What Is magicJack? (Updated For Fall 2016)
In short, magicJack is a fully featured phone service provided by VocalTec Communications LTD. The company was established in 2007 on the premise that “Millions of Americans had been get ripped off and overpaying for their home phone service for a long time.” The company goal was to save consumers money on their home phone bill by eliminating their monthly bills in lieu of one significantly smaller yearly fee. Their plan to do this was by routing phone calls over the Internet, thus eliminating the expensive infrastructure of costly telephone lines, poles, on-site technicians, etc. and passing on the savings to consumers.
The name for this technology is Voice Over Internet Protocol, often abbreviated as VoIP and other companies where just beginning to do this around the same time, the most noteworthy of which was Vonage. The company’s plan was to make this technology mainstream and bring it to the masses. This unique technology, 8 years later still allows them to offer service at under $40 per year and as low as $19.95 per year if you are willing to commit to a 5-year plan ($99.75). In order to use the service it must run through one of several USB devices they have come out with over the years or the free magicJack App. Each device costs $40-$60 upfront with up to 1-year of free service. As time has progressed each subsequent device has gotten a little better than the one prior.
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The Early Years Of magicJack
In the early days magicJack had its fair share of trouble but these days magicJack has great Read Real User Reviews. From the beginning it was founded and run by the infamous Dan Borislow, known for his hot headed temper and love for horse racing. Dan was by no means the most professional guy around but he was a telecom genius nonetheless. And the guy definitely knew how to market his products using late night infomercials. By doing so he made magicJack a STAR amongst those looking to save money on their home phone bill. And save them MASSIVE amounts is exactly what he did! Unfortunately, Dan passed away last year from a heart attack which everyone is very saddened by. I can only imagine the grief his family is feeling with such a sudden and unexpected passing for Dan.
Initially there were a lot of complaints about the company including issues with voice quality, shady billing tactics (not a surprise for a Borislow run company) and the “chat only” customer service that they provided, amongst many other complaints as well. The good thing is that nearly all of these complaints have since been resolved and there is a new highly professional CEO (Gerald Vento) running the show these days, proven by the company’s A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The Details Of magicJack Service
With such as low price one may think that magicJack skimps on features but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They are a full service phone company and provide all of the features that traditional phone companies provide and in most cases more. Features that you have come to expect with your home phone are included such as 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 service with you and make calls anywhere in the world. It’s like being able to take your home landline phone with you wherever you go and never miss a phone call. A list of all of the features of the service are listed below along with a ton of real magicJack user reviews or you can check out our magicJack information page where we have written a ton of informational articles about various magicJack related topics.
- Unlimited Local & Long Distance Calling To Any Landline, Cell Phone, or Magic Jack User Anywhere In The World
- Free International Calling To Other Device Users
- Ultra-Low International Calling Rates – As Low As $0.02 Per Minute
- Phone Number Portability
- Free Directory Assistance
- Free Conference Calling
- Call Forwarding
- Actual Phone Optional – All Calls Can Be Made Through The PC Softphone
- Portable Phone Line – Can Be Taken Anywhere That High Speed Internet Exists
- Call Waiting
- Caller ID
- Voicemail To Email
- Address Book And Outlook Express Integration
- Windows Compatible
- Now MAC Compatible
- Works With A Bluetooth Head Set
- Specialized 911 service
- FREE 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
MagicJack RE-UP Renewal Plans
Any magicJack device can currently (as of October 2015) be renewed for the following prices. There are four different plans available. Each plan is exactly the same and includes full service with all features.
$5 for a 1-month plan
$20 for a 6-month plan
$35 for a 1-year plan
$99.75 for a 5-year plan
International minutes can be purchased on a prepaid per minute basis. Rates for each country vary greatly but are very competitive.
How Much Can magicJack Save Me?
magicJack can save you a TON of money if you are using a traditional land line phone service. It costs just under $20 per year with a 5-year plan. For around $150 (including the device purchase) you will be set with 5 years of home phone service that includes long distance calling, calls to Canada and calls back to the USA whenever you travel out of the country. For basic home phone plan from a normal company you would likely pay around $50 per month for the 5 years. Do the math at that price and you’d spend about $3000. So with magicJack you could save yourself around $3000 over 5 years.. And that doesn’t even include the long distance and Canadian charges you’d rack up over the those 5 years! For those that make a lot of long distance and calls to Canada they could save in the neighborhood of $5,000 over 5 years! It’s amazes me that people are still willing to pay $50 per month for their home phone service when an option like this is available! It’s time to make the switch to VoIP, whether it be magicJack, Vonage, Ooma or one of the many excellent VoIP Providers!
