Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Magic Jack Plus -- It Really Is Magic!

By Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to try a Magic Jack Plus, and I have to say that as the most "non-tech" type in all of NYC, I am very impressed. These days, most people in town pay 35 bucks plus about 8 dollars and different fees for their monthly service. You basically can buy one for about $70 at amazon.com, Radio Shack and numerous other electronic chains, and pay another $19.99 to keep your number and $19.95 per year of service to all 50 states (you can buy international calling credits from them for a budget rate by signing onto the magicjackplus.com website). You get a new number for free, which is another bonus. I was happy to put my to the test to see how easy it was to install, sounds quality and price (which definitely cannot be beat). You also get free voicemail, and HERE IS THE BEST PART--you get all your messages sent as a sound file attached to an email. So you virtually never have to check to see who called the regular way--although you can pick up your phone at home, punch in your number, and get assess to missed calls pronto. Calling into voicemail from outside your house is done the typical way--by setting up a password. If you want to use your answering machine instead of the Magic Jack voicemail, it must be set at two rings and your phone must obviously be attached to an answering machine with a cord (or in the case of a cordless phone, the answering machine is in the charging base that the phone rests on).

Let me discuss the experience sounding like the technical spazz that I am. All I did was take the end of my phone cord that use to go into the jack in the wall, put it into the Magic Jack Plus (which is basically a 4" by 2" by 1" little black metal box), plug that into another even smaller metal piece with prongs on the end, and put it into my power strip on the floor and VOILA! The other option is to put the phone cord into the Magic Jack Plus, skip the second piece, and put it into the USB port on the back of your computer. When you do it that way, you end up with a cool "push button" icon on your computer desktop and both dial and speak to callers through it. It makes a traditional ringing sound on your computer when a call comes in!
My only problem was that I wanted a second extension on my phone--so instead of buying a second Magic Jack Plus, I bought a cordless phone that came with a second one in a bonus pack. So all I had to do was plug the second cordless phone into a wall outlet over by my bed and I had a second working extension! Sound wise, MJ Plus is at least as clear as any of my previous providers (I have used Verizon and Time Warner's "Triple Play" package in the past), and besides saving on the actual phone service price (along with the line charges and other additional costs on any phone bill), Magic Jack gives you 411 calls for free! This saves me $1.50 per information call! Since I use that 10 times a month on average, I am saving myself another $15 per month! 
I have been using Magic Jack Plus for over two months now and I have had absolutely no problems! They have terrific online customer support if you need it, and a rep is usually available to message with you after a two to five minute wait. We've noticed deals on amazon.com where you get Magic Jack Plus for the standard price with a free year of service, and that can't be beat.
Magic Jack Plus is produced by a company called VocalTec Ltd. of Maryland and the official site is www.magicjack.com. I understand that Magic Jack Plus can also be used with many PDAs including the iPhone, and I might just purchase a second Magic Jack Plus and see how that works. Based on using Magic Jack Plus at home, I have high hopes!

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