Lacks top features, such as geofencing and ability to fully lock device use. The Off Time feature allows you to specify periods of time in which internet usage is blocked in a very similar manner to Bedtime. I like the rewards system since parental control services with some flexibility seem less draconian. Ben Moore is an Analyst for PCMag's software team covering video streaming services, security software, GNU/Linux, and the occasional PC game. Tap on an individual profile to dig into the settings. The Filter section lets you choose between the Kid, Teen, Adult, and None presets for each profile. You can use the Circle Parental Control app to just manage your family's mobile iOS and Android devices. As for mobile parental control apps, Locategy only costs about $20 per year for three device licenses and Boomerang charges $30.99 per year to monitor 10 mobile devices. “Circle Home Plus is an excellent security and content solution for parents who want to protect their kids.” -DAD, OHIO “Worth the peace of mind of knowing that … The ability to set a device as unmanaged is useful since presumably, you would not want to subject yourself to the same browsing and time limit restrictions as your child. I discuss the app in more detail later on. Premium for Circle on NETGEAR. It's similar to the Circle With Disney($49.21 at Amazon) product we previously reviewed. When Bedtime is active, internet access is shut off. There are some further limitations to Circle's ability to track site usage. You'll want to get the bundled version if you're interested in using Circle Home Plus to manage your devices at home alongside manage mobile devices. Upgrade your 3-month or 12-month bundled Circle Home Plus membership to lifetime with a purchase - learn more here. The Teen preset, for instance, filters 18+ sites by default and doesn't show the Dating, Explicit, Gambling, or Mature categories in the settings. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Copyright 2006-var year = new Date();document.write(year.getFullYear()); All Enthusiast, Inc. All Rights Reserved, "Only the best people powered deals & coupons. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.

That said, there are free and first-party methods of doing that, from Apple, Google, and Microsoft. That said, some of Circle's capabilities aren't as extensive as those of its competitors, and a subscription is pricey. Keep an eye on your inbox!

From the app, you can configure a host of restrictions and rules for the device user. Start using the app today by downloading and creating an account. Ben holds a degree in New Media and Digital Design from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, the student-run newspaper. From the home screen, you can also pause internet access to all connected devices via the large pause button at the bottom of the screen.

Basic vs. The Location tab is straightforward and a bit basic in its implementation. You can also add a profile picture for each child to personalize the experience a bit. The last options in this section let you enable safe search for Google and Bing (Yahoo is blocked, but DuckDuckGo works unimpeded) and to restrict YouTube content to the appropriate age level. This is especially the case for Circle Home Plus, since you cannot use it in conjunction with a VPN. To configure the Circle Home Plus, you first need to download the Circle App on either an Android (5.0 and later) or iOS (10.0 and later) device. Circle Home Plus works using a method called ARP Spoofing, which, in a nutshell, allows it to serve as a gateway to internet traffic and enforce rules at that level. Other communication Other parental control solutions, such as Qustodio and Kaspersky Safe Kids, can prevent the child from using the device altogether. I was able to access quite a few VPN sites and download installers on a laptop with the VPN & Proxies category blocked. The Circle Home Plus package is expensive compared to other parental control software. If not, tap the icon in the upper right-hand corner to add a custom URL filter.

However, Circle thought of ways to mitigate some of those problems. The Circle Home Plus device costs $129 and includes a one-year premium membership. It is only available through the Circle App. In addition to those features, premium members can set time usage limits, establish a bedtime, and block or pause internet access across the board or for a specific device. One missing feature that many other parental control services offer for the child app is a panic button, which could alert a parent or other trusted contacts to a child's location if they are ever in danger. From the companion app, a child can see their filter level, remaining internet time, a countdown until bedtime, how much time they've spent using the device, as well as any rewards or unrestricted time they've received that day. Circle doesn't show all the platforms it recognizes by default; if the monitored device visits one of those other platforms, it will probably pop up in the list to be managed. From the hidden left-hand menu, you can add a new profile, view all the monitored devices, access web resources, or launch the Circle Home Plus setup. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. With this app, you can both control network devices managed by Circle Home Plus and set restrictions for your kid's devices on which you've installed the companion app. This step activates the premium account features. If you see a website you don't want your kid to access, you can tap on it to visit the URL, set it as unmanaged (no limitations or monitoring), or as not allowed. Kaspersky Safe Kids($14.99 at Kaspersky) only costs $14.99 per year and you can monitor an unlimited number of devices. The History function is different; it lists all the sites your child accessed, dividing them into filtered and allowed entries.
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Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Simply hit the Tap to Locate button and the device will appear on a map if location services are turned on for your child's device.
For instance, Norton Family Premier($39.99 Per Year at NortonLifeLock) and Boomerang, require you to install a custom browser on mobile devices. Once that's all out of the way, you can choose which devices should be managed by the Circle Home Plus by scanning your home network. We even include a 30-day trial to let you try out our features. As mentioned, I would have liked to be able to control settings from a desktop, such as via a web interface, as well as the option to potentially export data. You'll want the standalone version if you already have a Circle membership for managing your iOS and Android devices but also want to use Circle Home Plus to manage your home Wi-Fi.

The child will also get a notification if you pause their internet and for other things like a location request. You can set a daily time limit or ones for specific platforms or categories (the same ones found in the filters section). After the initial trial, a premium plan costs $9.99 per month thereafter. There is uninstall protection on both Android and iOS devices. You have to confirm your account too, by entering an emailed verification code, before continuing. For instance, it can't record individual search queries on Google or YouTube, nor can it dynamically filter content within an app or platform.

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