Take Charge of the Internet Once and For All

Im so excited to finally be allowed to share this with you all that I just might burst. Its been the hardest secret I have EVER been asked to keep. When the incredible folks at Circle approached me to tell me about what they had created, the potential was obvious and my expectations were pretty high. Yet when I actually got my device and set it up? Expectations were so far surpassed you guys.

I am so incredibly honored to get to tell you guys about the one device I firmly believe EVERYONE who uses the internet should have in their home.

 

 

Now that you’ve seen a little taste of what Circle can do, let me tell you a bit about why I’m so head over heels in love with this tiny little device.

MULTIPLE USERS ACROSS ALL DEVICES: Circle is unlike any internet management tool I’ve seen, because rather than installing an app or program on a single device, Circle sets up an easy to use system for our entire home. Every single device that interacts with our home wifi connection is identified by our Circle, and each member of our family has a unique user profile that has its own customized settings.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Although the most obvious applications for Circle appear to be in the area of parental controls, don’t let that fool you! This device has something for EVERYONE. Whether you’re single, married, childless, or parenting a variety of ages, Circle provides a variety of tools for more intentional use of internet enabled devices. It can shed light on online habits that may have gone unnoticed, it can promote a new sense of intimacy in a marriage invaded by screens, it can even foster conversations with loved ones about how we use the internet and where it can take us in the future. Circle ultimately gives you what you make of it, no matter where you are in life.

TIME LIMITS: You can use Circle to easily set daily time limits for a family member on any app or category you want. You can also customize how much time your kids spend on each platform and even set a total online time for the day. The time limits are easy to adjust, and when a limit is reached that user and I both receive a notification, so I’m always in the loop and in the know. This sets up a great opportunity for my family to communicate regularly about our habits online so we know where to tweak and adjust these limits as we go.

FILTER CONTENT:  Circle has 4 preset age levels (Pre-K; Kid; Teen; Adult,) but it allows for further customization by platform, app, and category. I love that I can fine tune exactly what each member of my family sees online.

PAUSE THE INTERNET:  You read that right – the internet now comes with a pause button. With the push of a button I’m able to pause the internet on the fly, whether its family dinner time, date night with the hubby, or simply time to unplug and get to work around the house. The internet doesn’t have the power in my family anymore – I do!

SET BEDTIME:  With Circle, both our kids and their devices share the same bedtimes. I don’t have to collect devices from my kiddos or hide them every evening to ensure a good nights sleep. Their devices now disconnect automatically each evening and reconnect at a set time each day.

BLOCK ADS: Circle can block ads for any user or device. Ad Blocking was of huge importance to me for my impressionable kiddos, so this is a major plus.

STINKER PROOF: I have a genius and a stinker in my house, so I was concerned that either (or both) of them would find a way to circumvent the device. Luckily the folks at Circle are one step ahead of my little brood of schemers. Circle remains active even when unplugged and has no off button; the only way to adjust or change Circle’s filtering and time management settings is through the iOS app, which is password protected and can only be downloaded on a single smartphone.

DISCOVER INSIGHTS:  This is easily the MOST important feature of Circle. Circle tracks and displays an amazing panel of insights that show me things like the total time each user spends online, where they spend it, and the top 5 sites each user visits most. I can see when my kids get filtered and exactly what they were attempting to access when it happened. I can track my own personal web habits and make sure I’m practicing what I preach and setting healthy examples for my family. Most importantly, the insights panel provides a jumping off point for important conversations within our family about how we use the internet and what we choose to do with our devices.

B8-7ZDNY6gNffocV2ESrxRrDRPVIBg8VjJLkGGFY3aYRISK-PROOF INDEPENDENCE: Thanks to Circle, I have been able to grant a new level of independence to my children in regards to electronic devices. This tiny little unit has been the key that unlocked my ultimate dream: children who are learning to manage their own online behaviors and screen time habits without requiring my constant interference or supervision. Tablets, computers, streaming devices… none of them hold any fear for me any longer as a parent. They have simply become tools to grant my kids access to learn about the world, gain valuable skills in the technology age, further their education from home, and communicate with friends and relatives who aren’t close by. My children are thrilled to experience their new found independence, and I’m thrilled to foster their sense of personal responsibility for their own habits online. It’s a parenting win-win.

ONE-TIME COST WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION: Unlike many of the alternatives who market internet management or parental controls, circle is a one time cost and not a subscription based service. And considering all Circle does? It’s really affordable! Circle is available for purchase for just $99.

Have your attention? I hope so! You can get more information about what the device can do, see answers to all sorts of questions, and even order your own Circle at www.meetcircle.com. It’s time to harness the power of the internet for good and live intentionally in a whole new way.

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TELLING ME WHAT MOST EXCITES YOU ABOUT CIRCLE, OR ASKING A QUESTION ABOUT THE DEVICE, AND YOU’LL BE ENTERED TO WIN A JOY PACKAGE OF SOME OF MY FAVORITE TREATS AND GOODIES!

Winner will be selected by random.org on Wednesday, November 18th.

Comments

  1. Kaitlyn says

    This sounds great! Can you set schedules and reminders (homework, practice, meets, etc?)to go to all users on the family device? So, excited for you!

    • says

      I was actually JUST in discussion with the product manager last night about that exact function! I want to set an intentional screen free date night for my husband and I each week. Stay tuned to see what sort of tweaks they develop as they incorporate customer feedback.

