I received my magicJack VOIP phone device yesterday in the mail and decided to put it to the test. The product is very simple to install, you plug the USB device into you computer and it kicks off some software having you register the jack.
You put in your location, choose an area code for your phone number and finish the setup. I don’t know why they make you select a check box to allow free outgoing calls, it acts like it is something separate. Probably for the license, but they also list some stuff to watch out for like charges for international calls, and how the billing works.
MagicJack offers everything as-is, no warranty or guarantee for the product or the service itself. Which is odd and a little disturbing, they offer optional 911 location but you are warned the info provided is whatever is listed when you register the jack, it isn’t GPS so if you take the jack to a friends house it still has your address.
I made my first call and it was to my friend in another area code. The phone dialed out and my wireless headset and phone worked as promised. While talking to my friend I noticed that the audio was a little fuzzy, but not unbearable for the savings.
Then I started testing the product in my real world situation. I started doing entrecard drops, blogging and watching a youtube video at the same time, and I did notice than when opening fifteen to twenty tabs at the same time, I was getting echoing and some pitching while making a phone call, it was short lived and cleared up but did make conversation annoying while doing very heavy Internet usage at the same time.
I did find some other fantastic features about MagicJack and one is that you have full control over speaker or microphone volumes, many people originally complained my voice was too low, but after figuring out the volume controls I was able to solve that problem with ease.
Then I realized the best benefit to MagicJack is that I didn’t need to use my local phone at all, I have a very nice high quality Turtle Beach Headphones w/ mic which I used for gaming a while back. The MagicJack allows you to use your USB microphone/headphones as your “phone source” and this allows you to make and listen to phone calls in stereo like sound which makes each call sound louder and clearer when you are listening to people talk with both ears at the same time.
Once you get used to hearing phone calls with stereo headphones it is hard to go back to a single ear piece, I found that dialing with the 10keypad, and even the fact you can save your favorite numbers, double click to dial past numbers, and dial any 800 numbers, including needing star and pound signs for extensions and such with ease.
So far my 2nd day into the trial I am really liking the MagicJack service as far as features and functionality, my only quip at this time is that when using the Internet heavily it does lag and stutter a little bit, but so far for an average cost of only $3.33 per month it is worth the minor inconvenience for unlimited local and long distance calling.
I have done searches and found many complaints about the MagicJack but most of them stemming from early 2008, nothing too recently, and even though MagicJack does display an advertisment inside the program it does not open any browser windows and cause any pop-up ads to appear so I think this is a minor thing which was a primary complaint.
Update: I have done two follow up posts about the MagicJack one was a further review of the benefits, and one was about how I had some serious issues and outages during a single day in my first month. I think it was related to Internet issues though and not specific to the MagicJack.
- Read my “Update on the Magic Jack” for more information and features.
- Read my “Yesterday was a bad day for the MagicJack” for information on the issues I was having.
I also did a full video demonstration of the Magic Jack Here: