What Is the magicJack Phone?

The magicJack phone is a revolutionary telecommunications device that provides users with a much cheaper alternative to their traditional home phone line. Instead of pay $40, or more for their home phone, magic Jack users get unlimited local and long distances calling to both the United States and Canada for just $19.95/year. The device is extremely popular and its parent company, VocalTec is currently one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with 2010 net sales topping $100 million and users consuming over billion minutes each month. With this phone service you finally have a chance to break away from your landline phone company and stop getting ripped off each and ever mo

magicjack device

First generation device

The device looks very similar to a USB flash drive and is only slightly larger while working in a very similar fashion. All you have to do is hook the device into your USB port, follow a simple automatic software installation process and you are ready to go. Once up and running you can either make calls directly through the softwares onscreen PC softphone application or you can hook your traditional phone by way of the phone jack that exists opposite its USB port.
magicjack guide

Setup Guide

How does it work?
The technology behind it isn’t new and they aren’t the first ones to use it for telecommunications. They are just the first company to provide it at such a low cost. From a pure technological standpoint is actually quite different from a traditional landline but to the user it works just like a traditional landline phone in nearly every way, with a few added perks that actually make it more convenient.  It uses Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology which, in simple terms means that your phone calls are routed over the Internet rather than through traditional phone lines. This reduction in infrastructure allows VoIP companies to greatly reduce expenses and they pass that savings on to it’s customers.

How much does it cost?
As referenced above the service costs just $19.95/year but  there is an initial outlay to get the device. Your initial purchase will actually cost you $39.95. The initial fee includes both the device and the first year of service. Subsequent years of service can be added at anytime for the current rate of $19.95. The price for a year of service with magic Jack is incredibly cheap and averages out to under $2 per month.

Yea it’s cheap, but what features does it come with?
It comes with all of the features that you have come to expect with your home phone including call waiting, caller ID, conference calling, voice mail, call forwarding, and much much more. Along with this comes added perks including voicemail to email, free long distance calling, the ability to make calls without an actual phone, and the ability to take your magic Jack with you and make calls anywhere in the world. It’s like being able to take your landline phone with you wherever you go and never miss a phone call. See the full list of features below.

Official Features

  • Unlimited Local And Long Distance Calling To Any Landline, Cell Phone, or Magic Jack User
  • Free International Calling To Other Magic Jack Users
  • Best International Calling Rates – As Low As $0.02 Per Minute
  • Actual Phone Optional – All Calls Can Be Made Through The PC Softphone
  • Portable Phone Line – Can Be Taken Anywhere That High Speed Internet Exists
  • Phone Number Portability
  • Free Directory Assistance
  • Free Conference Calling
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Waiting
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail To Email
  • Address Book And Outlook Express Integration
  • Windows & Mac Compatible
  • Works With A Bluetooth Head Set

Unofficial Features/Hacks

  • Faxing
  • Talking Caller ID
  • Speed Dial
  • Last Number Redial
  • Call Return
  • Cancel Call Waiting
  • Anonymous Call Block
  • Priority Calls Only
  • Selective Calls Only
  • Blocked Call Chime with Caller ID
  • Priority Call Special Ringing
  • Priority Call Waiting
  • Call Waiting Disable
  • Automated Extension Dialing
  • Automated Phone Card Dialing
  • Double Ringing for Answer Machine Pickup
  • Call Location Lookup
  • Call Recording

I’m still not sold, at such a cheap price how well does the product work?
At such a cheap price many people are skeptical of the product but we are here to tell you that the company is legitimate and their product is for real. There is a reason why they had sales of over $100 million in 2009 and that’s because the service is an awesome product at an unbelievably low price.

magicJack Plus Review

It is a new device from VocalTec that is exactly the same as the original device in that it is a VoIP telephone adapter that allows users to make unlimited local and long distance calls to the US and Canada through a regular phone for only $29.95/ year ( $10 increase over the original). In fact, it comes with the same features as the old magic Jack but also a few key upgrades that make it a lot better.

