What is MagicJack?


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What do you currently use for your phone service? Do you use a traditional land-line company, or something like Vonage? I’ve been using Vonage in my home for a couple of years now. Lately, though, some people were asking me what I thought about MagicJack, so I decided to try it out.

I figured we’d set it up together in this video. After all, the package promises “60 seconds to a lifetime of savings!”. It also talks about having free voice mail, free International calling, and even free local and long-distance. All you need is a phone and a broadband connection.

I actually had to go buy a cheap corded phone, because all of the phones in my house were cordless! I plugged the MagicJack in, and it instantly opened. The little interface told me to click a button to start calling – even while everything was downloading.

Within about 30 seconds, I was ready to register. I entered my email and a password into the program. I was told that following activation I would receive a confirmation email to finish the process. Then, it asked me my name, and approximate location for proper 911 services. After this step, it gave me the option of which area code I wanted to go with for where I live. Then, I could choose any number I wanted. Heck, I could’ve even chosen a number and area code back in Iowa!

I then had to of course agree to the Terms of Service. Don’t do as I did – or didn’t do. Always read your Terms of Service before agreeing! After doing that, I had my very own MagicJack phone number. I didn’t like the giant banner ad in the middle of the dialer though. I guess that’s what we get for having free phone service though.

I plugged the phone it, picked it up and dialed. It went through! That quickly, I called myself! I even answered myself. The sound was pretty clear, as well. I was impressed at this point, for sure. It took no time to set up, and it works!

If you shut down the MagicJack application on your computer, you cannot receive incoming calls. So – keep that in mind! Oh! Cool! There’s a call log! However, I don’t like that the address book cannot coordinate with my address book within my operating system. That would rock! Maybe they can work on that with a future release.

Well, there you go. There’s my opinion on MagicJack. It’s free, it’s simple, and it works. Try it for yourself. You may want to consider this as an alternative to a traditional land-line phone.

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32 thoughts on “What is MagicJack?”

  1. I think skype’s plan is better service, but i haven’t used their landlines stuff. heck its 3 bucks a month. unless this is cheaper. i needed a digital phone service i’d get a wireless usb phone and pay 3 bucks. plus i bet skype would work well with ur contacts in computer. dont know tho.

  2. From the reviews and problems i found in a search of the net I wouldn’t get one.
    The banner ads are just part of the problems and what gets dumped into your computer after you install it and use the device. Do note in state there are some class action law suites. i would tell people to check with their Attorney General’s Office in their state if they are having problems.

    Google search for complaints on Magic Jack or just reviews and you can see there is some thing wrong going on.

    I am going to stick with my Skype for now $36 and i can call anywher and I us mt thumb drive with a u3 to let me run it from any system nearly.

    GC

  3. When MagicJack is turned off, callers go to voicemail. That message is then emailed to you as an audio file. The email also contains the number of the caller… So you don’t have to worry about keeping it on all the time.

    I live in Amsterdam and, because of MagicJack, now have a US-based number for my clients to call.

    It is virtually free for me to call anywhere in the US from Amsterdam using my computer.

  4. Hi Chris – just wanted to let you know you didn’t need to go out and buy that phone as you should have been able to plug in the base of your cordless and talk away! Glad the experience was a good one for you though.

  5. This look inconvenient for users with laptops. But for someone with a computer which runs 24 hours a day anyway… of course, it doesn’t look like it is compatible with Linux, so you probably couldn’t connect it to a linux home server. IMO stand alone VOIP devices are going to better most people for every day use.

  6. Great! I have seen there commercial so many times on tv, and from what they say in the ad, looks like they are doing pretty good!

    I guess, for me the cellphone serves the purpose ( though i hate it when sometimes the call drops while i am in a middle of a conference), so haven’t really used a land line in a long long time.

  7. I am from Ontario and spend my winters in Florida. I use Magic Jack to manage most of my telephone communications. I also purchase a local (to Florida) cell phone.

    I’ve setup my Magic Jack so that it forwards calls to my cell phone when it is disconnected.

    So here is my process.

    When I leave home (Ontario) I call forward my line to Magic Jack. I call forward my Magic Jack to my USA cell phone. As soon as I cross the border I can receive all my calls as if I was at home.

