I’m not a Disney blogger. And this review of Circle with Disney was made possible by a sponsor that wishes to remain anonymous. So this review is 100% unbiased and straightforward. Want to know if Circle with Disney can help you manage your home’s wifi? Read on…
We are a house full of tech lovers. My husband and I both use our phones for work, so they’re always with us. And my daughters have picked up on our habit. From phones to tablets and laptops – our house is very connected. While my girls all know that I can pick up their devices to check their habits at any time, it’s pretty hard to really judge how long each child is on their devices. So when the opportunity to review Circle was delivered to me – I jumped at it.
Unboxing Circle with Disney is a quick and easy process. There is basically one cord that most installations will need (the power cord), but an ethernet cable is included as well.Before you can set up your Circle, you have to download the free app.
Overall, set up was easy. My one tip for set-up would be to gather all your devices in one place and disconnect them from Wi-Fi or shut them off before beginning. It was a little overwhelming to have this long list of Wi-Fi enabled devices (every television, game system, tablet, computer, and phone!) with most having only a code to identify them. You set up your Circle one person at a time, connecting or powering on each device, and assigning them a filter level as you go. From there, you can customize bed times, time limits, and rewards. Circle also lets users connect to ChoreMonster as well, so as your children check off their completed chores you can reward them with extra time. I love that feature.
Circle isn’t something I’m checking into several times a day. Honestly, sometimes a couple of days will go by without me checking in on usage at all! But when I do want to check in, the parent interface in the Circle app is incredibly user-friendly. With a couple of taps, I can tell how long each of my children has spent on their devices, what apps or websites they’ve been on and how long they spent on each one. This is where I think Circle really shines. With two teenagers, having a more clear idea of where they spend their time was very helpful.
I set myself as an Adult in the filters section of the Circle app. Seemed logical. I still found that some websites were blocked. One of them was our Internet providers site, which I found kind of funny. There were enough blocked sites, that I switched my phone to unfiltered as it was annoying. I also was hoping there would be the ability to remove apps from the time restrictions. We all use Spotify for music all day long on our own devices and this takes up a huge portion of my teens’ daily time limits. I don’t have any problem with them listening to music all day long, so that was a hindrance for us. I ended up removing the time limits on one of their devices because of it.
Apart from some heavy resistance from the teens, we love Circle with Disney. Circle has created a new discussion topic in our home, and has helped us all realize how much time we spend on our devices. I would definitely recommend Circle to any family with children on Wi-Fi devices. It’s not about control really, it’s about awareness. And that is something all parents need in this confusing digital age.