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awraynor

Circle by Disney and other parental filters

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awraynor

Did you compare it to anything else and are you happy with it? Like Circle Go, but pricier than expected.

 

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

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cskenney

I was using the Microsoft Family safe filters for a while but it was really cumbersome.  It only worked on PCs that we were using (not on any tablets) and when we ran into a roadblock it was difficult for me to provide permissions to get past the filter.

 

I tried Circle by Disney after Dave gave it a good review.  I have not been disappointed.

 

How I use it....

 

My daughter uses the following devices:  Nintendo 3DS, Kindle Fire HD and sometimes an Android Phone (with no cell service).

All 3 devices are put into a profile with her name.  I have turned on a bedtime schedule so internet is shutoff after 9pm.  I have turned on a time limit ONLY on Youtube (1 hour per day).  I have also turned on filters for all social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.  I have had to leave Amazon turned on and app stores since the Kindle is accessing these places.  I can at any time go in and hit the pause button and she is cut off completely.  This does not stop her from using local apps on the devices.

 

My son uses an Ipad.  I have turned off all sites for him except Youtube.  He is a little different case then my daughter because of he is in the Autism spectrum.  He uses his ipad in the same room that I am in and I can "hear" everything he views.  He has not need for social media or shopping as he just doesn't understand this stuff.

 

Some benefits to Circle.

When I lose my network connection (either internally or externally with the ISP) I get a push notification from Circle.  When it comes online I get another notification.  It is a crude but effective way to know if my network has gone down and roughly what time it occurred.

I also get notifications when my daughter hits the 1 hr time limit I have set.

I can go into the history for her devices and see what sites she has been visiting.  It does not allow me to see specifically what content she watched (unless I have missed this feature).

EVERY time a new device is connected to the same subnet as my Circle it notifies me that a new device is detected.

 

Circle has its own internal battery so it works even if someone unplugs it.  It also can connect by wifi so it will stay connected to the network even if someone disconnects the Ethernet cable (mine is hardwired).

 

Is this device perfect?  No, probably not.

 

Problems:

Once a device is detected it stays in the device list even if it is removed from the network.  This clutters up the app.

I turned on the app store filter on my son's ipad.  A few months later I tried to update his apps and I could not figure out why I couldn't connect to the app store.  The ipad would show me which apps needed updating but when the store would try and authenticate my user id and password it would say it couldn't connect.  It took me 2 months to finally realize it was my filter on Circle doing it.  Once I turned it off (temporarily) then I could update everything.  Why is this important???? Your spouse or significant other may need to know that this thing is on the network filtering content.  If you get hit by a bus tomorrow it is really hard to troubleshoot why devices don't work right if you aren't there to turn off the filters.

 

There may be other devices that do this.  I have seen a couple of mentions that Circle works by doing ARP spoofing.  I have no clue what that is so maybe someone else can explain it...

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awraynor

I was using the Microsoft Family safe filters for a while but it was really cumbersome.  It only worked on PCs that we were using (not on any tablets) and when we ran into a roadblock it was difficult for me to provide permissions to get past the filter.

 

I tried Circle by Disney after Dave gave it a good review.  I have not been disappointed.

 

How I use it....

 

My daughter uses the following devices:  Nintendo 3DS, Kindle Fire HD and sometimes an Android Phone (with no cell service).

All 3 devices are put into a profile with her name.  I have turned on a bedtime schedule so internet is shutoff after 9pm.  I have turned on a time limit ONLY on Youtube (1 hour per day).  I have also turned on filters for all social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.  I have had to leave Amazon turned on and app stores since the Kindle is accessing these places.  I can at any time go in and hit the pause button and she is cut off completely.  This does not stop her from using local apps on the devices.

 

My son uses an Ipad.  I have turned off all sites for him except Youtube.  He is a little different case then my daughter because of he is in the Autism spectrum.  He uses his ipad in the same room that I am in and I can "hear" everything he views.  He has not need for social media or shopping as he just doesn't understand this stuff.

