Magic Jack: Follow-up Review (Phone Service, $20 a year)

I’ve mentioned before that I was getting ready to get Magic Jack to replace our home phone service.  It’s phone service that you run through your internet, and it is ONLY $20 A YEAR! The first year is $40, because you have to pay $20 for the equipment that they send you.  But each following year is only $20!

Before I get into my review of Magic Jack, I have to share a funny story.  We called AT&T to cancel our home phone service.  When they asked us why we wanted to cancel, we told them we were going to be getting a better deal elsewhere.  The phone agent proceeded to tell us she could reduce our bill to $23 a month if we wanted.  This just goes to show that you can get your bills reduced if you will call and negotiate with companies.  “Walk Away Power” is the biggest key to getting the best deal (Dave Ramsey principle).

Of course, AT&T still couldn’t compete with $20 for a year, so it was really quite humorous hearing the agent’s reaction when we told her the deal we were getting.

So onto my review of Magic Jack…

Likes:

Easy and quick to install.

Inexpensive.

It can go anywhere with me around the world, and I can use it with just a computer and internet connection. Any calls I make home will count as local still, because I’ll be using my own local phone and phone number.

Includes things like call waiting, long distance, caller ID, voice mail, directory assistance, free phone number, emergency 911 service, and more!

No extra state and federal fees are added to my phone bill (you all know those extra fees I am talking about).

Reception is very clear.  It doesn’t seem any different from the reception I had with AT&T.

Dislikes:

There is a slight delay when I make a call, because the phone has the send the information to the computer and the computer dials the number.

You have to have a computer with an internet connection in order to use it.

With these few exceptions of things I don’t like, I will easily put up with them in order to save as much money as I am.  My phone bill was around $40/mo (not including all the fees added on).  Even if I had gotten my AT&T bill down to $23/mo (not including all the fees), my savings by using Magic Jack is still $236 for the first year ($276-$40).

I honestly hope that you all will give Magic Jack a try.  A lot of people will hesitate seeing the price, because they think it will end up being cheap/junky equipment or poor service.  I’m telling you that I am so happy since I have gotten Magic Jack!  It’s saving us so much money, and the quality of service is just as good if not better than AT&T!  And the equipment is great and easy to install!

Magic Jack also offers a 30-day trial, so if you are not happy you can send it back in for a full refund.  So even if you try it and don’t like it, you will not have wasted your initial $40 for equipment and the first year. I hope you all will give it a try, and I’d love to hear any feedback if you have tried Magic Jack!

128 Comments:
  1. What I’ve wondered about Magic Jack is how does is it work for phones that are not in the same room as your computer? Can you still have phones throughout the house?

  2. We’ve used Magic Jack for a year now! I love not having a monthly bill…we just paid our first yearly $20 bill! We are moving in about 6 weeks and won’t have to worry about getting a new number or anything! :D We’ve had great service from Magic Jack!

    Sometimes we have issues with cable internet (which is what we use). At those times we are without service…it’s usually only a few minutes but has been as long as one day. I still think it’s worth it. Lots of people have cable phone service and they would have the same issues with cable that we have. And when we move, we are getting DSL.
    .-= Bethany´s last blog ..Laughter =-.

    • I tried different phones until all of a sudden I have caller ID. All phones are not the same.

  3. I thought Magic Jack and ATT were the same service? Just under diff. names? I love my magic jack though. I got charged $46 after taxes.

    Only problems: Sometimes it won’t connect when I power up the computer and I have to take out the USB and put it back in.

    Sometimes there’s a bit of static.

    We have a cordless phone and I can even go outside with it without missing a beat.

  4. okay, so stupid question, I don’t have to keep my local service, to still be able to keep my Internet service? I have embarq (sprint changed to embarq a couple years ago around my neck of the woods) phone service and Internet service, so if I could cancel the local service (I don’t have long distance) and keep the Internet then I would love to get the magic jack. So if I have not confused any one yet I would love a reply, LOL Thanks
    _____________________________________________

    The Thrifty Mama here: You will have to have a stand alone internet service, like DSL, satellite or cable; a service that isn’t dependent on a phone line.

    • @Thrifty Mama: not true.
      @Crystal : depending on your specific phone company you may be able to just have your internet, not net AND phone. We use CenturyTel(subsidiary of Embarq) and chose to only go with the internet because the phone service was over $60 a month and we use our cells. So you can get “stand alone” DSL thru most phone co’s without having to have their phone service too.

