questionshas anyone tried the magicjack or magicjack plus?

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I've heard people calling on Magic Jack, and they sound just fine (no better or worse than any other VOIP service). Reliability is supposed to be over 90%, and users are generally happy with it (at least from what I've seen so far). If you're on VOIP, then I'd say go for Magic Jack. You'll save a lot of money, and be no worse off than you are now.

*Disclosure: I'm not on it, even though I'm very interested in it, because my internet service does not support VOIP to the degree I need it to (I struggled with VOIP for a couple of months) and I use my phone for work.

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I have had a Magic Jack for more than a year now. We got one because the kids are getting a little older and we don't want our cell numbers going out to all their friends. It is not the absolute best connection but you can easily carry on a conversation without having a hard time understanding what is being said or the other person understanding you. The cost was the big thing since it is way cheaper than a land line and we always have a computer on 24/7 so it is always connected. I would not recommend it for business use but casual home use it works rather well.

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I have never tried Magic Jack. I ended up getting Ooma. The features are awesome.

Issues:
We were not able to port our phone number. (they said we could)
I ended up getting a router with QOS so all my internet traffic was not routed across the box and I would not drop calls due to not enough bandwith.
CentryLink claims voip uses 2 megs per second of internet. I would say much less then that around 1/2 meg.

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@drjing @asahel01 @caffeine_dude : Thanks for the replies. The service I have now is the Cable-based phone service which uses our Internet connection (our modem is an "all in one" -- it connects directly to the router/phone).

It's very good but costly, particularly because we only use the phone to accept calls from international calls (family abroad). Also, we've had our number for over a decade so we really don't want to change it.

I think I'm going to try the magicJack Plus -- there's a free trial available. Hopefully we'll be able to keep our number.

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@jyoz22: I just remember one more thing, you cable modem probably has a battery backup giving you a dial tone when you loose power. I think you would loose this.

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@caffeine_dude: lol you would think they would... BUT they actually don't. They used to in the early days, but for some reason now they don't. I've requested a new battery they said they don't give out batteries for modem's anymore. Thanks for the heads up though!

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Yep, I got a Magic Jack about two years ago.
My primary use is as a backup phone line, because it has great call forwarding and flexible online options.

I often use it when traveling, because I can avoid hotel phone charges by piggybacking on WiFi and network, without giving out my cell number.

As mentioned, the voice quality is great, as long as you have the bandwidth and latency is low enough. If you are proxied or have line issues, no VOIP solution will work well.

I might mention that you should look at Google Voice which also offers a great collection options. The only question is about handset, headset use.

Each setup has pros and cons. What else would help answer your question?

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@jyoz22: Perhaps you should mention you are looking for a more affordable VoIP option, because you really do not see any benefit in the cable's offering, not like when cable was the obvious choice when the battery back up was working. (if you really want that battery replaced)

I have google voice mentioned by @tpscan and really never considered it as an alternative to home phone. I use google voice to forward and screen my calls. When I am at work (based on time of the day) my cell phone, work phone, and sometimes my PC rings when I get a call. When I am at home my home phone, and cell rings. I give my google number as my emergency number to techs, family, and work. This way when my cell or home number changes, I do not need to worry about updating contacts, and I am always available.

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@caffeine_dude: Yep, that's pretty much why I use Google voice.

I can use one phone number to share publicly, but re-route calls to cell, office or home. If need be, I can route calls to myself plus a partner and reception desk so someone will always pick up.

Plus I get an online voice mail with text transcription. That includes text services and text alerts of voice messages.

Away from home or office, I can also use Google voice with the webcam and mic built into the laptop/netbbook. The cool thing is it lets you call out without long distance charges.

And yes, the point of Google voice, Magic Jack and other services is not to avoid a landline, but to add powerful and flexible services to basic, single line services. Plus privacy and permanency.

Gets complicated sorting out the options but it is worth knowing all the low_cost/free services you can use.