The Original MagicJack USB Dongle
When it was first released the magicJack device was a revolutionary telecommunications gadget that provided users with a much cheaper alternative to their traditional home phone line while providing all of the same features and more. This was particularly appealing to many people that were paying crazy monthly fees and no doubt drove its success. It first came out in 2007 which couldn’t have been better timing considering the economic collapse of 2008. The company had just enough time to get things streamlined before a rush of Americans were looking to cut costs and save money any way they could!
The device was extremely popular upon release and its parent company, VocalTec LTD. (originally called Ymax Communications) is currently one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with 2014 net sales topping $140 million and users consuming over a billion minutes each month. With the original magicJack you finally had a chance to break away from your landline phone company and stop getting ripped off each and every month.
Instead of paying $70, or more per month for their home phone, users of the magicJack get unlimited local and long distances calling to both the United States and Canada for as low as $19.95/year. The device isn’t sold by the company anymore but can be found for roughly $40 from reseller sites such as Amazon and comes with 1-year of free phone service (though I recommend one of the newer devices since they work much better). For a small additional prepaid per-minute fee, users can also make very inexpensive international calls to a large number of countries. Those who switch from a traditional telephone company’s home phone service can save themselves hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per year.
Performance Review After Testing
The MagicJack Plus USB Dongle
Image 5: The magicJack Plus
The original magicJack was a wild success with over 1 million devices sold but it definitely had it’s shortcomings so the company was hard at work for years in developing a much improved device. The results were absolutely magnificent and the new device was tabbed the magicJack Plus upon release. It was a smash hit and an even bigger success than its predecessor.
Released in late 2011, the idea behind the upgrade was to attack the call quality issues that many customers complained about with the first product. If you were a fan of the original device then it’s likely you will LOVE the magicJack Plus. It’s essentially the same device but with several upgrades that are sure to get you excited.
The plan for call quality improvement was two pronged in nature. Firstly, by increasing the processor speed of the device the company hoped to eliminate call quality issues which resulted when the device would freeze up from the need to crunch a large amount of streaming data instantaneously. Secondly, they developed a device that could work independently of a computer. Eliminating the computer was a key to better call quality key and also the company’s long-term success. With the first device many consumers with slow computers would often get confused and blame magicJack when the issues were purely due to various problems caused by the individuals computer.
The magicJack plus is
$20 more than the first generation device at $59.95 no longer officially sold by the company but can still be found at various Internet outlets for around $40. This includes all of the same features such as the unlimited free long distance calling and cheap international calls. The only other differences for the new device are that it comes with nearly twice the processing speed to provide greatly improved voice quality and a new and much more sleek design.
With the release of the new device the company did add number porting so anyone who was waiting to make the switch because they wanted to hold onto their old number could now get magicJack. The cost to port any number is a one-time fee of $20. With your purchase you get the Plus device, a USB cable, Ethernet Cable, AC Power Adapter and an owner’s manual.
Use without a computer
This was the key enhancement that magicJack and many people were excited about. Use without a computer made things much simpler and eliminated an extra layer that caused a lot of technical difficulties. This new device could now be hooked to either your computers USB port (same as the old device) or directly into your router/modem. Users are no longer required to keep their computers on 24/7 in order to receive incoming calls, which is HUGE. *No worries if you’re on the go though and want to bring your home phone with you. The Plus can still hook into your USB drive and work in exactly the same fashion as the original MJ device.
Voice Quality Improvements
The all new MJ plus comes with two features to help in the ever constant battle to improve sound quality. These features, called HD voice and Echo Control were very important to the founder Borislow and were the catalyst in catapulting their sound quality to industry best.
With the new MJ+ installation just got easier. The installation process was made much easier with a revamped installation site at mjreg.com. All you have to do is hook the device up to your computer the first time you use it and follow the onscreen prompts that automatically load. Be sure to select a phone number and when done take it out of the USB drive and simply hook one end to your telephone and the other end to a modem/router and you can begin making calls right away.
