What Is The magicJack Go?

MagicJack Go is the latest from the MagicJack VocalTec stable of radical solutions for low cost voice over internet protocol (VoIP). With the roaring success of its previous devices – MagicJack (Desktop Only), MagicJack Plus (Direct Connect RJ45 to Router), and MagicJack 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 of MagicJack. 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.

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Figure 1: New MagicJack Go boasts a sharp new design

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, MagicJack 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 cellphone 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 – MagicJack 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 MagicJack also offers free worldwide calling between MagicJack 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!

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Figure 2: MagicApp has support for Android and iPhone/iOS devices

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.

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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).

MagicJack 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 MagicJack number.

A smart business strategy, which saw MagicJack 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 MagicJack 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.

What Is the New 2014 MagicJack Plus?

The much anticipated new magicJack 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 magicJack Plus with several upgrades that make it a fine addition to VocalTec Communications line of VoIP devices.

Despite it’s quality upgrades the 2014 magicJack plus 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 2014 magicJack plus 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 2014 magicJack 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.

 

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(here is what your purchase includes)

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(new device vs. old device)

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(new 2014 magicJack Plus 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 magicJack 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 with the 2014 magicJack Plus 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 magicjack site. See our other post for official instructions on how to register and begin using the New 2014 magicJack Plus.

Overall the new 2014 magicJack Plus 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 magicJack/VocalTec puts out a firmware update  that enables WiFi or works out a deal with a 4G or LTE carrier to provide other services.