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@caffeine_dude @tpscan :

Well I kinda just wanted to know how reliable the magicJack /plus was. Not interested in other services. Wondering if it was worth trying, specially because I'd have to pay extra to keep my number (and if I decide not to keep the magicJack I'd have to pay extra again to take it back!).

Also, I'm already a Google Voice user. I too use it to forward my calls to my numbers and occasionally to make PC calls. However, I'm looking for something to use on an ordinary home-phone.

Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it.

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It won't work with a fax machine. Well, it might, but we're not sure even after three months of (hah) jacking around with it. Turns out it's cheaper to get a second line from Ma Bell than to keep paying for The Jack.

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@aphroat: Thanks that's good to know. We have a fax, but I can't remember the last time we used it!

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@jyoz22: Sorry I have 0 experience with magic jack.

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I just bought and hooked up the MagicJack Plus a few days ago. It is available at Walmart stores now, so I thought it was worth a try. If I hated it, it would be easy to return it.

It is hooked up directly to my router and an ac power supply, so the computer does not deed to be on for it to function. I have made calls and received calls in and the voice clarity is great. For $69.95 it comes with one year of phone service, after that it is $29.00 a year, or you get a deal if you purchase 5 years, which comes out to $20.00 a year.

It also comes with a free local phone number, call waiting, caller ID, e911 registry, and voicemail. You can port your old number for $10. I didn't see any info about faxing, which I don't need. Also, has call forwarding.
So far, so good!

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@diavola: Hey thanks for the info! Very helpful. I saw a new ad for the magicJack Plus in which they state that the Plus works for faxing so it sounds promising.

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@diavola: I agree with all you said, but it doesn't do faxes very well and you do have to dial 10 digest to get out! I still think it is great for the price!

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SAVE YOUR MONEY! Don't but MJPLUS. I paid $120 for equipment and service. The unit lasted less than two months. The volume was very poor at start and deteriorated. After spending 3-4 hours on line with customer support, they wanted me to obtain another ISP. The equipment is only warranted for 30 days. They WILL NOT replace the unit.

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For potential users of magicjack, I've been a MJ user for 3 years already and still using it replacing a landline at home. I use the MJ version that requires a computer hooked up. Quality of calls is acceptable compared to any other kind of communication device and have no match considering the price if you have a use for 2 wire phone connection. MJ plus is another case, the idea is very good but for the one I tried just as they came out, but it doesn't match the old version on call volume which was the only flaw I found when trying it out. After many hours of chat with tech support and reading post of users, it never worked the same. I had the advantage of having another device to compare with, but have not tried again to check if the problem is eliminated in new versions. For most of the cases, if you don't solve any problem you find with the device in 10 days, there's no use in keeping it. There's no magical way to make it work. That's why I returned it. No exchange was offered.

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I used magicJack Standard for 5+ years before buying and using magicJack+. I now have and use 3 magicJack+ devices for 3 different phone numbers. I have one connected via Cat 5 cable to my WIFI router and wall phone plugged into magicJack+ to support 6 phones throughout my home. 2nd magicJack+ is connected via Cat 5 cable to a hub which is then connected to WIFI router. This magicJack+ device is connected to PC modem and used for Fax and Scan program. 3rd magicJack+ devive is connected to PC's USB port and desk telephone is connected to it for voice calls. I manually entered ports through which magicJack has unfettered access through my firewall to send/receive phone calls and Fax messages. I adjusted my modem settings so that problems are negligible. MagicJack offers by far and away the best (lowest cost) telephone service available and is well worth using.

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@eruditeman Sounds to me that you are an expert in Magic Jacking.

I am making a decision right now to replace a twisted-pair land line with a MJ for my home use. I currently have a T-Mobile hot spot for another phone number (VOIP via T-Mobile administration using their router and my ISP cable modem). They don't do Hot Spots any more, but still support the one I have had for years, so to replace the now cost-prohibitive local line, I am looking at MJ . My cable modem has extra Cat5 ports on it; I am wondering if I can support both the MJ and the T-Mob router (which also supplies our home WiFi network) from the one modem.