The allowed time functionality only worked about half the time. The initial set up took a few hours to identify/name/assign all devices throughout the household (not ideal but understandable for a one time setup process). But this week (after about 1 year of use), the app “reset” and acted as though we were starting from scratch again. It lost all of our devices and assignments. That was the last straw and we’re dumping the app and subscription. Overall, a very poor app.
Lots of little frustrations add up in this app. On the surface, this app seems great. Setting bedtimes, daily limits, adding devices, and restricting sites or viewing age-appropriate material seems easy. And some of that works. We wanted to block YouTube. Boom. Done. Adding restrictions to kid-appropriate material. Boom. Done. Bedtimes? Sure. No problem. 2 hour daily limit. No problem there, either. But day-to-day operation of the service is constant readjustment of the system. There are background service running on computers and mobile devices that do everything from cloud backup to operating system updates and app updates. Even if our kids aren’t at home using their devices, these services consume the daily time limit. Now we have to re-add time or manually start/stop the internet. If we pause the internet while they’re gone, some of these apps still leak through and consume time. Setting addresses to “unmonitored” seems unsuccessful. Once a service has been changed, I can’t seem to find anywhere it got moved to in order to change it back. If an address is just displayed as an IP address that is “unknown” (i.e. 123.456.xx.xx) you can’t do anything with it at all. I did a Whois on an address and found out it was Apple. Probably cloud storage. I can’t set Circle to ignore it because it’s “unknown”. Stupid. So the iPad keeps using time even when the kid isn’t using it because Circle won’t allow me to select that address for special handling. Un-pausing the internet is often sluggish. Sometimes it takes several minutes. The frustration with having to constantly re-adjust user time, the lack of ability to allow certain IP address to be manually selected to be ignored or blocked, the frustration with pausing or un-pausing the internet, and the “leaking” pause are all issues that need to be addressed. I don’t know why it’s so hard to find a good kid-safe and time limiting app that isn’t full of holes and frustrations. For a subscription service, I am really disappointed in this app. Some things it gets right. What it gets wrong I shouldn’t have to pay for every month.
I have been trying to link my Orbi with circle but have yet to link them together. it says it's compatible with Orbi but I keep getting it saying that it's not compatible or could not start the set up remotely?? Can someone tell me what to do or what I'm doing wrong? Thx
They key word there is “help”. After I first downloaded the app, I went an entire day waiting for it to patent my children for me. To my surprise, I am still the one responsible for parenting my children. I was hoping I could bail out early with this app and not have to teach my children responsibility and the importance of following rules. Nope, my dang son brought home his laptop from school and KABAAMM, I was stuck having to manitou his internet on the school laptop. Well, actually, he’s an 11 year old so I simply stated his school laptop is to used at the kitchen table where he can be monitored and no pleasure surfing was allowed on the school laptop. Holy crap, it actually worked. Now, because of this app, I can go back to not parenting my children. Whew, crisis adverted.
Circle offers as much or as little control as you want on any given day. At least now, my children and I have conversations about screen time bc they can’t sneak it or switch to another device if I confiscate a different one. They have to ask and I don’t have a full time “screen time” job anymore —it’s life-changing.
Jury is still out on the overall effectiveness of this tool. Seemed to prevent my daughter from accessing a legitimate website for school. Also appears to slow the network. But the app is reasonably user-friendly and offers many functions that give me hope that I can monitor and moderate network access in a way that is good for my family.
I got a Netgear Router (Netgear R6700v3) with circle in it and I can never get Circle to sign into the router without a hassle. Now it sign into it at all! Ugh!!!!! Just disappointed!
So this was a cute piece of hardware, promised some control and no subscription fees. And it was a semi-effective tracking tool for usage of electronics in our house. Then last weekend it wiped everything and rebooted.. now having to PAY for the services. It makes no sense. AND I lost all my settings!! Do you have any IDEA how many electronic devices are connected to the WiFi in a family of 6? It took me MONTHS to identify the devices based on the vague names, lump them into categories, set bedtime and screen time cutoffs for each. All gone without warning and now I have to pay monthly.
I wanted to use a very basic feature to control access to the internet based on the time of day. The manufacturer and app publisher want $40 a year for the privilege of using this basic feature. The router is going back to the store tomorrow and I am never purchasing another netgear product.
We are using the circle app with the circle device that is connected to our WiFi! It allows us to limit our kids on their school iPads which is fantastic! The app is easy to use and I like that if you exit out you immediately need to re enter your code, which makes it great for sneaky teenagers who would like to take my phone and shut it off! I’ve recommended circle to friends, family and coworkers! I do wish that there was a block for categories though rather then limits. I wish there was a way to block “chats and forums” and “online games” so homework would get done first, and then I could remove the restrictions! I guess nothing is perfect, but I do think this comes pretty close!