Most people will experience the same network performance before and after the Circle device has been connected to the home Wi-Fi. However, it may be that Circle's presence on your network has reduced its overall speed.
To help you troubleshoot any potential Internet slow down issues, we've made this helpful guide to address and resolve potential problem areas. You can use the walkthrough immediately below, or you can keep scrolling to find tips and tricks for maintaining performance on your home network.
Speed expectations for devices managed by Circle
Using Circle Home Plus and see slowdown on your upload speeds? Please note that upload speeds when using the Circle device are limited to 100 Mbps. For full upload speeds on your devices when uploading make sure to unmanage the device. In the vast majority of cases 100 Mbps uploads speed are more than enough for 4k streaming, high speed gaming, etc. and far above the average residential speed in the United States.
In ideal situations (devices connected with 1 gigabit Ethernet to a 1 gigabit Ethernet port and connection), Circle Home Plus supports download speeds of around 900 Mbps for managed devices. Devices connected over Wi-Fi may see slower speeds depending on their connection (for example, Wi-Fi 6 vs. 5ghz vs. 2.4ghz), Wi-Fi interference, distance from the router or access point, etc. Additionally, please keep in mind that download speeds will be limited to 100 Mbps up and down if Compatibility Mode is enabled.
The download and upload speeds above are not guaranteed on every network as they are seen in ideal situations only. There are many factors that can impact the actual speeds seen for each device that is managed by Circle.
Examples that can impact actual throughput for a managed device:
- Number of managed devices: When a large number of devices are managed by Circle, the actual throughput speed can be impacted. All of the managed devices are sharing the same ethernet connection from the Circle device to the router as well as processing requests.
- Multiple switches, routers, and other network devices: Every network device on a single network can cause some delay depending on how the network is configured. When a managed device sends data over a network, the more network devices involved can impact the actual throughput. Each network device adds some latency as it processes the request. Network management, firewalls, and other devices that inspect traffic will add latency.
- Wi-Fi Connected devices: Wi-Fi connected devices can vary greatly due to the quality of the signal and number of devices connected sharing that resource.
- Router model: Some routers use specific techniques to speed up the actual throughput for a device such as ‘packet acceleration’. Depending on the router and/or network set up, it is possible that some of these features are not able to be utilized with the Circle device.
Advanced Network Configurations can cause network slowdown depending on set up as well.
If the slowdown is impacting your services (such as seeing a lag in videos, slow network response, etc.), take a look at the troubleshooting suggestions below. If you are still seeing significant slowdown after troubleshooting, you may need to decide whether the management of devices that Circle provides is worth the throughput slowdown.
Troubleshooting slowdown issues
Check for router-specific issues
You might encounter slowdown issues if your router is incompatible with Circle or if specific changes need to be made for Circle and your router to work well together.
- Check out our "Is my router or extender compatible with my Circle device?" article to see if your router has known compatibility issues with Circle.
- Check our router-specific troubleshooting steps in the Networking and Compatibility Help section of our support site. Make sure to identify your router manufacturer and model then search this website.
- If you have Circle Home Plus, try enabling compatibility mode.
- From the Circle app's home screen, go to Menu >> Manage.
- Tap Reboot Circle. While your Circle device is rebooting, you will be unable to use the Circle app.
- If you are unable to access reboot option in the app, power your Circle device off, and then back on, manually. See "How to turn Circle Home Plus on and off" for more detail here.
Reboot your router
IMPORTANT: The process below is typical for rebooting routers, but we recommend that you consult your router documentation to determine the recommended reboot process from the manufacturer.
- Remove the power cable from the back of your router. Wait 10 seconds and re-insert the cable.
- Wait 30-60 seconds for the router to completely turn back on and broadcast the Wi-Fi network.
- Wait for the light on the back of your Circle device to turn solid before trying again.
Circle hardware specifications
- The Circle with Disney (1st generation) device uses a standard 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port and a 802.11 b/g/n wireless card that is limited to "Wireless N" speeds over 2.4GHz. If you're paying for "gigabit" Internet service, or for speeds greater than 100 Mbps, you may experience slow internet speeds as a result.
Circle Home Plus uses an upgraded gigabit Ethernet port and a 802.11 b/g/n wireless card that is limited to "Wireless N" speeds over 2.4GHz. Unlike Circle Home, this model can handle gigabit internet speeds over Ethernet and should not inhibit the speed in your home.
Use the Ethernet cable
In addition to bringing the Circle device closer to your router, you can also strengthen the connection between your Circle device and your router by connecting them via the Ethernet cable that came with your Circle device.
- Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into the back of your Circle device. You will find the port for the plug beneath the rubber flap. Then, insert the other end into the router.
- Reboot both your Circle device and router to solidify the Ethernet connection.
Place Circle near your router
Circle operates by interacting directly with your router rather than the various devices in your home. Because of this, the Circle device's connection with your router is very important for performance.
If your Circle device is physically far from your router, in another room, or otherwise positioned in a way that may prevent a strong connection between your Circle device and your router, move your Circle device closer (within five feet).
Ensure Circle is on the right network
If you have two routers or multiple networks, you'll want to make sure Circle is connected to the right one.
- Connect Circle to the main Wi-Fi network that your devices connect to.
