Vonage killer? $20 a year with magic jack

gbig2February 16, 2008

Is anyone using magic jack? I just got mine and I'm impressed. Sound quality is as good if not better than Vonage. Magic jack is a little USB device that you plug into your computer and then plug any phone into the device. It's $20 a year for unlimited domestic calling. I'm going to keep testing it out for a couple months before canceling Vonage but $20 a year is better than $300-$400 I've been paying with Vonage!

Curious if anyone else is using it and if they like it...

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pkguy

Never heard of it but it does sound intriguing. I'm a little leery of claims touting clear reception etc.. Can you follow up later if you find any glitches or times it it's quite up to landline quality...surely there has to be some.. LOL
Here's the link

Here is a link that might be useful: magic

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 1:26PM
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mc_hudd

How does this work? Do your incoming calls come in on that line too? If not, how do you get a phone #? These are probably stuid questions, sorry. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:40PM
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gbig2

As of now they don't offer number portability but the web site says it's coming in the next months. So you get a new number, mine was in my current area code. You can go on the website and see if your area code is available. I'm going to most likely keep my vonage until Magic jack allows me to transfer my existing Vonage number. Yes, you call out on the line and receive calls, just like a regular phone.
Quality update: Very good quality, better than Vonage in my experience. PC magazine has a great review of it, 4.5 stars if anyone is interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pc magazine review

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:40PM
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tigerwiggy

I haven't used it, but I know several who do and they like it. I am a medical transcriptionist and I live in one state, but accounts are in other states and I access them via long distance so I'm on the phone 8-10 hours/day. The people that I know that are using it are also transcriptionists. Clear sound is a must for our job and no one has had any complaints so for about reception.

The biggest issue I see has been that you can't transfer your home phone number and there are limited areas available where you can get a local number.

I have also heard about some billing issues and it taking longer to get the item even though they paid expedited shipping fees, but as far as usage it does work as advertised.

The initial cost is about $50. That covers the first year of $30, plus account setup and shipping fees. You can get a 30-day trial and they aren't supposed to bill your credit card until day 31.

I just recently switched to digital phone service through my cable internet provider so I'm currently tied to a contract, but I'm going to look into it later. Hopefully all the kinks will have been worked out by then.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 5:56PM
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liz_h

I really like this idea! Please let us know when they offer the option of transferring our existing phone numbers.

My husband, who is much more tech-savvy than I am, says that if we put a computer in place where the phone line comes into the house, we should be able to run it over the existing phone lines. When he gets caught up on other projects, he'll try to cobble one together from the myriad spare parts he's accumulated over the years.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 10:15PM
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dgmarie

gbig2: so do you work for them???

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:10AM
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jaydeeinma

We have had MJ for about a month now, switched our phone from Skype to MJ here are some issues we have had to deal with:

1) We have a wireless cable internet/cable setup. I have to admit, the quality of the MJ phone isn't a good as I had been lead to believe. I frequently get my sound quality cutting in and out on a call, sometimes it's so bad I have to hang up and call back.

2) Also, their technical support consists of a 24 hr 'live chat' IM only. No phone numbers, no forums, nothing.

3) My incoming calls sometimes get dropped when a dialog box pops up on my computer to 'accept or reject' the call. What is the use of having a telephone if I'm stuck to my computer clicking a mouse buttont to accept or reject calls??? When I 'chatted' to the 24 hr live chat, I was told to get a new phone (after an hour trying to explain to 'Melissa' in India what the problem was). Well, got a new phone and the same problem with MJ's software (has nothing to do with my hardware, but oh well I'm out another $25 bucks) and went back to the chat line and was told 'I'm sorry, we do not support this feature'. Well, I don't know much technically speaking, but if your software is flashing me these little signs you should be able to fix it or get rid of it.

