I don't care how permissive / how liberal a parent you are, I suspect that you would have problems with your relatively young kid (let's say under 18) going into a place like this:


I look at putting the Internet into your home without some kind of Internet filtering as analogous to letting your kids walk into a place like this and not stopping them. In the rest of this post I'll talk about Internet filtering and the first ever product, Disney Circle, that I've found is worth using

My Credentials to Even Write This

On a personal level I am a husband and father (two sons, 18 and 13). I'm also a software engineer who has been active on the Internet since the pre-web days and I've spent a large amount of my professional life dealing with spam and bad actors on the Internet. Finally I'm a firm believer in free speech and as my wife might comment, I'm the furthest thing from a prude in any way, shape or form. Those last two points, free speech and not being a prude make this a hard post for me to write as I am generally philosophically opposed to Internet filtering. Now, that said, I would never let my kid walk into a place like that pictured above and I don't think you should either – what happens there is an adult activity and there is a reason why its actually illegal to be in there if you're under 18.

Internet Filtering Overview

Internet filtering is just that – the idea of selectively blocking portions of the Internet i.e. filtering. From the bits, bytes and megabytes perspective, internet filtering is a hard technical problem for a whole bunch of reasons. And, alas, those actually don't matter all that much so I'm going to skip nerding out here as much as I might like to do a deep dive into Internet architecture.

Disney Circle

Disney Circle is a hardware box that plugs into your wifi network and acts to intercept network traffic and block things that fall into the category of malicious stuff including:

  • Porn
  • Gambling
  • Drug related content

There are a variety of well thought out parental controls which give you category level granularity down to things like "Allow Facebook but not Twitter".

I honestly didn't expect to like Disney Circle and I find myself in the rare position of not being able to say enough good things about it.

Note: If you use a mesh networking product like Eero, you may find that Disney Circle doesn't work with it so you might specifically find out before you buy one.