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magicjack.com page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 157 reviews (106 good) (26 bad)
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Review by booyah50 See Profile

  • Location: La Habra,Orange,CA
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Cheap!"
Bad "Has some glitches, cheesy website and infomercial, no uninstall"
Overall "Great 2nd line for geeks, not much to lose otherwise."
Web-site:
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Call Quality:
Reliability:
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Value for money:

About six months ago, I saw a really stupid TV ad about this VoIP service that seemed too good to be true, and it lent zero creditability to me and inspired not a gram of me to buy it or even to inquire further! I let it fade from my awareness then and there.

Then my sister came for a visit and had one herself. She just got it in fact, and she goes: "Have you heard of MagicJack?" I had a vague memory of that TV ad, but she plugged it into our computer. Within minutes she was calling all over the country planning her business trip.

I thought about it. $46 shipped for this thing and I'd get a year's worth of VoIP, and my own incoming real phone number, and the following years would only be 20 bucks a year? I couldn't pass this up! But before I ordered, I looked over the reviews and blogs and such, and there seemed to be a lot of satisfied customers, and a lot of people who weren't satisfied, plus a lot of people critical who never even tried it. The people who didn't have much luck with it, seemed to be non technical people - always seeming to ignore trouble-shooting steps and prone to hotheadedness over losing $47 (or having fallen for the 5 year service plan and/or rush shipping, etc.).

So I bought one myself. Without falling for the rush shipping, or the tricks their cheesy manipulative website has in order to waive the free trial, I got it 4 days after buying it!

I plugged it into my Dell Vista SP1 computer, and I noticed they had an area code close by my house. I got to choose one of three prefixes, and then was assigned the last four digits (I would have preferred to have chosen from a list of full numbers), and within a minute, I had a dial tone and could call out and call into the number! Sweet!

But there was a problem. The audio would drop out for a 1/4 second every 5 seconds or so. This wasn't cool. I thought it was SP1 that was doing this because I had heard bad things about MJ and SP1. To confirm it was my computer and not the MJ, I plugged it into another computer on my same network. This was clear as a bell.

So I did a Dell system restore which was about due anyway because my computer was getting sluggish. But to prove if it was SP1 or not, I also installed SP1 and hot-fixed my computer. After this my MJ worked great! I uninstalled Roxio because it is not compatible with MJ running, and it's a little fluffy anyway. There are liter tools.

As I set ton install my typically used software packages, I tried the MJ to see if or when it because crippled. It happened when I installed Sandboxie and that was probably the culprit.

So with all I did to get MJ to work, it might pose a problem to non technical folk. They can get an MJ and hope for the best. After all, they probably aren't going to use a sandbox program.

On the service side of MJ, there's been times, when I go to use the service and it has a dial tone, but every-time I dial, it just returned to the dial tone. Also, there's been times when as I called my MJ number, it would yield a busy signal when I could call out on the MJ. Or when my cell said "All circuits are busy" when calling MJ but not my land line. Or times, where the CD side of the USB drive was no longer accessible leading me to reboot my computer. I've never contacted their tech support. I figure, I couldn't get much support for $47. Besides, I've gotten it running myself.

So MJ for me hasn't been rock solid. If there was a fire, my MJ would be the last phone I'd use to call for help. On the other hand, When I need to make a long distance call, it is the first phone I grab! I'd feel very comfortable ditching my land-line if I had good cell service at my house.

The MJ had been totally worth the money for me! In fact, I bought another one for my mom off QVC now, so she can make long distance calls. And i can always tech support for her.

