Popular guest writer Rick Robinette loves to fiddle with the latest technology gadgets. In this guest post, Rick gives you his take on MagicJack – the good, and the bad. See what you think.
MagicJack – A device that you plug into your computer’s USB port that enables you to use your broadband internet connection to make FREE local and long distance phone calls. A phone line (standard RJ-11) plugs into the magicJack from a phone. Initial cost is typically around $40 dollars the first year, then $20 a year thereafter. There are other pricing packages available, as well.
Recently while browsing in the local RadioShack, I could not help overhearing a man and woman asking the salesperson a lot of questions about the magicJack. What they wanted to do was replace the landline phones in their home with a magicJack and this salesperson was laying it on heavy; making it sound like this $20 device was the “ultimate” solution to replacing their landline phone service.
After detecting skepticism from these folks, I could not take it any longer and piped in. I said, “Listen, I have been a magicJack owner for over a year. It does work; however you need to know this about magicJack”.
- This device is dependent on the speed and reliability of your broadband connection and your computer. If the broadband connection and/or computer is under heavy load, then expect problems.
- This device depends on your computer being turned “on”; however, the service does have voicemail which can be forwarded to an email account (in the event the computer is turned “off”).
- Call quality can vary; however, on my setup the call quality is better than cellular and most of the time as good (sometimes better) than my landline. Again, this varies, based on the factors previously reflected.
- I have experienced occasional software issues with the magicJack software, which is driven by the magicJack device itself. Often a reboot of the PC will make it behave itself. When you get this thing, get everything plugged in and follow the registration instructions to setup your “new” phone number.
- This device will not work through the phone jacks in your house. The salesperson was definitely giving that impression. One thing you can do, is purchase a cheap cordless phone and plug the main base into the magicJack.
- Services included are FREE local and long distance calls, FREE voicemail, FREE call waiting, FREE Caller ID and FREE Directory Assistance. Again, this all varies based on factors previously reflected; however these services are included.
- You are going to see thousands of “pros” and thousands of “cons” on this device. For example, [ SEE HERE ] . All I can tell you is, it works for me.
- You are going to read where magicJack computers may analyze the phone numbers you call in order to improve the relevance of the ads you see in the magicJack software. In other words, this could be a privacy concern.
- You are going to find at the magicJack.com website, it is geared toward marketing; not tech support.
Is magicJack’s VoIP for you?
In this particular case, I set up a “win-win” situation for these folks (the customer) and the salesperson.
Replacing your landline phones in your home with magicJack, is not a good solution; unless you are living on bread alone (which did not appear to be the case here). Using magicJack to supplement other services you have is a good solution. For example, I dumped my long distance and use MagicJack to make my long distance calls, which is really not that many compared to other people. We also have pay-as-you-go cell phones and can use them in a pinch, if necessary.
I then turned to the salesperson and asked, “What is your return policy? AND, If these people buy this and do not like it can they bring it back to YOU? At this point, I really got the look. Once that was out of the way, I told these people, take this home and play with it and play with it a lot. If it does not suit bring it back to this guy. They ended up buying it!
To my readers, magicJack does work; however it depends on many variables. If you want to play with one, go to Walmart to buy it. Their return policy is probably the best around. If you can’t wait and want a decent buy, then check [ HERE ] .
This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.
Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.