What is Compatibility Mode?
If you are having internet connection issues with Circle and your home network, Circle's Router Compatibility Mode is now available. It can bypass several issues to ensure the system is working appropriately. When compatibility mode is enabled Circle manages both the upload and download traffic of a device, ensuring filtering is working.
Note: Enabling compatibility mode will limit the download and upload speed of managed devices to 100 MBP/s. This is still a very fast download and upload speed. In the vast majority of cases (4k streaming on multiple devices, high-speed gaming, etc.) this speed limitation should not impact functionality of your devices.
Do I Need Compatibility Mode?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms on your home Wi-Fi when Circle Home Plus is managing the network, you may benefit from Compatibility Mode:
- Your router is listed as fully or partially incompatible in our Router Compatibility and Circle Home Plus article.
- Devices on your network managed by Circle Home Plus are unable to access the internet or have a very slow internet connection.
- WiFi-only devices on some profiles are able to circumvent Circle's filters or do not calculate Usage properly.
- After pairing Circle Home Plus, you use the app's built-in connection test feature and are informed your router is showing signs of incompatibility.
Enabling Compatibility Mode
When you first pair Circle Home Plus with your router, you will be presented with a screen offering you the chance to learn about Compatibility Mode and test your internet connection.
If you choose not to enable Compatibility Mode during setup, you may enable Compatibility Mode through the Circle app settings:
- Open the sidebar menu by either tapping the 'hamburger' icon in the upper-left corner of the screen or swiping in from the left side of the screen.
- Tap Settings.
- In the Circle Home Plus section, tap Router Compatibility.
- Switch the slider to enabled.
To ensure the best experience while running Circle Home Plus in Compatibility Mode, keep the following in mind:
- Circle Home Plus should be connected to your router via an ethernet cable. Running Circle Home Plus in Compatibility Mode over WiFi may slow your internet speeds to the point of being unusable.
- Compatibility Mode requires more processing power from the Circle Home Plus hardware. Make sure there is plenty of airflow around it to prevent overheating.
- Only enable Compatibility Mode if your router appears on our Router Compatibility and Circle Home Plus article or otherwise shows signs of incompatibility, like failing the compatibility test.
- Enabling compatibility mode will limit the download and upload speed of managed devices to 100 MBP/s. Note: Enabling compatibility mode will limit the download and upload speed of managed devices to 100 MBP/s. This is still a very fast download and upload speed. In the vast majority of cases (4k streaming on multiple devices, high-speed gaming, etc.) this speed limitation should not impact functionality of your devices.
How does Circle Work?
Circle Home Plus operates using a technique called ARP-spoofing, which means it 'impersonates' the router on your network so that devices send network traffic to it instead of directly to the router. Circle Home Plus then evaluates the traffic based on the filters and other settings set on the profile of the individual that devices is assigned to. If Circle Home Plus determines the traffic to be allowed, it passes it on to the actual router so that the request can be sent on to the internet. When the requested information is sent back through the router to the device that requested it, this traffic does not pass through Circle Home Plus, as it is already known to be allowed.
This technique works very well with most routers on the market. However, it can cause problems with some. Compatibility Mode is a new feature available only in Circle Home Plus that can help solve issues with some routers. Compatibility Mode forces downloaded traffic to pass through Circle Home Plus as well as the uploaded traffic. This two-way approach drastically improves compatibility with some router models that previously had issues with the Circle device.
Still having connection issues?
Enabled compatibility mode and still having issues with your devices connecting to the Internet? We have some troubleshooting steps below for you:
Check your network:
- If you haven't already, check out our router compatibility list for any known issues with your router. The particular steps for resolving this will be listed next to the router model.
- Try simplifying your network; turn off any extenders or mesh router satellites to see if they are the issue. You can read more here on how to troubleshoot issues with Circle Home Plus and advanced networks.
Test the connection and try some reboots:
- If you're finished setting up Circle Home Plus, try turning it off to confirm it is an issue with the device and not your home network. You can turn Circle off at home by holding the power button down for 10 seconds.
- Reboot your router and other network gear.
- Reboot the device having connection issues.
- Power Circle Home Plus on and wait a minute or two. Then open the Circle app and move the device having connection issues to "Unmanaged" for testing.
Reset and try again:
- Try removing Circle Home Plus via Menu >> Settings in the Circle App and manually resetting it to confirm this is not an issue with the device's configuration.
- If you disabled Circle Home Plus during troubleshooting you can re-enable from the Circle app under Menu >> Settings. There you can also turn Compatibility Mode on or off.
Compatibility Mode was developed so that even more families can enjoy Circle Home Plus on more home networks than ever before. We hope it's a great fit for your family!