Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday:Magic Jack

We are right now trying this new gadget that is out....I am hoping that it will help us cut some costs by eliminating out home phone service. Many folks out there are switching to using only cell phones with no land line service. We saw an advertisement about this product and decided to try it out.

Here is a little more information about Magic Jack:

Magic Jack is a newcomer to the VOIP (voice over internet protocol) family of internet phoning. It's quick to install, easy to use and the price can't be beat for making unlimited local and long distance calls in the United States and Canada. But is Magic Jack too good to be true?

Like most products, Magic Jack has it's good points and it's not-so-good points. It will be up to you to decide what is most important to you in internet phoning and to choose the product that should work best in your situation.

Magic Jack Pros

  • Low cost to try out. For $39.95 plus shipping and handling, you receive the USB device and the license to use it for unlimited local and long distance calling for one year. Each additional year is $19.95. There are also multi-year packages to purchase at a discount.
  • International calls can be free if you are calling someone who also has the device. For example, if you have a family member that lives in another country, you can purchase a Magic Jack and mail it to them. Then you can call them for free and they can call anywhere in the US and Canada free.
  • Includes many features such as voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, 411 and 911.
  • Save on your cell phone minutes by using it to make calls from home.
  • Uses any ordinary landline telephone, including cordless phones. Headsets and your computer microphone and speakers can also be used.

  • Magic Jack Cons

  • Your computer has to be turned on to use Magic Jack.
  • Service can be intermittent. New company with growing pains, I don't recommend relying on it for your only phone.
  • Directory assistance, or 411 is advertising based if you call it from your phone. If clicking on the soft phone screen that lives on your desktop, you are taken to a web site to look up phone numbers.
  • 911 is through a different system than the 911 you call from a regular telephone. When setting up your Magic Jack it will ask you the physical location of your phone in case of calling 911. Until this service is a lot more stable, I would not rely on their 911 in an emergency. Another reason for keeping your landline phone.
  • If your internet service does not work during a power outage, you will be without this phone service also. Unless you have a cell phone that will work, this is another reason not to cancel your landline phone service. Make sure you keep a phone that doesn't use electricity on hand for emergencies.
  • As with most or all voip services, you must have a high speed internet connection to use this service. These services include broadband, DSL, WiFi, FIOS, cable internet or WiMax. It is not recommended for use with satellite internet.

    If you are interested in having a service that allows you to make free long distance calls, give Magic Jack a try. If dumping your current landline phone service is what you need, investigate the other VOIP services that are available and that have a longer track record of performance.

    So far we have had some bad connections...and experienced the computer being turned off and forgot that it has to be on for the phone to work. But we have cell phones too.....4 different ones to be exact so big deal.

    The service of $19.99 year as opposed to $360.00 a year...well that's a not brainer for us. And as you might have guessed......right now "It Works For Me!"


    Kirby3131 said...

    My husband bought one of them, but still hasn't gotten it installed yet. I don't know why he got it when we have cell phone with virtually unlimited minutes -- we talk to so few people on the phone that to us it is unlimited LOL

    I want to try it though - especially since we have one!

    Thanks for the info!

    My WFMW post this week is about keeping drinks cold.
    Have a great week!
    Kristin (The Goat)

    Buffie said...

    We have this and it works decently for us, but we do mainly use our cell phones. The only reason we really use it is when hubby works from home. He can be on the phone for a few hours a day and that eats up cell phone minutes real fast. (We were previously cell phone only)

    We have noticed that when you use the magicjack through a wireless internet connection it has some issues with static and choppy calls. Other then that, it works well for us and fills the need we had. All of our personal calls are still done on the cell phones and the magic jack is only hooked up when hubby is working from home.

    mub said...

    I love love LOVE my Magicjack. I did have a weird problem with my voicemail and their chat support is a bit slow, but they did get it sorted out. Other than that, it's perfect for my needs. I agree though, I don't think I'd get rid of my landline and use the MJ exclusively.

    Buildeth Her House said...

    I've always wondered if it really does work. I think we might get it and try it, because we have cell phone but hardly ever use home phone, so why not..

    Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

    Humph, I had always wondered about that thing. Thanks for all the info.


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