NOTE: This article is specifically about setting up Circle on a supported NETGEAR router. For setting up our legacy Circle Home device (our little white box), check out our setup article here! The latest Circle Parental Control software is not embedded on any NETGEAR routers currently. Learn about Circle and Circle Home Plus at meetcircle.com
Getting started with Circle
Before you begin getting Circle on NETGEAR, make sure that you have the following items ready to go:
- Access to your networking device
- Your WiFi network name & password
- Your network's admin password
- The Circle app (go to meetcircle.com/app to download)
- The Circle app. Circle's app requires an iOS device running iOS 9 or later or an Android device running 5.0 (Lollipop) or later. Click here if you're setting up using an iOS device. Click here if you're setting up using an Android device.
- A compatible NETGEAR device. If you haven't checked this yet, head here to check on your NETGEAR router's compatibility with Circle.
Already have a Circle Home device?
Before you set up Circle on NETGEAR make sure you've turned off your Circle Home device. Enabling Circle on NETGEAR from the app is as easy as tapping "Pair New Circle" and then while on your NETGEAR WiFi tap the Circle on NETGEAR set up option. (Using Android and not getting the message to "Pair New Circle"? Tap the back button and then exit the Circle app. Then reopen it and the option will be there!)
Note that it is no longer possible to back up profiles on Circle Home and restore them to Circle on NETGEAR. An error will be generated if this is attempted.
Enabling Circle on your NETGEAR device
- Make sure your NETGEAR router is operational. Your router will need to broadcast a wireless signal, at least for initial setup, so that the device you'll be using to manage Circle can connect to your router. The router does not need an internet connection, but some of Circle's functionality will be limited without it.
- Connect the admin device you'll be using to manage Circle to your NETGEAR router's Wi-Fi network.
- Launch the Circle app on your device. You should see a large section at the top of the screen for NETGEAR.
- Begin Setup. Tap "Get Started" under "Circle on NETGEAR".
- Check for compatibility. The Circle app will check to make sure that the NETGEAR router you're trying to enable Circle on can support this feature. It'll let you know if it thinks the router is incompatible; there's also a link to see the list of compatible devices, in case you aren't sure. If everything looks good, just tap Enable Circle to continue!
Note: You may see a screen that instead says "Circle is already enabled on your router!" This may happen if Circle's features were previously used on the router; simply tap "Yes!" to continue through setup; you will also skip step 6.
- Login to your NETGEAR router. In order to enable Circle, you'll need to log into your NETGEAR router using the admin credentials for your router. These are not the same as connecting to your wireless network and its associated password. The username by default is "admin," all lowercase. Please consult the label on your NETGEAR router for the default admin password. If it has been changed, or the password does not work, please contact NETGEAR's support team for help troubleshooting your router's configuration.
Visit NETGEAR's support website for assistance.
Setting up your account
- Enter the name and email for your account.
Enter the name you want Circle to know you by in the top box and your email in the bottom one. We will send you a verification email that you can revisit at your convenience.
Note: Entering your name and email in opposite boxes will result in Circle sending you an error (see an example on the right below).
- Enter your texting number in case of recovery.
In the event you reinstall the Circle app, or want to use another device to manage Circle, we'll use this number to text you a "passcode" so that you aren't locked out of managing your Circle! Tap Next to move on.
Non-US Circle setup: The Circle app will automatically detect the regional information setup in the device that you are using to set up your Circle device and insert the country code for you (such as Sweden in the middle screenshot above). If the country code that is automatically selected does not match your actual texting number, you may tap on the country flag or icon to select the proper country code.
Subscribing to Circle Premium
Circle on NETGEAR comes with basic features that are free to use. If you'd like to unlock the full potential of Circle on NETGEAR, you'll need to subscribe to use our premium features, which include setting time limits for specific categories and platforms, as well as a total time limit, creating BedTimes and other OffTimes during the day when the internet is paused and viewing more detailed usage statistics for a profile. See this page for more details on what Circle premium is, and how to subscribe.
Creating family profiles
Now that you've got your account setup, and you've chosen your subscription, the app will help you create some profiles for your family.
- Start with yourself.
You can set the first profile up for anyone in your home, but we recommend setting it up for yourself first to get acquainted with the settings before diving into profiles for the rest of your family.
- Setup Filter, Time Limit, and BedTime settings.
If you need any help with these steps, use the resources below to help you out.
- Assign your devices to yourself.
Assign any device that uniquely belongs to you to your profile. Don't worry about getting it all together right at this point. It's easy to change who devices are assigned to once you're up and running with Circle. Not sure which device is which? Check out this article for help.
- Repeat the process for each family member.
Setup will look the same for each family member profile you create. If you have devices in your home that are shared among family members, we recommend checking out this article for help.
Check out these additional resources:
- How do I figure out which device is which on my network?
- What kinds of screen time can Circle manage?
- Allow another adult to manage Circle on their device
During setup, Circle will look for devices that should be Unmanaged and pre-select them to avoid issues on your network. Unmanaged Devices are ignored by Circle to ensure that none of your sensitive or smart home devices accidentally get Paused or Filtered. Circle should ignore the following:
- Smart thermostats
- Smart smoke detectors
- Wi-Fi enabled outlets
- Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs or switches
- Other smart home devices, like speakers, etc.
- Sensitive Wi-Fi controlled equipment
- Networking equipment that may be detected by Circle
We recommend setting any device you can't identify immediately to "Unmanaged".
The Home Profile
All devices that are not assigned to a Family Member or set to Unmanaged will automatically be assigned to the Home user. Any new device that joins the network will also belong to the Home User, and you can set Filters, Time Limits, and BedTime for Home just like you can for family member profiles.