Magic Jack

I was tired of paying $50 a month for a home land line we never use, but still wanted to have phones in various rooms of my house rather than carrying my cell phone around all the time.

I bought a Dock n Talk device that allows one to use home telephones through a cellular phone. But it didn’t work with my cell phone nor my wifes.

So this week I bought a Magic Jack

I ran the main phone line up through the floor and plugged it into the device behind my computer so all the phones in my house work off of it. It was $39.99 and the annual (not monthly) fee is $19.99.

And it works FANTASTIC!!!:):cool::):cool::):cool::slight_smile:

The sound quality on every phone is equal to what the phone companies land line was. Unlimited local and long distance calls are included in the fee, as well as call waiting , caller ID, and a voice mail service.

I am majorly impressed!

Does it work while your computer is turned off?

For me, internet access by itself costs almost as much as internet plus phone. I’d love to ditch the home phone line. I was looking into Ooma because it works while the computer is turned off.

So what’s the basic concept? It’s a USB device that plugs into your computer and works over the internet?


But Ooma is $250 up front for the box. Is your computer normally off?

Yes. And a standard phone plugs in the MJ (or you can attach it to house phone wiring, I believe).

No. But it does work when the computer goes into the energy saving “sleep mode”. I’ve verified this myself.

Yes. I plugged the master line (the line that comes into the house from the outside) into the device so all my phones (both corded and cordless) work on it.

If you’re not able to do that, hook up the base model of one of those cordless phones that are expandable and put the extension cordless phones around your house.

It comes with a voice mail system, but it also works with answering machines.

When you pick up your phone you get a dial tone and unless you know better there is nothing to expose that it’s working through a computer and not a phone company landline.

I have been disappointed with magicJack. It is good when I initiate the call, but when I receive a call about 25% of the time it fails to pick up when I answer and another 25% of the time the connection is very poor.

What kind of internet service do you have?

I have Road runner and have not experienced this.

Comcast cable. 20 - 22MBps down/4 - 5MBps up.

I have an internet phone and you’re right that it’s indistinguishable from a regular phone line. Except for one thing - if you lose power, you’ve lost your phone service.

What happens with the Magic Jack if you need to call 911? In the US, with a land line when you call 911, the police automatically get the address. This helps when the caller can not speak.

When you install magicJack you configure your address for use on 911 calls.

This is a good post/question.

There is a registration screen that comes up during downloading the program. It allows you to put your address in so when 911 is dialed that address appears to the 911 operator.

We’ve been using Magic Jack for years. We’ve found the quality to be as good as any landline. When we’ve had problems it’s always turned out to be a problem with a phone unit or headset, not the Magic Jack.

No, it’s not for everyone but it can be a really good deal.

We’re in the process of phasing out our Magic Jack, which we’ve been using for the past two years. We’ve had a lot of trouble with the audio cutting out for about three-or-so seconds at a time during calls, and lately our cellphones have been unable to call it (we get the message that the call was improperly routed, and that we should call our provider and tell them about it).

We’ve replaced MJ (mostly, at this point) with a wireless phone system that connects over bluetooth to our cell phones. When we’re home, our cells automatically connect to the base unit and then all the other phones in the house start using our cellular connection. Works like a charm, and it cuts us down to one phone number per person.

Sounds interesting - what is it called?

If he has the same thing as me, it is the Xlink Bluetooth Gateway (

Takes up to 3 phones and has pass through for a landline/magicjack/etc.
I had the same problems as lighting with magicjack + the incoming call issues, and I switched to a combination of the Xlink + (buy your own device and then pay per minute)

We have a MagicJack running on a T1 (1.5 MB) connection and it works well.

But consider also the cost of running a computer 24/7. Back 10 years ago when computers were less efficient but electricity was also cheaper it cost about $30 per month to run a PC.

I also have theory that after sales of the $40 devices drop off, they won’t be able to offer a year of service for $20 any more.

I’m into my 3rd year with MagicJack and nothing but happy with it. I live in a rural area with old phone lines and the sound quality of the MJ is actually better than my standard landline (which I very rarely use any more.)

One very nice feature that other VOIP setups don’t have is that you can take the MJ with you when traveling. Plug it in to any computer with broadband just about anywhere in the world and make and receive calls for free. People at home can call your MJ as a local call no matter where you are in the world – although there are a couple exceptions – I think Afghanistan blocks it, for instance – but got a kid going away to college or spending the summer traveling through Europe; send a MagicJack with them and you can call them as a local number.

And the MJ voice mail does work when your computer is off. You will get an email containing a .wav file of the message, so you don’t even have to be at your phone to listen to messages.

This is the model I bought. I kind of wish I’d bought one that supports three lines, instead of two, 'cause then we’d probably get another cell line just for home. But this works, and I like the audio caller ID. It’s also pretty cool to hear my ringtone play out over the “home” phone whenever someone calls me on my line.

That’s a great idea.