What is Magic Jack?
Magic Jack is an Internet based telephone service. It works by using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) through an active high-speed Internet connection. The tiny devices connect to servers to send and receive phone calls using the user’s own Internet connection. The new Magic Jack devices do not require them to be directly connected to a computer that must be left on. However, they do still require a working Internet connection for the devices to function. The new devices are capable of plugging directly into a broadband router or modem.
How Does Magic Jack Work?
Magic Jack’s fee structure is for consumers to buy a device and “get service for life” for as little as $19.95 per year for unlimited calls. The first year of service is included in the device price. The devices are tiny and have a jack to plug in a regular phone. The way the company continues to make enough money to stay in business, only charging what amounts to a couple of dollars per month for phone service, is through advertising.
The consumer pays the annual fee and agrees to receive targeted advertising. Those concerned about privacy may want to closely look at the end user license agreement (EULA). Computer technology is easily advanced enough to snoop out keywords in phone conversations or to learn what business numbers you are calling to be able to send targeted advertising to your email address.
If you are not concerned about the advertising or how the information is gathered to target ads to you and others using your phone, then Magic Jack could possibly be one of the least expensive phone service providers available. However, keep in mind that you need a working broadband Internet connection for the VOIP to work. Cable and DSL should suffice, but satellite users will use up their data allotment. Depending on connection speed for satellite users, the call quality may also suffer.
Is Magic Jack Worth It?
For the price, Magic Jack for home use sounds good. However, you may get the same service free from your cable company Internet provider for up to a year for just signing up under a bundled promotion. If you like to travel with VOIP and a laptop, Magic Jack may be just the ticket. If you do not want the advertising, consider another VOIP provider. They are likely to cost more, but their EULA may not include things many consumers may find questionable. If you do decide to go with Magic Jack, be sure to read the license agreement in its entirety.
Making 911 Calls on Magic Jack
For 911 calls and overall reliability, nothing beats a standard home phone line from the phone company. Magic Jack is providing VOIP service similar to what Vonage and even your local cable company is offering. However, it only works when the power and the Internet are on. Phone company lines work even when the power is out because the system has a battery backup in place. If phone service is desired at an extreme low cost, then a VOIP provider such as Magic Jack may be perfect for you. However, remember that you must maintain high-speed Internet access for VOIP to work.
If you’re looking to buy Magic Jack, consider purchasing it on Amazon at a discount. You can expect to pay about $80 for the Magic Jack device.