Circle parent control wifi internet filter review

The Circle is a device that recognizes and filters every internet device on your home WiFi.

What I like about the circle internet filter:

  • Simple to setup
  • Phone App to control and monitor
  • It’s a hardware filter not software
  • Can pause and adjust the filter the internet while away from home

What I don’t like about the circle internet filter:

  • Only one wifi channel Update: now both WIFI channels are monitored.
  • May provide false sense of security since it won’t filter all apps.
  • May take some customization.

What is the circle?

The circle is a piece of hardware you can use to apply an internet filter to any device connected to the internet in your house. The circle filter acts as a bridge between your internet devices and your wifi router/modem. The filter uses an app to control the level of filtering and the devices that are filtered. Every device that connects to your wifi router is filtered with the default settings. You can then add a custome filter for each device. Circle can now filter both routers frequency ranges, 2.4 and 5 Ghz.


Setting up the Circle filter was easy.  First you downloaded the app and then you plug in the circle to power with the cable provided.  You do have to set up a circle account.  You are sent a special code to your phone that you plan on using to manage the filters.  Circle will automaticallyrecognize internet devices connected to your wifi network.  Some devices may take a day to recognize if you do not use them all the time.  Any device connected to the wifi network uses the default filter settings.  If you want to customize a filter for a specific device you create a new profile.

You can assign one or all of your internet devices to the profile you setup.

The app allows you to see how much time each device is using the internet and what the device is using.

  • Software Requirements: iOS 9 or later or Android Jelly Bean or later
  • Set Time Limits: Create daily time limits on apps and popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
  • Filter Content: Set individual filter levels by age (Pre-K, Kid, Teen, and Adult) for each member of your family.
  • Usage at a Glance: See where your kids spend the most time online by app and category.
  • Pause the Internet: Pause the Internet for a single family member or the whole family with a single tap.

Circle with Disney – Parental Controls and Filters for your Family’s Wireless Device

Note:  This post may contain affiliate links. This Post is my opinion.  I didn’t get paid to review this device.  I bought the circle with my own money.
What do you think? Have you used Circle before? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Best iOS 11 Feature for Educators

The iPad/iPhone screen capture feature is one of my favorites.  Its easy to take take a screen shot on the iPhone or iPad by pressing the home and power buttons at the same time. (Screen capture on the iPhoneX is a little differentOn the iphoneX you press Volume Up button and Power button together at the same time to screen capture.)

What the new iOS 11 screen capture lets you do:

Now with iOS11 you can actually do something more than just save the screen capture to your photos.  You can:

  • Draw on the captured image: You can use different types of markers and different colors to draw.  You can even use shapes, text or add a custom signature. Just start drawing on the screen image. To add a signature touch the + sign at the bottom right.
  • Crop the image: This allows you to cut off parts of the screen you don’t want. I sometimes do this before I txt a screen capture so it doesn’t take up as much memory. To crop the image just drag any of the blue frame corners to the size you want.
  • You can also magnifying a section of screen capture.

  • Send captured image to other apps: You can send the screen capture or edited screen capture to other apps or other people via txt or email. When you are ready just tap on the up arrow in a box at the bottom left.

Screen capture is not the only place you can use the new iOS 11 markup tools. You can also do the same mark ups on pdf files in iBooks. Just click on the picture that looks like a pencil at the top of the screen.

What are your favorite uses of the screen capture tool?

How to create great video memories on the iPhone and iPad

While I’d like to think someday I’ll be a great videographer that probably won’t happen anytime soon. Thankfully the memories section in the iOS photos app has you covered. Apart from a few quirks, the memories app will help you quickly put together your favorite memories into a nice video.  You can quickly create awesome movies to preserve your memories using just the iOS photos app. Here is a quick guide on using the photos app to make a video memory.

How to get to the memories app

  1. Open the photos app
  2. At the bottom select the second icon labeled memories
  3. There will be several memory videos already created.

How to customize

You have to play the memory video first before you can customize or edit the Memories movie.  If the video looks exactly like you want and the music is to your liking, then you can go on to the steps below to preserve this Memories video.  Otherwise you can edit the the video by selecting the “Edit” link in the upper right hand corner.

(in iOS 10 it will be a small icon with lines on the bottom right) .The easiest edits are to change the Mood of the music and change the length of the video as shown above.  You can set the movie length to short, medium, or long.  You can also change the music to dreamy, sentimental, gentle, chill, happy, uplifting, epic, club, or extreme.  The photos Memories app will automatically update the movie with your new choice.

