Do you use a Web-based phone service?

alisandeNovember 9, 2012

One of my friends has discontinued her home phone service and is using Google Voice instead. She says she can call anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for free, and there's no monthly charges--or any other charges. Sounds too good to be true, but maybe not. She's pretty tech-savvy.

Have you tried it?

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I won't because if the electricity goes out, so does the router.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I haven't tried it, but both by DIL and grandson having been using Magic Jack for several years, and they love it. Of course, a cell phone is a must in case of a power failure.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:02AM
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I hadn't thought of that, LuAnn. Of course, most people use a cell phone in the case of a power outage (hopefully they have a car charger). But my cell service at home isn't all that great. I liked being able to plug in a corded phone when our power was out all last week.

I've heard of Magic Jack, Wanda, but didn't know what it was.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:13AM
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My phone bill would be so much cheaper if I did use one, but I'm not ready to give up my landline yet. We still have a 'princess' type phone in our bedroom that will work in case of a power outage because the cordless phones won't.

We can charge our cell phones in the car or use the generator but I'm still happy to keep my landline.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I tried Magic Jack but my computer speed wasn't fast enough for it. It was useless so I returned it, after a big hassle of getting an RMA # from them.

I will gladly always have a landline.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

We got rid of our landline over 8 years ago and haven't missed it one bit. We really like our carrier (Verizon) . Free evening and weekend calls make keeping in touch with gabby friends and family inexpensive. We do have a car charger, which came in handy when we lost power for a week after a day of tornadoes.

If I were still tied to a land line, I wouldn't hesitate to try a computer line.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:25AM
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CUB (Citizens Utility Board) recommends the magicJack Plus. We just received their newsletter containing a story about the service. It's $70/first year for a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. That gives you the device and a year of calling US and Canada. Then you can buy service for another year for $30, or pay $20/year with a five-year contract.

The 'Plus' is an improvement over the original, which required you to have your computer on to make calls. You can plug an Ethernet cable into the 'Plus'. The original is still available at $40 for the first year (device and service).

The article has a Q and A about who should consider this device and service.

1. You already pay for high-speed Internet.

2. You already have a cell phone of landline for emergencies. (You'd have no VoIP service during a power outage.)

3. You make frequent long-distance calls.

4. You like extra features like callwaiting, call forwarding and caller ID. (All are included with this service.)

5. You frequently travel out of the country. (And would take the device with you.)

It says you can use any type of phone and can call any type of phone. You can keep your existing landline phone number for an initial charge of $20; annual fee of $10 after the first year.

This would be a selling point for our Maui condo. We have a lot of Canadian guests whose long-distance cell phone service is costly.

We have minimum service on our existing landline at home (AT&T), but it costs over $200/year (including $30 in taxes).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:25PM
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I have magic jack, it works fine for me when I don't want to use my cell. If power goes out I still have the house phone & cell I can use.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 1:40PM
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