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Old 09-24-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
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Thumbs up magicJack

I got a little device from magicJack about 6 weeks ago. It plugs into a usb port on your computer and has an outlet that you plug a standard telephone into. It can also be used with a computer speaker and microphone if you don't want to use a phone.

I paid $40 for the device and it includes one year of service.

Once setup, it sets you up with a landline number (you choose an area code, which are limited right now) that can be used anywhere in the US and Canada for incoming and outgoing calls.

Until today, I've been playing with it in my office and have easily recouped the $40 I spent for it in phone call costs.

I am currently sitting in the A/S and have it plugged into my laptop. The campground wifi signal is fluctuating between 35% and 48%. I've already called home and spoke with my wife. She said the sound was pretty good.

I've also called my magicJack number from my cell phone and it worked too.

I plan to keep it in my laptop bag and use it when on the road since most of my travel is by automobile and I carry a landline phone with me for testing purposes anyway.

I have no knowledge of this company's financial stability or lack thereof. Just that if you try this, be prepared to possibly blow $40 if they go away.

They do plan to offer several new area codes and allow current users one free phone number change by the end of the year.

I currently have a Denver (303) area code but will switch to one in my region in Illinois or perhaps Beverly Hills when available.

I've noticed a few glitches. Some Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems don't always understand the tone codes, sometimes. A few times, I've gotton a busy circuit signal when the call would go through on a standard landline.

None of the glitches have been anything more than minor annoyances to me.

BTW: It seems to work with USB 1.1 and 2.0. My laptop only has USB 1.1 and it's working pretty well.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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I just happened to go to the magic jack site today. Our cell phone bill is crazy and I am always going over my minutes.

I am trying to get off t-mobile and onto "straight talk." 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and data as well for 30 bucks a month with no service plan. You do have to buy a phone and except for ordering it online I will have to walk into a Walmart and buy one.... arrr...

I thought if I could use the magic jack for when I am at home that would save me a lot of minutes off my bill. However I don't think my upload speed is fast enough. Mine is 41kb per/s and they need 128 kb/s to function properly.

This is the link for the speed test,
You may test your bandwidth speed at http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
I am curious Dennis what your upload speed is and does it really have to be that high to work.

Thanks for the cool post!
Smiles,
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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I got the majicjack a while back but have not played with it yet. It cam highly recommended by Clark Howard. Got ours for travelling. It will be interesting to see how many others have this and how well they like it. Also the reliability
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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i tried it about 18 months ago and had problems with other people hearing me. tech support was by live chat and they tried a few things (over two hours and three sessions) but i stopped when they wanted to go into my registry files. it became a security issue for me. btw, i was on dsl (768).

i've heard that it seems to work fine with some computers and not for others.

considering the possible savings, it's worth a try.

most cell phone providers now offer unlimited calling for $99 a month.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pink1 View Post
I thought if I could use the magic jack for when I am at home that would save me a lot of minutes off my bill. However I don't think my upload speed is fast enough. Mine is 41kb per/s and they need 128 kb/s to function properly.
Is this dialup Internet? - that's PAINFULLY slow!

My upload speed is 1080 kbps - using the speed test you linked to.

My magicJack bit the dust about 6 months ago. The call quality seemed to deteriorate over time and I had decided not to replace it if/when it ever did quit working.

I am now using Google Voice and it's been very good. It has some really useful features I use daily.

You're given a phone number with Google Voice. One of its features is that you can have multiple phones ring whenever someone places a call to you.

For example, when my Google Voice number is dialed, my landline office phone AND my cell phone both ring and I can answer the call from either one.

I can add or remove phone numbers to ring at will. Kind of a broadcast call forwarding.

Another useful feature is if you don't answer the phone, the caller can leave a voice message - like an answering machine - but it will be translated to a text message and sent to your email. You can read it and listen to the sound file. It's not perfect but good enough to comprehend.

The service is FREE!

The phone calls are free in the US and CANADA!

You can also use the service to CALL from your cell phone. I don't know that would help with cell carriers treating that against your time since it's still being used.

Sound quality is at least as good as my Verizon land line service, and many times it's actually better.

Unfortunately, you need to request an invite to get an account, but it's worth the wait.

https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini View Post
You can also use the service to CALL from your cell phone. I don't know that would help with cell carriers treating that against your time since it's still being used.
Eliminate LD charges?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini View Post
Only available in the USA. :/
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:21 PM   #7
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I've had one for over a year and it now performs acceptably after I bought a new wired ethernet router (to eliminate radio based wireless problems) and it also has Quality of Service packet priortization (needed for call clarity), a new powered USB hub to eliminate power starvation problems, a good USB headset with noise cancellation built-in to eliminate audio feedback problems, eliminated the crappy USB extension cable supplied with the mJ, installed another program on my computer so that I can set program priority in Windows for the executeable, and a variety of registry tweaks to optimize performance. I already had cable broadband but a DSL internet connection is the minimum acceptable speed for the device.

I also pucker up everytime I get a new forced update from the magicJack servers and I hope that I'll be able to correct what it breaks.

Yeah it's the greatest thing since sliced white bread and remember "Nothing can go wrong" (click) "Nothing can go wrong" (click) "Nothing can go wrong" (click) "Nothing can go wrong" ...
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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A Company called Boost is available in most areas and offer a unlimited mobile phone for 50.00 per month I have been using it for about 6 months no problems yet.. They are a sister company to Sprint/Nextel.......SAM
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #9
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Tried MagicJack a year ago and the sound was not good for long distance. Have switched to Skype and like it much better..
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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I tried Vonage for a while, but eventually I had to cancel. I spent hours on the phone with their CS people, and they could never get it working up to the level of quality that they advertise.

Too bad, but from that I gathered that VOIP (Voic Over Internet Protocol) just wasn't ready yet for Prime Time.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:57 PM   #11
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VOIP I used a company called Packet 8 a couple years ago very bad choppy calls . Did away with home phone all together just use cell phone....SAM
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini View Post
Is this dialup Internet? - that's PAINFULLY slow!

My upload speed is 1080 kbps - using the speed test you linked to.




https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/
Dennis,
We have DSL. The speed I told you before was on my laptop, I just checked my pc and it has 310.
I am going to look into google voice.
Smiles,
Pink
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:40 AM   #13
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I've had Magic Jack for about 10 months now. I had to do all the things that Crusty did (Post #10) to make it work acceptably. One of the recent updates added a setting for using it with a cellular internet connection. The cost is $35 a year for phone service. Any voicemails get sent to your email as .wmv files so you can listen to them. We use a cable modem at home, and also have pay as you go cellular as a backup.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:59 AM   #14
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I have a friend that only uses magic jack for a phone. I have Qwest braoadband for the computer so also a Qwest land line. I use magicjack for my long distance calls and save $50 to $100 a month. Voice quality is fine.
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