  2. Rachel Sloan says

    This is exciting! Will be looking into this specifically for being able to SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET during specific times so we can have some good undistracted family time :)

    • says

      Seriously. We have a no devices during dinner policy, but when you hear that ding of an email it can be hard to stick to it sometimes. It’s nice to literally PAUSE the entire internet in our home and take that distraction away once and for all.

  3. Heather Bowser says

    i am excited about a lot of the features but I am super excited about taking back dinner time!

  4. Lauren Nicole says

    This is such a fabulous device! I am looking forward to adding it to my home. My kids use the iPad and streaming TV more and more. My only real ability to limit it is to take away, turn off the wi-fi, or let the batteries run out. Now I can let him have freedom and learn how to manage themselves without having bad habits to break first! This will also help me stop playing on Facebook through all hours of the night. ;)

  5. says

    This sounds pretty neat! Couple questions.
    1) Even when we shut wifi off on our devices nowadays, everything can still be accessed via 3G or streaming. How does “shutting off” the Internet work exactly?
    2) How does the content filtering work with browsers and social media sites? Does it filter any browser no matter what someone downloads? And tracks all activity? That’s the problem with many other apps is that they filter a couple browsers but it’s not too hard to find an app to get around it!

    Thanks!

    • says

      Great questions Charity.

      1. Pause disables the Wi-Fi for the devices in the home. We’ve got another digital product coming soon that will allow you to extend Circle’s features to mobile connections. It’s called Circle Go and it’ll be available in 2016.

      2. The Content filtering works by platform, app, and category. It filters any browser, any app, any kind of connection. It’s got everything covered (:

  6. John says

    We had a SkyDog router that worked similarly, but was bought by Comcast and discontinued. Thanks for implementing this great idea even better! I’ve already ordered one.
    Some questions, though:
    1. Can the “internet timeout” be limited to only certain devices or users? We have a lot of IoT devices (Nest thermostats, for example) that we would prefer stay connected.
    2. How customizable are the filters? Can we blacklist/whitelist certain sites?
    3 One of the most painful things with SkyDog was if we wanted to give a child permission to use an app that requires Internet. The problem is that the app could access all kinds of urls and some of them would need to be white listed. But doing so was a painful, manual process of having the app launch and then scouring the logs of what was accessed and whitelisting them. Not fun. Do you have anything better?

    • says

      Awesome!

      1. Yes, you can pause a user, or just one device. Smart home devices are auto recognized and unmanaged so it doesn’t interfere with them.

      2. Very customizable. It works by platform, app, and category, with the additional option to add custom websites.

      3. Circle makes it really easy to enable apps. If you say yes to an app, It, as well as the servers and CDN’s it gets it’s content form will be available too.

      Hope that helps.

  7. says

    This is amazing! We have been needing, hoping, dreaming about a solution like this that will help us to manage device and internet use in our family. So excited…until I read it is only available in the USA. :-( Yep, you guessed it, I’m not in the US… I’m in Australia. Do you know when it will be available in other parts of the big wide world?

    • says

      We love that you love Circle! But you’re right, we only ship to the USA right now. We’re hoping to come to other english speaking countries in 2016.

    • says

      Also, will it work in other countries, e.g. Australia? If we were able to buy it in the US and bring it to Australia, would it work here?

      • says

        I believe it would work in Australia, the only hiccup would be the timezone for BedTime. I’m not sure we support time zones outside of the US currently.

  8. Rona says

    I love the “pause” idea. Would be nice for family dinners or to restrict myself when I need to put it down and do something else. And the flat fee is nice in a time when everyone seems to be charging monthly fees.

  9. Danica says

    Say what?! This sounds incredible!! My husband and I started letting our 2 1/2 year old watch you tube tutorials on how to build rockets because he is obsessed with rockets, engineering, and science. We thought out of all the media out there, at least this was an educational offering for him. However, he has become addicted and we are struggling with managing his emotions over taking it away from him. I feel like this would be an amazing tool and solution for us! I can’t wait to tell my husband about it!!!

  10. says

    This looks amazing for a mom raising 4 boys very close in age! Right now they are young, so this would work well in my stage of life. As they get older and begin taking their devices from the home how will it work then?will this only work while we are home base of can I take it with us as we travel?? Thanks again! We will defiantly be investing into this!

  11. says

    One question: We can access the internet from our neighbor’s wifi, as well as our own. Will we need 2 devices so we can put their wifi on continuous pause so it is not accessible? We are really looking forward to having some control over this!! :)

    • says

      Hmmmm, that’s an interesting one. Yes, you would need one device for each network. But if you pause their internet, they won’t be able to use it either! You could presumably just pause the devices that belong to your family continuously whenever they join their network, but not always be paused on your own network. The easiest way would be to just ask your neighbor to put a password on their network (:

      • says

        I will ask them to change their password BUT their son always gives it to my kids (ugh)! I’m telling you… this era is interesting to say the least. We work from home, otherwise, we would probably just get rid of the internet. It’s crazy how little control we have. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for making this available though. We have 4 kids in the house and one VERY SMART and techno savvy boy (autism spectrum so his boundaries are a little off)! He gets around EVERYTHING we have tried so far and it’s so frustrating. We want to protect our children. Again, thank you!

  12. KJ says

    I am immediately saving for this!! My tribe is ages 3-13 and 3 of them have their own laptop or tablet. Policing is so hard. This is super fab!!