- Make sure the device is physically close to the router that is broadcasting out that Wi-Fi network.
- The easiest way to get Circle on the right network is by plugging it in with Ethernet. An alternative is to reset and set up again.
- For Ethernet connections, we recommend plugging Circle into a port labeled "LAN" on your main router and not another router or switch (or the "WAN" port).
- If you're using extenders, access points, or mesh nodes you might try disabling these temporarily to see if the issue goes away. If it does, make sure Circle isn't managing these devices or connected to their network instead of your main router's.
- Finally, make sure all other routers in your home are either in access point or bridge mode since Circle can only manage one router at a time.
Don't assign networking gear to profiles
If you're still seeing significant slowdown when your Circle device is on, check your devices list for any network gear that might need to be set to "Unmanaged." Circle may not function properly if it's trying to manage an extender or access point as if it were an iPad.
As a general rule, make sure you only assign devices that you recognize to managed profiles -- that is, to profiles with a filter level set to Adult, Teen, Kid, or Pre-K. If your network gear appears in the Circle app, we recommend setting that to "Unmanaged" so that Circle doesn't interfere with that device or others.
Set any other devices you don't care about monitoring to be "Unmanaged"
If you're seeing slowdown on a device that you don't care about your Circle device monitoring, like your own, or a smart TV, we recommend setting it to "Unmanaged" as well.
- In the Circle app, open the Devices list by tapping Devices on the Home screen.
- Tap the name of the device you would like to change to open the Device Settings screen.
- Tap Assigned to.
- Check the box next to Unmanaged.
With more than 50 managed devices and a lot of traffic, you might start to see some issues connecting to the Circle or some slowdown in the app. Make sure to remove any old devices that are no longer on your network, and set any devices to "Unmanaged" that you don't care about filtering or managing.
Device specific slowdown
Only seeing slowdown on a particular device? Check to make sure of the following for this device.
- You've identified and assigned the device correctly.
- No profile settings like a Time Limit or Filter setting are causing this issue.
- Does the issue just occur on Data? Make sure your data plan is good and you're not being limited.
- Update the device completely and reboot.
- Disable Circle and see if the issue goes away. If it does not you may need to talk with your manufacturer, ISP or carrier.
- Remove any VPNs or device management on the device that were recently added.
- Remove the device from Circle and add it to a new test profile.
Make sure it's not something else!
Let's face it: Networking can be complicated.
Sometimes when setting up Circle, folks will make another change to their network. This might cause an issue with connectivity. You can always determine if Circle is involved by disabling Circle temporarily (Menu >> Settings >> Disable) or powering off the device. For devices managed by the kid app, you can disable by removing the Circle app. Reinstall it afterwards by following this guide.
If Circle is disabled and the issue remains, you might need to check that your network equipment is online, set up correctly, and rebooted recently.
For connectivity issues that happen on all managed devices
Having slowdown issues after you assign any device to a profile, and that issue goes away after assigning the device to a “None” level profile or as “Unmanaged”? Try out the below to see if it helps your issue.
- Disable Circle from Menu >> Manage/Settings. This can help you test to see if Circle is causing the issue or not. If the issue remains while Circle is disabled you know that there is an issue elsewhere, and you may need to contact your Internet Service Provider or get some support for your network.
- Does this issue resolve after rebooting Circle or your home router? Sometimes all it takes to resolve momentary connectivity issues is a good reboot.
- Circle Parental Controls and Circle Home Plus users only: Does the issue go away if you enable Compatibility Mode in the Circle app? This might indicate an unidentified compatibility issue between your router and Circle that our compatibility check didn’t catch. Contact our team to let us know using the contact information on this site.
- Set any network or unknown devices to “Unmanaged”: Since assigning network devices or unknown devices to a managed profile can cause Circle to see and manage that traffic we recommend setting those to be “Unmanaged”. Make sure you only assign devices to managed (Adult, Teen, or Kid) profiles that you recognize.You can do so from the device list by tapping on the device then “Assigned to…” and checking “Unmanaged”.
- Try the network level fixes below. Slowdown issues may relate to your network configuration.
Network troubleshooting for connectivity issues
Are all your devices having issues connecting or seeing slowdown while Circle is enabled? After working through the above you can also test out if your network configuration is causing this problem.
- Connect your Circle device over Wi-Fi instead of Ethernet, or vice versa. Does this help the issue? Occasionally, changing how the Circle device connects to your network can help resolve connectivity issues like this.
- Make sure Circle has a good connection to the network. This can eliminate issues where devices can't reach the Internet. Try moving Circle closer to your router or connecting over Ethernet. After making a change to the connection make sure to reboot your Circle and router.
- See the section on Compatibility Mode above for help enabling that feature.
- Search our router compatibility list for your router manufacturer and model to see if there are any known issues when using Circle. Make sure to address those if there are!
- If you have two routers in the home, make sure they are set up correctly for use with Circle.
- Have a more advanced network? You may need to try setting some network settings to their defaults or off to see if the issue goes away. Keep in mind that settings like QoS, static routing, or on-device DNS can interfere with Circle’s routing/management of traffic.
Still having trouble?
Check out this additional resources:
- Is my router or extender compatible with my Circle device?
- Advanced Network Setup
- My Device Can't Connect!
- Setting up dual band routers that have compatibility issues with Circle