Magic Jack Review

When Hurricane Ike struck here on Galveston Island we lost our phone service. By the time we moved back in we got used to using our cell phones and restoring our landlines had a low priority.  for a while we put our phone service on “vacation hold” but eventually we just realized that the hookup fees and the extra monthlies didn’t worth it and we let it go.

I did miss having a landline, talking on a real phone for long calls is more comfortable, and although we have lots of spare minutes,  unexepected events can add up to extensive cell phone time.  So we decided to give Magic jack a try. At $69 for the first year it seems to be worth a shot.

I ordered it on line and a few days later our new Magic Jack plus arrived.  It contained the Magic Jack Plus dongle a small 110 volt to USB power unit, a short usb extender and an ethernet cable.  Equality picked up a cordless 3 phone set to go with it.

The Magic Jack needs to be connected to a computer to configure and attach a phone number to it.  The Device works with Windows and Mac machines it is not Linux compatable.   Once it is all configured it can be connected directly to a router directly won”t need a computer anymore.

Once the Magic Jack Plus is plugged into the computer the program is automagically installed and started. The user is guided to selecting a phone number or to transfer their existing number. The menus selections have some upsell options, but is pretty easy to navigate anf only takes 10 or 15 minutes. After the Magic Jack + is configured the user has the option of leaving it plugged into the computer, or to connect it up to the network.

The Good

The good news is that the Magic Jack Plus works and it is pretty cheap.   The sound quality is excellent exceeding that of cell phones.   It delivers on what I expected and wanted. Unlike the old Magic Jack a computer doesn’t have to be up and running. As I type this Vonage is and Comcast are advertising their basic services at around $20 to $30 dollars a month  about what the yearly rate is for Magic Jack Plus.

The Bad

Magic Jack isn’t without some issues. If you use it to replace a regular phone line You have more points of failure. If you lose cable or power or a router failure you lose your phone. One might consider putting A phone Modems, Router and Magic Jack on a UPS. These are low power devices

Their built in service includes an service which will pick up the phone after 4 rings.  The answering service announces it is a Magic Jack service. If you wish to use your own answering machine you have to set it to pick up on the 3rd ring.  This doesn’t give much time to answer the phone.  It would be nice if we could have the choice of disabling automatic answering altogether.

The Ugly

It came as no surprise to find that their support is lousy. It is only available via Web Chat. and that it is pretty lousy. The web and forums are full of complaints about their service support.  I had attempted to reclaim my old home phone line. We had abandoned the number 2 years ago, but it still isn’t in use.  The installation accepted my old number, and it reported the number as my ID when I dialed into my cell. I couldn’t call into my phone. I  didn’t know what the problem was and and called support via the chat.  They had me reconfigure reboot and moved me up to whats called a  10% level support and she ran me they ran me through the same procedures.  Finally she gave up, and told me they would refer me to engineering and they would get back to me. I was on chat for about an hour.

After the unsuccessful chats I checked my email before I prepared to leave for the day. I found an email with a time stamp of 6:02am that I received just as I was beginning the support chat telling me that my phone number transfer was unsuccessful.  I went back and picked out another phone number and everything worked properly.  It seems to me that  the support people should have been able to find this out.


Magic Jack plus delivers a good quality phone line, Once it is up and running there should be little need for any support. Set up and configuration is straightforward, but a user might be in trouble if they are need in need of customer support.  There are some preresiquites to get the Magic Jack working.

  • A Windows or Apple Computer
  • A good Highspeed Internet connection.  To use the system without a computer you will probably need a router with an available ethernet connection.  One can connect through a computer that has a highspeed internet connection, but if the computer goes down there is no phone. Using the computer to make the connection might be a good option for those who have only WiFi service in their homes.
  • A phone. A regular plain old corded phone should work. but the Magic Jack might not be able to power more than one or 2 non powered phones. A regular corded phone requires power to ring the phone.

People who live  or spend time out of the country might find this particularly usefull. One can set it up using a stateside phone number and call abe called without dealing with international rates or calling plans. The unit is very small and can be used with regular headset and mike available anywhere. I am happy with mine because I can use a regular phone and line. I can send or receive a fax if I want to.  Its probably never going to be a real minutes saver on my phone because I get free minutes on my cell service if talking to others on  the same plan.  So I if I call one of the phones in my family with this its going to count toward my minutes.

