Our review of magicJack in 2020 has revealed that the company was established in 2007 on the premise that “Millions of Americans had been get ripped off and overpaying for their home telephone service for a long time.” The goal of the company’s service was to save consumers money on their home phone bill by eliminating their monthly bills in lieu of one significantly smaller annual fee. magicJack’s plan to do this was using a new technology to route 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.
So the million dollar question is did the company achieve this with magicJack Phone service? How well does their magic Jack service work? Can magicJack really save you loads of money? Is there some kind of scam when it’s time for your renewal? Read below to see what we found out in our 100% independent and unbiased magic Jack review.
In this review we have also covered the common question such as ‘what is magicJack” and reviewed all magicJack devices from the original through the latest device.
The Ultimate Guide to magicJack Phone Service
The name for magicJack’s technology is Voice Over Internet Protocol, often abbreviated as VoIP. At the time inception, magic Jack wasn’t the only one offering VoIP service. In fact, many other companies where just beginning to use this technology around the same time, the most noteworthy of which was Vonage. However magicJack’s plan was to make this technology mainstream and bring it to the masses at a ridiculously cheap price. This unique technology, 13 years later still allows them to offer service at under $40 per year and as low as $26 per year if you are willing to commit to a 5-year plan ($130). In order to use magic Jack it must run through one of several devices they have come out with over the years or the free magicJack App. The latest device (latest device is always changing but is currently the magicJack Home) that the service works with typically costs bewteen $40-$60 and includes the device and 1-year of free service. As time has progressed each subsequent magicJack device has gotten a little better than the one prior.
The Early Years of magicJack Phone Service
In the early days magicJack had its fair share of trouble but these days it has pretty good magicJack user reviews. From the beginning magicJack 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!
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 they have improved their customer service and now have an at least respectable B- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
*Unfortunately, Dan passed away in 2014 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.
What is magicJack?
With such a low price one may think that magicJack skimps on features but this couldn’t be further from the truth. magicJack is a full service phone company and provides all of the features that traditional 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 magicJack service with you and make calls anywhere in the world. It’s like being able to take your home landline with you wherever you go and never miss a call. A list of all of the features of magicJack Phone are listed just below along with a ton of real magicJack reviews from real user or you can check out our magicJack help page where we have written many informational articles answering various magicJack FAQs an dquestions you may have.
- 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 magic jack device can currently (as of Novemeber 2020) be renewed for the following prices. There are there different plans available. Each plan is exactly the same and includes full service with all features.
- $39 for a 1-year plan
- $100 for a 3-year plan
- $130 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?
The service can save you a TON of money if you are using a traditional land line phone service. It costs just under $30 per year with a 5-year plan. For around $175 (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 would 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 Home or one of the many excellent VoIP providers!
Current magicJack Devices Reviewed
magicJack Home Review
The magicJack home is the latest device from magicJack and is essentially the magicJack GO with the box and branding side re-skinned with a different name. It comes with the same features and very little upgrades from it’s predecessor and actually from our vantage point no visual changes. Again it’s possible that I am missing something there I failed to see where it differs from the previous devices. Now with that being said, it’s still an incredible device that provides incredible value for those that don’t have a 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.
The device costs just $59.99 but is usually on sale for $49.99. It comes with 12 months of free service with the ability to tack on 3 years of service for $100 or 5 years for $130. 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.
As far as I can tell it looks similar in every wayto the Go device. It come with the exact same features and prior devices which is standard on all magicJack device. It also works in the same manor with the magicJack App.
There are notes that it has a new processor that is 4 times faster which should mean calls that are more clear but really how much better can you get in regards to call quality? It’s an improvement the company has touted with each new device since the magicJack plus was released. It also claims to have robo-call screening though we’re unable to confirm if this really stops or reduces robo calls. If you have found any other upgrades please let me know and I will include them here.
magicJack GO Review
The new magicJack GO USB Dongle was the next device in a long line of VoIP products from magicJack VocalTec LTD. The previous magicJack Phone 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 magicJack Phone 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 magicJack loyalist are upset about. Though it’s not really as much of a big deal as some think as I explain later. The magicJack 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 magicJack 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.
They went back to their old standard of providing the device and 1-year of free phone service with the GO. The cost of it is just $49.95, 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 magicJack GO 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 GO you notice its beautiful new design. For seven whole years the company’s dongle 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 magic Jack, 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
The GO is easy to activate and register with it’s all new installation method that is painless.
Includes The magicJack App
The company had long had the “TalkFree” app an independent application that wasn’t linked to your service account but with the release of this new magic Jack Phone came a new app called “magicApp”. This app allows you to essentially turn you phone number into 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 2014 dongle 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 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.
magicJack Express Review
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.
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 it’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 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 App Review (magicApp)
Originally released around the same time as the 2nd gen device 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 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 number. Shortly before the 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 home phone number essentially into a cell 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 number.
The app is totally free and fully functional for current 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 number and receive calls or texts to that number it is just $1.99/month or $14.99/year.
Benefits of the App
Works For Free Without An Account
Even if you don’t have a magicJack account you can make free outgoing calls. This is wonderful because it helps you to save on your minutes with your cell 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 Number Anywhere In The World With You
All you have to do is setup your account to forward to your mobile 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 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.
Old magicJack Devices No longer for sale
Original MagicJack Review
When it was first released the magicJack 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. magicJack 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 device 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 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
magicJack Plus Review
Image 5: The Plus Device
The original magic Jack 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 magicJack Plus. The results were absolutely magnificent and the new device was tabbed the magic Jack Plus upon release. magicJack 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 second generation device. 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 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 magicJack device.
Voice Quality Improvements
The all new device 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 plus 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 number and when done take the device 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 Review
“I have been a customer for a couple of years using the magicJack Plus 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 magicJack out! If it’s anything like the upgrade to the plus I’m set to be wowed” -Jerrold
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 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.
magicJack Plus 2014 Review
The 2nd generation magicJack Plus was an incredible success and people had even higher hopes for the magic Jack 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 magic Jack plus rather than shell out the extra cash for this one. It’s not that it is a bad device and those without it would be well served to get the 2014 magicJack Plus 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 wifi got consumers hoping for one 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 magicJac
It ended up being considerably larger than the prior device and one can only guess why with the minimal upgrades.
The magicJack plus 2014 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 magicJack plus 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 magicJack plus 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 magicJack to go into hibernate mode to save on power.
Performance Review After Testing
My magicJack review indicated that the magicJack plus 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 magicJack phone 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 magicJack 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 magicJack.
magicJack GO vs. magicJack EXPRESS
MagicJack GO | MJ EXPRESS
|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 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|
magicJack for BUSINESS Review
*For a full review of the service see our ‘magicJack for BUSINESS review’.
In December of 2015 the company’s CEO announced that they had hired a vice president of enterprises sales, Keith Reed. People speculated on what his focus with the company would be. Some guessed it would be to focus on developing better retail channels via nationwide retail chains. Still more ambitious people thought that it was finally a sign that the company was going to finally take a shot a portion of the VoIP market they had long ignored and that is much more profitable, business VoIP. This prediction proved to be right when in February of 2016 the company announced the impending launch of ‘magicJack for BUSINESS’.
Their BUSINESS division was ultimately launched in June of 2016 and is designed to cater to small to medium sized businesses and supply a business with an unlimited number of lines. Businesses can start with 1 line and add lines periodically to scale along with company growth.
magicJack for BUSINESS is run on the company’s private proprietary VoIP network just as their residential service and is similar in a few ways but deviates beyond those. Like the residential service it provides users with the ability to save significant amounts of money on their monthly telephone bill. It provides a similar set of features and also 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 stood company model of a USB dongle, which makes sense when you consider businesses will need a phone system. Instead of a company branded dongle they have team up with Yealink and the business phone service works with the Yealink T21P device. The device comes with the software pre-installed and it’s super easy to hook it up and have it running within 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. As of February 2017 the company has now full released the premium plan to any and all business who may be interested in the service.
The basic for BUSINESS plan includes features never before seen 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 plus these extra features: efax, auto attendant, work groups, online call logs and the mobile app. For those that have been waiting
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 are also likely save more on your business phone when you make the switch rather than residential customers. magic Jack has now officially released the price for the Premium plan and it is $24.99 for the first line and then $14.99 for additional lines with no limit on the total number of lines.
In the past we found information that stated it was $49.99 for the Yealink VoIP system but as of early 2017 the official site says “Free Shipping, Free Phones, Free to transfer number and $0 due at signup”. This means you will pay nothing until your first monthly bill arrives (likely several weeks after you sign up). Each Yealink 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.
magicJack SPARK Business App
The SPARK is an all-new app released by magicJack targeting small businesses who want to integrate their business line with their mobile phone. It again appears that the company has little direction and poor management as this is their 3rd release of an app that is a separate offering from their devices. Perhaps this was in response to the failed experience of magicJack for business? Nonetheless the cost is just $4.99 per month and includes unlimited calling and texting. magicJack Spark comes with a 30-day free trial so that you can try it out before you commit to paying anything.
What We Like About magic Jack Phone Service
There are a number of very good things that I like about the service. There are too many to list but I have included a few here.
- Fully featured home phone for just $26 per year with a 5-year plan saving you thousands
- Super cheap initial cost
- Super easy to setup
- No long term commitment with yearly plans as low as $35 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 number with you ALWAYS
- Turn any iOS or Android device into a phone with the app
What We Don’t Like About magicJack Phone Service
While I love their service and the positives largely outweigh the negatives it simply (but what product is right?) isn’t perfect and some of the things I don’t like are listed below.
- 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 magic Jack Phone 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 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 calls are routed over the Internet rather than through traditional 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 it 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 magicJack 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 the magicJack?
Although not officially supported you can indeed send faxes via your 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 Service Compatible With MAC?
Although not originally compatible with MAC systems the 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 magicJack Phone Service Can I Keep My Old Number?
Yes, in most cases you can port your current phone, although in rare instances it cannot be done. I recommend you check with the company before purchasing a device rather than just assuming you can port your number and get mad at the company after the fast.
How much does it cost to port my number to magic Jack?
The cost to port a number is a one-time fee of just $20. Note: For Canadian numbers there is an additional $10 charged annually.
How Do I Make Calls?
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 magicJack 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 magicJack 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 with magicJack?
Nope! The only fees not included in your plan are international calls which are made on a prepaid basis.
Does magic Jack 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 magicJack 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 magicJack 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.. The company has also been working hard to improve their customer service, hiring a new VP of Customer Experience.
Can You Upgrade Your magicJack device?
Yes you can upgrade but you will obviously need to purchase a 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 phone. You will also have the option to transfer your old service time or get the 1-year of free service. Unfortunately, there is no way to combine the two’s service time.
Final Thoughts on magicJack Phone Service
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 magicJack. Companies like Vonage were offering similar phone services, using the same technology, for far more than the price of magic Jack. For under $3 per month, the magicJack 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 magicJack 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 these issues.
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Read the Reviews... Never ever pay MJ in advance. The overwhelming echoes and endless static prevent you from hearing a thing or thinking clearly when trying to talk to someone on the phone. MagicJack said they are keeping my money and that I am screwed, Ha Ha!. They said I can cancel after a year, even though I can make no phone calls. And defiant, they won't even talk to me about the problem unless I jump thru several hoops and provide a blood and DNA sample to prove I am a customer, despite providing my account number. Once MJ has your money, MJ couldn't care less that you have an unusable service. Treating customers fair is inconceivable to MJ. All that matters is their Gestapo Law in Section 30, item 299438885774 of their penal code they'll quote to you that says MJ has the right to screw over any and all customers at any time they wish. It is of no concern to MJ that customers can not make a phone call. Don't even start phone service with them.
We have been users for about 7 years and it is a nice cheap alternative to the usual telephone services. It is advisable to update your Magicjack equipment when a new version comes out. We had some static issues over the last year but as soon as we upgraded our Magicjack Plus to Magicjack Home the static was gone. The cost for the equipment upgrade was $40 + $10 shipping and tax but also comes with a free 12 months added to your subscription. The app for your cell phone is a nice feature so you don't miss call when away from home. I have not used their consumer support so I can not speak on the poor review in that area. Overall, I would definitely recommend Magicjack. It is the real deal.
I had the original unit for almost 10 yrs with no complaints. It was last used on a windows 10 computer for about 2 years then last week it stopped and they told me it wasn't compatible with win10, even though it worked for 2 yrs. I went out and bought a plus unit and hooked it up to usb same as old. Still no connection after dialing but had dial tone. So I hooked it up to the router and it works now but I have no extra features like no caller id. I've contacted support and searched the web but can't find out how to access my extra features when hooked to the network instead of the computer usb. If I open the magic jack icon on the computer it says connect your device then closes the program when it can't find the device.
Rating should be ZERO Stars.
This is the worst service ever! I would not advise buying the MagicJack! I have had the service since 2017 and have spent more time on the phone with customer service than I care to write about here. If you do not buy the Concierge Service Plan you will not be able to talk to anyone on the phone for help, you will have to correspond by writing your problem on the internet. These call centre employees waste more time than its worth going through their scripts and making you do things to the connection which often requires you to lose your connection with the person you are talking to. It would also be nice to talk to someone without thick accents that talk so fast you can not understand a single word of what they are saying.
I have had this service since 2017 and I paid for the service years in advance that expires in 2023. Recently, now March 2020 I had to get a new device (a replacement device!!) for reception that had gone from bad to intolerable. I had been encouraged up to this point to keep the Concierge service up to date and a replacement device would cost me much less having the Concierge service.
I was charged $49 US for a replacement device, even though their landing page on their site quotes $39 US to get set up! But the real issue here I should have only been charged $17.95 US having the Concierge Plan.
I was in conflict with customer service, as they say I bought a “NEW” device, not a “Replacement” device! Are these people that thick in the head???
The Latest in April 2020: Management said if I returned the device, (I pay for postage!), they would then disconnect that service and activate the old device (Which I had thrown out) and then I could buy the “replacement” device after they refund me the amount of the “new” device. They still will not refund me $30!!! CROOKS!
It is now June 2020 incoming and outgoing calls disconnect after approximately 5 minutes!
DO NOT DEAL WITH THIS COMPANY!
I have 5 magicjacks: 1-Plus on a Spectrum home network and 1-Plus, 2-Go and 1 Express on a Spectrum Business network with a static IP. All these devices started to experience static about two years ago and it is now making them almost useless. I follow a protocol of removing each magicjack device from power and network for 10 minutes then restarting one at a time. The static remains. Another issue is there is a loud call waiting tone when you are on a call that is beyond annoying. I am not alone with this problem. MagicJack Support can not solve the issue.
Our account is in my husband's name. I tried to cancel it because he died and I do not use it and when I called customer service in January, they refused to cancel the account for me because my husband's name is on the account, not mine. It is my e-mail alias on the account but that apparently wasn't good enough. They required me to send in a death certificate. While I thought this was insane and infuriating, I did send in the death certificate exactly as they requested. I never heard back and followed up in e-mail 2 more times. This started on January 24th and it is now April 3rd. I logged into the account today and verified it still isn't cancelled so I called them. They still won't cancel it, telling me they now need my ID. This is crazy, the account owner is dead, they have his death certificate. That they continue to try to make me jump through hoops is appalling. I didn't have this much problem dealing with the Social Security Administration....
I have a very strong feeling they are preparing to go out of business. No company in sound mind would so brutally abuse its customers.
I have a wall phone with a 15' phone line hooked to a Magicjack. I have it plugged in the usb port on a windows 10 PC. That PC has a CAT5 going to my Xubuntu PC. The Xubuntu PC has a usb wifi getting the internet from a 4gLTE hotspot. I had the DSL disconnected because it was too expensive. magicJack is just right for how well it works and my budget!
I've used the service since 2014 and aside from the power supply plug of my first magicjack plus failing, the service has been mostly good. However, there are times which appear random, that magicjack limits call duration. For a couple of years calls were limited to 60 minutes which I feel was quite fair. Howerver lately (July 2018) my outbound calls are being terminated after 15 minutes. So I returned to the MJ website to try to locate an updated subscriber agreement addressing call limits, but could find nothing. They also seem to have reduced the information available on their website (FAQs, etc) in favor of promoting their MJ Concierge service. At any rate I found no information about call limits. My service expires in Aug 2018 and at this point I am undecided about renewing. I also need a new device (still using the MJ plus, but there appears no path to upgrade to the MJ Go *and* port my existing MJ Canadian number to the MJ Go. At best, it seems I will have to get a new number.
Pros: Ultra low cost; excellent sound quality; easy setup; fax working well.
Cons: Dongle freezes once in a while, needs rebooting; dongle does not support multiple phones, use cordless phones with multiple handsets to solve this limitation; limited support; texting to Canadian numbers not working; price increased from $99 for five years to $89 for three years; may need setup changes if changing router.
finally my magic jack voice volume is solved.
i purchased a phone with volume control.
turn the volume up and voice can be heard w/o problems.
I use magicjack for 7 years in Canada. It's excllent replacement to a regular phone. It has all features you need, that you would pay extra with other vip's. Unlimited Canada and US. The only thing in Canada, not in US, we pay $10 every year to renew the phone no. It sends email if I cannot pick the incoming call. I was in Florida and a call to my tel.no. came thru to my android tablet and mobile, if you download their software. I can check anytime missed calls or messages on my galaxy tab and mobile. The a customer service is only thru chat, I used it and it solved a problem. The calls can be dropped, some time, not a big problem. The only problem (sometimes), that is not resolved is a bip on other side of the call like someone trying to call-in while in conversation. I renewed for a second term of 5 years. With mobile and magicjack that's all we need. I don't have magicjackGo and works fine. My family and many friends have magicjack here and US and use it successfully.
This is the absolute worse. I have paid over 10 years of service. But MagicJack tells me they canceled my account.
I have magic jack, upgraded to magicJack GO. I used it to replace my old home # voicemail. I recently got majicapp and it is a game changer! I have a completely separate phone # I ported over giving my iPhone a true 2 phone/text #'s on the one device. Plus I have my original land line # I use for voicemail. I have saved the cost of my old Verizon home line.. plus the cost/hassle of a second cell phone..Thanx so much MajicApp!!
Nathan - Happy to hear magicJack is saving you tons of money and meets your mobility needs.
I currently use two lines. My original mj "Plus" device has been in use for over 3 years and I use that line for faxing. My newer mj"GO" is used as my primary phone line. Both devices are trouble free. If you have a fast and stable internet connection with enough band width, the magic jack is excellent. It is my opinion that most individuals with troubles have internet that is not stable or reliable.
I have their app on my iPhone and an active service device at home. 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 mj 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.
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 their customer service 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 it up not to go there. I have never been able to successfully get it 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.
I used mj for 6 years everything was fine, just re-upped a years worth of service. Then my magicjack stopped working, no new device unless I paid for it. THE CUSTOMER SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE ,I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN. I gave them a 1 because I couldn't give them nothing.
We are sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction with magicJack, Terry. The device apparently did work great for 6 years for you, did you expect it to work forever considering it was so cheap? All tech gadgets wear out eventually, especially cheap ones!
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.
Their support 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 their unreliability, I am tossing MJ in the garbage. Even at $29.99, it's just not worth it. going back to Verizon.
I had one of the older models 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.
I was first very suspicious of Magic Jack.
I hooked it up to my cable internet very easily and presto!! The sound is crystal clear. There is no way to know that the thing is actually not a land line.
I am believer now!
I have read bad comments on this service but to date, I have been satisfied. For some it will not work perfectly but that comes with any product ever known to man.I had assistance with my problems and the customer service chat line responds very quickly, not to mention they were helpful and courteous. I can understand that for some chat customer service is a drawback but it all comes down to give and take. If magicJack dedicated a bunch of money to a full blown call center I’m sure we would all be paying quite a bit more than the $29.95 per year that it currently cots.
I am not actually what you call computer-literate but their directions are easy to understand and effective. You do however need to be sure to follow each and every step exactly as it shows on the directions. I introduced a program from a company called Clear Wireless which messed up all my systems, including this. Representatives have always been helpful and effective in addressing my issues.
I have been using my device for about a month now and it has been satisfactory. The call quality is just as good as I got in the past with a landline and certainly doesn’t give me anything to complain about. If you do have call quality issues it could be caused by an issue with your computer or resulting from a slow Internet connection. If I had to do it all over again right now I would definitely purchase it again. I will also look into the plus 2014 if and when the upgrade their services to provide Internet and/or cable. I will post another comment in 6 months to let you know how it has gone.
Started a business with the original one in 2009 and used it for my business phone. It worked great and probably saved my company upwards of $1,500. Have upgraded to the plus for my business line and also added one for my home number. My wife uses the phone a lot and has nothing but praise for it (she was very skeptical).
You do need a high-speed (DSL, Cable) connection as it will not work on a dial-up line. Using it on a dial-up line would be stupid anyway. Isn’t the idea to tell the phone company to take a hike? Only issue is they can only transfer some numbers, not all. Not thrilled about having to change my number with everyone, but for $20 a year, I can deal with it.
We purchased the MJ about 1 year ago, wondering if it would work for our FAXING NEEDS. Previously we had a phone line ONLY for our FAX MACHINE. --- Not Cheap! Bought it - Took it out of the box - Plugged it in - Moments later a dial tone was heard - Made a phone call with it - Faxed a document using it ------ All worked flawlessly, effortlessly! We love it! --- and now I often make phone calls with it (as the sound quality is often better than my "phone line".
Another fact: a friend bought 4 MGs. He uses 1 connected to his notebook computer when he is literally "out in the field". It works great he says. His other ones are all hooked to his Multi-Line Phone System for his business & work Great too. He told me today that he is dropping his phone carrier as this works BETTER & Saves HIM $$$$.