What is it?
This little cube is a filtering device for your home that allows you to protect your family from inappropriate sites and content on the internet.
A couple years ago, I looked around, as my children were growing older, and noticed that there was very little by way of family filters for the whole house available to the public. I even asked a tech friend of mine for some help, and the ways to tweak my router (which is provided by the company we use for internet) were very complicated and truly beyond my “networking” skills…trust me, I tried.
Then I saw this new device that began as a kickstarter and eventually was picked up by the Disney corporation – A.K.A – Disney Circle.
We’ve had our Circle for about a month and I would like to do a review on it for you.
Ease Of Use:
This device sells for $99, and we bought ours at Target, but I believe most major retailers will have this device for sale. Basically we took this sleek looking box home, opened it and once we plugged it in, it was a easy to set up. Have your internet router’s password available, walk through the app (which you install on your mobile device or cell phone) and once it connects the real magic and ease of mind can begin.
The app is easy to navigate and you can add then add your entire family to the “Circle”. Once you add your family, you can then assign specific devices (which are visible to the network) to each person. So, for example if your son has a google tablet, it will show up within the local devices and you can assign that tablet to your son on the circle.
The Filtering Software:
If you are worried what your children might watch on Youtube or even apps on their Apple or Android devices, here is some ease of mind. You can assign the filter level of each child based upon their age. All of the apps available on an app store can be filtered because this Disney Circle interfaces with the home router. Even if your child is on their Xbox or Playstation console, it must still get its information from your home router, and Disney Circle will filter out the inappropriate content that you do not want your children to have access to. I recently let one of my teenage boys use my Ipad, so since the Ipad is assigned to my profile, I adjusted my filter to “Teen”…when I went on my phone to access one of the streaming apps I use to watch tv, I was stopped, and I realized I had been filtered via the Disney Circle – it does really work! This device, in my opinion, is totally worth the $99 I paid for it!
This device gives parents peace of mind when their children use the internet and/or various electronic devices throughout their homes. No longer is finding a family friendly, easy to use filter a hard thing to do – I completely recommend this device for your home!
Other Perks to Disney Circle:
1) You can set a bed time for each profile/person in your home. When the clock strikes that hour, the internet turns off for those assigned devices to that profile/child.
2) Does your child spend too much time on devices? Then set time limits! Once the time limit has been met, the internet will also turn off.
3) Pause the Internet in the entire house by hitting the “Pause” button on your device loaded with the Disney Circle App.
4) There is no work around, once the Disney Circle has been paired to your home router!
One of my kids tried to unplug the Circle and just use the router, and it wouldn’t work.
5) “Insights” – You can view all of the content your child views by using your Circle app. You are the House Admin (and your spouse can be as well). View the time your children spend on specific apps or site. Learn what they enjoy doing, also start to see just how much time they spend in a day on these devices.
One word of caution, and this should be obvious, but here goes:
Do not load the Disney App onto devices your children will be using, this is the only “Work around” to the filtering software. The one(s) who has the app loaded can control what is fed to all the devices. So parents, you load the App, and you will ensure you children are protected in your home from unwanted, inappropriate content.
Should you buy Disney Circle?
That’s entirely up to you, but we love ours and as our kids are getting older, it gives us peace of mind that they will not be subjected to pornography or other harmful content because of this little device and what it does.
I am giving Disney Circle two thumbs WAY up!!!
For further review check out these youtube reviews/videos:
The Official Website: Disney Circle
Disney Circle Unboxing and Review
I’ve been thinking about getting this, since we have two teen age boys in the house but we’ve had other parental controls on the computers and it always ends up being SO frustrating as I’m constantly needed to enter my password to override things that needlessly get blocked. Is that the case with this too? Does it work with different profiles on the same device? We have a Chromebook with 2 accounts, home PC with 3 accounts, XBox with multiple profiles, etc. We all watch Netflix on all accounts. Can it handle all of that?
We have about (and I’m ashamed to say this) 20 devices on our circle and it handles it rather well. I would say if you have to switch profiles, you would have to transfer the device in question to a specific profile. I’ve had to do this with my teenage boys. But I love the time limits I can add to my boys if they haven’t done homework or chores.