Circle: Smart Family Controls
2.5

Circle: Smart Family Controls

  • Category: Lifestyle
  • Release Date: 2015-11-04
  • Current Version: 2.1.1
  • Adult Rating: 4+
  • File Size: 55.40 MB
  • Developer: Circle Media Incorporated
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
  • Rating Count: 1 125

Description

Circle is the smart way for families to manage content and time online, on any device. Circle works with your home Wi-Fi and manages every device on your network, both wireless and wired, without ever needing to put software on them. Setup is a cinch, and customizing Circle for your unique family is quick and easy! ----- Managing Screen Time and Content Has Never Been Easier - Set Time Limits for popular apps and websites - Set individual Filter levels for each of your family members - Reward your kids by bumping up their Time Limits, extending their BedTime, or removing an OffTime for the day Give Your Kids a Break from Their Devices - Set BedTimes for every family member and avoid late night surfing - Pause the Internet for an individual family member and their devices, or the whole network with a single tap - Use OffTimes to schedule Internet-free times throughout the day or week Be in the Know with Every Device in Your Home - Circle tracks Usage by Profile, not by individual device, so you can keep tabs on all your kids’ devices in one place - Circle makes it easy to differentiate all the web-connected devices in your home 5 Minute Setup, No Joke! There's nothing worse than getting a new gadget and then taking all day to configure and even longer to manage. Circle was designed with busy parents in mind to be super simple to set up, and even easier to manage. Geek cred not required. ----- GET STARTED WITH CIRCLE You can start using Circle if you have a Circle device or a supported NETGEAR router. Learn more about Circle at meetcircle.com ----- CIRCLE GO Subscribe to Circle Go to manage your family’s mobile devices no matter what network they’re on. Learn more about Circle Go at meetcircle.com/circle-go ----- NEED HELP? If you have any questions, need any help with Circle, or want to provide any feedback, you can contact our Support Team at help@meetcircle.com or go to support.meetcircle.com ----- OPTIONAL IN APP SUBSCRIPTIONS - Pricing & Terms Circle Go and Circle Premium (for supported NETGEAR routers) are optional automatic renewing subscriptions. Your subscription will be charged to your iTunes account at confirmation of purchase and will automatically renew unless auto-renewing is turned off at least 24 hours before the end of your current period. Current subscribers can manage subscriptions and turn off auto-renewal by visiting iTunes Account Settings after purchase. Circle Go: $4.99 USD / month (meetcircle.com/circle-go) Circle Premium (for supported NETGEAR routers): $4.99 USD / month (meetcircle.com/netgear) Privacy policy: https://meetcircle.com/privacy/ Terms of use: https://meetcircle.com/license/

Screenshots

Reviews

  • User Friendly👍🏼👍🏼

    5
    By MamaMinaMina
    Thank you Disney! This has been WONDERFUL for our family 😬
  • Reset and still glitching

    3
    By AprilleCA
    Having all kinds of issues with the platform the last few days. Reset factory settings - which meant I was losing all the blocks I had built in - and still having issues after the reset. Was hoping I would look and see an update to fix bugs. It keeps responding with the “unable to find circle” message.
  • Not so sure it works.

    1
    By helicopter parent in virginia
    Not so sure it works. Set up Circle on my iPad to control Netgear router. Initial set up was nice but it took a lot of time to recognize router. Once it did, it worked well. I left the home and came back and could not establish communication with router and was not able to control or filter content. When it is working it is good and easy to use. Like the filter and. The customization that each level can receive.
  • Stopped working after a couple of months

    1
    By EN315carta
    Worked fine on my Orbi RBR50 for a couple of months under paid service plan, but suddenly stopped working. Kept receiving “your router is compatible!” message but if I clicked “Enable Circle” it would repeat that same message on and on, without doing anything else. Will cancel the service before new month starts.
  • Too many ways to get around it

