Family mode - sure looks just like "Circle", except T-Mobile get to suck another $10 a month from us?

  • 29 June 2018
  • 6 replies

The pictures of "T Mobile Family Mode" look exactly like "Circle" ( . Except we are charged $10 a month by T-Mobile. What is the difference?


Best answer by tmo_amanda 2 July 2018, 20:28

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Userlevel 3

You're comin' in hot with a great question! I was looking at  and the link you also sent -- I'm only seeing one difference and that's with the device itself, not the app. Our Home Base is $20 for a limited time only and others are around $89.

When on cellular, Circle requires a VPN tunnel to connect to the home base station for control. Does T-Mobile's flavor do the same? If so, this is a major skip.

Secondly, does the built-in Circle capability in my Netgear router interop with T-Mobile's flavor?

Userlevel 1

Hi- I just saw your message about the VPN tunnel and wondered if you might be able to help me understand something about FamilyMode, which it seems is very similar to Circle. My son figured out that if he disabled VPN in his iphone settings the app can't limit his time. It still seems to track usage (I think), but otherwise I think the app is useless now. Is that what you understand and therefore said the app is a major skip?  Thanks! I'm frustrated and appreciate any insight.

Why is this a paid service? Clearly if there is an issue w/screen time and overuse of just take your kid's phone. When they leave home, they get their device. When they enters the home, they put the device up or bring it to you simple as that. Mobile device is a necessity when your kids or you are away from home (you have prepaid phones for that) but when you all are in the same place, it's simple...take the device.

Now, that is why I cannot see this service as a paid service.

I can see that you can get more people switching over to Tmobile if it's a service given complimentary. This is something really nice to have and be able to control if the kids are spending a lot of time on devices. THEREFORE, it's not a necessary need...BUT it can be a necessary want! Ultimately, you can take the kids phone and/or they do not need a phone. Whereas (Tmobile), you are missing out because a mobile phone to most are not a need it's a luxury expense. If it's really a need, then they can get a prepaid phone w/allotted minutes.

With all said, I hope you all rethink this by offering it complimentary to your users and then users may think about getting their kids a mobile phone knowing that they can control their screen time and make them feel at ease. Opposed to making one think this is the only option to cut down on their kid's screen time. A parent can always control their children's screen time by taking their devices.

We use Netsanity because the porn blocking is free and it works outside of the house. We upgraded our younger kids to use the other controls but we don't have to worry when they are on the bus or at school. Circle router was beyond buggy. I would expect more from T-M.


I’m switching to Life 360 . For $8.30 month the app alerts authorities if there is a crash or accident and finds your loved ones right away. 

I’m tired of the 60 second response it takes Tmobile to find my child, or husband (who commutes 20 miles a day each direction). At times I too get the ‘big circle’  . 

Tmobile must be using 2006 software. No reason the family where app is so painstakingly slow.