Performance Review After Testing
I tested the device by using it for several months and experienced incredible sound quality. It is definitely much improve from the first generation device and truly rivals traditional landline phones. It’s also great not having to keep my computer on all day or involve it in any manner after setup. This has eliminated a lot of problems that weren’t really the company’s fault but rather issues with particular users computers. The best part is that whenever I traveled I could just grab the dongle from my modem/router and go while having my home phone with me wherever I fired up my computer (so long as I had high speed Internet). It is my conclusion that this device provides consumers with one of the cheapest options for fully featured home telephone service. It extremely easy to setup, easy to use and has great voice quality. All while costing as low as $19.95 per year (on a 5-year plan). I don’t see how you can go wrong if you have the need for a home phone. With the price, easy of use and quality it’s an incredible deal.
A Real Users magicJack Plus Review
“I have been a customer for a couple of years using the MJ+ device and in spite of the occasional technical issues I have been very happy with the product. I saw an infomercial today about the newest 2014 version and ordered it through Radioshack.com (free shipping to the local store) for $59.95 plus tax. Can’t wait to try it out! If it’s anything like the upgrade to the plus I’m set to be wowed” -Jerrold
Benefits of the magicJack Plus
Low Price – The device comes in at a ridiculously low price. It’s just $59.95 for the device and a year of service. Renewals are just $35/year or $99.75 for 5 years. Nobody in the phone industry can rival this price and the quality. NOBODY!
Best In Industry Call Quality – Works flawlessly 99% of the time with crystal clear sound.
No Computer Need – Eliminating the computer means eliminating many of the problems that came with the first device. Now it’s even easier to use and no leaving your computer on 24/7.
Take Your Home Phone Anywhere In The World – All you need is the device and it’s components, your computer and a high speed Internet connection. Hook it all up in your hotel room while traveling and never miss a call to your home phone.
Save On International Calls To The U.S. – If you travel outside the U.S. you can call back to any U.S. number for free with your account. Nothing special to do here just hook it up like you normally do and begin making calls.
The magicJack Plus 2014 Device
The 2nd generation magicJack Plus was an incredible success and people had even higher hopes for the MJ+ 2014, too high apparently! Rumors were rampant about major upgrades, nearly all of which were just that ‘rumors’. Once released in the summer of 2013 it did have some minor and not very useful updates. As a result most were better served to stick with the 2nd gen device rather than shell out the extra cash for this one. It’s not that it is a bad device and those without magicJack would be well served to get the magicJack Plus 2014 but if you already have the 2nd gen device there is little reason to get this one.
Rumors that the new device would be called the magicJack Wi-Fi got consumers hoping for a device that was fully wireless, capable of tapping into your encrypted Wi-Fi connection with no need to hook the device to your modem/router. This feature unfortunately does not exist with the new device.
It ended up being considerably larger than the prior device and one can only guess why with the minimal upgrades.
The device does come in at a very reasonable price of just $39.95 but only included 6 months of free service, where all previous devices had included a full year of service. People wondered why they couldn’t just pay $49.95 and get a full year of service with the device purchase. Still this was cheaper than the magicJack Plus and a slightly better device with seemingly lots more potential. So again if you didn’t already have the prior device this was a good deal.
A Useless Wi-Fi Label & SDIO Slot
When it was first released many had high hopes for the device with its Wi-Fi label and Micro SDIO slot. Many had dreams of magicJack providing ultra-cheap Internet and television services. This unfortunately never came to fruition and it’s still a mystery what those slots were for. People guess that magicJack had these plans but could never work out a deal with a third party provider and was eventually forced to scrap the idea. One can only imagine how they could have turned the Internet and paid television industry upside down if they could have secured a deal for these services. To this day these slots are still completely useless.
The devices includes a new processor that has nearly doubled the speed at which the previous one could process data. The new TJ980 chips high speed has further eliminated static, white noises, echo and improved on their already best in class voice quality. The new chip also allows for the device to go into hibernate mode to save on power.
Performance Review After Testing
My review indicated that the device worked great. Though I wasn’t really sure where it came out ahead of the previous 2nd generation magicJack Plus. The sound quality with the prior device was already so good that there is little difference with this new one. It is a great deal for those that don’t already have a MJ device but for those that have the Plus already I see no reason to upgrade. I feel you’re better of waiting for further improvements before shelling out extra money for another device. It appeared that magicJack had much bigger plans for this new device with the Wi-Fi label, Micro SDIO slot and extra USB port but for whatever reason they were never able to work out the details and these extra parts only resulted in a considerably bulkier device.
