Netgear now offers Disney parental controls for your home network through its Nighthawk and Orbi routers. Circle with Disney allows parents to control how long their children are online and filter which sites they can access. There's no additional hardware needed as the feature is already installed on the routers, Netgear says.
The free version of the Circle app enables parents to set customized profiles to match interests and age, so content that’s suitable for say, a 15 year old, but not for a 10 year old will be filtered appropriately. Parents can also see a history of websites that have been visited, filter sites, turn on safe search filters for Google and Bing, enable an ad blocker, and pause internet access by device, user, or the entire home.
There’s also a premium tier for $4.99 per month, and that includes services like limiting daily internet time for each family member and scheduling bedtime and other “off times” so devices disconnect from the internet. Parents can also gift kids with rewards of additional time if they choose. The app allows users to tailor restrictions as much or as little as they want.
The premium tier also allows users with Amazon Alexa devices to ask the virtual assistant about usage, time limits, and bed times, and also allows integration with third-party apps including IFTTT. Parents can also add Circle Go onto their children’s devices to extend all of these features and manage usage when they’re outside the house.
"We have seen that the sooner parents are able to set some limits and reward online behaviors, the better it is for the family,” said Lance Charlish, chief executive officer of Circle Media Labs in a statement.
Netgear says Circle with Disney is currently available on select Nighthawk routers and will be rolled out for existing Orbi Wi-Fi systems through a firmware update. The company also states that they’re planning to add Circle with Disney to more products. The Circle app is available for both Android and iOS devices.