The Disney Circle is chock-full of features to help you limit your kids’ online usage and understand their internet habits. Whether you pay for a subscription or not, you’ll get access to some basic features like custom content filtering plus a history and usage log.
The Disney Circle comes with one free year of premium services, but after the first year, you'll have to purchase a monthly subscription to continue using premium features. With a premium subscription, you’ll get some thoughtful perks, including the ability to set time limits, schedule offline time, and more.
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Data effective 10/31/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Custom content filtering
Once you’ve installed the Circle Home Plus, you’ll use the Circle app to keep an eye on your children’s devices. The app allows you to choose age-appropriate filters—for kids, teens, or adults—for different categories—like social media or video games.
And the categories that you can manage are pretty extensive: the Circle Home Plus encompasses more general categories like arts, entertainment, and online games, as well as some of the most popular apps, covering everything from FaceTime to Facebook.
Circle filters both apps and websites
In the Circle Home app, you’ll be able to filter popular platforms on both the app and website level. So if you want your child watching only three hours of YouTube per day, both the time they spend on the app and the time they spend on YouTube’s website will count toward that total.
For each app, you can choose “Allowed,” which gives your child access, “Unallowed,” which doesn’t, or “Unmanaged,” which means they can access the app or website to their heart’s content. “Unmanaged” is a good choice if you have a kid who can’t stop listening to the new “Oklahoma!” soundtrack, or if you want them to have unlimited access to educational material.
Usage and history
The usage feature lets you see how much time your family spends online and compare usage to previous days, weeks, or months. It’s a great way to start understanding your kid’s online habits (and your own).
The Circle Home app’s history feature shows you specifically what websites and apps your family members have used throughout the day, and for how long. It will also show you what sites Circle stopped your kids from visiting, whether it’s Facebook or something more sinister.
The location feature lets you see where your family is—kind of like a Find My Friends app for your little (and big) ones. But in our testing, it wasn't super reliable: it didn't work until roughly 30 minutes after we first launched it. That's a long delay if you're trying to find a family member.
You can control your family’s screen time with Circle’s time limit feature. It lets you set time limits for specific apps, like Netflix, or categories, like social media. Plus, when someone is nearing their limit, the app will let them know. So they’ll get a heads up when they have only a few more minutes to see what happens at the end of that episode of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
Pause the internet
With Circle’s pause feature, you can pause the internet for a single family member or device. Later, you can turn it back on with the push of a button once your pre-teen comes back from walking the dog.
If you want to make sure your child isn’t up all night bingeing TV when they’re supposed to be asleep, you can use the bedtime feature. It will automatically shut off internet access at a certain time, and remind your kid to go to bed. The app will automatically reconnect to the internet in the morning, at whatever time you choose.
And if you’re looking to stay in bed for a few extra hours on the weekend, the Circle app lets you set different bed and wake times on Saturdays and Sundays.
With the rewards feature, you can give your child what they really want: more screen time. If your daughter brings home an impressive report card, you can send her a reward, either extending her time limit on the PS4 or giving her a later bedtime.
You can also schedule offtime in the app, so it’s a bit easier for your kids to adhere to the “no phones at the dinner table” rule. You can set different family members to have different offtimes to fit their schedule, and name them—maybe “Dinner,” or “Piano Lessons”—so you can easily keep track.