The magicJack Go Device
The magicJack GO is the next device in a long line of VoIP products from magicJack VocalTec LTD. dating back to it’s inception with its first device in 2007. The previous device had big-time potential but was largely a disappointment when the company never came out with firmware upgrades, thus rendering the SDIO slot useless and taking away the dream, at least for now, of a device that could work without the need for a wired connection. This new device has removed the SDIO slot, Wi-Fi label and extra USB port so it’s apparent that the company has had a change of plans. A sad but true fact that many MJ loyalist are upset about. Though it’s not really as much of a big deal as some think as I explain later. The GO device came with an all-new slick look and was smaller than the prior device. It was marketed in tandem with the new magicJack app to be your one stop solution for all of your home phone communication needs, even while on the GO. The new app works with your magicJack Go device to forward all calls to your smartphone for free whenever you have a wi-fi or data connection. A boon for VocalTec since it meant their chance to get into the rapidly growing smartphone applications market. The company saw the incredible growth of Viber, WhatsApp and many others and they wanted a piece of this market.
magicJack went back to their old standard of providing the device and 1-year of free service with the GO. The cost of it is just $59.95, a steal when you consider getting the device and a full year of phone service. The added cost included free use of the new app while users with older devices would have to pay a fee to connect their old account to the app. With the device you get $10 magicDollar credit that you can use toward number porting, international prepaid minutes or any other service upgrades (excluding extending your service time). Another perk that makes the insanely cheap price even better.
The device retained its TJ980 chipset and drivers with little room or need to improve its already best in industry voice quality. The company also stuck to their tried and true stance of offering a no questions asked 30-day free trial with this device, something that they have offered with all previous devices. The device also comes with the exact same service plan options that are standard on all company devices.
All New Sleek Design
When you look at the magicJack Go you notice its beautiful new design. For seven whole years the device had looked relatively the same and it was time for an eye catching new design for both the device and its packaging. Though this physical enhancement did little if anything to improve the functionality of the device, image is everything these days and they had to keep up with NetTalk who had upgraded their devices look several times over already. With the new design comes much more attractive packaging that is sure to catch your eye when you visit Target, Wal-Mart or RadioShack next.
All new install method
magicJack Go is easy to activate and setup with it’s all new installation method that is painless.
Includes The New magicJack App
magicJack had long had the “TalkFree” app an independent application that wasn’t linked to your service account but with the release of this new device came a new app called “magicApp”. This app allows you to essentially turn you MJ phone number to a cell phone number. If you are in any big city (or anywhere with at least a 3G data connection) you can have all of your home phone calls forwarded to your mobile phone. You can also make calls to any U.S. phone number from the app while out and about thus giving you essentially unlimited phone minutes (though it will eat into your data plan allotment).
Performance Review After Testing
After the disappointment of the magicJack Plus 2014 and serious questions of if management knew what they were doing this device came as a pleasant surprise. With already best in industry voice quality there was little the company could do to improve upon their product. The management team came up with a fantastic idea to integrate the magicJack GO with smartphones via the new app. This was incredibly important to the long term viability of the company as the home phone line is becoming closer and closer to extinction with each passing year. This device worked great for me and it looks really slick. I welcomed the new design and set it up to forward calls to my mobile. In fact, even while at home I would take calls on my mobile with no need to ever use my home actual wired home phone. I eventually just shut it off and set all calls to auto forward to my mobile device. The new design was eventually rendered irrelevant since I had the device hidden underneath the table with my router. This is likely why VocalTec decided to forgo the wireless feature as there is little need for it once you have all phone calls forwarded to your mobile phone. For some, they will refuse this option and still want to have an actual old school phone though by my guess this will only continue to shrink as smartphone use becomes more and more prevalent.
The magicJack Express Device
The magicJack Express is the latest device from VocalTec and is eerily similar to it’s predecessor, the GO device. I can’t help but wonder if this is just a marketing tactic by the company in order to sell more units. It’s possible I am missing something but I failed to see where it differs from the previous device besides its color. Now with that being said, it’s still an incredible device that provides incredible value for those that don’t have a magicJack device yet. If that is the case I highly recommend it but if you have the GO already I see NO REASON to upgrade to this guy.
Initially it comes in cheap at just $39.95 but actually costs more that prior devices in the long run when you consider that it only comes with 3 months of free service. Three months is actually just long enough to determine if you want to keep it and renew your plan for 5 years at just $99.75 so maybe that’s better for a new customer? And tt’s still incredibly cheap all things considered. Like the GO device you get a $10 magicDollar credit to use toward number porting, international prepaid minutes or any other service upgrades (excluding extending your service time). Another perk that makes the insanely cheap price even better.
