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magicjack.com page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 159 reviews (108 good) (26 bad)
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Review by MrMoody See Profile

  • Location: Smithfield,Johnston,NC
  • Cost: $4 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Cheap, pretty much plug and play"
Bad "Choppy sound during prime time,PC has to be running"
Overall "Don't bother if you are in AL/GA/SC/NC"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I ordered the MagicJack and paid my $46. It was delayed a week due to "unexpected order volume," which they notified me by email. Despite their promise to only bill after 30 days, they processed the full charge immediately (i.e. a week before shipping) and then refunded it. They sent another email apologizing for this.

When the device arrived, it plugged right in, and auto installed a ROM drive, which it then would have autoexecuted if I hadn't had it disabled. I went ahead and ran the autorun to install the software. I wish they made a LAN version that runs through your router instead of a PC.

It seems to work pretty seamlessly, caller ID even works on the phone (number only), but the sound is horrible and chops badly. There is nothing wrong with my system or setup; Skype works perfectly and I have no USB issues. The chopping goes away late at night. My ping is low even during prime time as can be verified by my DSLR monitor.

Some research quickly reveals that the Atlanta server they use is overloaded and causing the problems. There is no way to change servers within the software. Apparently you used to be able to change the Hosts file to force it to another server but they fixed this and it no longer works.

I guess the magical jack is going back before the trial is up. I hope they fix their server problems eventually. It seems like a good idea, but I guess I will keep looking for a good VoIP solution.

member for 12.5 years, 2761 visits, last login: 26 days ago
updated 6.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by agilityman00 See Profile

  • Location: Carmel,Putnam,NY
  • Cost: $3 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Cheap. Fax works"
Bad "Computer needs to be on to work. Area code for my area not available"
Overall "Did I say cheap."
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Verizon FiOS
Ditched Vonage and switched to MagicJack. Had it for just over a year and no problems. I did have to install another fax program over the one that I had to get the fax to work. I can receive and send faxes now, no problem. To rectify not being able to get a local area code, I signed up to grandcentral.com

member for 10.2 years, 3580 visits, last login: 72 days ago
lodged 6.4 years ago

Comments:






Review by TraderEd See Profile

  • Location: Marietta,Cobb,GA
  • Cost: $4 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Cheap dial tone with local number"
Bad "Not plug & play. I had start up issues. Must be plugged into PC & PC left on to work. No number porting yet"
Overall "Too soon to tell but appears to be exceptional value for the money, if they don't become the next SunRocket."
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

There were issues getting the service to work properly on my PC. After reading threads on DSLR and researching elsewhere on the net, I was able to resolve initial issues.

Call quality better than cell phone and comparable / better than P8 & ViaTalk.

Total cost for adapter & 1 year service $46.90. Can renew 2nd year for $19.95. When they allow number porting I will probably bring one or two numbers from P8 & one from VT (my fax number).

I probably will never have a single VOSP due to the nature of the beast & low cost of VOIP services.

member for 11.2 years, 464 visits, last login: 4.1 years ago
updated 6.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by iansltx See Profile

  • Location: Fredericksburg,Gillespie,TX
  • Cost: $1 per month (60 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Dirt cheap, cool features, decently reliable"
Bad "Uses computer, and only computer, as ATA, limited phone #'s, line quality...depends"
Overall "If you have a cell and you don't mind a probably non-local number, thish should be your landline"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Time Warner Cable
9/23/08

Still works great. You hav to watch the call status window though. No budy signal on the Mac version at least. Makes for an odd feeling when you just tried to call a number and get nothing but dead air. Other than that, it's fine. No ports needed to be forwarded for it to work great, and call quality is very good on my connection. I'm just worried what'll happen when Comcast gets around to doing its QoS-bumping congestion measures. Might jitter things up enough to make calling impossible while downloading stuff when I actually do my calling.

8/31/08

A few minutes ago I got off a 18-minte call with my gram'pa in NC. Connection was as clear as ever, albeit with a slight buzz in the background due to I'm-not-sure-what. This seems to come and go and depend on the call. Otherwise, I've gotta say that the connection has held up great through what is now probably 300+ minutes of call time. Half a cent per minute, and counting...down...sounds good to me!

