Disney Circle Parental Control Review

Jun 19, 2018 |

picture of a disney circle inside the home

A standout among parental control options, the Disney Circle with its accompanying MyCircle app allows parents to control all Wi-Fi enabled devices in their home

product image of disney circle device
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Best for Monitoring and Scheduling Time

  • Set time limits and shutoff times
  • Filter internet content according to age
  • Temporarily disable internet availability
  • Schedule times when devices may be used
  • Monitor usage

Disney Circle at a Glance

A small, white box that pairs with your existing Wi-Fi router, the Disney Circle Home allows you to control and monitor all of the devices on your home’s Wi-Fi network.  Whether it’s making sure your teen isn’t Snapchatting during homework time or your ten-year-old isn’t playing Roblox until the wee hours of the morning, this easy-to-use device is a lifesaver for families who love devices.

As soon as Disney Circle pairs with your router, it will detect every single device connected to your Wi-Fi. It does a good job of sorting devices that need to be controlled from ones that don’t (like an iPad from a printer), but depending on how many family members you have and how many devices each person uses, the set up can be time consuming. After identifying who each device belongs to and what limits you’d like, Disney Circle Home will immediately filter, limit, and report all of your family’s usage.

Find out where Disney Circle ranks in our Best Parental Control Apps of 2018.

Disney Circle Pricing and Plans

Disney Circle Home does not come with a complicated set of plans or subscriptions (which we love). It is a simple, one-time $99 fee for the box. But it will only work when the devices are at home. To monitor use away from home, you’ll need to subscribe to Circle Go. At $4.99 a month for up to ten devices, this is a pretty reasonable way to make sure your kids are safe away from home too.

Disney Circle Home Circle Go
$99 $4.99 per month
Unlimited devices Up to 10 devices
Features available only on home Wi-Fi:

  • Time limits
  • Shutoff times
  • Scheduled use time
  • Filter content by age
  • Temporarily disable internet
  • Monitor usage

Will not monitor:

  • Social media content
  • Text messages
  • Instant/direct messages
Features available on Wi-Fi or LTE:

  • Time limits
  • Shutoff times
  • Scheduled use time
  • Filter content by age
  • Temporarily disable internet
  • Monitor usage

Will not monitor:

  • Social media content
  • Text messages
  • Instant/direct messages

Disney Circle Features and Usability

We Like

  • Simple and Easy to Use
    The app is easy to navigate and gives parents freedom to tailor their family’s internet experience.
  • Great Customer Service
    Most people report that the support team for this product is amazing. Whether it’s a problem with your router or just confusion about setting up the service, customer service representatives are knowledgeable, easy to understand, and willing to put in the time it takes to make it work.
  • Sturdy, Versatile Design
    We  love that this product was designed with actual kids in mind. It’s small and sturdy, has a backup battery in case someone decides to unplug it to disable it, and works with iPad and Android devices seamlessly.

We Don’t Like

  • Laborious Setup
    There’s no way around it—it takes time to do the initial setup and select settings for every device in your household.
  • No Social Media Content Monitoring
    Disney Circle Home will monitor only how often your kids are on social media but not the actual content. To find out if your kid is being bullied online, sending or receiving inappropriate messages, or connecting with people they shouldn’t, you’ll still need another service like Net Nanny.
  • Disney Ads
    The app where you find the dashboards for each family member also has endless scrolling options to peruse Disney content and products, which feels like a never-ending advertisement.

screenshots of disney circle app

FAQs

Does Disney Circle replace my router?
No, this is a not a replacement for your router. Disney Circle is its own device that pairs with pretty much every router available.

What happens if my kid unplugs it?
Nothing! All your limits will remain in place. Even though the backup battery is only good for an hour, the app will notify you that it’s been unplugged, so you’ll know to plug it back in.

What if I want to change a limit?
This is a very simple process—you just go into the app and put in the new limit. So whether you’re adjusting a bedtime or rewarding your kid with a little more screen time, the app is flexible enough to let you adapt it to your needs. Another great way to change the time limits is the “pause” feature which lets you temporarily disconnect every device from the internet.

Can’t my kid just switch to LTE?
Disney Circle Home works primarily with your home Wi-Fi network. Many users report that kids just switch over to cellular data networks to work around it. But if you subscribe to Circle Go, this will not be a problem.   

The Bottom Line

Disney Circle is a great option for cutting down the amount of time, energy, and arguing that goes into monitoring and limiting your kids’ screen time.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Sets individualized limits for each family member
  • Hard for even tech-savvy kids to work around

Cons

  • No social media content monitoring
  • No text/instant message monitoring
  • Lots of Disney content aimed directly at kids

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How We Evaluated Disney Circle Home

We evaluated Disney Circle Home by researching the product, cruising message boards, and interviewing customers. To learn more, check out our Methodology page.  

Written by Laura E. Hilton

Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at lauraehilton.com. Learn more

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