As far as I can tell it’s similar in every way expect the color has changed from black to white and the initial price. There are no notes on a new processor so I can only assume it has the exact same one. It also works in the same manor with the magicJack App.
I was unable to find any upgrades relative to the previous device besides it being less expensive at the onset, though this isn’t a real upgrade as you will pay more if you keep the device beyond the 3 months. If you have found any other upgrades please let me know and I will include them here. The company did upgrade the app to now include free messaging but in order to get this you don’t need the EXPRESS device. You can simply update the app on your iOS or Android device. This is actually a key upgrade, though not exclusive to the EXPRESS, because it differentiates their app from every other messaging app out there due to the fact that you can message any US mobile number rather than just app users as is the case with Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, etc…
Performance Review After Testing
My testing revealed that this guy worked just as well as the magicJack GO, which is no surprise when you consider that it is exactly the same (at least I think so). Despite its lack of difference, it comes with incredible voice quality, ultra cheap unlimited calling to local, long distance and Canadian numbers and ease of use you’d expect in the 21st century. Instead of paying ridiculous monthly bills for both your home and smartphone you can use the same number for both. It’s a steal of deal for anyone who still has use for a home phone or is reluctant to give up the number they’ve had for years. Overall it is my opinion that the magicJack Express is a great option for home owners and small business owners alike though I don’t see why you would go with it as opposed to the GO device if you are certain that you want to use it for the long term, even if you aren’t certain you still get the 30-day no questions asked free trial.
magicJack GO vs. magicJack EXPRESS
MJ GO | MJ EXP
|Comes With 3 Months of Service|
|Comes With 12 Months of Service|
|Unlimited Local & Long-Distance Calling to the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands|
|Unlimited Mobile Calling With FREE magicApp|
|Pick A New U.S. or Canadian Phone Number|
|Port Your Old Number That You’ve Had For Years (One-Time $9.95 Fee)|
|Free Device-To-Device Calling Worldwide|
|Free Conference Calling Via Call-in Number|
|Free Caller ID, 411, Call Waiting, Voicemail and Call Forwarding|
|Special E911 Service|
|No Contracts EVER|
The magicJack App (magicApp)
Originally released around the same time as the magicJack Plus and called the “TalkFree” app it has since been revamped and rebranded as magicAPP. Visually, the old app left a lot be desired though its functionality was well liked – providing free outgoing calls to anyone who downloaded the app. There were options to upgrade and get a magicJack number, which would allow incoming calls as well and those wouldn’t count against your carrier allotted minutes although you couldn’t connect it to your current magicJack account or phone number. Shortly before the MJ GO was released the company finished its testing phase of the new app and an updated version was released. The updates to the app are great because they allow you to turn your MJ home phone number essentially into a cell phone number forwarding all calls to your smartphone so long as you have a 3G or higher data connection (or Wi-Fi for that matter). You can also make calls to any US phone number.
The app is totally free and fully functional for current MJ users. Those who are only looking to make outgoing calls or texts can also use it for free. For those that wanting to get a phone number and receive calls or texts to that number it is just $1.99/month or $14.99/year.
Benefits of the magicJack App
Works For Free Without A MJ Account
Even if you don’t have a magicJack account you can make free outgoing calls as PennilessParenting.com points out here. This is wonderful because it helps you to save on your minutes with your cell phone carrier. Though you can’t text and don’t get all the features as a premium user you still can make quite good use of it for no-cost with the free outgoing calls.
Take Your Home Phone Number Anywhere In The World With You
All you have to do is setup your account to forward to your mobile phone by going to the magicJack Login page, logging in and changing the forward settings. This way you can get all calls while on the go, anywhere in the world.
Ultra-cheap For Premium Users
Don’t need to take calls from a physical phone at home. Just become a premium user and you get all the same features with all calls routed to your smartphone. Just $1.99 a month or $14.99 per year.
Excellent Call Quality
Better call quality that other calling apps I tried and FREE.
Turn Your iPod Touch, iPad Or Android Tablet Into A Phone
Download the app to any Apple or Android device and you can begin making calls right away (3G or higher data connection or high-speed Internet required).
FREE TEXT MESSAGING
This is the bread and butter of the App. See, the difference here is that all other messaging apps only allow you to message other app users but with the magicAPP you can message any U.S phone number for free. It’s really that simple. Download the app and you can send your friends unlimited free text messages. Great for those that don’t have texting plans.
