With the release of the new Circle App and Circle Home Plus, we've made many improvements to the Circle product. This article details the differences between Circle 1st generation and Circle Home Plus in terms of tech specs, management, and features.
Hardware & Packaging
The Circle Home Plus device is entirely new.
The design of the box is slightly different, with smooth rounded corners and a more secure outer casing. It also has a faster network connection thanks to a 1Gb Ethernet port, additional Wi-Fi antenna, and a 40% faster CPU. As well, with Circle Home Plus power is provided by a USB-C plug in, while Circle Home is powered using USB-micro. Like the Circle 1st generation device, each Circle Home Plus device also includes a built-in backup battery to ensure it keeps running, even when it gets unplugged.
- The Circle Home (1st generation) device utilizes 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 utilizes 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 and should not inhibit the speed in your home.
Circle Home Plus comes with a 1-year Circle membership, allowing you to use all of Circle’s features both in your home, as well as on mobiles devices while they are on the go.
Important note: The new Circle Home Plus device and Circle Parent Controls app are not compatible with Circle 1st generation hardware. To continue using your Circle Home device, please continue using the Circle 1st generation app.
Along with hardware upgrades, the Circle system has moved to an optimized cloud-based solution to deliver a more consistent and reliable experience. Your profiles and account information will be stored in the cloud, so there is no need to create a backup. Those profiles are protected by a username and password.
Now, all the information related to your family’s profiles -- including settings, photos, and filter levels -- live in the cloud. This means if a hardware reset is required, you will no longer risk losing your settings and have to go through the setup process again. Everything will be saved in our system.
Along with the improved technology in Circle Home Plus, we have also updated the Circle mobile app to be better than ever.
Instead of a separate application to manage your kids’ devices on LTE and Wi-Fi, simply install the same Circle application onto their mobile device and follow the process of “Kid app” setup, right there in the Circle App. More information on mobile device setup can be found here.
While all core features of Circle 1st generation are still available in the new app, the “Connections” feature is not available in the new Circle experience.
Location is a brand new feature to keep track of your family’s mobile devices, wherever they go. The Location feature allows parents to send a point-in-time location request to a child’s device with a simple click of a button. Circle does not retain the historical location of any family member’s device.
Once located, their location will be displayed in the parent app. For more information on the new Location feature, check out this article here.
Can I move my Circle 1st generation profiles to my new Circle account?
Circle Home Plus is a new product that works very differently than Circle 1st generation. You won't be able to backup and restore your profiles from Circle 1st generation. Instead, the app will guide you through creating new profiles and making sure your kiddo's devices are managed appropriately. You can use the article here to get a list of your Circle 1st generation profiles and devices emailed to you!
- The new Circle Home Plus device has been totally upgraded including a faster network connection thanks to a 1Gb Ethernet port and 40% faster CPU.
- Mobile management for all of your family's devices is included in your Circle membership.
- The new Circle Home Plus device and Circle Parent Controls app are not compatible with Circle with Disney hardware. To use the Circle with Disney device, you need to continue using the Circle 1st generation app.
- Your account is now stored safely in the cloud for easy access via secure login.
- Instead of a separate app for the child devices, just install the same Circle Parental Controls app onto their supported phone or tablet and follow the process of “Kid app” setup.
- Circle now includes a new Location feature keep track of your family’s Android or iOS devices.