8/23/08

Service seems to be fine. Wish they woul dcome up with a new Mac client to allow for softphone use and incoming Caller ID but I'm not complaining. Several long calls went through without event over the past few days (maybe an hour or so of use). One call was clipped audio-wise but that might have been the other end. Overall very satisfied with the service...QoS is great with my router (WRT54G v8) and modem (Comcast S\A WebStar) with no port forwarding required. Though logging into the router UI and talking on the phone breaks up the connection, but that's more a function of a gimpy router than a bad phone system.

8/19/08

Got my Qwest modem in last night and Comcast in this morning (doing a side-by-side comparison). On both conections, the Magicjack service was solid though the Comcast-powered service might be just a tad better. I'll be reiewing both providers soon. At any rate, it looks as though, as long as you have a solid internet connection to route the call over, MJ will work great for you. Actually tried using it on a Suddenlink cable connection a week ago and that was fine too.

8/8/08

Late last week I ordered the MagicJack. Complete with an extra four years of service (25% discount...but you an get that after you have your 'Jack if you want...but I didn't know that). $40 for the device + 1 year, $60 for another four years. Not months, years. Hence my getting "real" VoIP; my cell provides a reliable connection and I have all the minutes I need but I just couldn't pass this up. The TAXES on my cell bill are more than a few months of service with MagicJack!

It takes a few days for the company to mail the 'jack out, but two days after they mail it I receive it. Not too shabby. I grab the USB ATA that is MagicJack, then head out to CircuitCity, where I get some cheap ($60 for a 3-phone set) Uniden DECT handsets. Back at the apartment, I fire up VMWare (I run a Mac) to download the necessary updates so I can run MJ natively on OS X. It takes several minutes, but finally I get to the signup screen for MJ. A few minutes later, after choosing a password and picking a phone number, I'm onlin and ready to call. Voice is shaky until I realize that I'm running VoIP from within a VM and switch to the OS X client, then things are pretty good.

By pretty good I mean the connection is either landline quality or there's something very wrong with it. Granted, this may be because my internet connection right now is a 5/896 Qwest DSL line that's shared wirelessly among seven apartments, but right now few people are in the building (mostly students) so I can't quite pin the problem down...yet. Problems include "stretched" voice or soft\no voice from my end, or an occasional click on the other end. But if any given call has neither of these defects, the call is good for its entire duration as long as I'm not taxing the internet connection (again, it's somewhat bandwidth-limited though the voice stream itself is only about 88k each way).

One cool feature is their voicemail system; I know this is sorta standard for VoIP but the VM system is quite advanced and will e-mail you any voicemails, complete with caller ID info and, of course, the VM itself as a wave file. Particularly useful for me since my cell has push e-mail...IOW I've got visual voicemail AND unlimited caling for practically nothing per month.

Cons? Again, line quality seems to vary. One call will be fine, the next one will be fine, the third one will be pretty good, the fourth will have something pretty darned wrong with it. However I can't pass judgment too much on the system as I haven't used it more than 100 minutes so far, so call quality may actually be fine a much larger fraction of the time than what I let on, and if it's provided with a suitable (preferably low-latency wired) connection ther should be a drop in connection anomalies.

Also, the USB Jack is the only ATA for the system; you MUST have a computer on with the Jack plugged into a USB port (any port will work thanks to the extensiion cable) at all times or you lose service. Oh, and the MagicJack app has to be running, which means not one but TWO dock icons and TWO desktop icons if you're on a Mac. :/ Hey, at least it works...pretty advanced little gadget if you ask me...

Last, phone number choice with MJ is worse than any ther VoIP provider I've seen. Okay, it could be worse, and it was when it started out, but Yahoo Voice has a better phone number selection than MagicJack, and both services cost very little. Though MagicJack wins hands-down versus Yahoo cost-wise and voice-quality-wise (Yahoo VoIP is rather lame in the voice quality department) and beggars can't be choosers. Besides, the darned things are so cheap that if someone complains about your number being long distance you just give them a MagicJack and their troubles are oer, assuming they have an internet connection solid enough to sustain the service (anyhing "on a good day" but satellite).

