Circle with Disney Review {UPDATED}

posted in: Large Family Reviews | 3

Post contains affiliate links.

Using Circle with Disney to monitor internet usage in our home.

I am writing this post because I am so excited about using Circle with Disney. If you have read this blog for very long then you know that we have held off on getting wi-fi in our house (even though it would make my work immensely easier) for all of these years because we didn’t want our kids being able to go off in the far reaches of our home and have internet access. Our one and only point to access for the internet was our computer in our dining room.

Recently we have made the wi-fi jump (yippee) because of our Circle with Disney. Circle is something of an internet nanny…it is a small box that monitors every device in our house. Not only does it monitor, but it allows me to: filter access, pause the internet, set bedimes (so the internet turns off) and more.

Each device is assigned to a person in the house and the filter levels are set by me. I can limit by age, website and more. And then? Circle is controlled by an app on my iPhone that tracks: how much time is spent on the internet, what pages are visited and for how long.

Circle with Disney helps monitor my children's time online.

Here are some screen shots of my the app on my phone. On the left are all the profiles we have set up. On the right you can see what each initial stands for (the pause button will literally pause the internet). 

For $99 (no subscription fee) I am able to control each device in our house. Unfortunately, each device is registered to only one person, but I have gotten around this by assigning several of the devices to Kids. I have the filters on these set really high. They cannot access: Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, to name a few sites. I also have the internet blocked from 7 PM to 8 AM.

To test this out  whether or not it was blocking adult content, I took our iPad and googled “n*aked lady” and “s*x”. What popped were stock images which made me vaguely uncomfortable (couple in bed, under covers) but not showing anything.  Typing s*x brought up a lot of diagrams and such, but no pornography or actual n*ked images.

Circle with Disney helps monitor my children's time online.

The  other thing I love about Circle is it gives me concise reports on what each person has been doing on the internet. The picture on the left is Tilly’s activity. As you can see, I can quickly view where she has been and what she is doing online. No need to search through a long history. At 17, Tilly has the most freedom on her device. I have the default settings of “teen” and she is able to access: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Her internet turns off at 10 o’clock at night (so she isn’t tempted to stay up late).

I am absolutely loving this device! The other awesome thing? If anyone tries to unplug the device, or remove it from the home, I get an alert on my phone! The Circle with Disney has given me the confidence to have the luxury of wi-fi in our home!

{I loved my Circle so much that I emailed the company to find out if they have an affiliate programs. Turns out they do! So the links in this post are affiliate links, but I signed up because I love the device so much!}

Update June 2016: We are still loving our Circle with Disney! In fact, I love it more now than when I wrote this post. One of my favorite things is something I didn’t realize at first, but I can control and filter any device that hooks up to our wifi. When my kids’ friends come over and hook up to wifi, I get an immediate notification on my phone. In less than a minute I am able to apply filters to their device! I routinely block YouTube and a few other sites when the kids’ friends come over. This has been a lifesaver for us.

UPDATED DECEMBER 2017: I didn’t think was possible, but I love Circle with Disney even more than when we purchased it. The main draws?

  1. We had one child HIDE the Circle. Guess what? It still works when unplugged so the joke was on him.
  2. No matter how far away I am, I am still controlling the Circle with my phone. I am currently in New Zealand visiting my daughter and guess what? I am still controlling the Circle. This thing is brilliant.

What do you use to monitor internet usage in your home? Have you heard of Circle with Disney?

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3 Responses

  1. Anna

    We just got Net Nanny installed on our computers. We are still old fashioned and have three desktop computers, but we have wifi set up so I can use my phone as a computer…and so I can download games to the WiiU. We were struggling with the kids setting appropriate time limits and sticking to them. So we’ve blocked YouTube and websites with inappropriate content for our family. I like that the boys will get a pop up reminder as to why a certain page they are trying to access was blocked. They really only want to watch/read walk throughs of video games, but some of them have nudity or other adult content, so they are immediately corrected and are starting to realize how prolific adult content can be. I’ve already seen a change in my kids: instead of wanting to be online all day, they don’t even bother and instead head straight to Minecraft on the WiiU. Net Nanny has backfired in that my son’s current events are sometimes blocked and it counts against his internet time.

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