Sunday, April 19, 2009

Magic Jack Review

I’m sure most of you have seen the ads for Magic Jack and oddly there isn’t a lot of talk going around about it. I got one, and it is problematic for several reasons.

Magic jack is a USB device that plugs into your computer with which you can make quasi free phone calls, or let’s say unlimited calls within the US and Canada for $19 per year.

First, to get one with a 30 money back guarantee you need to use a credit card, not a debit card. With a debit card you are charged immediately, with a credit card they don’t bill you for 30 days, though web reviews claim it is very difficult to return the device.

Next, some USB ports don’t have enough juice to power the unit so you may need to get a USB hum that plugs into the wall.

Once you plug it in it is self installing. You are asked your location so it can assign you a somewhat local number. Mine is a Portland number. You need to wait a couple of hours before your number is assigned and once it is it pops up on your screen display. You can dial from your computer or from the phone connected to it. This device has voice messaging and caller ID at no extra charge.

The connection quality is weird. I seems like it sounds good, but people on the other end say that I echo and occasionally cut out, kind of like some cell phones. I am presently on a 5mbps service. I don’t know if the sound is better with a 10mbps set up. It would be easier if I ended every statement with the word ”Over” so the person on the other end would know when they can begin speaking.

Another problem is that if your computer goes to sleep so does your phone and you may need to unplug and re-plug it in again to reboot.

In conclusion I’m not that thrilled with it and I wouldn’t recommend purchasing one. I hope future generations of this device will improve in quality.


Blogger Tango said...

I have had MagicJack for the last 4 years. It does okay in a pinch and did better when I had cable internet. Now I use my Verizon Storm for a modem and sometimes it doesn't do so well. I mainly use it for calls that will take a long time in order to save my wireless minutes. The number that was assigned to me I use for non-family, non-friends to keep my Storm spam free.

5:02 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

I'm of the firm belief that 99.9% of the time anything that is being sold on TV is for the sole benifit the the new age two bit hucksters.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I am fairly certain that most people don't talk about magic-jack because they think people will think it's a different "kind" of product.......

Or maybe that's just Auntie's warped brain.

6:58 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Auntie has a valid point, there. I think they should have given it a different name. It sounds like a really good idea on the teevee commercials. Maybe in a few years they will get the bugs out of it. We have a house phone and people rarely call. We have cell phones and all I use mine for is to harass my daughter by sending her odd text messages at odd times. The wife was talking about getting the Magic jack. I'll let her know it's not a good idea, just yet. Somebody had to be the first one to jump into the lake. Thanks for being the brave one. (grin)

8:10 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

Magic: "the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring." Does that about sum it up?

I guess I just don't understand people's need to be in touch so much.

1:58 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Tango maybe it works better with a 10MBPS cable modem.

Loopy, it isn't what it was advertised to be, however it does work, just not well.

Auntie, you're talking about the Hitachi Magic Wand. Totally different.

Darev, wait until some competitors come along and improve it, or wait for Internet II.

Rich, you forgot to define Jack. People need to communicate. For me it's a lot easier doing it by phone than it would be to return to New Jersey every month.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Nulaanne said...

I first heard of it last weekend am a not sure what it does or how it works. I need my phone for work and so I have to have one that I can take with me everywhere. So I am not sure that I would ever get one.

1:26 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Nulaanne, Wait for the next generation.

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I've also experience problems in my Magic Jack at home but now it already fix it. I'd like the Magic Jack services but I wonder on people share their opinion about Magic Jack take a look.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all those who say magic jack ain't working well are all fuckin' retards.
Peace out!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received the magic jack and installed it yesterday [17-June-09].. I plugged it in to my laptop [WinXP Pro] and it configured itself in about 2 minutes without any problems. I answered about 3 questions to generate a local phone number and was able to start placing and receiving calls right away.

My first call to my mobile was not very good call quality. My second call to a friend [1500 miles away] was perfect. She said the call quality was better than my regular home phone. After a half dozen local and LD calls, one of which ran 30 minutes... I would give this thing two very big thumbs up..

I am very impressed with the call quality. It has all the basic functions of a POTS line (I had a chance to try out call waiting and it worked fine), and the cost is almost free...

So far, excellent.!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Dennis said...

we have magic jack, the problem for us is that when the local school calls it's a long distance,if our daughter calls us,she has to call us on our cell phones because she is not allowed to dial a long distance number. Magic jack won't give us a local number for our local area. They don't let you know if you can receive a local number before you sign up.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Guy said...

That is a big problem. Another thing, are they going to charge us automatically for next years service? I don't want it next year, so I don't want to pay for it.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have found a lot of reviews about magic jack here.

Also this Magic jack video is funny...

Take care.

6:22 PM  

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