If you're wondering about the quality of service and such, PM me and I'll give you my phone number to call. It's pretty unbelievable how MJ is offering service for so cheap so I'd expect to see some skeptics ot there but it seems to work fine...

member for 8.1 years, 3524 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by soccerdad62 See Profile

  • Location: Saline,Washtenaw,MI
  • Cost: $3 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Easy to install, easy to use, great for calling from abroad"
Bad "Not a lot of functionality on the web site"
Overall "It really works and it's cheap"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I've had the MagicJack device for about 3 months now. I use ViaTalk and Vonage at home and GrandCentral to consolidate my phone number, so I only use MJ when I'm traveling (though that's pretty much every week). Two distinctive benefits for me are that it works very well with a wireless connection and it costs nothing to call home from Europe where cell phone roaming is pretty expensive. It really was as easy to install as plugging in a USB and waiting. Call quality was surprisingly good, even on wireless; definitely didn't sound like I was in France when I called home (and with a caller ID of Southfield, MI, it took some convincing to get my son to believe I really was away). The web site is really a sales portal with a little bit of tech support. For $40 a year (and $20 next), I can live without bells and whistles.

Is the business model sustainable? Will they have numbers in other area codes? Will the web site ever get any better? I'm not losing sleep over it; it's cheap, not my primary phone number and I saved the cost of cell phone roaming outside the US, it's already more than paid for itself.

Update: The web site's still not great and call quality is still not perfect, but I took my MagicJack and my $6 phone handset with me to Asia last week and it worked just fine and saved me some serious cash. I found that hotel-room wired internet had much better call quality (I guess that makes sense) but MJ came through for me again. I renewed my $20/year subscription and the savings over what I would have paid for using my AT&T wireless was more than made up for.

member for 9.9 years, 1674 visits, last login: 118 days ago
updated 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by Lenagainster See Profile

  • Location: Silver Spring,Montgomery,MD
  • Cost: $2 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Cheap, good voice quality, unlimited calls to U.S & Canada"
Bad "Computer must be on (Power $$), co. startup problems, outages"
Overall "Inadequate as primary line, cheap secondary line"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Update 9/10/08 Cancelled the MJ service yesterday. Since it is unacceptable for incoming calls (caller gets 30 seconds of nothing before VM picks up) and a full minute to boot up to make an outgoing call (don't use it often enough to want the software running all the time), I found that I just don't use MJ any more. Didn't want the cordless phone I was using for MJ sitting on the desk, taking up space and sucking up more power. Had to bump my cellphone minutes up for other reasons and I have minutes to spare. Will use the cell rather than MJ for those rare occasions when the house phone is busy or is out of service. Had to chat with 'LivePerson' to get the account terminated; no way to do it through 'My Account'. MJ was an interesting experiment but the problems with the service make it impractical for me at any price.

Update 8/1/08 Tried calling my MJ number when I had computer shut down. Get an excruciating long wait of nothing but dead air before the voicemail picked up. Most callers would have hung up before VM activated, thinking they mis-dialed or the phone was not working. Totally unacceptable. Proves again to me that I cannot use MJ for incoming calls. For use as an outgoing line when the home phone is tied up, it takes a full minute to get MJ up and running, and for a quick call, that time makes MJ less than desireable. I'd rather burn a few minutes off my cell phone than sit at the computer waiting for MJ to boot up. I'll keep MJ around for the year that I've already paid for, but it's not worth it to me to pay the $20 for the next year of "service". An interesting experiment with MJ, but not worth the frustration.

