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magicjack.com page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 155 reviews (105 good) (25 bad)
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Review by g0nepostal See Profile

  • Location: Burlingame,San Mateo,CA
  • Cost: $2 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Lives up to the hype; service is beyond cheap and is reliable."
Bad "Website is difficult to navigate, and is aimed more toward sales than service"
Overall "Not a bad alternative to a landline, if you don't mind leaving your PC on."
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Full disclosure: My mom gets the credit for getting my family hooked on the magicJack. This review is dedicated to her. Hi Mom!

My mom saw the ads for the magicJack and asked me to get one to try out, so I did. After placing the order through the magicJack website I received the first (of 3!) magicJacks I own, plugged it into my laptop, ran through the setup, selected a number in my area code (925), and then connected a regular, plain ol' cordless phone to try it out.

I take the phone off-hook and lo and behold, a dial tone! I then placed my first test call, to my home landline. Despite having to do 10 digit dialing (even when calling in the same area code, magicJack dialing requires that you dial the area code as well as the number), the call went through without any problems. Voice quality was excellent.

Needless to say I was stoked.

Now, several years later, that first magicJack is connected to my mom's PC in Nicaragua, and we use it to call my parents down there using what is for us a local, US-based telephone number (no international long distance charges, yahoo!). My parents use their magicJack to place calls to the United States; they also use it to call other friends in Nicaragua as well as relatives in Panama who also have their own magicJacks. (It must be trippy to call someone living in Panama using a US-based phone number.)

Since getting that first magicJack I have also obtained two more; one is currently connected to my girlfriend's computer and acts as our house line, and the other is currently inactive. I will mostly use our house line magicJack for daytime landline calling so that I don't burn through our cell phone minutes (I have a Sprint cell account that shares 1500 daytime/landline minutes on 5 lines and don't want to breach that limit).

The above uses (international communications, daytime calling to save cell phone minutes and long distance charges) are the ones for which the magicJack appears to be the best suited. Since magicJacks require the computer to which they are connected to be on for them to work, I cannot recommend them for use as your main telephone; computers do freeze up and are not reliable enough to count on during a time of emergency. Not to mention the fact that any telephone connected to a magicJack will be dead during a power outage unless the PC is backed up by an uninterruptible power supply.

That said, there is no denying the fact that not having to pay international long distance call rates and not having to burn up my cell phone minutes MORE than justifies the $20/year price tag for the magicJack.

Note that The $20/year charge is what it costs for unlimited long distance calling to/from telephone numbers based in either the United States or Canada. Calling a telephony device with a US/Canada-based telephone number that is connected to the Internet anywhere in the world is included in that $20 (long live IP telephony!).

One really annoying thing about magicJacks is the fact that their software (the soft phone) pops up on the desktop every time a call is placed or received. It would be a great improvement on the software if it could simply be made to remain minimized in the System Tray. I understand that a large reason for the soft phone popping up is to display ads, but so far the only entity I've seen advertise through the soft phone window is magicJack itself. Hence a permanently minimized soft phone is something I fervently hope will be implemented in the future.

(UPDATE: There is now software available to take your magicJack software and run it as a Windows service. I installed this tonight and it seems to work quite well, except of course for the loss of the softphone feature. Since I am using the magicJack strictly as a landline replacement, I don't mind losing the softphone at all.)

Another negative is the magicJack website. It can be hard to use to administer your account, and the layout of the site is not very intuitive - it seems to be geared more toward signing up new customers than to helping existing customers do their own support. This too is something that could (and should) be fixed in the future.

Short version: The magicJack does live up to the hype, if you don't mind doing your own tech support, don't intend to use it as your main line, and don't mind leaving your PC on. The drawbacks are few compared to the fact that $20 gets you a year's worth of telephone calls without any of the other charges associated with either a true landline or a line based on either Vonage or Ooma.

member for 13 years, 2252 visits, last login: 353 days ago
updated 3.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by hyperaudio See Profile

  • Location: Craig,Moffat,CO
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Very inexpensive and works fairly well so far"
Bad "Poor website and not a local number but close"
Overall "If you want basic phone service besides just a cell phone this works and is inexpensive."
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I am happy with my experience so far. I bought the Magic Jack at Walmart so I had a 90-day return window if needed and I have had the Magic Jack a month now and am planning on getting rid of my POTS line due to costs. I pay roughly $30/month with taxes, etc for basic local only phone service from Qwest. I use the home phone maybe a few times a week if that...not really worth it. I use my cell phone just about all of the time and would like to be able to call long distance on occasion with a phone that doesn't lose signal if I move wrong. This is why I decided to try the Magic Jack. I installed it on my Win7 64-bit computer and decided to throw in a USB2.0 PCI card I had laying around so that this had a designated controller, power supply, etc to it for the best chance of working really well. I also adjusted the call volumes in windows and the menu in Magic Jack so that they are as loud if not louder than my POTS phone now. It was pretty quiet as installed from Magic Jack's software. I do not use any QOS or anything on my internet but it is 18/1 cable internet. I had Qwest 3/.640 for a while with this and it worked fine as well.