  5. I have had HORRIBLE problems with mine:(I wish I could say the wonderful things about mine that you guys have.Mine worked great for about 4 months,and then one day for some reason NOBODY can figure out,I signed on my puter and nothing from MagicJack.I lost all my saved numbers and could not get it to work.Customer service kept telling to reformat the drive on my computer.I finally gave up(after doing this EVERY DAY for over a month.The quality stunk after that initial loss and now I have a new computer and same problem(just in case someone thought it was the old puter,I did until then lol).I want to think possibly it got fried for some reason.But I would hate to waste ANOTHER $40,ya know?they have awful customer service for this type of thing too.All they know to tell you is to reformat,no other solutions were ever given:(

    • I’m sorry to hear that Tonya. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, though! I hope Magic Jack can figure that out some day soon.

    • We got the extra insurance when we signed up which covers it if something happens.

  6. ive only had it for a few weeks, but so far, we love ours. totally worth it…we have our computer on most of the day anyways. we kept our cell phone for late night possible emergencies and traveling, so its great!

  7. Thanks TM for the reply!! I was thinking the same thing that you said!! Thanks again!!

  8. What kind of internet service do you use. I have been thinking of trying this but I have my phone and internet through AT&T. Can you cancel just your phone service but not your internet? Or would I have to completely switch to a different type of provider like cable? Just wondering cause if it’s as good as you say then it’s an awesome deal!

    _____________________________________________

    The Thrifty Mama here: we still have our internet with AT&T. It’s just not bundled with home phone service anymore. You can cancel one and not the other.

  9. We’ve had MJ since November and have been happy for the most part. There is only one place to plug a phone into the “line”, so for multiple handsets in various parts of the house, you have to have a phone that allows multiple handsets. Our cordless has one base unit and one phone that just plugs into power (but not the phone line). Our phone allows for 4 or 5 total handsets though if you buy more. Also, our Caller ID works most of the time by the 2nd ring on the phone, too. If I am on the line and a call comes in, I do have to look at the computer to see who it is.

  10. I would love to use it but cannot have internet here in this town without the phone service. So I must have both through my phone company…

    As far as walking away power, I just got walk in power. Talked dish to give me a $10 credit a month for adding a service. She thought I would not do anyhting without the extra incentive, but little did she know, I was going to regardless :) There is a $10 savings for just talking about my options….
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..What a day =-.

  11. Magic Jack just makes me save more than $ 1800 .
    I sent it to my parents who live abroad, this way in Lebanon they have a USA number to call from and get phone calls to .
    we talk one hour total per day . I had starphone for international calls 1 hour = $ 5
    $5 x 30 days = $150/month
    150 x 12 = $1800
    Magic Jack is just surreal to me! I wonder if Vonage works the same way..

  12. Tonya did you ask them if they would replace yours with a new one? They should! It doesnt cost them a penny, they should keep you satisfied… try complaining and getting it replaced!
    I just wonder what the problem seems to be. So is your computer not recognizing Magic Jack?
    I’m afraid something broke in it,if accidently someone pressured on it .
    Also try plugging it into someone else’s computer, though you said you’ve already used it on 2 different ones, you think it has anything to do with your telephone line jack or smth..
    hope you can get it to work because it is just great :)

  13. Another point of view….I was excited to read this and so I started to talk to my husband about this who have a lot of friends in the technical fields but they haven’t been very impressed with Magic Jack because its reliance on the computer rather than the internet connection. Similar to TM’s dislike. My husband’s view is it isn’t really phone service like you get with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and others.
    If you do a search on google you will find a couple sites from Magic Jack and the rest are complaints. However, as we all know all places and things have complaints.

    Here is an interesting article about it too: http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2009/03/12/magicjack_far_from_enchanting/

    Funny Complaint here:
    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/320/ripoff0320581.htm

    We’ve been using Vonage for 4 years now and only spend $23 a month (including taxes and fees -normally $17) for 500 minutes. We use about 100 minutes. The minutes are for only out going and they are local and long distance. We don’t have to have a computer online and can use any phone in the house. However, there are a lot of people that complain about Vonage.

    My take is if you don’t have to rely on your phone service (like we do when we are at home) then look into Magic Jack and see if it works. $40 isn’t that much to try it out and then return it if necessary. Plus, you don’t mind having a computer running all of the time.

    I think everyone should do what TM did and call your phone service company and negotiate the cost. You might be spending more then you should!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Updated Staples Post =-.

  14. Does your computer have to be on all the time for magic jack to work? Thanks in advance for your answer!

    • Yes it does. I bought one and returned it the next day. If you even put your computer to sleep, your phone won’t work. It cut out on me, and was choppy. And I only had it for a day. Wasn’t for us, but people have had luck with it.

  15. Saving money is very important now days but there is one thing more important than that, and that is called safety. Remember that a landline is connected with 911 and even in a case of power outage your phone will still work if you have a corded equipment. With Magic Jack you will save money with your phone bill but your energy cost will go up so as your computer maintnance. Remember with magic jack your computer must be on 24/7 otherwise the calls will go to a voice mail. So let’s all think about that.