Performance Review After Testing
I have had the app on my phone for several years now and it works great for me as long as I have a solid Internet or data connection. I was in Europe for about 2 months and used the app whenever I needed to call someone back home. This allowed me to avoid expensive international calling fees. The texting feature is rather new and I haven’t used it since everyone I know seems to have imessage and I have unlimited texting with my plan. I don’t see how you can go wrong in downloading this app. I rarely use it but in strange cases where I am overseas or when I use to be limited on my plan minutes I would use it. If you don’t have unlimited minutes then this is for you! Just use it whenever you are on Wi-Fi and save all of your carrier allotted minutes.
magicJack for BUSINESS
*For a full review of the service see our ‘magicJack for BUSINESS review’.
In December of 2015 magicJack announced that they had hired a vice president of enterprises sales, Keith Reed. People speculated on what is focus with the company would be. Some guessed it would be to focus on developing better retail channels via large accounts. Still more ambitious people thought that it was finally a sign that magicJack was going to finally take a shot at the part of the VoIP market they had long ignored, business VoIP solutions. This prediction proved to be right when in February of 2016 the company announced the impending launch of ‘magicJack for BUSINESS’.
magicJack for BUSINESS was ultimately launched in June of 2016 and is designed to cater to small to medium sized businesses and supply a business with up to 20 phone lines. Companies can start with 1 line and add lines periodically as they grow.
magicJack for BUSINESS is run on magicJack’s private proprietary VoIP network just as the residential service and is similar in a few ways but deviates beyond those. Like the residential service it provides users the ability to save significant amounts of money on their monthly telephone bill. It also provides a similar set of features and a bunch of other extra features not seen with the residential service.
No USB dongle
magicJack for BUSINESS bucks the trend and goes away from the long known company model of a USB dongle, which makes sense when you consider businesses will need a phone system. Instead of a magicJack branded dongle or phone they have team up with Yealink and the service works with the Yealink T21P device. The device comes with the magicJack for BUSINESS software pre-installed and it’s super easy to hook it up and be up and running in 10-15 minutes.
Two Levels Of Service
For BUSINESS includes both a basic level of service (called Home & Office) and a premium level of service (called Premium). The premium level appears to be exactly the same but includes a handful of extra features at a premium price.
No Mobile App For Basic Service
At this point it doesn’t appear that with the home & office plan you get all of your calls synced with your mobile phone. This is a bummer because it means you won’t be able to get any business calls on the go. You however can upgrade to the premium plan if this feature is vital but it will cost you more.
The basic for BUSINESS plan includes features never before seen with magicJack including free conference calling bridge, 24/7 dedicated phone support, music on hold, do not disturb, enhance calling forwarding, caller ID blocking, call transfer and extension dialing. The Premium plan includes all of the former and these extra features: efax, auto attendant, work groups, online call logs and the mobile app.
For the Home & Office plan the cost goes up to $14.99 per month for the first line and then $9.99 for additional lines though it makes sense since businesses likely make a lot more calls than residential customers. Relatively businesses also likely save more on your business phone when you make the switch rather than residential customers. magicJack hasn’t officially released the price for the Premium plan but we expect that it will be about 19.99 per month.
The other costs involved include purchasing the Yealink VoIP phone system for $49.99. The device can support up to 2 phone lines and one user at a time. You will need additional devices if you have a need for more phone lines or more than 1 user at a time.
What I Like
There are a number of very good things that I like about magicjack service. There are too many to list but I have included a few here.
- Fully featured home phone for just $19.95 per year with a 5-year plan saving you thousands
- Super cheap initial cost
- Super easy to setup
- No long term commitment with monthly plans as low as $5 per month
- Best in industry voice quality
- Unlimited long distance calls to the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island
- Number portability so you can keep that number you’ve had for years
- Mobile App so that you can forward all calls to your smartphone and have your phone number with you ALWAYS
- Turn any iOS or Android device into a phone with the app
What I Don’t Like
While I love the service and the positives largely outweigh the negatives, magicJack isn’t perfect and some of the things I don’t like are listed below.
- Try before you buy with a 30-day free trial on the magicJackGO
- No phone support – chat only customer service
- Involving another device (computer, modem or router) sometimes causes technical issues
- Calls are disconnected after 2 hours requiring you to call the person back
How Does The Service 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 it 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. A more detailed explanation is that it works by turning your spoken words into digital information packets and then converts them back to voice data on the other callers end. Users won’t be able to notice any differences in this technology when they have their device hooked up to a regular touch tone phone, corded or cordless phone. To them it will be exactly the same as if they were using their old land line, except for the cheaper price of course. Plus the service comes with the added benefit of being able to be used without an actual phone. This makes it great for travel since users can travel without a phone and just use the app to make/receive calls straight to/from their smartphone.
