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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:

Internet Filters and Parental Controls