    __________________________________

    The Thrifty Mama here: Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here guys, but you can still have emergency 911 service to any phone hooked to a phone jack. This is so that people who can’t afford to pay for ridiculous phone services can still have access to help when they need it. In my home, we have another phone hooked up to the phone jack, and I have actually listened to a recording when I mistakenly tried to dial out, and it told me I only had access to emergency 911 service on this line.
    So, having Magic Jack in no way puts us in more jeopardy. And MJ actually makes it easier for 911 service to find you because you can make sure the correct address is attached to the number when you register it. There is also an easy button to press on the computer that will automatically dial 911. I hope this helps!

  16. We’ve had good luck with ours.The only downsides being that 1)PCs never let me burn a disc while it’s plugged in,so I have to remove it & 2) They didn’t have any local numbers for our city,so we had to get a number from a city over 50 miles away,which is in a different state altogether.

    Those things aside,service is wonderful.Except that it will hang up mid-call if your internet goes down.We have Comcast Cable Internet,and that has happened to me a few times.

  17. We have an older computer that we use specifically for the MJ. We leave it on all of the time so we can get our calls any time of day. You could really just turn off your computer at night and only leave it on during the day. Most people have cell phones for those emergency calls. And yes Crystal, you’re right. You can still dial 911 without having regular phone services.

  18. The only disadvantage that I can see is that if your power goes out, then magic jack won’t work, but a regular phone line would still work.

  19. So then, the computer has to be on if you want to use the phone? We are big fans of turning the computer off and the power switch off when not using it…. But if it saves money….

  20. how did you get the service and phone for only $40 for the first year? please post any codes for this deal!

  21. i just finished all the posts. thank for the 911 tip! I didn’t know…
    For the cell phone users out there, It has been explained to me by technical support that any cell call or text message is really the equivalent of an email. This is why cells, internet & emails can all be linked together.
    I’m not thrilled about the spy ware but it’s everywhere online. I will be using an acer lap top computer. They are only $200 and you can put them in your purse! These new small lap tops are fast, have a lot of memory but no dvd/cd driver. Everything is downloaded by the internet or usb.

  22. In my area, if the power goes out, we still lose our landline, and here even if you don’t have phone service you can not dial out to 911. So usually when it is stormy around here and we lose power I keep my cell close, my cell is a prepaid and works very well in my area (and even if you don’t have any minutes you can still dial 911 for an emergency situation)

  23. thank you so much for doing this review. We have also been thinking of switching and so far i only know one other person that has it and they are also happy so i think this month will be the last that i pay $45 for our land line. When we signed up it was $35 (+fees) but i just checked my bill last month and it went up $10 without notice! Again thank you for sharing.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..hahaha =-.

  24. Not mentioned was how does MajicJack keep things so cheap. If you actually read the terms of service you are allowing majic jack to install software on your PC for advertisements etc. also known as adware and spyware.
    As we all know having spyware begets more spyware. I know this because I’m a technical person and work with computers everyday.

    Here’s the appropriate part of the TOS:
    11. Advertisements
    You also understand and agree that use of the magicJackTM device and Software will include advertisements and that these advertisements are necessary for the magicJackTM device to work and for the service to be free in the first year of the agreement (and subsequent licenses to be at minimal cost). Advertisements will be served through the magicPageTM Software. magicPageTM Software attempts to serve local advertisements and classifieds using a completely automated process that enables us to effectively target dynamically changing content. Our computers may analyze the phone numbers you call in order to improve the relevance of the ads. We do not provide any personal information to our advertisers or third parties. magicJack has a policy of restricting advertisers that it believes are inappropriate, but it does not guarantee the accuracy or integrity of any advertisers and does not endorse any of the advertisements that may appear in connection with use of the magicJackTM device. You also understand and agree that use of the magicJackTM device and Software may include certain communications, such as service announcements, administrative messages and newsletters, and you will not be able to opt out of receiving them.

    Just be aware of what you are agreeing to.

  25. ThriftyMama – This is a great topic!!!

    In regards to your 911 comment about landlines I thought you might want to read this. This is important. Not ALL states have soft line laws.

    Read this article:
    Consumer Reports about Soft Lines
    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2009/05/update-about-911-and-disconnected-landlines.html

    FAQS – 911 and VOIP
    http://www.911voip.org/faqs.htm

    Like I mentioned earlier I use Vonage and that is VOIP. Originally we paid $17 a month and since we are now paying over $23 because of the taxes and 911 fees that they have implemented since. I believe it costs $2 for 911 service a month at my location!

