Network setups can be complicated, and it can make things even trickier when introducing a device like Circle to your network. The following article provides tips for the following network configurations with...
- Circle pairing (walkthrough)
- Two (or more) routers, a guest network, or multiple subnets/VLANs
- Extenders or mesh capabilities
- Mixed connections (2.4ghz + 5ghz bands)
- Active firewalls
- Mobile hotspots and satellite connections
- IP or MAC spoofing mitigation
- Router settings like IP passthrough, NAT acceleration, Express forwarding
- Custom DNS settings on a device
Like we said, networks can be complicated! If these tips don't help for your specific situation, or if you have questions about your specific router model and Circle Home Plus's compatibility, please refer to our Router Compatibility article or reach out to us directly.
Note: having issues with Internet connectivity after setting up Circle Home Plus? You may need to enable Compatibility Mode. Learn more here.
Circle Pairing Walkthrough
Need some assistance pairing Circle with your advanced network? Keep the details described below in mind, but you are also welcome to try our Circle Pairing walkthrough below! After the walk through you will see more info about the configurations and hardware described in the list from the introduction.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might have provided you with a modem/router combo for your house. You may have also connected a second router to this for Wi-Fi connections. In situations like this, it's important to know:
Circle Home Plus will only manage one network at a time.
- Make sure that you plug Circle Home Plus into the router to which all devices you want to manage are connected.
- Additionally, to prevent cross-network contamination (or what we call the 'double-NAT' scenario), we recommend connecting the router paired with Circle to the ISP's modem/router via the paired router's WAN/Internet port.
- You may also want to bridge your ISP-provided modem/router in order to ensure only the one router is managing your network -- refer to your ISP's support or documentation for instructions on doing this.
If you've elected to go the Wi-Fi pairing route and are not connecting Circle Home Plus via Ethernet, simply ensure Circle Home Plus is within 3 - 5 feet of the paired router and has a clear line of sight to it. The rest of the direction above will still apply.
Circle Home Plus works with a majority of extenders, but you'll want to make sure that a few things are true:
- Ensure that the extenders are are setup with the same SSID (network name) as your main network, or attached to your router over ethernet. Don't pair Circle Home Plus with a Wi-Fi network that has the same name as your normal network but with an added "_EXT".
- Refer to our Router Compatibility article to see if your extender has been marked as incompatible with Circle Home Plus by our team.
Mixed connection networks
Some routers are capable of combining the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and creating one SSID for your Wi-Fi network. Typically, Circle Home Plus works great with this type of configuration.
If your router combines the 2.4GHz network and 5GHz network and you're having issues pairing Circle Home Plus with it, you might need to separate the bands temporarily during setup and then combine them again after Circle Home Plus is paired (in this case, we recommend also plugging in Circle Home Plus via ethernet after you're set up). Refer to your router's manual for how to separate these bands.
If Circle Home Plus is not tracking devices when they're connected to the 5GHz band or causing significant disruption on the 5ghz band, it's possible that you will need to address a compatibility issue. Read more about known issues with some dual band routers or check out our router compatibility list to see if there is a known issue with Circle Home Plus and your router's chipset.
Circle Home Plus works with a majority of mesh network systems, but occasionally they can have issues pairing. When you're initially setting up Circle Home Plus, you may need to separate the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and power down your mesh networks satellite units, while leaving the main gateway up. Your gateway unit is the one that is connected to your home's modem via an ethernet cord. Satellite units might connect to it via ethernet, or more likely, via a mesh wireless network. Pair Circle Home Plus via Ethernet to the main node/router, or place Circle near your main node and pair using the back up Wi-Fi pairing method to the 2.4GHz network. Afterwards, you can bring your satellite units back up. Just make sure to set them as "Unmanaged" if they appear in the Circle app's device list.
Many routers have security settings turned on by default to help protect against unwanted internet traffic and ensure the safety of your home network. However, some routers have firewall settings that may filter out Circle Home Plus's requests to reach the internet.
Please take a look at our Advanced Firewall page for information about settings to check in your router's configuration. If you think you're having issues related to your firewall, you can log into your router to change its settings. We don't recommend turning your firewall completely off, but you can lower the settings and try to use Circle Home Plus with these changes.
The majority of routers have a "guest network" feature that will create a separate Wi-Fi network for your guests to use. Typically these types of networks have security settings (like client isolation) that make it difficult for Circle Home Plus to manage devices on them. We don't recommend pairing Circle Home Plus with a guest network during setup.
If you want to make sure that Circle Home Plus is tracking your family's devices, we recommend turning the guest network feature off, or changing the network's password and only giving it out to guests. Check out our article on how Circle works with guest networks for more on how Circle Home Plus works with guest networks. Also, our Router Compatibility article has a few devices marked as having a known issue with Circle Home Plus and that router's guest network feature.
Circle Home Plus and Mobile Hotspots, or Satellite Connections
Circle Home Plus was developed for use with your typical home router using a DSL or Cable connection to the Internet. Mobile hotspots and satellite connections tend to be incompatible with Circle Home Plus and we cannot guarantee that Circle Home Plus will work to manage these types of networks.
Circle Home Plus can only manage one subnet at a time and will only see traffic that goes through the subnet it is paired with. If you have multiple network segments, whether through the use of a guest network or some other method, make sure that you only connect devices you want Circle Home Plus to manage to the same subnet as Circle Home Plus is on. More on how Circle Home Plus handles multiple subnets or VLANs.
IP or MAC Spoofing Checks
Some routers enable you to turn on a security feature that keeps devices on the network from spoofing their IP or MAC address. Typically, IP or MAC address spoofing is used to elude detection on a network. Circle Home Plus's filtering and management tools use similar practices to MAC address spoofing, so we don't recommend enabling MAC or IP spoofing checks on the network you want Circle Home Plus to manage.
A common setting in AT&T-branded routers (usually manufactured by Arris) is "IP Passthrough," which will cause issues between the router and Circle Home Plus if connected via ethernet. If you'd like to use Circle Home Plus over ethernet, please make sure this setting is disabled. Read more about how to disable IP Passthrough on your AT&T-branded router.
Certain ASUS routers can enable a feature known as NAT acceleration. This feature does not work well with Circle Home Plus's features. If your router is capable of NAT acceleration and you're having connectivity trouble with Circle Home Plus on your network, we recommend turning NAT acceleration off. Check your router's manual for how to do so, and look here for a list of affected routers.
Two Linksys routers (AC1900 EA7500 & AC2600 EA8500) feature an option called "Express Forwarding," which does not work well with Circle Home Plus's features. If you own one of these routers and Express Forwarding is enabled, we recommend turning it off for Circle Home Plus to work properly. Check your router's manual for detailed instructions.
Custom DNS Settings on a Device
Because of How Circle Works, you won't be able to use Custom DNS settings on your device. Instead, those will fallback to the router's DNS settings. Read more about how Circle interacts with custom DNS settings.
Local Media Servers
Circle does not manage traffic loaded across the local network from media servers inside the network, like Plex and Universal Media Servers. Read more about Circle and local traffic.