 

Some benefits to Circle.

When I lose my network connection (either internally or externally with the ISP) I get a push notification from Circle.  When it comes online I get another notification.  It is a crude but effective way to know if my network has gone down and roughly what time it occurred.

I also get notifications when my daughter hits the 1 hr time limit I have set.

I can go into the history for her devices and see what sites she has been visiting.  It does not allow me to see specifically what content she watched (unless I have missed this feature).

EVERY time a new device is connected to the same subnet as my Circle it notifies me that a new device is detected.

 

Circle has its own internal battery so it works even if someone unplugs it.  It also can connect by wifi so it will stay connected to the network even if someone disconnects the Ethernet cable (mine is hardwired).

 

Is this device perfect?  No, probably not.

 

Problems:

Once a device is detected it stays in the device list even if it is removed from the network.  This clutters up the app.

I turned on the app store filter on my son's ipad.  A few months later I tried to update his apps and I could not figure out why I couldn't connect to the app store.  The ipad would show me which apps needed updating but when the store would try and authenticate my user id and password it would say it couldn't connect.  It took me 2 months to finally realize it was my filter on Circle doing it.  Once I turned it off (temporarily) then I could update everything.  Why is this important???? Your spouse or significant other may need to know that this thing is on the network filtering content.  If you get hit by a bus tomorrow it is really hard to troubleshoot why devices don't work right if you aren't there to turn off the filters.

 

There may be other devices that do this.  I have seen a couple of mentions that Circle works by doing ARP spoofing.  I have no clue what that is so maybe someone else can explain it...

 

Thanks for the input. Some of the reviews compared Circle to software packages, I saw no other hardware packages to do this. Well, ones that were easy

to use anyway. 

 

 

This is one: http://www.pcmag.com/review/344240/circle-with-disney

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awraynor

Not a perfect solutions, but K9 is still available:

http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

 

Do you run anything like this at home? I really like the ability to have one device running on the network. My kids don't have cell phones yet

so that's not a concern. At that time may have to look into something else.

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dchay

For those running this with eero, did you have a problem connecting via wifi? When I tried to pair mine the wifi search feature wouldn't detect anything but if I plugged it in via ethernet cable then it worked fine. Circle tech support said it's a known issue with eero because of the mesh setup and Circle can't differentiate between the connection points with the same SSID.

 

Has anyone else experienced this?

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cskenney

I run my Circle plugged in via ethernet cable all the time. However, I went and disconnected it from my network and tried connecting it to my eero system (the wireless was still thinking it was paired to my old network). Wireless pairing went thru with no issues.

 

A couple things about my system that may be helping.

1. My eero module that is acting as the gateway is located in my basement in a utility room. The Circle is also located in the same room.

2. My other eero modules are on my main floor and 2nd floor

3. I only verified it could find my network and connect to it. I didn't leave it in wireless. I hard wired it again because in my mind that should be fastest.

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dchay

I run my Circle plugged in via ethernet cable all the time.

Thanks for clarifying. I plan to leave mine plugged in all the time, too, it just struck me as odd that the couple times I had to re-pair it and also when I first set it up that it has consistently gotten hung up on the wifi search step. When I plug it in it identifies my network just fine.

 

I have it located on the same desk as my gateway eero as well so I know it's not a location issue. Tech support said it's a "known issue" with eero but something about that seemed off.

 

Like I said, it works fine plugged in but it's that subtle issue that is nagging me.

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cskenney

I had no issue getting my Circle to pair with my eero wireless. I hadn't bothered with it but it is the fallback if someone unplugs the Circle to try and circumvent the filtering.

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awraynor

I had no issue getting my Circle to pair with my eero wireless. I hadn't bothered with it but it is the fallback if someone unplugs the Circle to try and circumvent the filtering.

 

Now who would ever think to do that? :)

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