    The lesson here is to check and find out about 911 in your area.
    Check to find out if Magic Jack or Vonage can connect to your 911 service and make sure the emergency numbers are available near all of your phones.

    If you have soft lines (911 on land-line) how long that soft lines last, some are only for a couple weeks after the line is cut others forever. In Virginia, we don’t have that requirement so the line is cut off period.

    Thought this would help readers understand it a little bit more.

    To other landline users… that have bills that have increased check your bill and see if it is taxes, fees or 911 costs. A lot of towns are implementing taxes on all phone services more and more because of lost revenue.

  26. My brother-in-law got this before he went overseas to the Middle East (military deployment) and its great because my sister and he can call each other for FREE!!! I have no personal experience with it myself, but they love it! Otherwise, they’d be paying a fortune in calling cards or cell phone bills!
    .-= skywalkerzmom´s last blog ..Lowe’s Foods Trip =-.

  27. I got the magic jack as a gift from my mom and she had no idea what it was but she new I would like it. I was going to order it myself but she beat me to it. The magicjack is so easy to install all you do is plug it right into the USB port on your computer. I have a number that I can take with me anywhere I go. The only thing I don’t like is that at random times when I am on the phone I hear number tones and a few delays but I will deal with it for the very very low cost that I get to have a home phone again. It saves me so much money and now there is no excuse to not get one since you can get it at walgreens, bestbuy and other stores.

  28. This was asked a couple of times, but so far no response: Can you cancel your regular phone line yet keep DSL service (from AT&T or other phone compnay)? Otherwise, I suppose Majic Jack is useful only if you have cable internet, I suppose.

    Anyone know?
    Thanks,
    Bill

  29. Hey, I’m from Canada. Could anyone tell me if Magic Jack has brought their services north of the border?

    • When you have Magic Jack, you can take it anywhere around the world and can use it as long as you have an internet connection and a computer. So I’m assuming you can use it in Canada.

    • Yes they did, I just got one a coupe of days ago and it works just fine. I made several long distance calls with it and it was very clear. You can pick a number from any province for Canada but a Canadian number is 10 $ extra a year over top the initial fees, so it will cost about 50 $ to buy with one year term included plus the 10 $ for a Canadian number, and after that first year it will be total of 30 $ a year if you want a Canadian number with it.
      I didn’t have a land line for about a year because I use my cell alot and rarely used my land line. So with magic jack I can save my cell time and have an extra phone for 30$ a year. I think its a good deal since I didn’t have a land line for a long time, so for me its a bonus. I can put up with the fact that when the computer is off the phone is off, but when I’m home the computer is on and so is Magic Jack. So I think that you should try it it is cheap. Even if you only use it for a year or 2. People spend money on stupid stuff all the time and let this be one of them, but the thing is that you gain a phone line that you can use to call all over Canada and the US, and take it with you if you travel.

      • Does anyone know if you have a US number (living in the US) can you call US and Canada or only US numbers?

  30. Hi, thanks for the review! I was wondering if the Majic Jack can be used with a security system like ADT or Broadview?

    • I was told you can’t connect alarm with MJ, However you can have it conneced to the cell phone lines it cost a flat rate to do it. you’ll have to call your alarm Co. and ask them the details they told me they couldn’t connect with MJ but for a fee they could do it through wireless towers ( not your private cell phone) But the wireless connections outside.They can explain theres a way to do it without landline just not MJ. Hope this isn’t to complicated ( : Lol
      GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
      I do have a MJ and love it.I bought one when they 1st came out and returned it without even trying it I thought it was to good to be true.now 3/4yrs. later I bought one at Walgreens for $39.99. was easy to install and my next cost will be after 1st yr. $20.they also have specials you can pay 5yrs. in advance and get for less than $20.yrly.CHEAP ( :

  31. CVS has the Magic Jack..hmm so we can buy with ecb’s. Has anyone bought it at CVS yet? I can’t remember the price. Does anyone know if it comes with all you need or is their any separate fees to pay after buying the equipment at CVS. Thanks!

    • @benz1968 – I think if you get the Jack from CVS, you still have to pay the $20 for the first year. Just like if you buy online you pay for the jack and also the first year, which makes it come to $40. But don’t quote me on that, because I haven’t bought this from CVS.

      @Jennifer – I haven’t tried that one yet, but I think they are completely different companies.

  32. Thanks . I’ll check it out. Still worth it. My sister and brother in law think it’s great. They use it all the time. He works in NYC and they live in Middletown new york.