The bottom line is this thing works and is cheap.

About Liberty

Blogging is something I do for myself. I've been blogging since Sept. 2003, mostly about politics, guns, and observations about the word around me.
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14 Responses to Magic Jack Review

  1. Dennis says:

    It’s good to hear things (mostly) worked out for you, Liberty. If it’s of interest, you can resolve your answering machine issue by using a bit of software called MagicFeatures with your magicJack. It lets you hook up an answering machine to your magicJack line to catch calls before they’re sent to your email. You can read about it at It does come with a downside though – you have to plug the magicJack Plus into a computer to allow the software to work. There is more good news though – MagicFeatures allows you to block unwanted callers (or only allow certain priority calls through), gives you 7 digit local call dialing, and a raft of other features. I have the MJ+ too, but keep it plugged into a tiny, low power laptop to keep power costs down while providing 15 or 20 benefits from MagicFeature.

    I hope you’ve gotten to the other side of your rebuilding efforts!

  2. Darryl says:

    Darryl: I have paid for a product and it is not being delivered , When do you expect to reinstall this feature . This is more a novelty phone . I have had it only as a back up as most others are using it for the same ; How do you expect to keep your costomers if you start changing features after you have given a contract ? I am up for renewal again soon and need to know if the features will be available . If they are not than why would I renew this phone ? I have seen on the internet that others have brought this to your attention and have not received a answer in almost a year now . Has this company been sold to a new owner ?

    Randy: I apologize, but we do not have the exact time frame or update as to when the feature will be available again. Please check our website periodically for updates.

    As for modifying our features, please refer to our Terms of Service, Section 13. Modification:

    magicJack, LP and/or magicJack VocalTec, Ltd. reserve the right to modify or discontinue the magicJack and/or magicJack Plus device, magicJack APP and Software, temporarily or permanently, with or without notice to you. YMax reserves the right to modify or discontinue its services, temporarily or permanently, with or without notice to you.

    Darryl: Thats all I need to know . Thank you !

  3. R.K says:

    Majic Jack is not a good thing. It contines all day long to drop my internet. It has done this during college exams for me and it does it EVERY DAY. I have counted it and it has dropped me 20 times in one day. It also hogs my bandwith on my modem. To download a movie it take 3 hours when majic jack is hooked up. When I disconnect magic jack, it only takes about 40 minutes. 3.73 was my connection speed when magic jack is NOT hooked up. When it is hooked up it is .34. so magic jack is a hog. I used to be able to have my computer outside and do my schoolwork. Now I can’t even get on the internet downstairs when magic jack is hooked up. Magic jack IS NOT the best way to go for a phone service.


  4. Liberty says:

    R.K, I suspect the issues you are having is with Quest not not Majic Jack.
    Do they offer VOIP? and are they fighting the competition by crimping yopur speed? I haven’t had any of the issues that you describe,

  5. Ron says:

    So does the magic jack cost 30 a year? Or 30 a month?

  6. Liberty says:

    ABOUT $30.00 a year

  7. ljeffries55 says:

    I found that MagicFeatures will block incoming calls and they
    do have a 7day free trail period!

  8. Gus says:

    I ported my old phone number to Magic Jack almost 1 yr ago and paid $19.99 for that under the impression that it is a one time fee. I had no idea that it is only good for one year and requires an annual renewal fee of $9.99.

    See the following chat I had with their customer support:
    It is stated in the registration, FAQ and TOS which you had agreed that if you port your number from another carrier to the MJ, it will cost $20.91 (one time fee). But after a year, you’ll have to pay $9.95 + regulatory expense $0.78 a total of $10.73 yearly to maintain the number.

    What a sneaky way to lure unsuspecting customers!

    I have endured this past year of very marginal sound quality from MJ, only because I want to save money. Now, this experience is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. If I could do it over again, I would not have switched over to MJ.