Oh and about the 30 day trial? I've yet to have been charged. I didn't fall for their tricks to get me to waive their trial - thus I wasn't charged.

member for 6.3 years, 69 visits, last login: 5.2 years ago
updated 6.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by gatr See Profile

  • Location: Middleburg,Clay,FL
  • Cost: $1 per month
Good "cheap cheap cheap ....."
Bad "computer must be on .... limited area code selection .. cant bring your Land Line number with you"
Overall "works if you need LD"
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The Jury is still out on this one . Price is right but just dont know enough about it to drop ATT .... YET!

member for 9.4 years, 27 visits, last login: 6.3 years ago
lodged 6.3 years ago

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Review by mod_wastrel See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $2 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Cheap, good voice quality, easy to setup and use"
Bad "None"
Overall "Easily worth the price"
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I ordered through the magicJack site (which is ugly, but easy to navigate): one magicJack, standard shipping (supposedly with no package tracking, expected 5-10 business days for delivery), and no extras. I received the email confirmation almost immediately. The next day I received an email that it had shipped and a tracking number (so maybe all shipments now receive a tracking number despite what the website said?) with a link to the USPS tracking site (which worked fine). A couple days later I received the magicJack--way ahead of the 5-10 business days.

I plugged it in to my [WinXP] PC, went through the setup--all very straight-forward, made some calls & had some friends call me--call quality about as good as that for any POTS/PSTN lines I've ever used (so, very good--not as good as Skype-to-Skype, of course, but that's to be expected), works fine with GrandCentral. Calls use about 90-95kbps of my network bandwidth on average--fairly typical. (I have FiOS, but with that bandwidth usage it should sound good over DSL, too.) The exchange is a "local" exchange (local rate center anyway), however calls from other local calling exchanges don't seem to recognize it as local; but since I use GrandCentral this hardly matters--might check into the local vs. non-local later on, though, just out of curiosity. Also, since I won't even be using the voice-mail feature, I haven't even looked at it. (GrandCentral handles all of my voice-mail.) 911?... couldn't care less.

No problems at all--couldn't have been easier or less of a hassle. If you order through the magicJack site, you get a 30-day free trial, but all that means to me is that you have 30 days to verify that it works [well enough], and I did that within a couple days. (VoIP isn't POTS/PSTN, so I expect some hiccups down the road; but I've been using VoIP for years, so that's just par for the course. For the most part, I've had excellent results using VoIP products. Vonage over Verizon DSL was probably the best in overall service, quality, & features (and simplicity); using GrandCentral with Gizmo & other services over FiOS offers pretty much the same service, quality, & features but costs quite a bit less, as in nearly free. I had more of a problem getting Comcast Digital Voice setup properly than magicJack; it took Comcast several days to get the voice-mail and CallerID working correctly, and a significant number of calls early on got an "All circuits are busy" message.) I purchased magicJack with the intention of a year's trial. For $20 or not much more per year I'll keep it for as long as it works.

If there's one problem with magicJack at all, it's that it requires the use of a PC. The problem is that if you take 1,000 PC's of 1,000 randomly selected people, then you can expect to see 1,000 different software and hardware configurations, and a good number of them won't support VoIP well if at all. That being the case, magicJack won't work for everyone. Not all broadband connections are "created equal" either, but that's just the nature of VoIP as opposed to being a problem with magicJack. If you've never used VoIP before on your existing broadband connection, you should first try something like Skype or Gizmo (softphones) just to verify that your PC/broadband setup works well for VoIP; they're free so all it will take is a little time.

On the other hand, a nice feature of a USB-connected telephony device is the potential interface with a desktop or even web-based address book. Imagine some Google gadget providing a link between the magicJack and, say, GrandCentral or even your Gmail contacts; perhaps a Thunderbird extension that interfaces with magicJack. Yeah, magicJack seems to have a Contacts list, but that's not where I want to keep my contacts, so it's not of much use to me.

UPDATE 01Aug2008: I've been using magicJack for more than a month now, and so far, so good. Voice quality is still quite good. Sometimes there'll be a little echo or someone's voice will sound a little "tinny", but VoIP will do that on occasion. Also, a couple times an outbound call failed to connect on the first try, but I tried again and the call went through OK. All in all, nothing much to complain about--no "chronic" problems. I've noticed that some users complain about a sound level problem and callers being unable to hear them well (or at all). I noticed this a little, too, but I just went into the sound recording properties for the device and set it to the max, which I've often had to do with computer-attached microphones, and all was well. Obviously, magicJack isn't perfect--reliability could be improved as well as the hardware/software interface, but it works very well for me and is definitely worth the money.

When I placed the order, the email confirmation message gave me a date on or after which I would be charged for the purchase, that date being 30 days after my order. They didn't charge me until that date, so I saw no "early charge issue" as reported by someone else.

member for 6.7 years, 1319 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
updated 6.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by bigdaddy15 See Profile

  • Location: Arlington,Arlington,VA
  • Cost: $1 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Cheap, True Plug and Play"
Bad "Limited Capabilities, inconsistent call quality"
Overall "Great for the Price, Decent Service"
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I ordered 2 magicjacks, one for me and one for the 'rents 3 months ago. Installation was seamless, call quality when good, great. About 1 in 5 times weird clicking sound on the line like every third packet is dropped. Ships fast, great usefulness to plug in a legacy easy phone that everyone understands. The dialpad/software is the most annoying thing on earth - will not operate consistently in background, forgets your settings, crappy contact management and no skinning. Hope that someday they will improve that one. I would love to see a better website, currently useless. Thank god for dual monitors. Order process seamless, charged me after the trial period finished.

Very useful as backup to cell phone - very very useful to minimize charges when calling toll free numbers and wonderful to be on hold with - just put it on your computer's speakers and adjust speaker volumes so you can grab a sandwich while on hold etc.

Pretty consistent reliability other than clicking problem as long as your ISP isn't misbehaving. Now if only I could Verizon Fios to be rock solid....

Basically, unless you MUST have home phone service, if you have broadband get this and a cell phone and you are GOLDEN. Grandcentral makes a great team with it - hit star and swap calls to your cell. Stop paying twice for an extra line to your house.

Also sold my neighbors on it, they ordered 3, one works great and one had to be returned. They love it when it works.

member for 8.3 years, 39 visits, last login: 1 year ago
updated 6.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by danoid See Profile

  • Location: Penn Yan,Yates,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified. (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "unlimited dial out to the US and Canada"
Bad "some minor echo sometimes on my end, but not objectionable"
Overall "so far so good, i am very pleased"
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i did alot of research on this as there was an article in the local paper back in April 2008 and i figured that i would give it a shot....i am not a shill for the company nor do i have any stock or financial interest in the company but so far i am really pleased with the results that i have gotten (though your mileage may vary)....i am using a 768 down/128 up package (DSL) and the results so far have been very good.....sometimes i get a minor echo of myself when i call out and that is only sometimes, maybe a 1 sec or less of delay but the people on the other end do not hear that so it is not a terribly big deal. the calls go right thru and stay connected.....

all i did was to put the MJ into the usb port and let the software install....i tried the softphone proggie to dial the landline phone (which i do NOT plan to get rid of) and the cel phone that i have and that worked great...so i got a $7 phone from family dollar store and plugged it in and away we went....i called the US and a bud in canada (talked to him for over an hour) with no problems at all.

had no experience with tech support so i cant comment on that....the forum here and the unofficial magicjack forums are a goldmine of helpful and useful information

$20 for the unit and $20 a year for service, for me it was and is a great deal!!!!!!

i gotta tell ya i was very skeptical at first but after trying it, i am more than pleased with what i have so far....if it stays this good, i will renew for another year of service....

member for 9.9 years, 45 visits, last login: 4.5 years ago
updated 6.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by Takenover83 See Profile

  • Location: Indianapolis,Marion,IN
  • Cost: $2 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Cheapest unlimited VOIP you can get"
Bad "Buy a ATA, dont even bother with having your pc on 24/7"
Overall "Great service, for almost nothing."
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You can get unlimited calls to anywhere in the USA, for only $20 a year, and that includes a local phone number. You get several features, that you see on a landline phone, such as caller id, call waiting, voicemail etc. If you are like me, then you can find out your Sip Credentials, and use a ATA (analog telephone adapter), and not be bothered with having your pc on all the time. I use a PAP2 that I got off ebay for $35 shipped. There is a great support forum here, to help you with almost anything you need, when it comes to the MagicJack.