  33. Any internet telephone service cannot guarantee 911 service due to power outage, internet service disruption, or the technology in your local 911 dispatch may not be able to receive E-911 address info. This is important because if your young kids call 911 and cannot state their address in a frenzy, the dispatch may not know your address. Search the FCC’s website for “PSAP registry” to find out if your city can receive E-911 addresses. The agreement for any of these internet phone services will have a clause that says to maintain alternate 911 service. Do a search for E-911 and VOIP (voice-over IP) to learn more.

    Our phone company offers what is called a dry line for dsl. It is an utterly stripped down phone service (we even pay for local, but we can receive calls for free, and we have guaranteed 911 service). We pay $44 out the door per month for dsl and phone service.

  34. Majic Jack is $49.99 at CVS wonder if that includes the first year of service or if that’s just for the equipment?

  35. Is possible to make use of magic jack for fax machine? And is there anyway I can be working on my internet and magic jack still working?
    Thank you

    • Yes you can I tried it and it works if you are on the net. I was talking and facebooking at the same time lol.

  36. We got it too, my husband suggested it a day or two after I read your posting. I wonder if he’s reading your blog too! Anyhow, the problem we have with it is that you cannot keep your old phone number, which is important for us right now. The customer service people have been a great help. One told me that they hope to have the phone number transferring feature available in a month or two. It is still worth the $$.

  37. We’re absolutely in love with our magic jack! For the first month, we decided to leave our local service on, just in case anything went wrong. That was a mistake.. since everything is great! We’ll be turning off the other line next month, and only paying $20/yr!

  38. Have not had a good experience with it. Had hoped to use it primarily with faxes, but doesn’t work for that 99% of the time. Have essentially given up on it and unplugged it. Lots of static and have also found that it doesn’t work with some touchtone systems. I found it’s promises too good to be true unfortunately – atleast for my needs.

  39. I have high speed internet with Verizon. Will my high speed still work? I also have a home office where I connect to the network of my company from time to time, will MJ allow me to do that?

    • I think it will still work because magic jack runs through on the internet through your computer, it will not change anything with your internet speed, its just like running any other program on your computer, and it has nothing to do with your connection.

  40. We tried MagicJack and ended up returning it. it worked great for the first month to 6 weeks and then it got horrible. Very “computerized” sounding. Calls were very choppy. It eventually got so bad that I did not want to call anyone. We returned it to the store with no questions asked. We have vonage now – Love it.

  41. I’ve had my magic jack almost a year now. I LOVE it when I purchased it they had a deal where if you paid for the next 5 years when you bought it it was only 60.00 for five more years which was an awesome deal. I bought a cordless phone but it didn’t seem to have very good quality I plugged another phone in and it works GREAT!!!!

  42. We have Vonage. $25/mo for everything. They have great customer service. I suppose if you leave your computer on all the time, don’t mind stopping work when someone is making a call, and don’t ever need to talk to anyone (ever), then it might be worth it. We use it too much to risk it.

  43. Someone told me that with theirs if someone calls their home it charges that person long distance charges even if it is their neighbor. So they never answer the phone and just call the person back. Is that so?
    .-= Alana´s last blog ..HOT Crocs Deal. HURRY! =-.

  44. Hello! I have thought about magic jack, but my husband works for AT&T and my conscience doesn’t let me do it (the change), seen all those reps like my husband getting laid off horrifies me , i rather pay more for the service when i know that’s going to keep more families like mine from going to the welfare office to get food stamps. I’ll keep saving money by clipping my coupons.

  45. Crystal, I know this is an old post, but you referenced it recently so thought it was relevant. Your links now take you to some random website and not to Magic Jack :D I sent the link to your post to my husband and he commented ;D

  46. Crystal,
    Are you still “feeling the Love” for the Magic Jack? I only have a home number through AT&T for my high speed DSL internet service, also through AT&T, therefore when my computer is not in use I don’t need the home number. If I am understanding this I can leave the DSL internet service and cancel the 40.00+ home phone and capture a major savings for 2010 and forward.
    Thank you for all you do on this site! The story on your brother yesterday was so great!
    Becca

    • Hey Becca,

      We are still using Magic Jack, and are very happy. It is an adjustment, because your computer must be left on for it to work. There is also that initial delay that I talked about in my post. But, those small inconveniences are worth saving hundreds of dollars a year. Everyone just has to decide if they want to pay for convenience or not. I suggest everyone at least tries it. What do you have to lose? Only $40, but if it works, think of how much you will be saving. That was kinda my thinking on it when I first signed up.

  47. I LOVE my MagicJack! I actually ported my home # to a cell phone and use the cell mostly. However, with 4 kids, I needed the unlimited home line for them to use when talking with friends, etc. It is great! The only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

    • Mary, How long have you had the magic jack? I’ve seen some bad reviews…and most say the service goes south after a few months.