    They will not get a penny more out of me. I refuse to play their game and pay “blackmail”

  9. tw says:

    I recently tried to change my magicjack to be connected through a router instead of directly to my computer so that it wouldn’t turn off if the computer was turned off. I spent over 4 hours with their support chat and still didn’t get it resolved. They kept sending me to a different person who would have me reperform the same steps. What a joke! At the end of the day, I am convinced it is the magicjack plus itself and ends up to be less than the 100% guarantee as they want me to pay $12 to have another one shipped to me. It has been a headache just trying to get it set up!!

  10. benjamin says:

    magic jack is a fraud it has no review board

    Please wait for a site operator to respond.

    You are now chatting with ‘Conrad’

    Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK11153037834644X

    Conrad: Hello, how may I help you?

    Conrad: hello there Benjamin

    Conrad: how are you today?

    benjamin: hi magic jack message 11 waiting on response . see last nights message and still no response going on three weeks.

    benjamin: see below

    Conrad: Please wait while I check that for you

    benjamin: this was message ten

    benjamin: Please wait for a site operator to respond. You are now chatting with ‘Kevin’ Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK11153037329656X Kevin: Hello, how may I help you? benjamin: yes hello I have been waiting for review tech for more than two weeks now. And since I have been ignored and stopped from ordering a montreal number I am now suing for damage and interest including my money back. I have called the better business bureau and will be filling by morning for fraud and bad business with magic jack,. who has no way to be contacted other than online tech support. magic jack has stopped me from purchasing due to review induced on me and paralised my international corporation from operating now costing me to lose 3 offer on multi million dollar properties. and the loses incured are above 900 000$ Kevin: Thank you for addressing your concern. Let me assist you regarding this one. Kevin: Please wait while I check that for you benjamin: everutime i contasct tech i am told to wait for an email that has not come and ruined my business . even when trying to purchase with a usa or canada credit card from canada or uisa I was told to wait for a ghost. benjamin: host Kevin: Totally understood. Kevin: I’m gonna need to double check. Kevin: One moment please… benjamin: I have suiffered utter negligance and offer you resolution till morning and will finalise with the better business bureaus of montreal florida and toronto. Kevin: I understand. benjamin: my accoutn ios montreal device. see notes. Kevin: Got it. Thank you. benjamin: I am contacting you to ask you so as I may include this in my report. Kevin: All right. benjamin: is there a head office i can contact as I have not and cannot find it and now i want to know if you can provide it or is this company a fraud. benjamin: for those whoi go under review Kevin: I understand you, Benjamin. Kevin: Please hold as I am double checking on your account. benjamin: i do have 3 other accounts working but since 1 device for montreal is under review i have been told to not be in function this is purposterous. benjamin: ok i am holding Kevin: Thank you very much. benjamin: benjamin elbaz JP morgan director of exit strtegy department Kevin: Got it. Kevin: Thank you. benjamin: please provide me head office full contact info. number name and ceo including director of operations. please Kevin: One moment please… benjamin: yes thank you i will hold Kevin: All right. Kevin: Thank you for patiently waiting, Benjamin. As I have double checked it here on our end. Your account is under review and as of the time being you may not be able make purchases from your account. However, I’m thanking you because you immediately contacted us regarding this one. And because of that I will make a report and I will pass this to the upper management and as soon as they receive my report they will immediately resolve this matter for you. You don’t have to worry about this one. We’re going to do our most best to help you and resolve this one for you. And the best thing I’m gonna suggest to you is to have a bit of patience regarding this one so we can make this one easy process for you to be able to continue using the service of magicjack. I’m really hoping for the understanding, consideration and specially the patience that you have. Very much appreciated. May I have your e-mail address please so that I can send you an e-mail regarding the updates of the process of resolving the issue. Again, we’re going to do our best resolve this for you so nothing to worry at all, all right? I will do my report right now and I will set my report to high priority and under the urgent concerns. Thank you so much for the understanding and being patient. Thanks again. benjamin: this has already been told to me two weeks now. I am under review by who what is this ghost department and what is there full contact information please, do i have the right to know this by law of the civil code and better business burreaus rules and business regulations as I am told. So I may contact them or is it top secret CTV news Toronto and Montreal CANADA and help me howard tv5 news usa will ask the same question after i contact them for help and after i press the better business bureau for damages incured over lies of waiting on a ghost review board supoose to send me a remedy email now well over two week I have recxord of requesting this 9 times so far. I am waiting for answers. Kevin: . benjamin: if you cannot provide this contact information I will move forward withought delay. Kevin: Totally understood, Benjamin. However, we’re not in capable of disclosing information regarding this one. benjamin: I will also wait till morning january 5th today is the fifth 2014 if I do not get a resolution email by jan 6th 2014 I will be contacting all of the above. benjamin: benjamin: montreal device only. Kevin: I understand and respect the decision of yours. Kevin: Got it. Thank you very much. benjamin: second account where i tried with a second magic jack to attempt using a different account using canada first agent to get device working was a usa credit card and issuer and benjamin: its in your suposed report all of it. Kevin: Yes, included all of them. benjamin: 1 geting a montreal number device montreal benjamin: do not touch my toronto device please 647 799-6246 or florida device 305 999-1506. benjamin: Only montreal devices I need fixed. Kevin: Yes, no worries. Kevin: We will not touch it. The review department will only review your account so you will not have to worry about that one. benjamin: ok I am using this tenth report as evidence thank you for your time benjamin: who is this review department benjamin: what isd there contact information benjamin: is it accessable benjamin: by client and customers Kevin: I’m not in capable of disclosing information regarding this one, Benjamin. Please do extend the patience of yours as we’re doing our best to get this one sorted out. Thank you. benjamin: thank you for your answer. benjamin: I will wait for remedy 24 hours more then take neccessary proceedures as I should. Kevin: It is my pleasure to serve you, Benjamin. benjamin: you have been a great employee thank you benjamin: It is the corporation i question Kevin: Thank you very much, sir. It’s very kind of you. benjamin: and owner Kevin: I understand. benjamin: your welcome Kevin: Very much appreciated, sir. benjamin: all conversation have been copied and pasted for my records thanks you benjamin: you most welcome. Kevin: Copy. Thank you very much. Kevin: Is there anything else I may help you with today? benjamin: yes montreal device I need number to be 514 400-40– Kevin: All right. benjamin: they can issue two of them since i am stuck woth two now benjamin: benjamin: benjamin: benjamin: were all my devices are. benjamin: Kevin: Okay. E-mail addressed copied. benjamin: thanks thats all. Kevin: You’re most and always welcome. Appreciated being cooperative and being patient with me regarding the said concern. Kevin: Have a great and wonderful day ahead. Bye. Kevin: Thanks a lot! And have a great Holiday Season. benjamin: you to Kevin: Thank you, sir. benjamin: no rewatds needed just a raidse for you thanks benjamin: raised benjamin: raise benjamin: 🙂