The biggest difference between the two is that the Plus not only works by way of USB port but also independently of a computer via Ethernet to router/modem (It was originally slated to work via WiFi and possibly 4G but these updates were cancelled). The major hang up, its reliance on a computer, has now been solved with the plus. Another difference from its predecessor are two new features that are sure to improve call quality to an all time level. These two features are Echo Control and HD Voice and these additions will make call quality as good or better than you can get with any other phone.

The biggest reason why the new device is such a great product is because it comes with all of the excellent benefits that people have been getting for years with the old gadget but it also addresses the magic Jack’s shortcomings. In the past people have been willing to deal with any issues in exchange for saving $50 per month but now you can have your cake and eat it too!

It will cost just $69.95, which is $30 more than the old one but should be well worth it when you consider its upgrades. At the 2011 CES Dan Barislow ran a demo to show every how it worked and although not yet released it is currently in beta and is a working product that is getting good reviews up to this point. The release date was estimated at sometime during the first quarter of 2011 with a potential release of an app too.

Reasons Why You Should Get The Latest Device

No Computer Required – The elimination of needing a computer means that it will work almost flawlessly just as your regular home phone does. Now you won’t have to keep your computer on at all times or move your telephone so that it sits near your computer.

Super Low Price – It comes at an insanely low price! For just $70 you get the device and one year of service with future years of service costing just $30. The initial cost for one year of service is equal to or less than your are probably paying through a traditional home phone company. Nobody in the telephone industry can rival this price.

Some Of The Best Call Quality – The old device has call quality issues but the new one was given specific updates to combat this. These updates have allowed it to reach new heights in regards to call quality. Get the best all quality out there while also paying almost nothing for it!

Ability To Take Your Home Phone Anywhere With You – With it you have the ability to take your home phone with you no matter where you travel. All you need is the device, a regular telephone, and an Ethernet port. Or when traveling you can connect it via your computers USB port and use the PC softphone.

Free International Calling To The U.S. – Take it with you when you travel outside of the country and you will have free calls back to the U.S. and Canada. No matter where you are in the world all calls to the U.S. and Canada are free. You can also considering buying it for someone you know that lives overseas and give the gift of free calls to you along with all of their other friends and family back in the U.S.

magicJack Wifi Review

Note: The magicJack WiFi was renamed the magicJack Plus 2014 upon release and the company made some big changes from the intial prototype as was listed below.

The WiFi device is the latest addition to VocalTec’s stable of VoIP telephone devices. It is the third generation version of the device and provides the same features as the first generation device and second generation device, along with several improvements.

Like the first two products, the Wi Fi device will provide users with local and long distance calling to anywhere in the United States and Canada for $29.95 per year (as low as $19.95 in some cases). The difference however will be in how the device operates due to it’s new TJ980 chipset.

With the first onr users had to plug the device into their computers USB port and keep their computer running 24/7 in order to make or receive calls. With the updated plus device users were able to move it over to a high-speed port on their modem or router. With the original device, involving a computer caused a number of complications that were tied to the performance of each individual persons computer. Once the MJ+ was released the majority of these issues were resolved, but still with it’s reliance on being hooked up to another device, complications arose.

Luckily for us the WiFi version has totally eliminated these concerns due to it’s 802.11n access point feature. With this new version you will only need an electrical outlet and a regular phone. Simply configure the device so that it connects with your wifi internet signal, hook the device up to your phone and into an electrical outlet and you will be ready to go. Besides an internet connection the new device will be able to work independently and not rely on the performance of another gadget. Several other improvement included in the new chipset are a dedicated high speed local bus for WiFi RF, LCD panel display interface, seamless interface to DECT phone, video compression engineer, auto audio gain control, a power saving sleep mode, and built in double clock DDR memory. Also included will be a doubling of processing power, memory size, and memory speed.

It will also be able to be used as a access point by plugging the unit into a modem, and for cable and satellite boxes allowing them to receive WiFi for video on demand.

