Currently I’m using the original Google wifi pucks and with a 10 year old and 12 year old in the house I have been using a Disney Circle + unit for “safe internet” and I use it to block social media and YouTube on certain devices.
Will Disney Circle+ work with the AP6 pro and/or two AP6 pros (since my house is 4500sq/ft
I know that Alta can also block and protect like the Disney Circle+ but I am not sure all the functionality is present on the Alta AP’s
It might be best if someone from the community can confirm with real world experience as I do not own a Circle+.
However, I did some looking because I had never heard of this device. It’s difficult to find detailed information as it looks like this was acquired by Aura, discontinued, and then End of Lifed. So my first piece of advice is to check if it’s actively maintained with regular firmware updates. If not, I’d get rid of it.
I can really only think of 3 ways they’re accomplishing what it did, but the most logical would be that it acted as a proxy server and the app then, for lack of a better term, hijacks the internet activity, routing it through the Circle+ (proxy), where it can then control what passes and what doesn’t.
While I can’t confirm how it did what it did, I can say that you’re correct, you can use filters (which vary from categorical to specific brands/sites as well as specifying your own domain(s) to block. I was testing this yesterday myself and it worked remarkably well. We are currently investigating the probability that there may be some cases outside the US that this feature may not work 100% as expected. You can also set up schedule(s) to block WiFi (which I use, it works as one would expect. You can also block specific devices with ease, a feature I use often when grounding my own kids.
What we don’t currently offer is a “pause button” for the internet. However, we’re very community driven in our development, so I would encourage you to submit as feature requests here as you like and allow others to vote/discuss the feature.
I myself didn’t realize that the little white cube (Disney circle+) was discontinued though it still works. It made me realize that really, the most effective part of this device is the software I put on the kids iPads which blocks & controls what they can view and access online.
I suppose I could achieve roughly the same outcome just using the AP6’s to block certain websites and use a safe search DNS like opendns.
Would I be able to specify the dns I want to use with Alta Labs?
That’s an excellent question. And the short answer is yes, you can.
A typical Access Point, at its core, is nothing more than a media converter of electrical signals to RF signals and back. In this case, it doesn’t matter or care what’s being sent or received; it just does its job doing the conversions. Manufacturers will then overlay features on top of that.
You can specify the DNS at your DHCP server and that will get handed to the devices along with their IP address, subnet, gateway, etc. You can then use that in conjunction with the filters. Filters will then be applied at the AP itself, so you have a 2-layer filter going on. If the traffic makes it through the AP filters, then it can be checked again at the DNS level. Schedules have nothing to do with filtering, that is basically just a forwarding rule in the AP that sends HTTP/s traffic to a tiny webserver hosted on the AP that says something to the effect of “You can’t access the internet at this time, come back at [whatever time you specify in the filter itself]”.
I’ve used a number of Disney Circles over the years, prior to Alta. We used it with Cisco and Ruckus equipment. We found that the Disney Circle slowed things down so much that our customers didn’t want them anymore.
I would look at something like NextDNS or ControlD to help make your internet safer for the Children - if you are more than happy to tinker then a soultion such as Pi-hole or AdGuard home on something like a raspberry pi is also a great soultion and with any of the above you can tailor things to your needs.
I had quite strict blocking originally but as both my children are getting into their mid teens i am having to adapt and be a little bit less restrictive.