    When I get to my Florida destination I call forward my Magic Jack to the phone in the house where I am. All my incoming calls are then regular phone to regular phone.

    If I happen to be away from the house for an extended period of time I re-forward the Magic Jack to the cell phone.

    It just works.

    I use my Magic Jack for outgoing calls to my clients. My phone costs are now fully managed.

    Hope this helps.

  8. I’ve been using it for over 2 years without a hiccup. Great for when we go off to Myrtle Beach twice a year.

    The best story is that I showed it to my doctor who has a daughter living in Italy. He got one, configured it with a phone number and shipped it off to his daughter along with a $10 phone from Walmart. He can now talk to her and his grandchildren anytime he wants, with a local call, and vice versa. He just has to remember the 6 hour time difference (6 PM here is Midnight there).

  9. I have been using magicjack for awhile now. I started with it to save money. There are a few things that need to be “ironed out”, as I think anything new usually does need, but so far, it is working for me.

  10. I have used MagicJack for over 6 months now, and have signed up for the 5 year plan. I am extremely pleased with it. A couple of things to note:

    1 – Now that you have activated the account you can plug it into anyone’s computer and it will work so long as they have a high speed internet connection.

    2 – You can take it with you on the road and it works so long as you have a high speed internet connection.

    3 – You do not need a phone, you can use your laptop speakers and laptop mike.

    4 – You do not have to have it on to receive calls. It has an answering machine that records incoming calls and sends you and email with the message the person left. Don’t forget when you are at work or not at home your regular phone will activate it’s answering machine and take a message.

    5 – You can change your phone number one time for free, there after it will cost you a one time fee of $10.00 to change it to a different number.

    6 – No monthly payments.

    Give it a try I think you will get rid of Vontage.

    Ruben

  11. There is no competitor to the Magic Jack! You didn’t mention the cost, but for less than $20 a year, one can have unlimited calling to any land line or mobile phone. I don’t know why anyone would want Vonage instead of Magic Jack. It has been dubbed “the Vonage Killer” by some. Vonage costs more per month than Magic Jack does for an entire year.

  12. I have had a Magic Jack for about 8 or 9 months now, and i am very impressed. Every time i boot up my laptop, no matter where i am, Magic Jack is there, it works and the yearly license is less, need i say Much less than a regular monthly phone bill. If you are near a hot spot with high speed your in business. Just wish I could get around carrying a trimline phone with me. I took a chance and bought the 2 year license, I’m good till mid 2010 and all for $38.90 not including the jack which was $19.95 also. BUT i am still way ahead money wise, and i still have not had a bad connection. They offer updates to the software from time to time and you keep your assigned number where ever you go. Take that to the Bank.

  13. Hey, Chris! Where ya been? This thong’s been out for a good while, so much so that it’s being sold in WALMART here in Illinois. I could not believe it.

    Wonder what the oomo folks would think of this. *grin*

  14. The thing I don’t like about Magic Jack is that you must keep your computer up and on-line 24/7. If your computer crashes, you’re without a phone. Putting all you eggs in one basket does not give me a warm fuzzy on this type of phone system regardless of the price.

  15. Thought about going this route as well…until I started reading many more negative reviews about the service. These range from double billing you for the yearly service charge…excessive charges on whatever credit or debit card you would use for service…no way to get hold of anyone if you have questions or problems….plus too many more complaints than I can remember.

    After reading just a small number of complaints which pulled up in Google…decided it was a great idea from the wrong company.

  16. I had purchased and used magicJack during my stay in US for a few months. Thereafter I brought it back to India and regularly use it from here thru PC interface. (You don’t necessarily need a corded phone for the Jack to work!!) I call my friends/ relations in US as though I am calling locally. Real cool.

  17. let people know to add a shortcut to magicjack in their startup folder. if you do not you will have to go to my computer and start it from there.

  18. It’s okay for a second phone line or for a portable number to use when traveling, but I don’t think it would be good to use it as a primary phone.

    When I tested it out I noticed the following things about it that I didn’t like:

    – Three way calling is Incoming Only. You can only start a 3 Way Call if someone calls you while you’re on the phone with someone else, however this feature is kind of useful since I always wanted to be able to start 3 way calls if someone calls on caller waiting, but I still want to be able to make outgoing 3 way calls as well.

