left the browser open.
Same for the phone. When devices are getting notifications it will still take internet time from their limits.
So, each kid gets a bit extra time. I don’t hear any complaining about it (because then I’ll just take away my generous offer of the extra time).
The main thing I’d advise you about rolling out the circle is that it is the law. There’s no begging and asking for no, because what the circle says — goes. The end.
In fact, I’d be careful to not use the reward in the beginning. That way — there’s no way around it.
I did get the Circle free at an event I attended, but there was no requirement to write about it — I just think it can truly help your family!
If you want more hacks to protect you and your kids — don’t miss my newsletter, and then check out some other posts that might interest you below that!