My number is from a city 43 miles away but at least is still local for people here in town to call me. Overall I would have to say that I am pretty happy with Magic Jack and will update this review with any changes or anything if there are as I go.

member for 3.3 years, 54 visits, last login: 1.3 years ago
updated 3.2 years ago

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Review by rlchoate See Profile

  • Location: Westhope,Bottineau,ND
  • Cost: $1 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Cheap and works anywhere"
Bad "Sometimes the behavior of the phone is a bit inconsistent"
Overall "Cheap local and long distance phone service that is worth the minor issues"
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I have had this thing for about 2 years going on my third and it works as good as I would expect although seems like when you renew you lose all your contacts but eh not a big deal I only use it as a back up anyhow although it has allowed me to cut down on my wireless phone service bills so all and all I would say its well worth the subtle issues. Overall a good value.

member for 4.7 years, 12 visits, last login: 2.9 years ago
lodged 3.2 years ago

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Review by Sumrall See Profile

  • Location: Sherman,Grayson,TX
  • Cost: $2 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Money-saver, clear sound, extra features"
Bad "computer must be on"
Overall "Doubt it can be beat for the money"
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Will not be an exciting review as everything has worked as advertised from day one.
Whether where I live has anything to do with its success I can't answer.
It seems there is a love/hate following. With this in mind I tested it for seven months - purchased January 2010 - Had no problems so canceled my land line of $87/mo back in July. Have not regretted it for a second.

I use MJ mostly wireless with laptop running Win7 64 bit. Router is Netgear Rangemax.
Cable internet is 5Mbps download and 500Kbps up. Do have a couple of cellphones just in case...

Have never had to ask MJ for help.Boring review, I know.

member for 3.5 years, 49 visits, last login: 3.1 years ago
updated 3.5 years ago

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Review by ChuckIL9 See Profile

  • Location: Peoria,Peoria,IL
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Low Cost, Cool Gadget"
Bad "Software Compatibility, Computer Must Be Running"
Overall "Just too Quirky"
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24-Sep-10 Update:

My MagicJack died. Support was unable to resurrect it. It just wasn't ever completely reliable, and I would not care to repeat the MagicJack experience again. The service had pockets of reliability, lasting upwards of two months, and then I'd get pushed an upgrade that would break it. Or randomly, weird things like call limits, echo, dropout would just happen. It's just not reliable enough for me to want to go out and buy another device from them.

4-Oct-09 Update:

My brother in-law was cleaning the house and found the magicJack I gave him almost 2 years ago. I decided to take a look at some of the forums, and noticed things were pretty quiet regarding the device that frustrated me 2 years ago. So for another $19.95 I decided to give it a try again (my primary VOIP service is stable and satisfactory, so it was time to play with something again). I have to say, things seem to have improved. I first had to renew my license, and while at it, noticed that magicJack now had a local number for me. I changed my number to local one, plunked down my $19.95 and plugged the sucker in. The software updated, but I had an error 400, so thought rebooting might fix things...it didn't. I looked on the magicJack forum and saw another person had the same problem and a refresh of his account by magicJack support seemed to fix things. I initiated a chat session and within 10 minutes my account was refreshed and I was in business (support was actually helpful and prompt this go around). So I've been trying things out for the last week, and have to say, the service has been stable and altogether satisfactory (although it's only been a week). I did have a problem plugging it into a computer that I originally tried the magicJack on 2 years ago, in that the message said it would receive an update in 60 seconds, which never happened. I manually updated by going to the magicJack website, and that too worked and I was in business in about 2 minutes. After 40 or so calls over both wired broadband, and a 3G card, the service seems to work well. Pleasantly surprising! I'll update more after 6 months, but so far, so good for basic phone service and voicemail.

Original Review:

I bought a MagicJack because it looked like a cool little device that could save a lot on long distance bills. I already have a VOIP provider that I am happy with, but I thought if this gadget worked out I could dump them and save a lot of dough. The first thing I found is that the install didn't go as smooth as I would have liked. My computer is loaded with video and audio editing applications, and the MagicJack didn't seen to like what was on my system. After playing around a while, I was able to get it to work for a few days in a row, but then the softphone would die, and I would get frustrated. If the computer rebooted, it would hang unless I removed the MagicJack. Even when it did work, I would frequently get the "all circuits busy" message when calling during peak times. After a while I gave up and gave the device to my brother in-law, who didn't have much better luck than me. Right now I think it's sitting in a drawer somewhere. Best of luck to them, and I hope they get things worked out. It just wasn't worth saving $200 a year on VOIP bills at the cost of reliability. It seems that there are customers who have the device working with little issue, so I don't know that my experience is typical. Take it for what it's worth, another anonymous opinion on the internet.

member for 8.4 years, 2340 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 3.5 years ago

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Review by Kamran1 See Profile

  • Location: Dayton,Middlesex,NJ
  • Cost: $2 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 500 days
Good "cheepest service"
Bad "voice breaks; time consuming customer service"
Overall "good as a second line"
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User since November, 2008. It is a cheep VOIP service. However voice quality suffers if there is an activity on hard drive of computer e.g. anti-virus updates automatically or there is any other activity on computer that requires CPU usage. I had Verizon DSL for first year and have FIOS now and even changed computer but still voice suffers because of computer usage.

