Circle is a great idea for families but they should make sure it does not slow down your WIFI connection so much. When opening applications that are not blocked by Circle (like google classroom) for school work it is so slow!! Seems like we need a tech improvement here! Also if you have children who choose to unplug Circle there is not stopping them.
It is very clear the bad reviews of this product are kids upset they now have limits set for them on their devices. They even go so far as to pretend to be adults or “network experts”. I am a relatively tech savvy adult and love this product. It is made quite well and simple to use, and gives great reporting on usage. I am sure it is not a perfect product, but when talking about privacy and security nothing is perfect.
Overall, I’m happy with the hardware. The software UX needs a refresh, especially for the 2018 iPad Pros: 1. Support landscape orientation. Bizarre that the app loads in portrait when a Smart Keyboard is attached to an iPad Pro. 2. Support split view and slide over. I want to be able to view Eero and Circle side by side.* 3. The iPad offers a rich canvas to visualize data. Circle should think about how to use this canvas. *Please partner w/ Eero to offer native integration between their hardware and your software. This would be a killer combination for parents.
Before the circle I felt like our kids’ internet use was out of control. Our kids are required to have laptops for junior high and high school. They were on them constantly! They are also supposed to turn in their electronics a half hour before “lights out”, and that was never happening. We were always chasing them down and reminding them. We saw the circle in action at a friend’s house and got one for ourselves. It has been wonderful! They magically remember to turn in their electronics on time (because the internet is set to turn off at a certain time) they are following the limits about how much total time they’re on them, and I can easily and quickly see where they’re spending their time. It’s just what we needed!
The app is shutting off my devices at the wrong times. It’s improperly blocking sites that I’ve approved. The functionality advertised is not working properly, and I’m always having to fidget with the app in order to have it properly give devices and users access. Going to try to set it to factory defaults and start over again. Hopefully that will get the app / device up and running.
Honestly, the negative reviews are comical. We have had the circle in full use for over a week. Having multiple kids/teens on our WiFi, this has helped cut back their screen time. Sleepovers would go all night if I didn’t shut off their video games. This allows me to set up every teen that logs into our WiFi with a time limit and website restrictions. Thank you!
Been using this service for over a year and I really like it. That said, two major issues: 1). As soon as your kid gets a Chromebook from school you loose 100% of any control this product provides. Schools often use a VPN to ensure control over safe browsing. When this happens not only can do you lose control over app content (which I understand based on how VPNs work) but you also lose the ability to control screen time. The kids run out of time on the phone or tablet and then just use the Chromebook since it can’t be managed. Unlimited time. 2). The kids are using all sorts off apps that aren’t identified in the filter. When you go to “Usage” you’ll find the bulk of the time is in the “uncategorized” section with only an IP address to identify it. A good example is Amino which is a community app with some really questionable content. I’m sure most folks don’t know how to run a WHOIS command to track this down. And even then it’s often uninformative. Suggest Circle hires a couple folks to look at the top uncategorized sites and capture the content so we know the app that is associated to the IP address. Many of these addresses now go to a company that builds/operates apps for their clients. As such much of the information you would want from the app isn’t there. As a parent you are left blind on the bulk of internet usage. I hope the Product Manager for the app can prioritize something like this in the near term backlog.
Can’t log into to manage my circle it tells me my passcode is wrong and when j fade the code sent to my phone I never re receive it...
I have the Disney Circle, not the Netgear version. I have tried multiple solutions for managing my kids internet time, and this is by far the best system. I find most of the complaints here actually irritating and nit picky. No system is perfect, I have tried many from installing open source software to other paid solutions, and this is the easiest to manage. And to the comments about it being easy to hack, seriously? If you have half an eye open you would spot it in the usage stats on the app. Granted making your kids online fit takes a holistic approach, but the circle has taken a massive weight off filtering internet content, and internet time management. My advice buy it, it’s worth the time you will save as your household network admin.
This was a big red flag when I installed the app. Before I installed the app I went into my Netgear Orbi and disabled this. Nobody should ever have remote access to your network, security 101. In the app, go to manage, at the bottom “Support Remote Access”, go in and it was turned on. Why on earth should they need to access to my network by default. They automatically get one star and I have children in my house so I am giving them one more for their filtering capabilities. I’m going to try it for a little while and see. Not a good starting point though.