Chromebooks are increasingly the laptop of choice for students and schools. These devices may require special handling to get the most out of your Circle experience. Here are some important things to keep in mind when using a Chromebook on your home network.
What kind of Circle product do I need to manage a Chromebook?
To manage a Chromebook with Circle, you must set up Circle on your home Wi-Fi network. This could be a Circle Home Plus device or one of our first generation products (Circle with Disney, Circle on NETGEAR).
Will the Circle app run on a Chromebook?
Circle apps are NOT supported on Chromebooks, either for parents managing a Circle account or for managing a kid’s Chromebook when it leaves the home. At this time, Chromebooks can only be managed when connected to your Wi-Fi network at home where Circle is set up.
Some Chromebooks are able to download Android apps from the Google Play Store. However, the Circle Parental Controls and Circle 1st generation apps are not supported on Chromebooks.
If your child received a school-issued Chromebook, you may experience problems getting Circle to manage it properly.
Many school-issued Chromebooks are managed by the school's IT department through a tool called a "proxy." This tool will force all Internet activity from the Chromebook to funnel through a secure connection to the school's systems, even when used outside of the school. If this is how your Chromebook is set up, Circle's tracking processes may not work properly. Here are some issues you may encounter and tips for making the most of Circle when a proxy is in place:
- Filters, Usage, and History will not work properly with a Chromebook proxy.
- Time Limits will work partially with a proxy. We recommend continuing to use the Daily Time Limit to manage online time spent on the Chromebook.
- Pause, Bedtime, and Off Times can be used without interruption, even when a proxy is in use.
Identifying a Chromebook in your device list using a MAC address
Chromebooks will often show up in your Circle account with strange names you don’t recognize and can be hard to identify. This is especially true if your family receives multiple Chromebooks of the same kind from a store or school.
One way to figure out which device is which in your Circle device list is by locating the unique ID (called a "MAC address") for your Chromebook and matching it to an unaccounted-for device in Circle. You can learn more about this process in our device identification guide.
Here is how to locate your Chromebook's MAC address and IP address:
- Sign in to your Chromebook.
- Select Time from the bottom right.
- Select the Wi-Fi network.
- At the top of the box, select Information.
- You'll see your Chromebook's IP address and IPv6 address. Your MAC address is labeled Wi-Fi.