Can “Circle With Disney” Solve Your Family Internet Problems?
Listen to our podcast and get the full story…
Are you concerned about what your children may stumble upon (purposefully or accidentally) while surfing the net? Have you wondered about the various filtering services and technology available to parents, but been unsure how effective they may be? In our latest podcast, we take a close look at a newcomer in this product category: Circle (Not to be mixed up with the movie called ”The Circle”!) This little box is available for families to help them filter and monitor Internet use in their homes.
The most impressive aspects about Circle is how easy it is to set up on your home network and how difficult it is to disconnect. (Unless, of course, you are the administrator of the device and know the secret password.) In fact, we found various comments online from teens who are frustrated with Circle’s ability to defend itself—and them. In our setup, which is a relatively complicated home office arrangement that involves a couple of additional wireless access points, we simply downloaded Circle’s app for the iPhone and plugged in the small device. Within two minutes, after entering our wireless password, our network was being protected (and monitored) by Circle.
Of course this means the unit is keeping track of what you do on the Internet. If that’s an issue for you, then Circle (or virtually any other Internet filtering appliance) may not be for you. You may find some reassurance knowing it doesn’t track data but does keep a tab on what websites you (and, more importantly, your kids) visit and how much time you spend using various apps and activities. This information allows it to both filter in real time and to keep a log of who has been where.
But Circle has a couple downsides. It’s not a magic cure-all for Internet woes. Parents may have to make some manual adjustments to its filtering settings. It is able to continue protecting portable devices when they leave the home, but it will cost you a monthly subscription fee.
We encourage you to listen to our podcast for the complete story. We talk to a mother of six who is using the device, and explore its strengths and weaknesses. In the end, Circle with Disney may be a perfect family companion that gives parents one more resource in their media and technology toolkit.