One of my passions is helping families have filtered Internet. One in four kids will be exposed to explicit materials in their home this year, and they don’t look away. Amy and I have an 18-, 15-, 11- and 7-year-old in our house. I have used several options to protect us from junk on the Internet. After testing many tools, I stumbled upon Circle, a tool for Internet filtering and regulating time on electronic devices, as well as providing customized filtering per device and login of traffic. I quickly purchased and tested it on my network, and it seemed to be very good at filtering desired levels. Then, to get an unbiased opinion, I asked a family from our kids’ Christian school to test it for several months.
Here are a few thoughts in regards to the Circle Internet Filtering:
- Setup was much easier than I thought it would be. 3 Steps!
- I was able to set the “home” network filter settings to what I wanted for anyone new joining the network. When someone joins the network, I can get a notification.
- Each family member can have a profile with customized filtering that can cover multiple devices.
- I can add or block sites for each profile, based upon my personal desire (above the standard age-appropriate filtering settings)
- There is the ability to set time limits on Internet access per device and even for apps.
- Circle provides statistics on Internet usage for each device.
- If it is unplugged, notification is sent. And it has a built-in back-up battery, so it stays working.
I think the biggest selling feature over other devices and setups, is that there is no monthly fee. On the blocked pages, Circle has partnered with Disney to promote their social media portals and display all the different content on one page. This is not a bad thing; just know that Circle wants you to click on it to get you to Disney’s media pages. There are plenty of other great reviews on the web, so check those out, but in my opinion, this is a good option to help families.
If you are interested in TechMin doing an Internet Safety Seminar at your church, school or ministry, please contact us and we would love to help.
* Disclaimer – there is NO perfect device to block everything or stop any person from accessing junk on the internet. Every device has its weakness. Remember that where there is a will there is a way… Keep working on the “wills” (heart) of your kids, so you can help protect them from the junk.