Magic Jack

D and I needed a phone that wasn’t a cell, and when we saw them advertise this for $19.95 a year.

That sounded really good, so we got one, but now we may be sorry that we did. It seems to cut out during conversations to the point where it’s pretty damn aggravatin’.

Do any of you have one of these, and are you having the same problem and do you just put up with it?

I know the old adagio “You get what you pay for”, but I’d really like to make this thing work better if I can.



You need a fast computer and some fine tuning to get it right but I use it all the time. If you want something very reliable, you must get the regular land line service but to use it just for your long distance in North America it is great. You really need a fast computer or close down some other auto programs when you use it.

money saved

Okay, thanks Dandmb50. Not sure how fast my wife’s is. it’s on her USB.

My gaming computer is very fast, but I’m told never to use MJ on it.



I just got it about a week and a half ago, and I’ve run into the same issues. Considering how little I paid for it (they actually had a special going where I could buy five years of service for $60), I’m not upset. But there have been times when I and the person I’ve been talking to on it the most have both gotten frustrated by how often it cuts in and out. Granted, the other person is also using VoIP, so we may both be having issues, but I’ve been rather frustrated at times. And my computer is not slow by any stretch.

I’m using wireless internet via Time Warner cable, if that matters.

You should try the gaming computer, but first try a different USB plug to see if that makes a difference. I found that if I used one of the USB plugs at the back of the computer it worked better.

We have similar issues. Some days it works better than others. It may also have to do with the speed we get from the ISP.

I’d worry about the speed and quality of your internet connection before I worried about the speed of the computer. What’s that like?

Will it work with dsl?

It should work with DSL. The computer is running over WiFi as well.

Mine works with DSL.

Initially we had some cut-out problems with it, but it’s been working fine now for over a year. The husband adjusted some settings (sorry, don’t know exactly what he did otherwise I’d tell you) and we shut down everything else while using it.

Is my computer fast? Um… it’s like 10 or 12 years old (I think we got it in '99) so by today’s standards it’s far from speedy but our MJ works better than our landline now.

I would not use Magic Jack on a computer subject to the whims of a WiFi connection, if I could avoid it. WiFi is for convenience, but a hard-wired connection will almost always be more reliable because it does not compete with signal interference from other microwave devices (like microwaves, cordless phones, etc).

As an alternative you can sign up for Google Voice and get free calls over your regular phone or even at a pay phone for free. The international rates are dirt cheap

I’ve found it is better to plug it in the back of the computer rather than the front. No problems at all for over a year with the exception of some momentary fading out if I have a big fast download going on over my DSL line … actually, the Magic Jack is clearer than my hardwired phone.

I think the advice about gaming computers has to do with the fact that the MJ interface pops up when the phone rings … can be a bit annoying at a critical time in a battle, but for $20/year long distance, I can live with that. It does run one background process but that doesn’t noticeably effect gaming performance.

Ours is in an external USB port on my wife’s computer. (They’re networked) Mine’s (the gaming one) in another room anout 50 feet away.

I haven’t seen the interface pop up yet, but that could be because no one’s called when I’m playing…:wink:



Do try it on different ports; that external one might causing your problem. I don’t know enough about hardware to understand the lingo about roots and hubs and buses and such but I can tell you mine works better in some ports than in others … something to do with more direct connection or the number of devices sharing a port or something … an easy enough experiment, though.

Gotcha, thanks Turble! :slight_smile:


What is the deal with Magic Jack? Is it a pyramid scheme or just a money drain enterprise for some investors with more money than sense? $20/year cannot be anywhere sufficient to cover costs. Even going beyond the likes of Vonage ($25/month), the dirt-cheap VoIP operators are still $100/year.

Do you guys ever have difficulty getting dial tone with yours? I find that it’s about 50/50 for me whether I have dial tone or not, and the only cure I’ve found for that is unplugging and re-plugging in the dongle.

What costs are there? Seems all profit to me, once you write the software. Unlike most of the others, Magic Jack sells a piece of hardware. I’m sure they’re making profit off that as well.

But you get to call landline phones with it, don’t you? If it was just Magic Jack-to-Magic Jack, then yeah it’d be free.