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Internet Filters and Parental Controls

October 12, 2018

Internet filters have been used for years by businesses and schools to control the content viewed on their networks.  Now companies have made that type of technology available for home use.  If you have children, I highly recommend that you use some type of parental controls and/or Internet filter on your home network.  It can help you block unwanted content as well as control the amount of time spent on devices.

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A quick Google search will show lots of possibilities for use on a home network.  You can purchase software that you install on the devices or appliances/hardware that you plug into your wireless router.  Some wireless routers have this technology built in.  A good resource is an article by PC Magazine from June 6, 2018, as it lists what they believe to be ten of the best pieces of Parental Control Software of 2018.

Circle by Disney

After a great deal of research, my family decided to use Circle by Disney.  It is a piece of hardware that you install by plugging it into your wireless router.  It is a one time purchase that can be purchased from Amazon, Target, Best Buy, etc.  One of the reasons I liked this device is because it filters every wireless device in your house and you do not have to install anything on the devices.

Purchase Circle with Disney from Amazon by clicking the picture to the left.  (Amazon Affiliate Link)


Circle is very simple to set up.  You control it using an app on your cell phone or tablet.  After installing the app and connecting the device, you just answer some questions about the people and devices in your home to get it set up and running.  After you get it set up, you can tweak the settings for each person in your home.

Not only does Circle filter the Internet content, but it will also allow you to set time limits, block certain apps, and even set bedtimes when the Internet cuts off for each person.  It keeps track of Internet history including what was allowed and what was blocked.  And if your child has a friend over and they bring a device that you allow on your WiFi, it will be filtered too.

Keep in mind that nothing is foolproof.  Circle cannot monitor social media, texts or email.  It can only allow or disallow it.  Circle cannot control apps that do not use Internet.  And it cannot stop children from jumping off your WiFi and using data or the neighbors WiFi if its not password protected.

Circle Go for Data

Circle does have an answer for data for an additional cost.  You can add Circle Go to cover data on a cell phone or tablet.  It is about $6 per month to cover up to 10 devices so that when those devices are not on your WiFi network, but are using data, they are still covered by the same filters.

If you would like to learn more about Circle with Disney, here is their website:  https://meetcircle.com/

You can also purchase a WiFi Router with Disney Circle built into the device, like this NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router you can purchase at Amazon.    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Do you use some kind of Internet filter or parental controls that you are happy with?  Let us know about it in the comments.

Need help keeping your kids safer while online using their devices? Here are some great options:

  • Use Circle Home Plus to filter all your kids’ devices including phones, tablets, game consoles and more.
  • Use Bark Monitoring software to monitor texts, emails, social media and more.
  • Use the Bark-O Matic Personalized Resource for Parental Controls to get a step by step list to set up device specific parental controls.
  • If your kids have Chromebooks, check out this post to set up the Chromebooks to keep your kids safer while using the Chromebook.
  • Use ScreenTime Parental Controls if your kids have iPads.
Internet Filters and Parental Controls
Internet Filters and Parental Controls - If you have children in the home, it is important to have a WiFi Internet Filter and Parental Controls.
Bridget Turpin

Thanks for the info! I have been thinking more and more about this issue and how important it is that I tackle it. I’ve bookmarked your page for when I can come back and read more thoroughly

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Joanna Pennoyer

This was so helpful. I’ve heard you talk about Circle with Disney for so long, but always thought I was ahead of the game. Now that my second child will be getting a phone for Christmas, I’m ready to commit. The router with built in C with D is my choice. Wish you offered private consulting for a fee. 😂 I’ll need help with installation and set up.

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admin

Glad I could be of help. Nothing is foolproof, but we have had really good results with Circle, especially when we had an exchange student. I hope it works out just as good for you. If you need help, just let me know! I will do what I can to help.

Tech Lovin' Mom

If you have children in the house, an in-home network filter is very important. Circle by Disney is one of many, but I have been using it very successfully for about two years.

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Melissa

That’s amazing! Our kids are still too young to need this, but this gives me a base knowledge as to what’s available at present. Thank you.

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Briana

Thank you this article is great!!! Thank you for the recommendation there are so mint to choose from!

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Anissa | Mama Goes Beyond

This is so neat! We’ve installed parental controls on our son’s iPads, but it sounds like there is a lot of extra functionality with this device. I’ll have to look into it.

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Julie

Just ran into this yesterday when my son accidentally got into a Youtube site that he shouldn’t be on. This is definitely something that will help take the edge off my internet concerns! Thanks for sharing!

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Jenna

Wow, this was very interesting! I had never heard of this before and it’s definitely something I want to look into when my boys get older. Thank you for this post!

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[…] Is your home WiFi network filtered for content?  If not, try Circle with Disney.  It plugs into your existing WiFi router and allows you to control the content on the Internet-connected devices in your home. Learn more about Filtering and Parental Controls in this blog post: https://techlovinmom.com/internet-filters-and-parental-controls/ […]

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[…] If you choose to allow your child to be able to log in with a personal Gmail account, you will want to find a way to filter your home network.  We use the Circle with Disney device at my house with great success.  It is a device that you plug into your home network router and then control it with an app.  It filters every device connected to your home network.  I wrote a blog post that covers Circle with Disney as well as some other options for monitoring devices. Check out that blog post HERE. […]

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[…] After lots of research, my family decided to go with Circle with Disney and have been using it very successfully for over two years. One of the reasons we picked it was because it covers every Internet-connected device in the house including cell phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles, Smart TVs and more. Now the company has a new and improved version called Circle Home Plus. I am excited about the changes that they have made. (It is still possible to purchase the original Circle with Disney for less than $50. If you are interested in that version, check out my blog post about Circle with Disney.) […]

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