Good as a second line.

member for 3.7 years, 13 visits, last login: 3.5 years ago
updated 3.7 years ago

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Review by baineschile See Profile

  • Location: Sterling Heights,Macomb,MI
  • Cost: $1 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "PRICE!! Snap installation, always on"
Bad "Voice quality, no tech support, odd phone numbers"
Overall "Good alernative to people who dont use home phone a lot."
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Ordered Magicjack just like everyone else did, from the website. $40 up front, and now $20/year. The price, obviously, cannot be beat.

The only reason I got it is because I have a ton of contacts in Canada (hey, I am from Detroit, we are practically Canada). My wireless carrier doesnt cover unlimited North American calls, but if they ever do, I will probably dump Magicjack.

I received the pack in the mail about 4 days later, packaging was nice (underrated aspect of a lot of companies). Set up the install, tweaked some QoS settings on the router for optimum performance, and I was off. The only thing I really dont like is that I have an Alabama area code. Not that I have anything against Bama, its just a bit odd when I make calls on it to family and friends, and they see it on the caller ID.

Got a headset with it, works great

Call quality is only fair. Its a bit muffled, but, I have never dropped a call, or have one not go through.

I have only (attempted) to call tech support once on initial install, (to see if I had a choice NOT to get an alabama number) but I couldnt find a number on the website. I managed to come across on on here (thanks BBR!) and called up, but ended up in a never ending automated system circle.

Would recommend to a friend as a supplemental line, but not as a main communication line.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------
Update: 7/21/10

As of 7/1/2010, my friends have moved from Canada, and I have discontinued service. It was overall reliable, but not a high quality main communication line.

member for 5.9 years, 1821 visits, last login: 20 days ago
updated 3.7 years ago

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Review by dsl4ever See Profile

  • Location: Whitewright,Grayson,TX
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Reliable-Excellent call quality-Value"
Bad "NA"
Overall "After trying some of the other VOIP solutions, this one is best for me."
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Easy to set up...can take with me and have unlimited long distance as long as I have access to broadband. Only disadvantage I can see is that computer has to be on to receive and make calls, but voicemail is active at all times. \

Call quality is excellent, rarely any echo and I have yet to have a call drop. I have used the product for approximately 6 months and wanted to wait before giving a review.

member for 5.1 years, 120 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 3.7 years ago

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Review by ritzy57 See Profile

  • Location: Fort Mill,York,SC
  • Cost: $1 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Calls are clear, haven't been booted off yet!"
Bad "PC must be on for it to work."
Overall "You can't beat the price!"
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My Other Reviews

·Time Warner Cable
After trying and rejecting ATT call vantage, because it was so unreliable during a VERY stressful time in my life, I was once again looking for a cheap alternative to landline phone service, and saw the add for Magic Jack on TV. They advertise $20.00 per year on voice over IP.The initial financial outlay was around $40.00. They sent a Magic Jack phone jack, along with a short USB extension cord, and directions for installing. Piece of cake!

Unfortunately, because I run a very old Compaq Presario 5000, and have minimal RAM, the Magic Jack uses up a good chunk of resources, when it is running.

So, I mostly keep it unplugged, until I want to make a phone call. (keeping in mind that MOST of the people I talk to, are out of state.) I have kept a local land line, just in case, and when people call me, they call my landline. So, yes, I am surely getting what I have paid for, I have recently recommended Magic Jack to a friend, whose hubby is in the military, and they have recently been deployed to Japan. They bought a Magic Jack, and that is how they keep in touch. Works for them, works for me.

So far, I haven't needed to call any techs, because it works! I havden't been to their website in ages, for the same reason.

Reccomend??? Yes

July 5, 2010

Still have Magic Jack. It still works great. I don;t keep it plugged in all the time, so I have to wait for it to connect, when I want to use it, which slows down making a call, but for the price, I can't complain. I use it for long distance only.

member for 13.6 years, 2443 visits, last login: 5 days ago
updated 3.7 years ago

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Review by sabresfan See Profile

  • Location: Hope Mills,Cumberland,NC
  • Cost: $2 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 25 days
Good "Call quality has improved greatly over the last year"
Bad "Updates that cause problems for users"
Overall "Good service for the price"
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I've been using MJ for over a year now with good results. When I first received my MJ the calls were choppy and I had issues with it not working correctly. One thing people need to understand about MJ is that if your doing a lot of things online or with your computer your call quality can suffer. I needed to cleanup my computer and give MJ the space it needed to work properly. This service works well as a secondary line but I do not place enough faith in to be my primary line. Overall I'm pleased with the service and the price but I'm testing other voip providers now to find one that does not need to keep a pc running all time and that doesn't block ata use.

member for 4.9 years, 735 visits, last login: 95 days ago
updated 3.9 years ago

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