What Features Does The Service Come With?
It comes with all of the features you have come to expect with your landline provider plus more for free including the free APP. For a full list see my magicJack features section.
Can I fax with magicJack?
Although not officially supported you can indeed send faxes via your magicJack phone line. With the first gen device it was pretty dodgy but with newer devices it works pretty smoothly. For more details see my guide on how to fax with magicJack.
Is magicJack Compatible With MAC?
Although not originally compatible with MAC systems all magicJack software now works on both PCs and MACs. This has rendered itself somewhat redundant with the registration process now being web based. Also it is made even further irrelevant since users rarely involve their computer after the initial setup.
If I Get MJ Service Can I Keep My Old Phone Number?
Yes, in most cases you can port your current phone, although in rare instances it cannot be done. I recommend you check with MJ before purchasing a device and just assuming you can port your number. The cost to port a number is a one-time fee of just $20.
How Do I Make Calls With The Device?
Just hook your device to your computer and follow the install prompts. Once done either leave it in the USB drive or take the device and hook it into your router/modem. Either way you will need to hook it up to your phone on the other end. Pick up your phone and you should hear a dial tone.
How Many Minutes Does The Service Come With Each Month.
It comes with unlimited local and long distances calls to the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island
How Much Do International Calls Cost? Are They Free?
Unfortunately they aren’t free to all countries. Calls are free to Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Calling rates to other countries vary and can only be made with prepaid credits. You can see all international calling rates on this page.
How Can This Phone Service Be So Cheap?
Due to it running through a VoIP network the company has eliminate millions of dollars of infrastructure and is passing the saving on to you
Is There A magicJack Scam?
It is often asked whether there is a magicJack scam or not and it is completely false. In its early days the company did have terrible customer service and some shady auto renew billing practices but these are long gone after new management took over several years ago. The company is a multi-million dollar company with over $140 million is sales in 2014 alone and is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. They are a very large company and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Are There Any Hidden Fees?
Nope! The only fees not included in your plan are international calls which are made on a prepaid basis.
Does It Really Come With Unlimited Minutes? Buried in their Terms and Canadian Terms in a clause that says they reserve the right to cut off users who are using an obscene amount of minutes. I have never had any issues with this and don’t personally know anyone who has. I have also never receive a complaint on my website about this though I have had over 2,500,000 visits for related searches over the past 5 years.
What If I Can’t Get My Service To Work?
If your service isn’t working you need to contact the company’s chat support.
Can I Get A magicJack Number With My Local Area Code?
In most cases yes! Although they don’t offer number with area code they do offer numbers from most area codes. If you want to find out for sure I suggest you check the magicJack area codes list to see all the area codes they offer.
How Is The Customer Service, I’ve Heard Bad Things?
Yes it’s true that the company has chat only customer service. The reality is that in order for the company to continue to offer such cheap service a full service call center is simply not possible. There has been an outcry for better service and perhaps in the future the company will offer tiered services where one can pay in order to have access to live phone support, though I doubt this would end complaints from the cheapskates that would still go with the cheapest plan and complain anyway. With the improvements the new device offers complaints should be drastically reduced. The company has also been working hard to improve their customer service, hiring a new VP of Customer Experience.
Can You Upgrade Your Device?
Yes you can upgrade but you will obviously need to purchase the new device. During the registration process you can choose that you already have an account. During this process you will have the option to transfer your old number over to your new device. You will also have the option to transfer your old devices services time or get the 1-year of free service. Unfortunately, there is no way to combine the two’s service time.
I’m Still Not Sold, At Such A Cheap Price How Well Does The Product Work?
Shortly after the release of the first device, it was being proclaimed as an exceptional product by many reviews. Although other Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services had been previously available, no company had delivered the functionality, at the low cost of magic Jack. Companies like Vonage were offering similar phone services, using the same technology, for far more than the price of magic Jack. For under $2 per month, the magic Jack was and still is an outstanding value. This sparked it being highly touted by numerous widely known publications, including PC Magazine.
Of course at such a cheap price many people are skeptical of the product but I am 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 $140 million in 2014 and for the previous 5 years topped $100 million and that’s because it is an awesome product at an unbelievably low price.
