Anyone have majicJack ?

All calls, local and long distance $19.95 per year

Costs $69.95 plus S&H

Keep your own number

Call waiting call display

All through your computer and or router

Is this for real ?

What is the downside ?

Well, my brother has it, and every time I call his home number, I get “I’m sorry. We are unable to complete the call to this Magic Jack customer at this time. Please try again later.”

Usually, when I call his cell after that, the response is “I hate that goddamn thing. I’m going to rip it out with my teeth and run over it.”

Everyone else’s mileage may vary.

your computer has to be running to send or receive calls. you need electricity in your house to have a phone (wired phones or cell phones can work when you don’t have electricity).

a friend had it and its updates (automatic) would mess up his computer, he would have to tinker to get the computer to work again. it would sometimes, without notice, stop working for incoming and outgoing calls and he would need to reboot after he found it not working. sound quality was poor (dropouts of sound) and it would drop calls in progress frequently. he dumped it.

there are other voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers. you might pay $12 to $20 per month depending on your plan. you can get these with a corded phone, cordless phone or a gateway (you use your ordinary wired or cordless phones). your computer doesn’t need to be on for these to work. you do need electricity.

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I got one about 6 months ago. Don’t know where you’re getting the $70 though, mine was about $35 from Amazon and the first year of service is included in that. (Maybe the new one that can work without a computer is $70, I don’t know.)

I really like it. If my computer is too busy thinking, that can make it so my calls don’t go through or it skips out a little, but my computer is very old and I don’t know if this would be a problem with better computers.

Oh yeah, and one other thing, for some reason there are a few numbers that can’t call it. My friend tried to call me from a military training facility, and it could never go through.

But for $20 a year, and considering that I can use my cell phone the few times it’s not doing what I want it to do, it’s more than worth it.

I had it for two years about 3-4 years ago…at the time it was about $20 for the year and $35 for the device, I think? Plus you had to have a working computer and a home phone.

I got it as a back-up for my cell phone and a way to chat and save on minutes because going over on my cell plan at the time was stupid expensive. It was a great deal and I don’t recall having any problems with it. FWIW, I had cable internet - maybe it’s more squirrely on DSL or dial-up. I now have unlimited cell minutes so don’t need the Magic Jack any more but at the time I definitely got my money’s worth out of the thing.

No personal experience, but I’ll mention a benefit not yet pointed out in this thread: if you travel, and bring your computer, you are basically bringing your US phone number with you. As long as you have access to the internet, your Magic Jack is still a US phone, and can make and receive calls to the US like any other phone.

Mine sucked so bad I threw it away after a couple of weeks.

We’ve had it for about a year. The quality is sometimes a little echoe-y, you have to have your internet running all the time, and sometimes if we’re doing heavy downloading calls don’t get through, but dropping our $100/month landline charges was worthwhile.

Not any longer with the new MagicJack Plus model.

There are some areas where MJ won’t work – some small rural telephone companys block it. I’ve had mine for over three years and the only problem I’ve had is I can’t call one uncle who lives in one of those areas with a small local phone company.

Their customer support appears to be all but nonexistent, so you might need to be a little bit computer literate if you run into problems setting it up (but it seems to me the people who have problems are those who really have no computer experience at all.)

All in all, I’d say it’s well worth the money. If mine dies, I will get another one.

You’ve got that backwards - it is Magicjack that is blocking smaller phone companies. Magicjack is basically an arbitrage scheme - there are fees paid from calling phone company to called phone company when one phone company connects long distance to the other. Magicjack is based around a rural, high cost company that charges high (relative) fees, and they are banking on making more from the incoming calls than they spend on outgoing calls. To do that they block you from calling more expensive rural carriers. It is basically a distributed version of the same scheme that the “free” teleconference numbers are.

As far a my experience with it, lots of dropped calls/call problems, and problems with a bunch of different numbers when dialing out.

MJ is good if you need a cheap, unreliable, backup phone number. If you can pay a little more, you can get a real VOIP device which will work just like a landline.

I have PhonePower, which is $200 for 2 years (about $8.33/mo). It’s so reliable, I actually forgot who the provider was. I never have to call for service. It works just like a regular phone. You get a standalone device into which you plug into your phone. It doesn’t use your computer, just your internet.

Had a g/f who used it. It really worked for her as she only wanted to use it at certain times, the rest of the times calls went into voicemail which worked like emails. She didn’t use it at a always connected phone.

Call quality was variable, sometimes required calling her back, but sometimes fine.

I have it. It works great for me. I have it hooked up to a cordless phone network and I always leave my computer on anyway so you can’t really tell where the service is coming from. The only issue I had was call volume but I was able to fix that through some computer settings. Calls really are free anywhere in the U.S. once you pay the fee. There is no catch there.

There are a couple of cool features. Voicemail also gets sent to your e-mail as an sound file attachment so you can listen to it from anywhere you can get e-mail. You can also get a phone number that represents somewhere else in the U.S. if you want. Always wanted to live in Wyoming? Now you can at least a little with your new area code. That can be useful for privacy or business reasons. As stated, you can just take the MJ with you anywhere and it will work. That is good for people that move a lot.

Is this still working out for you? I was thinking about MagicJack but this looks like it’s a lot better. The website gives the pros. Are there any cons?

I use an Ooma Telo, and I’m very happy - excellent call quality, and lots of neat features, like community blacklisting of junk callers.

I’m still very happy with PhonePower. I can’t think of any cons. The reliability and call quality is great. One feature I really like is that you get two separate phone connections to the device. They share the same number, but it’s two separate lines. You can have two different phones plugged in and make independent calls on each. If someone is using one line and a call comes in, the other line will ring. It’s really handy if you have multiple people in the household.

We’ve had MagicJack for years. There have been some problems with sound quality now and again, but no worse than with my cellphone provider. We use it as a cheap way to make long-distance calls to relatives and it has served us well for that purpose.

When I want people to call me I usually give them my cell number as that goes direct to me - it’s when I call out I use MJ.

Broomstick, I talked to a friend that had MJ for a while and her complaint was also about the sound. I think that’s why she gave it up.

I’d actually probably be happy just to switch to just using my cell, but I want to keep the landline number which I’ve had forever, while not giving up the cell number which is what I’ve been giving to everyone in recent years.

I’ve even considered moving the old number to Google Voice and having it ring through to my cell from there, thus eliminating all charges for it. This page explains a roundabout way to port a landline number to Google Voice:

Any thoughts on the quality and usability of Google voice?

Ideally though, I’d feel more comfortable with a landline so that 911 service works correctly (which apparently it would with PowerPhone, Ooma Telo, and MagicJack). Also, a good landline (or VOIP) seems to have better sound quality than a cell and I prefer that for prolonged conversations. Also, of course, it would reduce cell minutes.

filmore, with that second phone feature, is it possible for calls to go to call waiting instead? I’d rather not have to pick up another phone to answer a second call.