JD.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 1:37PM
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keithccds_netzero_net

This is in regards to the suspicious Canadain dealer for Magic Jack. I have a local computer business in Ma. I support a wide variety of customers whom share technology and information with one another. Most of my clients network information together. For example one of my clients came from oversees and had exposed me to the magic jack device. I found the biggest problem with this device could be software related with the computer. If your computer has software issues then magic jack could have problems. However magic jack works fine and is excellent. Make sure your protection and softwares are not slowing down your process. Also have at least a netzero dsl that moves at 1.4 mb a sec or more to use this product.
As far as the canadian dealer who works with magic jack. Be careful. In the past few months I have discovered that most viruses and scams are coming from texas, canada and arizona. The scammers feed off half truths and set up a lie to decieve. If you wish to find where this canadian dealer lives. INstall Firefox, remove internet explorer, disable all explorer related access . This might sound techy but works. Now after you install firefox, go to the site and put the add on shazou. its a tracer. It will give you detail information on his server, no matter where he lives. For example the server is currently at Cerritos, CA , IH Networks.
I could probably get more for you. but ill stop there. Take care, Ps be careful of the following satalite on pc sites, full tilt poker sites, and others like these. Most are all scams
ccds

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 11:31PM
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joyfulguy

Hi computer services,

I don't usually do much with poker service ... "full tilt" or otherwise.

I note that your message here is about as incomprehensible as where you posted it on its own thread ... I'd have thought that you might have done some work to have clarified the second posting a bit.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:48PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

If you wish to find where this canadian dealer lives. INstall Firefox, remove internet explorer, disable all explorer related access . This might sound techy but works. Now after you install firefox, go to the site and put the add on shazou. its a tracer. It will give you detail information on his server, no matter where he lives. For example the server is currently at Cerritos, CA , IH Networks.

I gather that maybe you and the dealer have crossed paths...please see also my reply to the thread you started.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 2:49PM
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gbig2

Dgmarie, no I don't work for them. I just stumbled across the website and the reviews and thought it was worth a shot to try it. I haven't been using it lately, still waiting for number portability...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 9:24PM
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john8035b

I have been using the Magic Jack for 2 weeks and have noticed a few times when the call quality was not very good. I think the overall call quality is better than my AT&T cell phone is.
I set up a new user on my computer and installed the Magic Jack on that user and set the monitor and hard drive power setting to turn off right away to minimize power usage. I use the switch user function and let the Magic Jack run in the background. This stops the annoying pop up every time you use the phone.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:12AM
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southeast

We purchased two Magic Jacks for two laptops and have been using for 1 month. Purchased the two year plan. The only problem that we have had was trying to use the old analog telephone which gave poor transmitions. Our cousin has two Magic Jacks and suggested us trying a digital telephone. This solved the problem. We gave up the 30 years of landline service and was able to downgrade our cell phone service, which has already paid for the Magic Jack. The telephones that we are using are 5.8 GHz digital cordless, which allows us to walk through the house and outside with very clear reception. Better than the big monopolizing companies. Easy installation and easy on the pocketbook. With high gas, food, etc. prices, this works for us. Whether by phone or email, we stay connected worldwide at a much lower cost. Oh, we have tried Skype and was not satisfied. Whew! To think about 30 years of highway robbery by you know who, with ridiculous high rates and charges. Well, at this point, we are keeping what we have, and it works GREAT!!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:03PM
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eric_92037

The very first problem I ran into is when I plugged the MJ into my computer, windows and the MJ software both wanted to do automatic installs at the same time. My screen was flooded with messages that covered each other up making it confusing. I had to unplug MJ and reboot twice to finally get going. All of my tests of incoming and outgoing calls went fine. Some people complain about the voice/sound quality but I canÂt tell the difference between the quality of my AT&T service and the MJ service. So far itÂs lived up to all its claims

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:15PM
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bpgreen

I posted my thoughts on it here.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:19AM
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kandm