    2
    By Jericho Humphrey
    If you want to use Circle primarily to keep track of how much screen time your kids using, it is great. It’s also a good idea I’d you are worried about your children using inappropriate apps or websites. If, however, you want to limit their screen time, it doesn’t work very well. First of all, there are too many loopholes (like watching a long YouTube video— it won’t stop in the middle of something) and secondly, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out a way around it completely. My son easily figured out that he could simply opt out of our home WiFi, or use a device that wasn’t assigned to him. It took him about 2 hours to render it useless. I recommend good old fashioned discipline, like taking away screens or other privileges when limits are ignored.
  • Crashes ALL the time

    1
    By Beachgrl76
    I just installed this app, and I can’t even set up the Circle devices because the app keeps crashing and will not let me back in. I have to delete the app and re-install every time. Please find a way to control using a Pc!
  • Does not work with Netgear

    1
    By Parent...
    Worked well for about 6 months but suddenly stopped working with Netgear Orbi routers. Checks for compatibility, confirms compatibility click the enable button and repeat this loop over and over again. Wasted money for months now trying to resolve with reboots, app and iOS upgrades, etc. I originally recommended this to several friends but now would not even recommend to my enemies.
  • I wanted to like this 😕

    1
    By Flick86
    The idea of this app is good so if it worked correctly, I’d probably love it. BUT... there are a couple major issues that make it a terrible app. 1st... Their time runs out because of things running in the background or whatever is happening. I read the instructions to go into each app and close down it’s ability to run while the app is closed. I tried everything. I gave my kids 2 hours a day and before they woke up in the morning there two hours was used. So... 2nd... I tried to disable the time limit so that it didn’t run out why my son was at school and he could contact me after school to be picked up. But even with the time limit disabled, it locked him out. I even tried removing his device from his account and it still locked him out so I had to go on and give him a 12 hour time limit so that it didn’t run out of time (even though he wouldn’t be using it) before school was finished. All I can say is “UGH”....
  • Terrible. Very terrible product, breaks easily.

    1
    By Easy asset tracking
    Bad
  • Very confusing

    2
    By swimgym1980
    The circle and the app are very confusing. It had turned my whole internet off st times and doesn’t block the kids from certain things. I had it on bedtime from 8-8 and it was still blocking everything until 10. I almost have to keep it on adult if my son wants to play fortnight. I always says 0 time online but that’s not true either. I’m a little frustrated with it to be honest. I wish it worked better.
  • Fraud

    1
    By EvanstonErnst
    This is a joke and a fraud. Do not buy it. I’ve been locked out of the app and have not been able to cancel my service even though they keep charging me every month. Netgear and Disney both say they cannot do anything and point to the other company.
  • Premium Trial Doesn’t Work

    1
    By pamlyn18
    I signed up for the premium trial one week ago...it says I have the trial but won’t allow me to access the premium features.
  • Disabled on power cycle with netgear R7000P

    1
    By Barf Jr.
    My 9yr old figured out that when his time limit is up all he had to do is cycle the power on the router. Circle gets disabled every time the power is cycled and needs restarted. This makes an otherwise strong product entirely ineffective so I am now looking for a better solution. R7000P firmware 1.3.1.44_10.1.23 Circle Agent version 2.0.8.9
  • App crashes all the time.

    1
    By nguyetcres
    After crashing, Circle device doesn’t show up and App keeps searching for it. Not happy.
  • Awful

    1
    By Brookfield1988
    I would never get this app. First of all there are many things wrong about it. Children are only kids once and you should not take that away from them. I got this app to see what it was and was disgusted by the manner of the useless point of the app. Do not recommend at all.
  • Used to work

    2
    By goebgirl
    The app worked great for a long time. All of a sudden time limits and bedtimes quit working. The only way to stop my son using the internet after bedtime is to change the password through the router which disconnects all devices using the router. If I’m paying a monthly fee for premium then I expect it to work.
  • App works 50% of the time

    1
    By Lyndawynn
    I have 2 kids and use circle to monitor and limit their usage. However with one, the app always reset from “Teen” to “None” every day so I have to keep checking and switching it back to Teen so that’s it monitored with restrictions. There are also so many “uncategorized” so I don’t even know which site he’s on. My daughter site works fine.... But my son keeps resetting back so NO filter so he’s able to play online video games. I would click “Not Allowed”, then without a few hours, the filter is reset to its original “non filter” state and he’s able to play games online again!!! Why can’t the App continue to work with BOTH kids??? My daughter has 11 filters and it stays the way I set it up. My son has 2 & it keeps messing up. So frustrating to have to reset it over and over every day
  • Great, but...