Despite this, no matter how good, no product comes with zero complaints and one gripe regarding about the company has been their customer service. At this time they provide chat only customer service which for some can be frustrating. My experiences with the chat support have been good, but there are complaints of highly incompetent reps. As I delve further into the product I will be sure to update you regarding this issues.
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Real User Reviews
I have a magicjack app on my iPhone and an active magicjack service. Suddenly the app didn't work anymore, saying that I need active service. I contacted customer service 3 times. I am being told to wait for an e-mail, that never comes. It's impossible to talk with someone. I also had money on the app for intentional calls. It's gone too. To not get any help at all in three weeks and to be repeatedly told "to wait for an e-mail" and the 100's of e-mails back log, is just not good enough for "customer service". Since I cannot rely on magicjack to work when I need it and I definitely cannot rely on the very incompetent customer service, I will not continue using magicjack, nor can I recommend it.
Sadly you cant get an account for magicApp anymore because they're pushing magicJack Connect (which for users who want data only plans is inconvenient) which doesn't have access to the Canadian phone exchange number pool like MJ has & trial mins. I had to bite the bullet & buy a GO ( which is cheaper then an express)
Great article! ...I have been using MJ since the first device came out years ago. I am still using the MJ Plus daily and I use the MJ app multiple times a day and they both work Great! The app needs to be used on a good (strong) wifi or cellular data network, (keep that in mind). I have convinced at least a dozen friends on using the MJ device and app and they are all highly satisfied and really grateful to be saving so much money.<br></br>I would also recommend the 5 year plan...major savings! Give it a try and if you don't like it you can always go with another voip service...and probably pay 3 times the price for the same features. Lastly, I don't know if this is true but I've heard that the other reason MJ to so much cheaper is that it's considered a "internet add-on" while devices like vonage are considered "telecommunication devices". Hope this helps.
I had a chat with magicJack on 8-8-16, and Chen said I could transfer the remaining time on my account to my brother’s account. Then I closed chat session got the information I needed from my brother and went back into a chat session and then nobody has been able to accomplish what Chen said was possible. I have called back probably five or six times and they keep telling me they'll escalate my issue and have somebody contact me by email and then nobody ever does. I'm a totally disgruntled customer, and don't mind telling everybody that brings up magicJack not to go there. I have never been able to successfully get magicJack to work well, I just get lots and lots of dropped calls. At some point I decided this was not worth it and asked if I could get refunded for the rest of my five year contract, and they said there were no refunds. Then I found out my brother uses magic Jack down in Florida, and figured maybe I could transfer my stuff to them, and the first chat session person named Chen said that I could, and from here on out I have had nothing but grief and nobody willing to accomplish it.
Extremely disappointing customer service...the product works extremely well BUT I recently tried to buy two more to give to relatives of mine...I had to call customer service 3 times because they did not enter my correct address so they cancelled the sale. Worse yet, they had my email address but never sent me notice of the problem.I believe they are overseas who handle customer service on my last call five days ago they claim I will receive the 2 MJ soon, we will see.
magicJack chatters provided excellent service, specially Anette, she was very patience, helpful and in the end resolved my own ineptness at getting the Magic Jack system to work for me. The system worked great after she helped me, the issue was actually my fault, something I suspect is often the case with the complainers.
I've had the magicjack going on 5 years and have no problems. In the beginning my calls sounded a little weird but as time went on, the quality improved. I have the old system where it connects to the computer but love the app where I ported over my home phone and now get all of my calls on my cell.No call drops, no background static, and the service performance is excellent. I'm getting one for my husband who wants to try it. Unfortunately his unique 800 number can not be ported. But that is small compared to the savings.I am looking forward to getting the new system and seeing how my husband likes it.
After five years of no customer service, the app for cell phones only working 50% of the time, my third MJ devise failing, having to keep a cell phone on because of magic jack's unreliability, I am tossing magic jack in the garbage. Even at $29.99, it's just not worth it. going back to Verizon.
I had one of the older models of the magicJack from 2008 (I think), and I loved it! It worked well for the life of my first two-year contract. Don't ask me why I stopped using it because I have no idea why I would go back to the standard phone service.With what the company has done with the new magicJack as of late, I am looking forward to purchasing it very soon.
I am an ardent user of MJ for over 4 years now and never had a problem both in windows XP and windows 7.
I rarely use it for international calls but now that I notice the rates have gone down, this will surely be my international line. I think that with the newly proposed MJ Plus 2014 it will be the best thing since slice bread.