kids dogs, Finn would watch YouTube all day. Of course since he has no thumbs, it’s pretty easy to control. Fortunately, I’m not always asking “Finn, how long have you been on YouTube?”
Thanks to Disney (who provided the device at no cost for testing), I’ve been using a Circle device for the past couple of months to monitor and control how the Internet is used on our Wi-Fi¹. The Circle device is available on Amazon for $99, and requires a device running iOS 9 (or higher) or and Android 4.2 (or higher), a home Internet connection and a compatible router . Basic setup takes 15 minutes, but to setup specific filters and controls for each user the required time would be longer. I found is useful to initially monitor what was going on, then added and removed controls & filters after determining where I needed them.
The Circle is full-featured and has many options for monitoring and controlling how the internet is used. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites below (if you have specific questions send me an email and I’m happy to share details.)
Usage: At a glance I can view each person’s usage (on all of their assigned devices) or I can view “History” to view the list of sites visited.
Time Limits: Time limits are set as a simple daily limit, but can also be specified by platform (Facebook, MineCraft, YouTube, etc.) or category (Business, Gambling, Social Media, etc.)
Filter Setting: Set an automatic filter level (Kid, Teen, Adult, etc.) and/or specify specific platforms and sites that can be blocked.
Setting Bedtime (and Offtime): Self explanatory & automatic! No more “5 more minutes!!”
¹Circle also offers “Circle GO” to extend your Circle settings for any network, including 4G LTE.