We use Viatalk, $199 for a year and we got 4 extra months free.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 3:51AM
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niya_2009

i sometimes get a breaking choppy sound and its hard to hear. More often the person i call says they can't hear me well as my voice sounds choppy, muffled or breaks. i changed my telephone instrument, used the free upgrade live operator from MJ site told me to click and now I have also clicked on "background services" after right clicking the - my computer - icon. What is going wrong for me?????? pls help.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 9:22PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

i sometimes get a breaking choppy sound and its hard to hear. More often the person i call says they can't hear me well as my voice sounds choppy, muffled or breaks.
niya, Your computer line speed might not be consistently fast enough to be able to use MJ without problems. I got one, tried it, and had to return it. It took about 1 hour on MJ IM to get the return authorization number required so I would indeed get credit for returning it during the 30 day free test period.

You might want to do some speed tests to see what speed your ISP is providing you.

The Computer Help Forum can provide numerous sites for testing your speed, or you can do a Google search for some.

Life is short. When I have visiting or business I want to handle via phone, I want and need a good connection to do it. I have so many friends call me on cell phones that are cutting in and out. I ask that they call me back later to visit when they can get a better signal. Poor connections just grate on my nerves.

Sue

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 7:35AM
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pkguy

Well I ordered one last night, early this morning actually. An infomercial came out for Magic Jack for $39.95 including the first year free, no billing for 30 days and free postage paid return within 30 days if you don't like it so I'm gonna try it. Shipping was about $6.95 but that was in the US and I'm in Canada and nothing said how much the cost would be,, won't be much more I suppose. I'm not holding my breath that it will be perfect and crystal clear.. but if it works somewhat OK then it will probably be good for and extra line in the house.. it comes with it's own permanent phone number, call display etc.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:52AM
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msgreatdeals

After reading about MJ on here, I bought one on eBay for $38.00 including shipping and first year service. I got it in 3 days and installed it in 5 min. Much easier to install than my Vonage. Sound so far is excellent. I'm going to keep my Vonage for just another month to make sure MJ is all that it seems so far. I have a plain jane account with AT&T so that I can have DSL. I will keep that one.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 10:35PM
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jazzie

I have it, and I don't use it. It opens up a screen everytime there is an incoming or outgoing call. And it shuts down the screen we are on if we are playing an online game. I hate that. If I had a second computer to hook it up, then I would use it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 1:05PM
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pkguy

Well like I said above back in January I ordered on and it finally came today 2 months later after two frustrating on line sessions with their help desk. They screwed up the first time by sending it to someone with the same name in a different city. The second time I called they said that the new order they'd placed for me had been "cancelled" so they opened a 3rd order. That was about 2 weeks ago and like I said I got it today.
It installed really easily and although I've only used it about 5 times, testing to friends across the country it works extremely well. The clarity is very good everyone said.
I'm in Canada and they don't have any Canadian area codes for giving out numbers so you have to pick a US area code and it assigns your Magic Jack a phone number automatically in that area code. I chose Michigan which is closest to me so whenever I phone someone on it it looks like the call is coming from the 810 Michigan exchange. When Canadian area codes become available they say they will let you change your number once for free.
So far I think it works and after a week if I'm still happy with it I'm going to cancel my $20 a month long distance carrier. We make a lot of long distance calls.
Also it's cheaper than having a second line as one person can be chatting on the Magic Jack phone and your regular phone is available for calls.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:53PM
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fespo

I have had magic jack for year plus now. I love it!! Once in a while it acts up but I think it is cable line in. Buy one you will be happy!!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 5:48PM
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corruptioncorner_gmail_com

I just got Magic Jack and I think it works great. We are using it for our political podcast:

http://corruption.mypodcast.com

Now our listeners can "call in to the show" at 702-560-1948 and I can include their comments in the next show (since they email me a .wav file of the Voicemail). SUBSCRIBE to the podcast and PLEASE call the number and I will include your comments in future podcasts.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corruption Corner

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:33AM
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