MagicJack Wi-Fi is expected to be released sometime during the second half of 2012 and will be the same size as the Plus. Price estimates have not been released for the new device yet but the per year subscription rate is expected to stay at  or near the $29.95 per year. As far as the release date goes don’t hold your breath on it. In the past VocalTec has been very unreliable in meeting their planned released dates for new products.

magicJack Plus 2014 Review

Of course no matter how good, no product comes with zero complaints and one gripe regarding it has been the companies customer service. At this time they provide chat only customer service which for some can be frustrating. Our experiences with the chat support have been good, but there are complaints of highly incompetent reps. As we delve further into the product we will be sure to update you regarding this issues.

The much anticipated Plus 2014 has finally arrived after months of speculation on it’s features and when it would reach the market. This new magicJack device is very similar to the previous version of the with several upgrades that make it a fine addition to VocalTec Communications line of VoIP devices.

Despite it’s quality upgrades the new doesn’t come without disappointment. Originally consumers were hoping for a revolutionary upgrade that included the ability to connect from anywhere in ones home via encrypted WiFi but instead the new must still be connected via the port of a wireless router. Consumers had hoped for other features also including the rumors of magic Jack providing triple play service that included internet and cable but these hopes, albeit, quite overzealous were dashed as well.

So what exactly does the new device include?
For starters the new device looks almost identical to the previous except for being quite a bit larger and having two new ports, including a USB port and SDIO (secure digital input/output) slot (see pictures below). It isn’t however 100% clear yet as to what these ports are for but it is also interesting to note that the word ‘wifi’ is written on the side of the device and many believe that a firmware upgrade will come soon that will allow for the device to connect via wifi, as was originally rumored to be included. Unfortunately, for the time being it looks like these slots are simply there to allow for an expansion of magicJack services in the future without the need to upgrade to another new device. There has been chatter regarding these slots from the company say that they may be used in the future as a way for VocalTec to offer internet service to consumers at an ultra cheap cost structure similar to how their phone service has be popularized. This potential however doesn’t come without complications as they would have to come to some sort of agreement with a 4g or LTE carrier in order to offer internet and other services.

 

close-ups-01

(here is what your purchase includes)

close-ups-02

(new device vs. old device)

close-ups-12

(new 2014 device with WiFi wording on side and SDIO slot)

 

Besides the physical differences the new product has also been updated with an advanced on board processing chip that is faster, has enhanced processing power, and more memory. As a result the new device will be able to provide superior voice quality that is unlike anything yet seen within the VoIP industry.

The pricing structure has also changed with the new  plus 2014. With the 2nd gen device users paid an initial upfront fee of $69.95 for the device and 1 year of telephone service. With the new 3rd gen dongle the initial outlay for the product has been reduced to $49.95 with the caveat being that it only comes with 6 months of service (they are also currently running a special where existing users can upgrade for only $29.95 and take either the 6 months or the time remaining on their subscription, whichever is longer). Renewals however stay the same and are priced out at $29.95 per year or $99.95 for a 5 year plan.

Lastly, in the past VocalTec has taken some heat for stating the the previous plus device did not require a computer to be used but the truth was that you needed a computer in order to register and activate the device before it would work. As far as registration goes this holds true but the key difference is that it doesn’t have to ever be registered in order to be used. Instead you can immediately plug it into an outlet and your router and begin making calls. You can then register it at a later date if you so choose at the official compnay site. See our other post for official instructions on how to register and begin using the New 2014 magicJack Plus.

Overall the new this new dongle has some nice upgrades but nothing incredibly eye popping that makes it a must buy right away for those that have the 2nd gen device and no sound quality issues. For those that do have problems with sound quality it however could be a worthwhile investment immediately. In the long run the potential for WiFi and triple play service make the new device very enticing and certainly something that most users should consider upgrading to when their current subscription is up or at the latest when VocalTec puts out a firmware update  that enables WiFi or works out a deal with a 4G or LTE carrier to provide other services.

magicJack GO Review

MagicJack Go is the latest from the VocalTec stable of radical solutions for low cost voice over internet protocol (VoIP). With the roaring success of its previous devices – MagicJack (Desktop Only), Plus (Direct Connect RJ45 to Router), and Plus 2014 (Wi-Fi Connect to Router) – the company has already developed an established fan-base and technical expertise in cloud-based communications.

