Once you have the Circle device set up on your network, Circle's content and time management features will get right to work. To see what that means, take your Circle for a test drive to ensure that you have things setup the way you want.
How do I know Circle is working?
- Pause the whole network
On the Home screen in the Circle app, you'll see a large Pause button at the bottom. Tap Pause and then try to get online with one of your devices. Only devices that you identified as "Unmanaged Devices" should be able to get online. (You should also be able to reach any websites you set to "Unmanaged" under profile's the Filter settings.) You can do the same thing with an individual family member or device if you like.
- Try to visit a Filtered site or Platform
Use the Filter settings for one of your family members to filter out a platform like Facebook or Twitter by setting it to "Not Allowed". Then, try to access the site on one of their devices to see what happens. Circle will begin to filter out that content.
- Keep an eye on Time Limits and BedTime
Unless you set Time Limits and Bedtime very aggressively to check them out, you aren't likely to see the effect of those settings until later in the day. Your Circle device will begin to enforce those settings through the day as Time Limits are reached or Bedtime arrives.
What does it look like when my Circle device is filtering?
When the Circle device enforces a Filter, Time Limit, Bedtime, or Pause setting, it will attempt to redirect people to the MyCircle page in order to let them know why they can't access that content. But, because of the way that the Internet works, you'll see several different messages. Here are a few things to watch for:
- A kinda-scary security message.
When the Circle device redirects someone who is trying to access a site that uses uses secure encryption (https or "SSL" connections), the user will receive a security alert from their browser. The browser was expecting to hear from the secure site, so when it actually hears back from the Circle device, it wants you to know.
This is a great way to know that your Circle device is working! You may be surprised at how often your family sees this message, but it could be fairly frequent since many commonly-used tools, like Google and Facebook, are now using SSL for traffic to their sites. Here's an example of a security alert from the Google Chrome browser:
- Non-viewable links or images.
In some cases, your Circle device will partially filter out content from a website and leave gaps. When you enable Ad-Blocking or choose to filter some social media platforms like Twitter or Pinterest, links or images that are part of those sites may not display. You might not even notice that they’re missing!
- The MyCircle page.
In many cases, your Circle device will redirect users to the MyCircle page (mycircle.meetcircle.com) to let them know what is going on. That page will let them know why they have been redirected, and it will provide some information about their own Circle device settings (like Usage, Bedtime, and Time Limits). Additionally, MyCircle provides them with access to some great alternative content from our partner, Disney.
- The family member's Usage.
Finally, to know for sure what your Circle device has filtered, go to the Usage section for any one of your family members. Or, in History, you can view the timelines of sites that they have visited or were filtered. If you would like to allow any of the sites that you see there, tap on it and select "Set as Allowed".