    3
    By Iknallev
    I’m downgrading the rating as I have couple frustrating experiences in the last month or so. 1) I could see some Facebook messenger activity and other internet activity between 3 am to 6am even when it was Bedtime from 10:15pm to 7:45am. 2) Incoming messages (Especially Facebook messenger, Instagram) keep coming even when the set Time Limit exceeded or even the entire app is set to “Not Allowed”, or even during the Off Time! This is a huge distraction during the homework time, which defeats the entire ScreenTime purpose. 3) Circle cannot do anything about iMessages! Even if it is just a WiFi device with no cellular network. What it means is... whether its Bed-time, or Off-time... iMessages keep coming in and going out... when the kids are supposed to be focused on the homework. 4) Uncategorized group is something really not useful at all, with not knowing what websites the kids visit and not knowing to how to control or restrict. Help!! —— Great features and easy to control the individual devices and it really made life some sort easy. But, sometimes it mixes up the history with the other devices and it sometimes is confusing. For example Device A in Profile A visits facebook but it shows up under Device B in Profile B too, despite facebook is blocked in Profile B. Also, some of the websites are not tagged under music or videos for example .. so, you cannot set a time limit on them, but you can only block them. For example: googlevideo.com should be tagged under videos or youtube so time restrictions apply. And since it does not, kids easily get around watch youtube or videos from google search forever. Or like snapchat is not tagged under social media. Or at least you should let us tag a specific website so, the set time restrictions apply to these as well. One great feature is History on the profile, that shows all the sites that are hit including the ones that are filtered and the ability to block/unblock from that place. Sometimes, it doesn’t show the actual url site like it says apple.com for all the iMessages... but that is something to improve. And about Circle Go - The profile should be locked or password restricted so Kids won’t be able delete it. The installed profile can easily be deleted though it sends out a notification to parents (and sometimes it does not). Having the word with the kids after the notification sent is nice, but most parents know how tough it is to have a word with the tweens/teens as it can turn out into an ugly confrontation. Besides, if the kids are away like at a sleepover, then turning the profile back on is not going to happen before whatever damage happens. It’d be better to lock the profile so confrontations/sneak-outs can be avoided. It’s a different story of the device makers don’t provide a way and we should take it to their notice, but I heard some of the other competitors have this feature already. Also, wish it supports Windows devices too like laptops.
  • At first we loved the Circle

    3
    By slogood5
    At first we loved the Circle but as the kids get older they realized all they need to do is disconnect from our WiFi. We have an unlimited cellular plan so most of the time they don’t need our WiFi. So for the kids phones it is useless but it still works for our XBox and we can limit their usage time on fortnite.
  • Pre-activity Alert

    5
    By nrees
    I like this product. It’s easy to use and understand. It does what is advertised. Would it be possible to add a 5 minute alert to the system to alert the users they only have 5 minutes left before their time is up? I find that without this pre-activity users aren’t prepared and it just ticks them off. This would give them time to wrap up what they are doing before getting kicked from the network. I think this would make for happier and more compliant users. I guess this is a new feature request. Thank you!
  • It just stopped working

    2
    By E&N Photography
    I have had this app for not even a few weeks and it started out just fine. I got all my devices added, assigned to a profile and was using the app with no problem. Then two days ago it just stopped working and would not connect. It gives me an option to “Try again” or “Pair” to a new circle. I have repeatedly tried to “try again” but it does nothing. I went to their support page and did everything they said but nothing worked. The only thing left to do is to pair it again which basically means I have to start again. Not impressed! Hopefully if I redo this I won’t have to keep doing it every week.
  • So far we love it

