Review by ChuckIL9
Good "Cheap, easy install, works right out of the box, PSTN failover"
- Location: Peoria,Peoria,IL
- Cost: $7 per month
- Install: about 5 days
Bad "Not many customizable features, E911?"
Overall "A low cost POTS replacement"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
Jan. 2, 2011 Update:
Magictalkbox still works reasonably well, but I have reduced the rating for reliability and value. I find that sometimes my outbound calls are not completed. This occurs at various times to various exchanges for no apparent good reason. Usually the problem clears itself up after a few hours, but it is annoying. Call setup time is annoyingly long with their GW120 device.
I needed something to play around with, so for the price of an adapter ($18.95), and a monthly fee ($6.95) I decided to try Magictalk Box. The adapter arrived about 5 days after ordering. The owner, Jose, let me know the status of my order along the way. He also asked what area code I wanted my phone number in (since I had ordered the private number service), and since they didn't have numbers in my area code, what I wanted the callerID set to. I was planning on using this with my GoogleVoice account anyway, so a lack of a local number was no big deal, and I had my callerID set to my GoogleVoice number. I was also asked what number I would like as a failover if my adapter was not registered when an incoming call occurred.
When the adapter arrived (looks kind of like a HT286 clone), I plugged it into my router, power outlet, and a phone, and it started working. I've made quite a few calls. CallerID is sent correctly, sometimes it sounds like the call is using one of the lower bitrate codecs, and sometimes not. There is a bit of a delay in connecting when dialing a 10 digit number, which lessens if you dial 11 digits. Incoming seems to work fine, with callerID delivered. Voicemail is pretty basic. Features are few, but call forwarding, do not disturb, callerID block, block anonymous calls, are all there. There is also failover to a PSTN number should your adapter lose registration (which I haven't tested yet). There is no portal or call log record. Voicemail can be sent to e-mail if you contact support. I'm not quite sure what would happen if I dialed 911, as the two pages of instructions that come with the service are a little ambiguous on that point. It kind of implies that 911 would work, without really stating that it does.
So far the service has been completely reliable, but I haven't had it for long so I've given it a 4 on reliability. I'll update the review as time progresses.
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updated 3.1 years ago