Find out How Magic Jack Compares to Cell and Landline Service

by Theresa on August 8, 2009 · 4 comments

Magic Jack is a relatively new As Seen on TV product that promises that you can reduce your phone bill down to as little as $20 a year. Unlike Skype that uses a peer-to-peer network, Magic Jack uses a dedicated telephone network so that quality is close to that of a land line. So are these claims to good to be true and are there any downsides to this [tags]as-seen-on-tv-home[/tags] service?

What is Magic Jack?

It's a complete phone service that has all the extras that a standard phone company would offer. A phone number, free voicemail service for receiving messages whether you're offline or online.  Other features that are included in the cost are call waiting, caller ID,  call forwarding, free directory assistance(411), three way calling. Magic Jack doesn't guarantee that 911 calls will work in your area.

Requirements
PC with Windows XP or Vista operating system or a Mac/Apple
Broadband, high-speed internet, cable internet, DSL or WiFi

Advantages

  • Free local and long distance calling to Canada and the US.
  • When you're traveling anywhere in the world, you also get free International calling to US/Canada numbers.
  • You aren't limited to your own state. You can choose from 238 different area codes for almost all cities in the USA.
  • Clear instructions, fairly easy to set up and user friendly.
  • Sound quality is actually better than a cell and as clear as a land line. Although, on occasion there's some issues on with call quality which you'd find  similar to cell phones. Users report that it's still worth the savings.
  • They offer a 30 day free trial with no upfront charges and you don't even have to give out your credit card number.  (There is a fee to ship the product back after the free trial.)
  • The Magic Jack site has live agents to help their customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Works with both corded and cordless phones and headsets. You can also switch between the two.
  • You get the first year free and then its only $20 a year.  Most people are saving between $25-$55 a month.
Magic Jack review and pros/cons

Magic Jack review and pros/cons

Disadvantages

  • Your computer has to be powered on in order for you to use it.
  • Military firewalls block the use of Magic Jack which is also true for Skype and Vonage.
  • The sound quality is dependent on your high speed internet. If you don't have a lot of bandwidth it can effect the quality of your calls.
  • It can't be used as a fax line.
  • You won't have 911 available in a storm when the electricity goes out. Magic Jack also warns that your local 911 may not work well with this device.
  • If you have a screen saver that kicks in when your on a call there will be some distortion in the call.

Some Hints

  1. Not all area codes are eligible to sign up for Magic Jack. The [tags]magic jack[/tags]site says more codes will be added.  I believe that you would then be able to pick an alternative area code that is available but it won't be your regular phone code.
  2. Carl advices that you might want to use it on a cordless phone so you aren't always glued to your computer desk.
  3. It also has a really neat feature where you can Magic Jack can email your voice mail messages as audio files.  This way you can keep and forward special messages to family and friends.
  4. You can also save money if you have business associates or relatives in another state. You can get a number that would be local for them and save both of you on the phone charges.

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Magic Jack is worth the free trial because the savings off your regular phone service is too good to pass up! You might want an alternate phone just to be safe due to safety issues with 911 and the power going out.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David Spector February 12, 2010

If Magic Jack is really this good, you could buy a Netbook computer ($300) for your Magic Jack. Then the whole system would be quite portable. If you saved $30 per month, you’d break even on the expense in less than one year. And, finally, you could use the Netbook whenever you’re not on the phone to do email, browsing the Web, working with your company database, etc.

2 Diane February 19, 2010

Magic Jack is a great Idea. Bought one and got rid of my land line. Thanks Magic Jack Inventor!

3 daniel May 7, 2011

question : can i use magic jack & dial up together

4 Richard June 29, 2011

All I want to know is if the computer goes down why Magic jack does not automaticlly re-load?