    5
    By AzaleaMist
    We bought the circle device after Christmas last month at the advice from a friend. Set up was easy, the odd names change to more recognizable device names after they are turned on. It has worked flawlessly in control and monitoring our 11 year old. I love the pause and bedtime features and customizable age categories. She is not broken into the system as others have said nor has it caused problems with our WiFi. Five stars from this parent for all three of my kids of different ages. You can even block explicit access in adult accounts while leaving everything else alone. We have discovered it is also blocking ads on our 11 year olds phone. Awesome.
  • Very disappointing...constant hassle

    2
    By Theelborn
    Repeated issue with unmanaged devices (Nest thermostats, my wife’s work computer) losing internet connectivity over night, which could only be fixed by restarting the router. That’s why I turned it off and went back to OpenDNS and Qustodio. Usage is inaccurate. I continually had to extend the children’s time because Circle tracked everything. I tried to turning off background app refresh on what I could and marked sites as unmanaged (Dropbox, etc), but my kids would hit their usage while at school with no devices. Maybe this product is only good if you have a few devices. We are a smart home family so figuring out all the devices, naming them, and setting their permissions is a hassle. As far as I can tell, they set this up by device so everything on our iMac is one user. Qustodio is set up by user and is much more accurate. Qustodio is also more transparent. You can actually tell where kids have gone, what the searches for, etc. Circle usage history is mostly gibberish and hard to decipher. The Xbox has the same issue as the iMac. This product is for a very small and uncomplicated use case.
  • It’s something

    5
    By ml5533221
    I read all the reviews about it supposedly being hacked, I don’t think people know what that word really means. I read how it slows down the internet, again the internet doesn’t slow down it stops you from seeing thing you shouldn’t. So does it work... yes. Are there issues, yes and there is with fancier stuff. The question is do you have anything helping or blocking the crap that is so easily found on the internet. For 40 bucks and 5 a month for circle go I think it’s worth it to have something. And it’s the best value that I’ve seen for what your getting.
  • Love the idea but slows my WiFi too much.

    1
    By S fraying
    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.
  • Bad reviews clearly written by upset kids

    5
    By Kyle Dellis
    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.
  • Weak UX on iPad

    3
    By A Software Engineer
    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.
  • Just what we needed!

    5
    By ChicaBacana
    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!
  • Functionality glitchy and inconsistent

    1
    By Ball Game 71
    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.
  • Amazing for everyone!

    5
    By 3boys1house
    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!
  • Good..... but.....

    2
    By PeanutRounder
    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.
  • Passcode problem

    1
    By Chunt216
    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...
  • Probably the best device for managing kids time

    5
    By Kolakidd
    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.
  • Remote access on by default

    2
    By Shawn289H
    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.
  • Doesn’t work well

    2
    By Kcwpg
    Unfortunately it’s not a good solution. Easily bypassed by my 12 year old son. It’s also just not complete. Doesn’t log time correctly and missed some sites. Main goal was the control fortnite time and it failed. Maybe good for basic screen time for a 7 year old
  • Tap of a finger

    4
    By Aquacyn
    Took a few calls to figure out how to set it up.. but now with a tap of my finger I can limit internet use of my children by pausing and resuming the internet. You can see all devices hooked on your WiFi and see what websites they visit.
  • Can’t set time limits for kids use of internet.

    1
    By bobby mmmmmmm
    For some reason, even when I set a time limit of two hours, the Internet expires within minutes- Prompting me to override the limits I put on just so I can give my kid some Internet time. In this day and age, this should be a simple request. Customer assistance has not been able to resolve.
  • Great app!

    5
    By YosemiteSam831
    I have 2 kids at home and the occasional visitors and so far this app has worked and has surpassed my expectations! You can create profiles to have adults on guest and anyone that automatically joins goes to a custom profile with as many restrictions as you want. Every profile can be customized to your liking. I haven’t had any issues with it and it’s been working well. Recommended to parents.
  • Worst App Ever!

    1
    By Junnito49
    Don’t loose your time with this app. It disables devices on its own and in most cases doesn’t even open! We have never experienced such adversity with any app!
  • I LOVE DISNEY CIRCLE!!

