Saturday, February 6, 2010

Magic Jack - Review

All of those years I spent bugging my parents for my own phone line for my bedroom, and now everywhere I go I see kids toting around their own cell phones.  How on earth did we keep in touch before? It drives me a little berserk to see kids using them, but I can't deny that cell phones sure are useful.  And with several in a typical household, lots of folks have opted to disconnected their landlines.  Who needs to pay an extra $30 a month for a landline that never gets used?  Who needs a landline?  Well, I do.

Believe it or not, there do exist some people that do not have a cell phone.  For instance, my mother-in-law.  When she comes over to babysit Emma, she has to have a landline available to make and receive calls.  And we need to have a way of getting in touch with her.  God forbid there is an emergency, we can't leave babysitters without a way to contact us.

So like I said, our household requires a landline, but we don't need to be paying $30 a month for it.  Thankfully, we now have Magic Jack.  Magic Jack works by plugging into your computer's USB port, and then plugging your telephone cord into the device.  Once activated, you can use this to make and receive phone calls within the United States and Canada.  

I had seen ads for Magic Jack before, but I wasn't clear on how it worked.  Basically it is a VoIP phone service that uses your internet connection to make phone calls.  It will only work with a high speed internet connection.  Once I plugged the device into my laptop, it took a few minutes to download.  We made a phone call through our own telephone, and it worked great.  I had read bad reviews, so I wasn't really sure what kind of experience this would be, but there was no static or any other problems when we made our long distance call.

With Magic Jack, you are provided with a local phone number to make and receive calls.  It allows you to choose a city near you for your exchange, but there was nothing listed in my area so I had to select a town about 20 miles away.  Not a major deal, but that was somewhat disappointing.  Mostly for my neighbors, who will now have to make a long-distance call to reach our house.  We hoped we'd be able to use our existing phone number with Magic Jack, but at this time this is not an option.   I have read that the company is working on making this an option for a small fee.  The other disappointment was that you have to have your computer on at all times in order to make and receive calls, and we all know that computers use up a lot of energy.

There is some good news though.  With Magic Jack you get several free features in addition to free local and long-distance calling like free directory assistance, call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail.  Yes, voicemail!  So if you want to give your compuer a break, the magic jack with take your messages.  There is also a Call Forwarding feature, which is really great for rerouting calls to your cell phone.  You won't miss a call wherever you are.
  
Even with some of the drawbacks, I still think that this is a neat little device that will save you money.  

BUY IT!  The Magic Jack sells for $40 and includes your first year of service.  Each additional year costs just $19.99, and you can also buy international minutes.  Best of all, you can sign up for a Free Trial on their website and try it for yourself.

No compensation was provided for this review post.  Magic Jack sent me their VoIP device to try, and I've offered my honest opinion.  Yours may differ.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,
    I have a surprise for you at http://dimes2vines.com
    Have a great weekend,
    DIna-Marie

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's fascinating! I've never heard of it. I think I'm going to cancel my land line soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband and I bought one to use for our business so we would have a dedicated business line and not have to pay the exorbitant long distance business rates from the phone company. We loved it, and didn't really find any drawbacks to using it.

    ReplyDelete

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