    – No incoming caller ID name. When a caller calls your number it only shows their phone number, no caller ID name, and for blocked calls it shows up as “Anonymous” with number “_ _ _ – _ _ _ – _ _ _ _”

    – No outgoing Caller ID Name. When you call someone from your Magic Jack phone number it shows as “Out of Area” or “Name Unavailable” for the Caller ID Name.

    -International calling is NOT free. They mislead you by saying “Free International calling” on the package when they actually mean that if you take your Magic Jack to another country you can call your family and friends in the US, but that doesn’t mean you can call numbers in that country for free.

    -Voice quality can by choppy at times. Sometimes the voice quality can be choppy at times even with cable Internet like I have.

    -Calls sometimes don’t go through. Sometimes when calling someone the program will just not place the call at all until the program is reset. The program can be quite glitchy at times and needs some bug fixing and updating.

    -Free 411 is just 1-800-FREE-411. Another misleading thing is that they say “Free 411” when all they do is connect you to a Free 411 service that anyone with any type of phone can access for free, even Skype.

    Although, I did like when you put someone on hold that it actually plays real hold music. lol xD

  19. Chris,

    I’m a confirmed fan of MagicJack. We use it in our office in the Philippines to keep in contact with our U.S. clients. It works great as long as our internet connection is stable. But I am confused about you saying it is free. We just extended our subscription for another year for 19.95. There are other options available. Still that is very cheap for such a service that you can carry with you anywhere you have a broadband connection.

  20. I brought it, worked with rough static occasionally, got worse, traded in for another one, did the same. The quality inbound was fine, but everyone complained about not being able to understand me. They wouldn’t refund my money because I bought it from Radio Shack, which is fine, but they wouldn’t even trade it out, or give me support because it was simply up to the vendor, not the manufacturer. Their customer service really does suck. I use it just for voice mail.

  21. We have it… found that it works better with Windows XP than the VIsta software. We sent it to family in Algeria. They use it to call other family around the US. Sometimes the phone quality is bad, loses/drops call, but overall a good deal for us as all we have is cel phones…no land line. We use it to call friends that are not on our same provider network. It’s a great way to save on our cel phone minutes.

  22. I thought I’d add this little bit about fax support. MagicJack does not officially support fax transmissions however with some tweaking can be made to work. Here’s where it gets interesting. Software based fax programs seem to work fine using a modem regardless of the OS, and all of the voice features as well. However, for some reason using an actual fax machine will not work properly on XP (Vista untested) but works perfectly in Server 2003. Officially Server 2003 is unsupported with only XP and Vista listed, not sure about Windows 7.

    If anyone has any ideas why fax support may not work on XP and how to fix it I’d love to hear them. Hope this helps someone and sorry for the long post.

  23. Ooma is the superior web phone service, high startup costs about $200, free forever thereafter. Superior quality
    Magicjack is great for travel from net/notebook

  24. Can someone call 411 and get my phone number if I switch to Magic Jack? I am the only person left in my nuclear family, and I want anyone in my extended family to be able to find me and call me if they want to.

  25. My works about as good as my cellphone so it’s ok by me. Once I downloaded Magicfeatures it has more features than my old landline phone plus a few others like call recording and talking caller id.

  26. Worked ok the 1st year with occasional dropped calls. Had to use MagicFix a number of times to get the latest updates when static became a problem. Got it with a “foreign exchange”, i.e. another area code and exchange elsewhere in the state to make it a local call for some family members there. The 2nd year gave up about 3 months in when the magic jack dropped calls after about 20-30 seconds and exited (over and over again).
    Tried again a few more times and still exited after 20-30 seconds. Family wasn’t using it to call us anyways. Now I use a calling card that costs 2.5 cents per minute (would be 1.5 /minute if they had a local access number here.) (ask for referral if interested)

  27. where would I get a computer and what do I pay for the computer.With the computer, I am adding another junk.Soooo,it is useless for a person with out a computer-millions do not have the luxury.I am getting a little ahead,Chris, I am a Pnomy, am computer geek,well before this gadget arrived,I used to talk to people with a computer-just a microphone and speaker.Of course,I had to buy a computer and the days USB had just one port

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