    5
    By Ccost4
    I love this Service! I have a 8 & 13 year old and each time they log on to their devices it notifies me. I monitor their X Box, PlayStation, Ipod, Ipad, and home computer with this app! I am able to see any sites they go on. I am able to set a time limits and pause their devices as well. I tested by adding my phone to be monitored and I could not log on to any adult content sites! This APP IS AMAZING! The service is amazing! I was able to add all these devices in minutes. And then whenever someone device is on our WiFi it immediately notify me and I can rather add them to be monitored or not. This is an amazing SERVICE! I am so happy I bought this.
  • Wishing for a different app

    3
    By scott-24455
    Does not track the exact webpage visited. Also, every morning I have to reset the router as all devices are not seeing internet. What is strange is the fire stick is still connected.
  • WHATS THE POINT OF THIS APP!

    1
    By dOggggggLover
    So, my mom got this app, and now she is a total helicopter parent. I totally understand why this has such bad ratings, because it’s trash and stupid, plus it invades my privacy. My life used to be so easy until my mom found this app. At least my dad doesn’t use it nearly as often as my mom. Anyways, my point is, this app should NOT exist and I feel bad for every kid who has a parent with this app. Also, why did you drag Disney into this? I feel bad for them! 🙄
  • Maybe good for 3-year-olds?

    1
    By Coocoo Froggy
    I'm a high school teen (15), and I know that most kids on here are just rating it very poorly because they hate it. But I actually think that this is useless. Circle blocks a lot of websites that should be accessed, and there is no easy way for the parents to quickly approve requests to unlock it. Unfortunately, it blocks too much to really be useful for a teen (even though there is a teen setting). Circle Go is terrible. In the first day I had it, I bypassed it too easily. It also only sends the parents a notification after a day or when you pass bedtime. You can easily bypass Circle Go for an entire day, and then turn it on for the night. (By the way, you can bypass it by turning off "Connect on demand" in the VPN settings and make sure you turn it back on before bedtime 😉) Good for 3 year Olds.
  • Not so great

    2
    By SSDT Podcast
    Hijacks your network and randomly stops devices from connecting. Have to restart router each time. Tried the free trial of Circle Go. Won’t connect at all now. Decent when it works
  • Terrible app, pretty much useless

    2
    By TheGarmac
    Setup was fine. Was able to setup profiles and devices. But once done, app is useless. Keep saying a new devices joined the network but when you go to device list none of the newly discovered devices show up! The device list needs a LOT of work. Devices appear out of the blue, miss labeled, etc... So with the device list on the app not working I figured I would try to go to the webpage on a computer and it tells you there is no circle devices on the network, even when the app works and sees it AND even after entering the IP of the circle device directly. No wonder it’s so cheap... been using the Ethernet connection or the wireless, I also made the changes requested to support my Velop network and turned off express routing... no dice! :(. Hope they can fix the app! This is NOT a new device so they should have the app polished and working at this point...
  • Nope

    2
    By Annieroze
    The old app would show the devices currently connected. The updated app shows every device that has ever connected to your WiFi. Sure you can delete them but they come right back was they reconnect and make it impossible to know which devices are on the internet now. I used to recommend this product to all my friends but not anymore. It’s basically useless to me now.
  • Love this app - my kids hate it

    5
    By Gratefull Parents
    Love this app! No idea why the negative reviews. Reading some of them made me hesitate, however I thought I could easily test it out. I am not any kind of computer whiz and I found it very easy to understand - after following the instructions. My 2 teenage boys hate it (and their friends who stay over)! I now have full control over when they can access the WiFi network in my house - control over each device and further control over which apps and websites. I love that I get to limit the screen time and can do that for each individual app or website. My personal favorite is bedtime - no more surfing late at night. I can also give time rewards for extra chores or extra “sweetness” as my wife likes to say. This is the first app review I have ever given - reflecting how strongly I feel about Circle. This internet access control is more than I ever dreamed of.
  • Circle is great

    4
    By A_Bain22
    I have used a number of similar apps and software. Circle has been my favorite. The only complaint I have is it is only for devices connected through WiFi. I wish it could include devices with an Ethernet connection.
  • Trash

    1
    By Tim M 45
    Garbage app. Minimal oversight as advertised. I will be canceling that $60 + $4.99 immediately. I’d leave no star if I could!

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