Choose more pictures or videos

The app does a pretty good job choosing pictures, but what happens if you have a picture in your Memory video that you don’t want? You can choose not to include some of the pictures or videos in the memories video.  You can also add more pictures and videos to your Memories movie. 

Select the Photos & Videos to edit what pictures are used in the Memories video.  You can scroll along the bottom to see all the pictures included in your Memories video.  Tap on the picture or video you want to edit.  You can change the length of the video clip or you can remove the picture or video by putting it in the trash.  (It does not delete the picture on your iPhone or iPad)


You can also add more pictures by pressing the + sign at the bottom left.

Edit title and song choice

Now that you have the pictures you want you can edit the title and song.  You can either choose from Apples song Soundtracks or music you have saved from iTunes on your iPhone or iPad.

How to save and export video memories

Since the Memories movies are always changing you need to preserve your favorite memories so they won’t get changed or removed.  To preserve the memory movie scroll to the bottom of all the pictures and then select “Add to Memories”.


Having finalized the memories video I highly recommend you export and save your video. Ideally you would think the logical export option would be iMovie but alas I was dearly disappointed. You can indeed export to iMovie but there is little you can do since the whole memory is exported as a video. To save your Memories movie file press the box with the up arrow at the bottom of the screen where you edit the Memories movie.

You now have several options on how you want to export your Memories video.

P.S. Memory movies only work on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. You won’t see Memory movies on your Mac (for now).

Protect your new iPad

Having just bought a new iPad I wanted to protect my new iPad. Past experience with broken iPads led me to choose Heavy Duty Shock Absorption Case for my iPad.  Even though iPads are pretty sturdy they are no match for my kids. Even if you try and keep them from using your iPad they will find a way to get a hold of it. 

My previous iPad cases were usually some type of leather case with a cover flap that opened.  The problem I had with these cases is that they just did not provide enough protection against drops. The corners always got dinged up. 

I decided to choose a hard case similar to what I use on my iPhone. I decided on the KAKA shock case for my new iPad.
KAKA Heavy Duty Three Layer Ultra Hybrid Shock Absorption Case High Impact Resistant Full-Body Protective Case With Kickstand for New iPad 9.7 Inch 2017Edit
  This iPad case protects all the iPad except the screen.  For the screen I decided to use a glass cover. I use the hard screen protector for two reasons. 

  1. It’s easier to install
  2. It provides better protection

The only downside to hard glass screen protectors is they usually crack. At least it’s better than having a cracked iPad screen. 

What is the best cas you have used?

Note: This post may contain affiliate links.

5 reasons why I updated to the new 2017 iPad

ipad-2017I am back with the new iPad! I had kind of fallen off the tablet bandwagon recently. It was partly due to having a new baby two years ago! I have been so busy that haven’t updated this blog in a long time!
My iPad 2 had a broken screen which I successfully replaced! Yay! However, I damaged the wifi antenna and my thirty pin connector had become difficult to connect to the computer. This limited the usefulness of the iPad 2. Thankfully Best Buy gave me about $50 for it!
Here are five reasons why I bought the new 2017 iPad:

  • Price: While the new 2017 iPad is not the cheapest Tablet it is cheaper than my previous iPad 2. Also there was a $30 discount which brought the price down to $300.
  • Storage: The 16 GB iPad just doesn’t work anymore. I was constantly having to manage my storage on the iPad 2. The base storage on the cheapest 2017 iPad is 32 GB. While that still is not humungus for a tablet but it is double the storage of my old iPad. Now I have enough storage to keep some downloaded movies on the iPad for traveling and still download multiple apps and other storage hog items.
  • Smaller size: It was appealing to have a slightly smaller iPad but keep the same screen size. I like my iPad mini but the screen is a little small for some tasks. The newer iPads have nice form factor. Since I mostly use a protector the smaller bezel isn’t an issue.
  • Multitasking with iOS 11: I never realized how wonderful multitasking is since it never worked on my iPad 2. Even with iOS 10 multitasking on the iPad is wonderful. You can actually type and have a book or web page pulled up in split view. The upcoming iOS 11 multitasking update really shows that the iPad can be used for serious work.
  • Swift Playgrounds: Since Apple announced Swift Playgrounds to help learn coding I have been intrigued. The app would not work on my old iPad 2 so I could never evaluate it. Now that I have the 2017 iPad I can run the swift playground app. The Swift playgrounds app helps you learn programming for free!

What do you think? Is the new 2017 iPad worth the update?