»unofficialmagicjack.forum2u.org/

This is where I figured out how to obtain my Sip Credentials, so I could use any Sip supported hardware or software. My order arrived, 4 days after I ordered, and I did not use express shipping, which was a few bucks extra. They will leave a pending charge, that should disappear within a few days, when you order the 30-day trial. The only down side I see so far, is the customer support, but I have yet to have to contact them, but have heard terrible things. No other provider offers unlimited calling within the USA, for under $20 a year, so this is a great value.

member for 12.2 years, 73 visits, last login: 3.2 years ago
lodged 6.4 years ago

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Review by chgocolt See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $1 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Cheap, easy, cheap and oh yeah, CHEAP"
Bad "Not reliable as a primary number."
Overall "Great for free long distance to save cell minutes."
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My Other Reviews

·Comcast
My review with 2 weeks experience.
Set-up was easy. Took the fix from the web site to make it work, but it went just as the brief instructions said it would.

Voice mail sucks if you want to record a custom message. Won't record well for me. Kept the standard message and I'm fine. Like the emailed wave files for voice mail messages.

Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 tries to get a dial tone. Also I've answered a call and it keeps ringing 2 more times for the caller after I pick it up before it will make a connection.

As long as you have solid service from your ISP the calls are fine. Even with the few short comings of the service, at $20 a year for unlimited calls to US and Canada there's nothing to complain about. It keeps me from going over my cell plan minutes if I just use it for outbound calls at home and when I'm traveling. Tomorrow I'll find out how well it works in public hot spots while I'm on the road the next few days.

I wouldn't go for the extended plan to lock in the price. I don't see it as a viable business that will be around long. I don't thing the minimal ad revenue from the client screen will make up for the bargain basement price. It will probably go the way of SunRocket sometime in the not too distant future.

member for 10.4 years, 240 visits, last login: 80 days ago
lodged 6.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by ejrobinson See Profile

  • Location: Miami Beach,Miami-Dade,FL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "easy setup, inexpensive, convenient for traveling."
Bad "often mediocre call quality, computer must be running."
Overall "Not for mission critical use"
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Magicjack is more of a gadget. Call quality is often mediocre. It has to be used with a computer that is running. Since magicjack installs itself on whatever host computer to which this has been connected there are 2 problems: First of all, some computers are configured to prevent any such installation. Second, it isn't awfully polite to leave stuff on someone else's system.

On the positive side, the pricing is seductive for many.

member for 11.6 years, 2146 visits, last login: 2.1 years ago
lodged 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by dspringer4 See Profile

  • Location: Terre Haute,Vigo,IN
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Works 99% as advertised"
Bad "the 1% is getting the voice mail initialized"
Overall "Can't beat it with a stick!"
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Why pay big bucks for a land line or digital phone service when I can have magicJack? It is working just fine and I cannot beat the price.

member for 14.6 years, 39 visits, last login: 5.3 years ago
lodged 6.5 years ago

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Review by rlazica See Profile

  • Location: Grosse Pointe,Wayne,MI
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Worked as advertised from the day it was delivered"
Bad "None"
Overall "Magicjack work so well I bought one for my daugther"
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I can't say enough about how well Magicjack works I bought one because I was traveling to Europe. Once ordered it arrived in 4 days, I connected it to a Vista Operating System and after a couple reboots the Magicjack has never stopped working. I took it to Europe and made dozens of phone calls to the US and the quality is as good or better then any phone service that I have ever used.

member for 12.8 years, 14 visits, last login: 6.5 years ago
updated 6.5 years ago

Comments: