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on September 14, 2013
There are the good, bad and ugly reviews for magic jack.

I have had Magic Jacks all the way back to their early versions for 6 years now and I currently own 3, an old version and two Magic Jack Plus.

1- Let me tell you a few things about price first. Currently a one year license renewal is ~ $29.95 + Canadian Tax and the Canadian Telephone Number one year license renewal is ~ $10.00 + Canadian Tax. So that's about $40.00/year. Break that down into the monthly cost compared to your current phone costs. In many cases when you buy your first Magic Jack you get a one-year license plus the Canadian Telephone Number is an extra ~ $10.00 for a one-year license.

2- You get long distance dialing for North America, unlimited talk time, voice mail, voice mail delivery to your email as a wave file, caller-ID, call forwarding (although the news is that it's been removed. I can make it work).

3- It runs on the Internet. So here is where it gets iffy with many articles. What Internet Service do you have, what quality of Internet Service do you have, which Magic Jack do you have? Not all Magic Jacks were created equal. There's the older versions, Magic Jack Plus and a newer Magic Jack Plus with improved voice quality. The old Magic Jack could only be plugged into the USB of your computer which means your computer had to be on all the time. The Magic Jack Plus has an Ethernet Jack and power supply, so it can be plugged into your Router and can be on all the time. They all have a phone jack for your phone connection. I use a cordless phone with the Router connection at home.
On the road (yes you can take it with you when you travel) and it is plugged into the USB of your computer you can either plug a phone into the phone jack or pull up the menu to use your build-in computer mic/speakers.
All the quality issues in all the articles are good and bad. I can tell you that not all these quality issues are Magic Jack problems.
But lets face it, networking devices have hiccups. Operating Systems have issues. Computers have hardware and software issues. Your Internet Service Providers have issues. Why do you think there are all these updates on all your devices? Firmware, Security Updates, new Operating Systems.
No, it's not all Magic Jacks having the problem.

4- Here's a real nice App that I love. I have the Magic Jack App on my Android Smartphone and it is tethered to my Magic Jack number. No extra cost (currently). So I don't have to carry my Magic Jack in my computer bag and I don't have to plug it into my USB when I'm traveling. It runs on my Smartphone and when I'm with family, friends, etc., and have logged into their Wi-Fi Router, I get my calls on my Smartphone. Off-sets talk-time charges on my Cellular Service Provider and I can call Long Distance with no charge on my Cellular Service Provider.
If you have a good Data Plan on your Cellular Service then it can be used on it too. But make sure you don't go over your Data Plan.

5- My business number was created in mere minutes. I mentioned that I have 3 Magic Jacks. For the older Magic Jack I created a 705 area code business number for my company and have it call forward to my home Magic Jack Plus. So I just put the old Magic Jack away. Don't need it and just pay the yearly license.
My home number is tethered to my Smartphone so I get my business calls, my cellphone calls and my home calls on one phone anywhere I am. Plus the Magic Jack has caller-ID and voice mail (that gets delivered to my email) which shows up on my Smartphone. So I don't miss anything.

Yeah, I know, I'm a real geek.

Conclusion: I have no problems.
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on October 30, 2012
I have had 3 magic jacks over the past 4 years including the newest MagicJack Plus. The motto "you get what you pay for" was obviously written by a magic jack customer. YES the device is cheap. YES it's brain dead simple to use. YES you get free calls. YES it even works (mostly).

NO it's not a good deal.

How could a cheap device that gives you free calls be a bad deal? Simple. The quality of the call makes the device just horrible to use. Not always. But often enough. Call quality is frequently poor. Frequent drop-out's, dropped calls and weird beeps and squalks. I've tried this with QWEST FiOS 40 Meg, Telus 25Meg and Shaw 30 Meg internet. All top notch high end internet providers. I've tried it in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Different computers, laptops, desktops... all with the same dismal results.

But now the bad just got worse. It used to be that if your calls got too horrible you could call-forward to a cell or land line. And usually the call would go through (but not always). Now Magic Jack is yanking the plug on call forwarding. They want to charge you per minute for call forwarding.

That's the final straw. I'm just sick of these guys. Is the company in financial trouble? I don't know but there are other options that work better. Stay clear.

Edit - July 2014: I'm giving these guys back one star because they started offering free call-forwarding again. Thanks Magic Jack for making your horrible service slightly better. Oh sure the call quality still stinks but at least you are moving in the right direction. Keep it up. I'm also taking away my NetTalk recommendation. What a FAIL of a company that turned out to be. For cheap landline-ish VOIP service I've gone over to Ooma which is actually really good. But Magic Jack is probably 2nd in my books.
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on May 23, 2013
I ordered a 'free 30 day trial' magicjack from their website after reading that it would provide me a local phone number and I could port my existing cell # to it.
When the device arrived and I tried to activate it, I discovered that there is no local area code/prefix unless you live in the larger Canadian cities. AND magicjack doesn't have the ability to port any Canadian numbers (cell or otherwise). Nowhere on their website is this disclosed.
I immediately returned the device so that I would not be charged outside of the 30 day window (it had already taken 2 weeks to arrive). Two months later magicjack says the returned device has not arrived. The Canada Post tracking number only tracks to the U.S. border. As the device has not been returned to me I am quite sure it did arrive at magicjack.
Magicjack does not have phone support, only internet chat with reps who don't have authority to resolve a problem, only say 'apologies for the inconvenience'. They do not track devices by serial number so cannot 'lock' this device from activation in case someone else has it.
The entire process has been incredibly frustrating and expensive ($65 for the device charge after 30 days). Do yourself a favour - avoid magicjack. Or a least buy through Amazon instead of from magicjack directly, as I assume Amazon would carry more weight with them in sorting out any problems. I wish I'd known Amazon sold them!
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on March 10, 2013
I bought a regular Magicjack about four years ago. Used it for long distance only. At the time, only US based numbers were available. Took it to Florida last year and ran it through their cord phone. Signal was clear and strong. At home, we used a cordless and found you couldn't wander too far from the computer/phone bass or it might get a bit choppy. Given our Florida experience, I switched to a corded phone at home and sat at the computer. Signal was very good. Could get some breakup near dinner time caused I think by heavy computer traffic after work.

Bought two MJ+ units this Christmas (one for a gift). Bought a set of new Panasonic phones and plugged the base unit into the router. No more computer on all day and we now have the whole house system accessible using cordless phones. Everything seems clearer on the + model. I've asked friends their opinion and it is the same. So far no problems. Have a Canadian number and we will be cancelling the home phone shortly. Have a cell for belt and suspenders needs in case of computer failure. My old long distance plan cost me $29.95/month. The basic phone is $50. I've used an original MJ for long distance for four years. The + model with a local number spells the end of the home phone service for us. As soon as my year is up, I'll buy the $99 five year deal. That's what I did with the original MJ (which I will continue to pack for travel). Wish there was a way to make this work with my Blackberry Playbook.

If you have a signal problem, try other phones (I used 1960's corded dial phones)before you dump on MJ.

Next we will address OTA digital TV. I will test run an aerial connection to the TV and give that (with Netflix) a try. TV is $80.
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on August 31, 2013
I've been using a magic jack for over a year and this is my experience:

-very poor call quality wirelessly
-upgrading to magic jack plus DID NOT improve this situation
-spent over $90 on magic jack this year (not quite $19.99 is it?)
-magic jack is always trying to sell you more add-ons
-had to give up my old number, as it couldn't be transfered
-my new magic jack number is long distance for our neighbours across the street and many other locals
-new phone # comes from a location outside of your local calling area
-some local phone companies do not recognize magic jack as a provider and so will not add our magic jack number as local
(eastlink will recognize our # as local, bell canada will not)
-the magic jack itself is flimsy and poorly made
-can't plug mj straight into the wall because it will not maintain a solid connection
-there is no way to contact mj besides using the online chat which is a frustrating process and not very helpful at all
-strange that there are no customer reviews on the magic jack website or even a place for customers to leave feedback
-once you purchase, you're basically on your own

There are a few good points however:

-if you plug your magic jack into a floor plug so it sits vertically, you can maintain a connection
-if you do not use the mj wirelessly, the call quality improves immensely!
-if you do not want to plug into your computer directly and leave it on all the time, use a multi-port hub so you can essentially plug the mj directly into the ethernet connection. Excellent call quality this way

Overall, plugged directly it does work well, but the whole company has a slimy feeling and I would say proceed with caution. I don't think I will renew next year. Koodo cell phones are much easier and less hassle.
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on May 17, 2013
It's been almost 4 years that I've been using a Magic Jack of some sort, initially it was the older model and now it's the Magic Jack Plus. I've also given them as gifts.
I no long have a landline, Magic Jack is my only phone & I use the app on my iPad when I travel.
Where else can I get phone service for almost $50/year and that includes long distance in the US & Canada. I've taken it on international travels and have always been able to call back to the US or Canada for free. You do however need to access a wi-fi connection. If your connection is poor your Magic Jack will also suffer. Since I live in Canada, I pay $10/year for a local phone #, in the US you can import your existing phone # for free ... maybe we'll be able to do this in Canada one day too? A few years ago I gave my friend the Magic Jack Plus for Christmas, he's an attorney in the US and this is the only phone he uses in his practice .. portable handsets all over. There have been a few times that I've had to upgrade their software but this is ok.
All of this to say, I'm a fussy person but am very pleased with my Magic Jack & I surely am getting my money's worth ... Bye bye Bell !
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on June 30, 2012
the discription of the majicjack plus stated that i could keep my same phone number but you can't in canada
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on July 4, 2012
very satisfied with this gizmo, installation is very easy and I got a number from the city in Quebec where I leave so it's perfect for other people to call me too.
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on January 24, 2013
For the most part, I like the MagicJack Plus and the price is amazing, but I have been having a problem with calls in the middle of the night from what sounds like a fax machine and showing up as Anonymous. I did go online for a live chat with a MagicJack rep and was told to report it to the police. What could they do and they'd probably think I was nuts. What a solution. I thought maybe they could check and see if there was a number close to mine that might be a fax machine. No such luck. Now I am shutting down my computer and thus my phone every night so I don't get more calls at 5:00 am or 1:18 am like I have had. Another thing - how did someone get my number??? Another solution they came up with was, of course, to change my number. Can you imagine trying to remember all the friends, family, businesses etc. that I would have to advise? I might be forced to do that though as I also get calls from people looking for someone other than me and insisting they have the right number. What a pain!
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on March 26, 2014
We bought the Magicjack plus device in hopes of transitioning phone service providers. First step to use the device is the registration, through which you are forced to choose a phone number, when trying to port the number over we were told the number is currently unavailable. The only way of getting any kind of customer service from magicjack is through online chat, after hours of conversation we were finally told that option is unavailable in Canada. How they get away with selling and advertising the device as such in Canada is beyond me! in order to complete the registration we were forced to choose a phone number, so we picked one in the same area code as us (and paid the $10 yearly membership fee) the next day we realized this number is long distance to everyone in our vicinity! when we tried to change the number to a different area code (but still local) we were told there is a $10 charge for the number AND we have to pay the $10 yearly fee again. This is one purchase I wish I had never made!
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