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a low cost VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service. You buy a
converter jack that plugs into a USB (Universal Serial Bus)
port on your computer. Your ordinary phone plugs into that. You can talk to anyone
with a phone, not just people with MagicJacks. It works on Windows and Intel Macs.
magicJack costs $39.95 plus shipping and handling. magicJack PLUS costs
$69.95 plus shipping and handling.
You can make free incoming and outgoing calls free anywhere in North
If you take your laptop to Europe, you can still call anywhere in North America
The initial cost of a MagicJack is
which gets you the jack and one year of calling. Subsequent years
. This works out to
a month, 15 times cheaper than a similar
service from Shaw cable. It is so cheap, you could justify it just for outgoing
long distance and still keep your regular land line.
The initial cost of a MagicJack Plus is
which gets you the jack and one year of calling.
The initial cost in Canada is
. This gets you both a Canadian phone
number and a US phone in any state, but no 911 service. For
you can give up the Canadian number have just a US local incoming number. This
might be suitable for outgoing calls only, or to maintain a business presence in
some US city, or make it easy for your friends in some US city to call you with a
All the usual extra features such as caller-id, voicemail, directory assistance
and call waiting come bundled.
You can treat the MagicJack just like a land line. You can plug in several
extension phones with a splitter or a cordless phone.
One of the interesting features is it does not require you to install software.
The jack itself contains enough code to automatically trigger the install over the
The MagicJack Plus does not need a computer. It plugs directly into your
Ethernet router. That means you can take your laptop away and still have a phone.
It means you don’t have to leave your computer on. It has higher voice
They take Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex and
PC (Personal Computer) Magazine picked
MagicJack as their editor’s choice on 2008-01-17.
To make the phone ring, the computer must be on all the time and not
Installing MagicJack disables hibernation and standby modes. This is so it can
respond instantly to an incoming call. The downside, is your computer then uses
full power even when it is not in use. Ideally MagicJack should behave like an
Ethernet card that can wake the computer out of hibernation when needed.
There is no warranty, just a one month trial.
Sometimes calls don’t forward properly when the computer power is
Check this list to make sure your area
code is supported. For Canada, you must pick an ON or QC number.
Callers get 30 seconds of dead air before being
able to speak to you.
Even though it works anywhere in the world with Internet access, they only ship
to the United States and Canada, including Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.
You will have to experiment to see if you can get your apartment door intercom
to work with MagicJack. You have have to get the door reprogramming to your new
number, or you may have to get your phone connected both to the MagicJack and the
land line from the intercom.
If your Internet connection is overloaded, you will get dropouts and weird