  48. I think you can keep your # in some areas. I did not even try b/c I did not need to. I have had it since July. At first it didn’t work great, but then I figured out it was my computer, not the Magic Jack. I plugged it into another computer and it is awesome. And honestly, even when it was not working as well, it still beat the land line phone bill!

  49. I just rcvd’ mine as well, yesterday as a matter of fact. I am so excited about he amount of money this will save! It was simple to install & works just fine at this point. I did come across the is site calle pi$$ed off consumer & they said something about MJ not really being unlimted & they put a restriction on his phone! Does anyone know anyone about this or did he just really abuse it by setting auto-calling service for telemarketing LOL only thing I can think that would be ‘
    abusive. Day II I love it!

  50. We’ve had nothing but problems with the magic jack. It rings when it wants to. Frustrating for people who are trying to get a hold of us. The voice mail doesn’t always work. Sometimes I have to put in my password a few times before it will recognize it. ALSO, people can hear me clearly, but I can’t hear them very well. They sound choppy and I have to constantly have them repeat what they are trying to say to me. So frustrating!

  51. I was talking to my husband about this and he told me not to do it. (He is in law enforcement) He said that using this opens your computers up and there are hackers that can get right into your computer with this. Just FYI.

    • Ah-Oh…. did not even think of that. How is that exactly? Please explain? Thanks.
      Tammy

    • Honestly I do not know but I trust him since he is the head of the computer crimes task force. He told me they have had many cases with phone over the internet companies. This is not the only one. I was so bummed because I thought this was a great savings per year.

  52. The only thing that keeps me from canceling my landline is that every year we have at least 2 power outages, due to storms so I like having a reliable landline phone in case of emergenies. I have a cell phone, but during storms, my reception is terrible and I have problems getting a clear signal, call drops etc. Last year during one big storm, we were out of power for about 2 weeks, and without power you can’t exactly charge up your cell phone. This year I did downgrade my landline phone plan to very basic services (since we don’t really make calls on this phone), and it has saved me quite a bit of money. Magic jack sounds like a great deal if you want to make long distance calls. I have AT&T and my long distance is about $10/month flat rate. So I would definately consider dropping my long distance plan and try magic jack for outside local calls and long distance.

  53. I’ve had MJ for two years, saved a ton of money, and am very happy! I was paying $33/mo prior to that with Qwest. I have an occasional problem but for a $376 annual savings, I can roll with the occasional dropped call or fuzzy connection, it’s comparable to cell problem issues and everyone’s fine with those. To those having problems, try installing the TigerJet drivers; you can find them in Wndows Update under the optional section. If you’re on a Mac, do a search for TigerJet drivers.

    Not buying MJ because AT&T people will get laid off, that’s like not buying expensive jewelry because LaRog employees will get laid off. Just spend that money elsewhere and you’re still supporting the economy! The whole point of capitalism is to make good products and services at good prices survive and weed out the rabble. If a company can’t stand the competition, they need to get out of the market or improve and we as consumers have the privilege of assuring this based on where we spend our money. Of course, if you mean you’re worried not about the company per se but your husband’s friends getting fired, I can understand that.

    April, MJ does require an open port to work but a lot of things require that, Outlook and Windows Live Messenger require that too, it’s no more dangerous than being on a network or using the internet. I’d recommend having a firewall whether or not you have MJ.

    Karla, 9-1-1 works whether or not you have phone service; just keep a phone plugged directly into the wall for 9-1-1 use if you like, I do that in case there’s an emergency in the middle of the night and I don’t want to wait for my computer to boot. (MJ has 9-1-1 service too and it’s preprogrammed with your contact info, but of course that’s useless if the power goes out.)

    Tammy: I’ve never had a restriction placed on mine and I use it for plenty of very long calls.

    KeriLyn: Keeping your same home #…not yet but they say it’s coming. (But they’ve been saying that for awhile so don’t hold your breath.) The wording from FAQs on magicjack.com:

    “NOT YET. You will be able to transfer or “port” your existing local phone number to magicJack, for a nominal fee, sometime in 2009.”

    • hey thanks Angelique!
      I now have a new concern… after only a week I have been getting disconnected during a call? This has happend two times. Anyone else? Angelique?

      • Try deleting your call history and defragging the computer. Deleting the call history every few days seems necessary to keep it running smoothly, at least for me. I will say that it works SOOOO much better on my new superfast PC than it did on my older PC.

      • What Carolyn recommended sounds like a great idea. You could also try deleting your temp stuff by right-clicking on C drive, going to Properties, and Disk Cleanup. I’ve gotten some great advice various times from the unofficial MJ forum at http://www.magicjacksupport.com/search.php although I’d say look at several people’s solutions before acting on something, get a consensus going. Do a search for “dropped”, I notice several people in there mention having calls drop at the 5 minute mark.

        I am convinced that there are always going to be some problems because MJ charges too little so it must be nearly impossible for them to afford decent support or hardware. I think most people would be happier if the device was more expensive but had fewer problems and better support.

  54. We bought Ooma which is like Magic Jack except the computer does not need to be on. Ooma’s initial cost is a little more, but you can port your number over. You also have the choice of purchasing their Premier service for 9.99 a month which gives you several more features. A work colleague of my husband has both MJ which he uses for travel and Ooma for his home.

    My reason for eliminating the traditional telephone company was their total indifference to a problem we kept having on our line. The final time we had the issue after emailing and calling numerous times, it lasted an entire month. They gave us a whole 3.00 credit for it even though our phone was unusable for the whole month. I wrote and called them and they could have cared less. I look forward to making my call to them in a few weeks once the number is ported over and giving them the heave-ho!

    • Keep us updated as to how Ooma works out for you! Yeah, I don’t think MagicJack cares any more than Qwest did, but at $20/yr instead of $33/mo, I can roll with it!

  55. This is a good idea in theory. However, you will end up wearing out your computer faster. I have a computer that cost at least $1,000 to replace, probably more, and if you leave your computer on all the time to receive calls, then you will cut off about half its useful life. Computers need to be shut off and rebooted every now and then. Granted, it will still probably last 4 or 5 years, but it is probably cutting off about $100 in savings per year. When you factor that in and the fact that my basic phone service in Alaska only costs me about $15 per month, it seems that it is not worth it to switch as it is less convenient. Still would save me about $55 per year, maybe even $100 over a year, but that is not worth the convenience of having a phone that is not tied to a computer and that does not have a delay, at least not to me. A few bucks a month is no biggie. I rarely use long distance, but if I do I can call from my cell phone or from my calling card which is less than 3 cents per minute.

  56. I love MagicJack! I sent one to my boyfriend in Australia and I can call him whenever I want and its not an international call. He can call me whenever he wants as well. It works great. They seem to limit us on time. We do sometimes get cut off at 2 hours, but all you have to do is call back. This is definitely a great product for anyone in the US that has family and/or friends overseas.

  57. Just wondering how well it worked for long distance.. I see one comment is that it works just fine. thanks for the review. I think i will try this.

  58. I have had magicjack for the last year and cannot find any way to pay for it for another.

    Please tell me how to renew for this yearI dont want to order a new phone just renew this one, please…

    • On the side of the box on your computer screen (the one that shows you the call log on the right and has the option for typing in the number you are calling), there should be a scrolling banner ad. One of the ads (its on the left) is an option to renew. I have not renewed mine yet, but it looks like you should just be able to click through and follow the steps.

  59. If u are competent enough to fix ANY issue u have with this unit yourself then by all means try it out. It works when it works – if it doesn’t u will not get much serious help from chatting with technical no support. I have chatted with them for OVER 20 hours for the same problem dealing with W7 and a “corrupt” MJ CD drive, which hangs my computer on boot and will not auto start when plugged in. I have been hung up on 7 times because they refuse to answer MY questions. The chat is one way – they are broadcasting and u rcv only. They will lead u thru the same BS over and over without resolution then hang up – u know – INSANITY. If that doesn’t solve your issue, they will repeat it until your are totally frustrated and give up. Another ploy is to constantly ask u to “wait and be patient”.

    From what I have heard I am going with NETTALK – infinitely better, connects to ur router and u don’t need ur computer on all the time. – and they

    have tech support.

    go figure

    OK got hung up for the 4th time in 3 hours this AM. Do you have what it takes to deal with this no technical support Indians with american names – the ‘PEGGYs of Magicjack”.

  60. The 2011 CES (Consumer Electronics Showcase) rated the Ooma as the best VoIP product, over Magic Jack and Vonage.
    We have the option of remote work days, and the Ooma set up is a much better product for us. With multiple handsets, you can have two different calls going (and still have call waiting and fax capabilities); essential for a household like ours. Another key feature of the Ooma is that we get voicemail notices to our email inbox. We never miss a message!

    The initial investment was well worth it; we pay $13/ mo for service with unlimited calls and long distance.

    • Magic Jack also sends you an email if you have a voicemail. You can even hear it right at your inbox.

  61. We have had magic jack for over a year. LOVE IT! It works great and we have not had any problems. We have a cordless phone connected so we can use the phone anywhere in the house. I highly recommend it.