Update 4/12/08. I kept the device past the 30 day trial period and paid the full $47. Now I'm stuck with it for better or worse. And it has gotten worse, so I downgraded my ratings. Voicemail has been anything but reliable, and currently it is not working. Worse yet, if MagicJack is not running on the computer, the caller to your number gets NOTHING, but if they wait long enough will eventually get a busy. (If MJ is set up on the computer, the call will go through). This means that this POS is definitely not to be depended upon as a primary phone. It still serves my purpose to be used as a secondary outgoing line, and for making LD calls. Just don't give your MJ number to anyone, or they will be laughing at you for being so foolish for signing up with this phone service.

Original review:

I'll admit I succumbed to the hype, and the price. Without the normal caution and research I usually take before purchasing anything online, I submitted my order for one MagicJack just about two weeks ago.

I had no intention from the start to use this service as my primary phone line. That's because I have VoicePulse, one of the most reliable and full featured VoIPs on the market. I'd never give them up. But MJ looked like a great deal for an initial outlay of $47 ($20 for the device, $20 for a YEAR of service, $7 shipping), with the subsequent cost of $20 per year for unlimited calling throughout the U.S. and Canada. It was worth it to me at that price to have a second line for the few times the primary line is busy, or we wanted to keep it open for an expected call, or on the rare occasion when our primary service is having problems. While my VoicePulse "local" plan give me 200 minutes of long distance free, which I never exceed, I could always use MJ for long distance, and if the occasion ever arose that I had to call Canada.

My MJ arrived within five days and I plugged it in and started using it. My first mistake was not thoroughly checking the MagicJack website for the available numbers and checking the exchanges against a reliable source to determine the name of the town associated with the exchange. The information on the MagicJack website was WRONG regarding the exchange and the town. I picked a number based on the MJ information and it turned out to be a long distance call for my neighbors. I contacted tech support via their text messaging help line and was told that I was allowed to change the number ONCE. I picked another exchange, based on the MJ information, and that turned out to be wrong as well. But the second town was a local call for most of my neighbors. If it was an extremely important issue, I guess I could return the MagicJack under my 30 day "free" trial, pay shipping and return shipping, and then order another MagicJack. But at this point, I don't even intend to give out my MJ number and I plan to use the service for outgoing calls only. One of the first things I learned after setting up my MagicJack is that this service is not ready for prime time. It was noisy at first, but somehow it cleared up and calls have gotten better. Sometimes voicemail worked, sometimes it didn't. On the fifth day I had the service, MagicJack was down for most of the day, and getting through to tech support was impossible. The next day, an apology appeared on the MagicJack window, stating that they were aware that a "few" customers had problems.

Sometimes voicemail works, sometimes it doesn't. The voicemail indicator on the MJ window has not worked from day one. No stutter tone. I will get an email notifying me of voicemail. But again, if I only intend to use the service for outgoing calls, voicemail is not an issue for me.

My biggest frustration with MagicJack is that it wants to control my computer and prevents me from using my computer the way I want to. It puts a startup program in the startup folder that seems to interfere with other startup programs and makes the boot up process excruciatingly long. It won't let me put my computer in the "sleep" mode (standby) and I either have to shut down or turn the monitor off and live with the computer running full time. After fretting over this issue for a while, I found that I could disable the MJ startup program and use the desktop icon to start MagicJack when I wanted. I realized that I could use Ctrl/Alt/Delete to bring up the Task Manager and hit "End Task" to turn off MagicJack. Then I could put my computer in the sleep mode.

It was pointed out in many discussions regarding MagicJack the added cost for this service due to the requirement to keep the computer running. If one were to use a desktop computer and leave it on 24/7 in order to use MagicJack as a primary line, it would cost anywhere from $10 to $25 per month in electricity, to say nothing of the wear and tear on the compter itself. (These amounts can be verified if one assumes about 14 cents per KWH (that's what it is in my area) and a desktop burning 100 to 250 watts with an LCD about 40 watts or CRT about 90 watts). These costs confirmed the decision for me that I would only turn my MagicJack on when I wanted to make an outgoing call.