    Conrad: Please wait while I check that for you

    benjamin: ok

    Conrad: Thanks

    benjamin: what should I do now

    Conrad: still checking

    Conrad: One moment please…

    benjamin: its been three week im being help hostage

    Conrad: I understand that

    Conrad: One moment please…

    benjamin: and no refund or tech review or remedy is being offered

    benjamin: or contact being devulged

    benjamin: I work with news casts

    benjamin: If I take action today and blog it as well as media magic jack stock will go down as I am director of exit stragety annalyst for defaulted notes

    benjamin: this is a defaulting stock note

    Conrad: Thank you for waiting, as I have checked it here in our end, your MJ account is still under review Benjamin. The previous reps already forwarded a report with regards to this matter. As for now, Please refrain from purchasing anything from your MJ account since it can cause a delay on the review of your MJ account.

    Conrad: Once the review has been completed, you will just be notified via email and that is also the time you will be able to make a purchase from your MJ account.Thank you

    benjamin: and im director of operastion with much business loss due to bad business promiced by magic jack

    benjamin: did you read email

    benjamin: magic jack review board is a ghost

    benjamin: non existant

    benjamin: negligent

    benjamin: and with no contact information

    Conrad: Please refrain from purchasing anything from your MJ account since it can cause a delay on the review of your MJ account..

    Conrad: That is why the review has been delayed because of that

    benjamin: the better business bureau of two countries is about to be contact include hosting company

    Conrad: the last attempt made was last 12/29/2013 05:28:38

    benjamin: I don’t think you read the note or information

    benjamin: please send me to a top ten

    benjamin: have you review

    benjamin: there was no attempt and first attempt was 3 weeks ago

    benjamin: there is 3 accounts and 2 floting magick jack out if five

    benjamin: I will contact the news for help me howard in the next 30 minutes as message states above

    benjamin: by law if there is a review board it must have a contact for emergency

    benjamin: due to damages incurred at this point

    Conrad: I can see an attempt to order for a Canadian number last 12/29/2013 Benjamin

    benjamin: there should also be a refund policy as you promice in your site.

    benjamin: that was the last one

    benjamin: in account

    benjamin: there was another in brokerbenjasmin made in florida pompano usa

    Conrad: Please wait while I check that for you

    benjamin: and another new magick jack attempt done in account done from my office in montreal

    benjamin: that’s montreal, Toronto and florida offices my offices

    benjamin: and you are forcing me to wait 3 weeks now for a review board that dosnt exist obviously or they are the most global negligent review board on the next why the hosting company of the website will be contacted.

    benjamin: do you have an emmidiate solution yes or no.

    Conrad: We are only allowed to send reports to them internally to them from our end here and the best thing I can do for you right now is to finish this report and take this issue to them personally and have this taken cared of..

    benjamin: or I am taking action thrue my revierw board and attorney

    benjamin: its already finished 11 times over

    benjamin: 3 weeks now

    benjamin: its been personaly taken care of by my copied emails by

    Conrad: Please extend your patience. Rest assured this will be brough up to our Review Department.

    benjamin: tech agent

    Conrad: I cannot assure you with the time frame but the report has been processed with High Priority.

    benjamin: I have all names 7 of them

    benjamin: this list will also be provides thrue blogs and broadcast today

    benjamin: do you have an emediate remedy

    benjamin: or contact information of your ghost review board

    Conrad: by the way, it might not take immediately but rest assured that a resolution will be sent and we will get back you via email

    benjamin: this is illigal

    benjamin: elligal

    benjamin: what department establishes refunds

    benjamin: what depoartment establishes tech review and remedy

    benjamin: why does it take 3 weeks and still no answer

    benjamin: who is this review boar

    benjamin: where is this review board

    benjamin: why is review board not responded yet

    benjamin: who what when and where

    benjamin: w5

    benjamin: how come review board is not doing its job if it exists

    benjamin: why is it not emailing sameday or at all

    benjamin: I send this email to help me howard news 5 by email now and see what he can do by law.

    benjamin: im done waiting.

    benjamin: thanks for no service.

    benjamin: I am owed moneys

    Conrad: I understand and respect your decision Benjamin

    Conrad: Thank you so much for your cooperation and patience with me

    benjamin: I know youy understanbd

    Conrad: It was a pleasure to have assisted you.

    Conrad: Have a great day ahead

    Since we haven’t heard from you, we must release this chat. Please click here should you need further assistance:

  11. Peter says:

    Magic Jack has Peeps out of the country me thinks, or some sort of computer response thing. If you look at the replys, the syntax is off.
    Whats happening to me: My phone number is calling numbers all over the US in the middle of the night in most cases. Of course these people are calling me back and most are NOT happy. I’m Chated with these Magic Idiots and even the threat of calling my local PD has gone unanswered….nine calls last night using my number, thats just the people who responded ’cause they were pissed

  12. Dennis says:

    Hey Peter –

    I’ve been helping magicJack users for the past couple of years. To the extent that I’m able, I respond to anyone who sends a request via the “Contact Me” link on my web page (click on my name, above). I’ve had literally hundreds of folks write and ask questions about problems they’re having with their magicJack – and I’ve never had anyone with a problem remotely like your phantom calls. Drop me a note with the details – perhaps we can sort out the problem.

  13. Dan-O says:

    Big savings! What you save in the cost of Magichack is burnt up in hours in a chat window from minimum wage, uneducated (by magichack) people. You can’t call anywhere in the US to all states without having to pay more money at an astronimcal, absurd $.17/min. They tell you to read their terms of service but it doesn’t say anything about not being able to call certain states. So much for big savings. Bunch of false advertising.

  14. Georgiana says:

    You can’t cancel the service. I have Magicjack Plus. No, you can’t take it with you when you travel. To use it I have to take a modem with me when I travel to use it. Who travels with a modem? Forgot to mention that in the ads. I paid for 5 years, silly me, and now I’m stuck.

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