Having a single number to connect landlines and smartphones, facilitating computer-less calling, superior sound quality and alternative to hefty monthly phone bills have featured prominently among the success stories. Just when we thought the premier service had reached its capacity, the company surprises us with a product which further broadens the value outreach for its customers, while retaining the best features of its predecessors.

 

The first thing which catches your eye is the contemporary design with a sleek, angular finish to the edges. It is a welcome upgrade from the traditional ‘matchbox’ design, a clear sign that MagicJack is ready to step up its game vis-à-vis NetTalk even in the looks department. Color-coded ports for Ethernet and phone along with miniature symbols next to the ports make it easier to spot even in poorly lit spaces.

With a service which earned its spurs as a ultra-low-cost VoIP solution, the next thing you notice is that the $59.95 price packet which retains the company mantra of serving it good and cheap. That includes a year of free service, the Go device, MagicApp (free companion app for smartphones) and one year of free calling to anywhere in U.S. and Canada. For a paltry $35 an year you can convert your existing land-line or cell phone number to a unique MagicJack account. In addition, there is a 30-day trial with full refund if the device doesn’t meet your expectations. If this isn’t a steal, nothing is!

Costing less than $3 per month via the device, and free from the app – it compares favorably to Vonage ($24.99 per month), Viber (free voice calling, but no landline replacement) and Skype (inferior sound quality, no landline replacement). Besides, on international calling rates alone, MagicJack Go and MagicApp are far ahead of credit-based competing services. The new device also offers free worldwide calling between devices, a remarkable, low-cost option for users, especially business users who might have several international service locations.

An introductory limited-time offer of $10 in magicDollars Credit, which can add up towards services like number porting, international calling or service upgrades is the perfect cherry on top!

 

Mobility is a big demand for most major technical innovations today. MagicApp delivers in spades on that front, ensuring seamless compatibility with major operating systems (Android, iOS) and broadening the appeal for its eclectic customer base which includes small business owners, freelancers, international business travelers, working mothers or just about anyone who can’t afford to miss an incoming call. Thanks to the MagicApp, now you can take your MagicJack phone number with you anywhere, packing in features like Free Caller ID, Free Voicemail, Free Call Forwarding, Free Call Waiting and Free 411.

Unlike several free app competitors, magicApp fits into any landline or mobile subscriber worldwide sans the limitation of needing dedicated app users. The brighter, better MagicApp (Talk Free) is available for download in Google Play stores or iTunes absolutely free. It is a worthy companion to the magicJackGO device, with an option to work independently from the device, which comes with a minimal-to-zero cost option for international calling and a second number for consumers. Setup remains a cinch, with easy Activation steps on both PC or MAC, or computer-less ‘Detect Device’ options.

magicApp

Figure 3: Free MagicApp has been refined to support many new features and a new conference calling option.

Interfacing smoothly with existing mobile devices, it automatically imports the contact lists, doesn’t eat into your mobile minutes and does not need a voice plan. Just a high-speed WiFi connection or 3G/4G service plan.

However, the coolest part is that you can also make and receive calls from two different numbers now – essentially a ‘Conference call’ feature which can be used both locally and internationally. It is a feature exceedingly responsible for driving a near 30% surge in its renewals sector (as revealed in their recent quarterly conference call).

The Go has retained the TigerJet drivers and chipset from its predecessors, ensuring the same top-notch sound quality. The computer-less operation using any internet-enabled devices: desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones remains; as does the simplicity of setup and ability to port your existing numbers. Universal call notifications have been refined further, so you can hear the incoming call simultaneously on your land-line and your smartphone if they share the same number.

A smart business strategy, which saw the team up with big players of the electronics retail sector (RadioShack, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Fry’s and Target) generated a healthy release buzz and curiosity. The result with pre-orders, e-commerce and in-store purchaser footprint as well as ‘early-bird’ feedback in the past month have made the MagicJack Go both popular and visible in a short time.

It was enough for COO Tim McDonald to declare “No other product in our category can match our breadth of retail distribution”, while thanking their distribution partners for their “significant support in expanding the in-store presence of MagicJack”.

As an intelligent solution to step away from hefty monthly phone bills, and a one-stop solution for small business, home, or mobile digital phone service, the Go has served as a highly attractive solution for the next generation of ultra-affordable VoIP services.

While you may opt to hang on to your existing MagicJack Plus 2014 if you recently acquired it, the upgrade offers along with the highly advanced app and device hardware features make the MagicJack Go a no-brainer for owning the best in its class.

magicJack App Review

If you have been interested in saving money on your cell phone bill then perhaps the new magic Jack App is for you. Previous versions of the device have either had their shortcomings or don’t provide quite the convenience than an App could. The original device requires a computer, which often creates unfixable functionality problems due to differences in individual computers. In order to combat this issues the company developed the magicJack plus which takes things a step further by allowing direct connect to a regular telephone. A great advancement but one that still requires a landline telephone, and home ridden phone line. In taking things a step further in the products evolution they are soon coming out with the App. With the App you will get all of the benefits of the regular service while being able to make your calls directly from your cell phone. Imagine that, whenever you are on Wi-Fi (and possibly 3G) you will have unlimited minutes through your the App, from you smartphone, for just $20 a year.

And believe it or not but the deal gets even sweeter! Initial reports are saying that the App and calls will be free if you are already a user and are simply making calls to other users. However if are a current customer and want to make calls to landlines and mobile numbers you will have to pay a small $10 licensing fee. If you are a new user you will have to pay the standard $40 for the first year of service with all future years costing just $20 each.

The magicJack plus is suppose to be released in early July with reports stating that the magic jack App should be released at or near the same time. The initial release is only expected to cover computers, iPhones, and Ipads with an Android and Blackberry compatible App coming soon thereafter.

FAQs

What Is magicJack?
It is a revolutionary land line line style telephone service, except that it isn’t run through actual telephone lines but rather is processed and sent over the internet via VoIP technology. The company and service is referred to as ‘magicJack’ with various different devices that actually facilitate the process.

How Much Does The Device And Service Cost?
It requires an upfront free of $49.95 for the device and the first six months of telephone service. Future years of service cost just $29.95 each with discounts available if you purchase multiple years at one time.You can purchase a 5-year plan for $99.95 thus lowering the yearly cost to just $19.95 each. Currently the company is offering a 100% risk free 30 day free trial. Anyone can take advantage of this free trial to see if the device is right for you.

If I get the device can I keep my current telephone number?
Yes, for a fee they allow users to port their number. Although not all numbers are available for porting the majority are so you will have to check with the company about yours specifically.

What features does it come with?
It comes with all of the standard features you have come to expect on our landline phone plus additional features for free that you typically have to pay for with a traditional phone company.

How do I make calls with the device?
Simply hook your device up to your computer and follow the installation process. Once finished you can either hook a regular telephone up to the other end of your device or you can begin making calls straight from your computer via their PC softphone. With the plus you bypass the need for a computer and can simply hook it directly into your router or modem, no installation required.

How many minutes does the it come with?
It comes with unlimited minutes to the United States and Canada.

Does it include long distance calls for free?
Yes, it includes unlimited local and long distance calling for no additional cost.

What about international calling?
In order to make international calls you will need to purchase credits in advance. International calling rates vary by country but they are generally less than you can expect to pay with other companies.

What if I am having technical or billing difficulties?
If you are having problems getting your phone to work correctly you need to visit the official site and follow the onsite instructions to use their customer service chat feature.

If there are any FAQs missing that you think should be here please leave a comment or contact us through our contact form and we’ll consider adding them to this page.

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