  62. Has anyone ever asked your friends if they have a hard time contacting you on your land line when you have a MJ? Our friends had a MJ and we could never reach them except via cell phone because either their computer wasn’t on or it was asleep (from what I’ve read above, that causes the MJ not to work also?). They finally got rid of it & now we can reach them on their land line. Just another thought…

  63. I get a dial tone even after I dial a number that I want. Dial tone before and after dialing. What can I do or what can you do for me? Also, how do I get VMAIL?

  64. MJ said that there is only 3 step ,I am on my third day trying to intall it still can’t figure it out and the same with there staff support.Is there a easyer way.

  65. I love this site and the friendly way you all engage in conversation to help one another! Have been soooo tempted to fire AT&T and go to MJ. As a nurse, I’ve always kept a “land line” in addition to my cell phone to ensure 911 access in the event of power outage (a handheld remote phone with a charger base WILL NOT work during a power outage). As an experiment, try turning off your electric breakers and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Weather can be severe here but even if the power goes out, the land line still works as does the cell phone. Anyone old enough to remember some years back when a cell phone satellite went out and a large portion of the east coast was without cell phones? Think it lasted about three days! So, can anyone tell me what (if any) deal breaking scenarios MJ may have? My major concern is if there is no cell phone available during a power outtage, MJ goes out too. Then if those at home have no cellular service (for whatever reason) accessing 911 could be difficult at best and tragic at worst. Does it work when you are actually using the computer it is hooked to? Sorry for the long post.

  66. I have MJ+. Works great. Should you ever have a problem, MJ has very inadequate customer support. If you need help with your product your are out of luck. They advertise 30 free trial and immediately charge your credit card. They charge you to change your number to a local area code. They are not customer friendly. I would not recommend. They may even charge your credit card multiple times and there are no english understanding people to call. Their contact number is only for billing and they plan to keep your money no matter what. Read other recommendation on other sites for confirmation of this comment.

  67. That is great that you saved so much money! For us wasting money on magic jack was not worth it. living in a rural area even with high speed internet it sounds like we are calling from inside of an echo box every single time. I have even had the doctor’s office hang up on me time and again because of the sucky connection and them not being able to hear me properly.. It is fun to take in the car or traveling with the laptop however so we keep it around for kicks and giggles. Otherwise it is a total fail.

  68. Can you make long distance (US based) calls at no extra charge?

  69. I bought the majic jack plus and love it. I have no cell service at our newly built home and I was not going to pay comcast or AT&T any money for a hone. I’ve had it almost a month and not had any problems with it. It has a money back gurantee and I bought mine at Radio Shack..

  70. Hi!

    Has anyone tried using the majic jack for their home security system? Just curious because I’m paying $30+ a month for a land line which I don’t use because I use my cell phone I only need a house phone/landline for my home security alarm.

    Thanks in advance for your comment.

  71. I am moving back to my parents, they have ATT, can I use MJ there and it not interfer with their service. I plug my MJ into a phone jack and so will my phone then ring if a call on the ATT or MJ. Boy, I hope that isnt confusing

  72. Seems like Magic Jack has a lot going for them. Will they allow you to keep your same telephone number if you change? Also, it is nice to talk to someone within the country if I need help.

  73. Can I extend my magic jack plus by making a phone call?

  74. When I plug the magic jack in for service what do I have to do with my att land line service? Will the att land line still work? Or do I have to cancel my att land line for mj to work? If both are active will I get a ring on both with incoming calls?
    I mention this because mj has a 30 day trial guarantee. So I would have to hook it up to try to use it and that is why I am asking to above questions about the att land line service.

  75. I am looking at trying it but my friend who tried it said they charged her additional fees to keep her line static? Do ya’ll know what that means? Does it end up costing more than the $20/yr then?

  76. HORRIBLE< AWFUL!!! I was using Magic Jack for a reservation line at my small non-profit theatre. This number is on my business cards, website, marketing, it is how everyone made their reservations.
    Final weekend of our first production we were selling out and then the line kept getting an error message "The number you have dialed cannot be completed, if you feel you have reached this recording in error please check the area code and dial again".
    I spent 4 1/2 hours the first day on the "customer support"chat. Then another 2 hours with remote access support. Calls can be made out, but numerous incoming calls get the error message. Was supposedly bumped up to engineering support, that was 5 days ago and it still isn't working.
    VERY UNHAPPY with Magic Jack. Would not recommend it to anyone that needs reliable service.

  77. I have a question. Before getting Magic Jack, we live out in the country and have Hughes Net as our Internet provider. At&T is our phone Service, we would love to switch to magic jack but not sure if it can be used with our internet provider. Any one know if it will work? We pay a large amount of money for both phone service and internet service, would love to cut At&T all together.

  78. Are you still using Magic Jack? I am thinking about getting MagicJack Plus but the reviews are so mixed. thanks

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