I still have a couple of weeks left to decide if MagicJack is a keeper. As long as the voice quality remains as good as it is now, I feel that the $47 initial outlay for having a second line with unlimited calling for a whole year is worthwhile ($4/mo), and if MagicJack survives another year without substantial rate increases, $2/mo for that second line will be gravy. But I'd never give up VoicePulse.

member for 10.2 years, 1416 visits, last login: 5.3 years ago
updated 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by MagicalPig See Profile

  • Location: Oakland,Bergen,NJ
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great deal for the cost."
Bad "Lack of offline options"
Overall "If you want a low cost phone and have a always on internet - it awsome."
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have seen this infomercial and website before and was just too lazy to check it out. Then when I decided I wanted another line I ordered. Process was smooth. Received it on time. The install instructions could have been better. The install went smooth but there were a few kinks - A non computer person might have freaked a bit.

Quality is great on Verizon FiOS 20/5

I figure for 45 bucks for the adapter and service w/ the first year - even if they close down - it will be worth it.After that it's all gravey for the supposed 19.99 (I think they said it was 19.99)

Oh and as far as the options - it all revolves about you being plugged in as far as I can tell. If the device is not online you cant do 'jack' - Other than get vmail via email (wich is nice)

MP

member for 6.6 years, 1237 visits, last login: 249 days ago
lodged 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by fivestard See Profile

  • Location: Tempe,Maricopa,AZ
  • Cost: $3 per month
Good "price"
Bad "inconsistant call quality, tech support, software"
Overall "not ready for prime time"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I've had a magicjack for about 4 months and during that time I've drawn several conclusions. The most obvious thing about the magicjack is that you get what you pay for. The first year is only $40 which is extremely low. Unfortunately it's simply not up to the same quality level that I am used to from other providers. It does work but my biggest complaint is with the inconsistent call quality. One call will be perfect, as good as any land line, but the next several call will be muffled. Callers on the other end are constantly asking me to repeat myself because they can't understand me. Using the magicjack has become frustrating, embarrassing and annoying.

Forget about calling tech support because they only accept on line chat messaging. In my experience the tech support is only able to help with the most basic issues. For anything else you're on you own and have to turn to on line forums. I suspect that if tech support had more training and tools available they might be able to diagnose some of these quality issues but that is not the case.

In conclusion, for us magicjack is barely usable and only as a last resort.

member for 11.1 years, 34 visits, last login: 6.4 years ago
updated 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by lvrdad_45 See Profile

  • Location: Fort Worth,Tarrant,TX
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Inexpensive, good voice quality"
Bad "sometimes choppy"
Overall "As good a a cell phone"

For those of you having a problem with magicjack sometimes conflicting with your cd/dvd drive, try this fix I obtained from magicjack. I would have conflicts sometimes with the cd.dvd drive, and this fixed it:

Plug in your magicJack. Now right click on my computer and select "manage". In there click on "Disk Management".

On the right side you should among other things see two drives. One is called "MagicJack" and the other is called either "Phone" or "Vista Only".

First right click on the one called "MagicJack" and then select "Change Drive Letters and Paths". In there select "Change" and then use the scrolldown menu to select "X". Click ok, you will get a pop up asking you to confirm, press yes.

Now do the same thing with the drive called "phone" or "Vista Only". Name that one "Y".

Now exit device manager and then unplug your magicJack. Now restart your computer and when you are up and running again, plug in your magicJack.

member for 13.5 years, 678 visits, last login: 1.9 years ago
updated 6.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by jtozer See Profile

  • Location: San Diego,San Diego,CA
  • Cost: $3 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Cheap"
Bad "Unstable"
Overall "Just a toy"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Arrived a day short of a week from ordering. Installation was pretty straightforward.

Installed on a Vista machine with cable internet that also was running Skype & Pidgin.

From the get-go fraught with apparent conflicts, frequent disconnects and plain "Program Not Responding".

CallerID in did not display on my phone but did on the computer's screen. Call quality was choppy.

My hope was to use this as my Home-Office line. I'll be sticking with Vonage - which has proved to be a solid and reliable solution to me.

member for 11.2 years, 1160 visits, last login: 90 days ago
updated 6.6 years ago

Comments: