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MagicJack & MagicJack Plus Compare & Review: Is It Right for You?

Updated on May 10, 2015

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5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Magic Jack & Magic Jack Plus: Is it Right for You?

Did the Affordable Home Phone Service Offered by Magic Jack Put a Spell on You?

Let me guess, you were up late at night, saw that MagicJack infomercial at 2 am, and thought; now that looks like an affordable home phone service, I’ve just got to find out more about. After all that infomercial for the MagicJack sure made it look like the most affordable home phone service to hit the market in years, with a price of only $29.95 per year for phone service that provides you with call waiting, caller ID, voice mail and all the USA and Canada long distance clear calls you could ask for, and a onetime fee of $39.99 for the MagicJack USB dongle ($49.99 for the MagicJack Plus device), who could resist? I for one could not resist the opportunity to save money on my phone bill, which is why I have been a Magic Jack customer for almost a year now, and so far (knock on wood) I have not had any problems at all with the VoIP phone service.

Now I have done quite a bit of research on the MagicJack and MagicJack Plus, so I know that others have had some kind of problem here and there, but as I researched I found that as long as you do your homework, you shouldn’t have any technical problems with the Magic Jack phone service at all so I would think it’s safe to say that the same would go for MagicJack Plus. Based on my own research (quite a bit of reading, and video reviews of the MagicJack Plus) I imagine that the Magic Jack Plus will work perfectly and will be the best money I have spent in a while when I order it as I am renewing my yearly subscription.

As for Magic Jack customer service, I have found in my research that they could use quite a bit of improvement in that department. Though there is a good possibility that MagicJack may be working on improving customer service, as the video reviews for the Magic Jack Plus of the not so tech savvy customers managed to get their MagicJack Plus up and running pretty quickly and the customers have been approving of the Magic Jack phone service, and the call quality for the MagicJack Plus ever since.

Now before you start in on me about making you do homework, I got all the information on the both the regularly computer connected VoIP device and computer free VoIP phone service right here for you so you won’t have to go searching through all the junk on the internet just to find out if MagicJack or MagicJack Plus VoIP would be the right affordable home phone service for you.

So How Do You Know if Magic Jack or MagicJack Plus is the Right Affordable Home Phone Service for You?

If you want all the USA and Canada long distance clear calls you could dream of for a price of only $29.95 a year, plus call waiting, caller ID, and voice mail, you are going to have to meet the requirements, which are for the most part the requirements that are marked on the package, plus a few not mentioned, that I found out about through my research and experimentation (trying my MagicJack on a basic dual processor, Windows Vista, 5 year old laptop, and my mom’s satellite Internet Connection as compared to my DSL high speed Internet and 6 core processor on my home computer) that affect your call quality and how the program works with your home computer.

As MagicJack and MagicJack Plus are a VoIP service, the most obvious requirement is to have a high speed Internet access such as broadband, DSL, cable Internet, WI-FI or Wi-Max. If you have satellite Internet ac your call quality could suffer as satellite signals can easily be interrupted and can cause your calls to break up, but in case you didn’t know, that is how it is for any VoIP service. Just in case you wanted to know the difference between MagicJack and the other VoIP service providers like Skype, or Vonage, it is the fact that MagicJack is phone to phone and phone to PC calling to anywhere in the USA and Canada for a yearly price of $29.95 and the onetime cost of the MagicJack USB dongle / MagicJack Plus , whereas Skype charges you extra for phone to PC calls or vice versa, and Vonage charges you $9.95 per month making MagicJack a much better buy overall the other VoIp service providers.

Comparison on VoIP Service Providers

Product Details
Magic Jack
Magic Jack Plus
What's Needed
Vonage box $79.99 ($79.99 rebate may be available) and high speed Internet
Web cam, Speakers, microphone, (they say 1 GHZ processor, but if you plan on multitasking on your computer you'll want at least 3GHz or more ,and high-speed Internet
USB dongle $39.99, 3GHz or more processor to allow multitasking, USB port, and high speed Internet
Magic Jack Plus device $49.99, High-speed Internet, and a power outlet
Service Price
Unlimited plan is $9.99 for the first 3 months with annual contract $25.99 a month there after
Skype to Skype is Free but calls to landlines and mobile plans range from $2.99 to $13.99 a month
$29.99 a year or a 5 year contract for $19.99 a year Pre paid minutes may be required for International calling, conference calling, and some cell phone lines
$29.99 a year or a 5 year contract for $19.99 a year Pre paid minutes may be required for International calling, conference calling, and some cell phone lines
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee SimulRing®, allows up to five other numbers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada to ring when your Vonage number is called Vonage® Extensions®- extends your calling plan to your mobile phone at no extra charge Free calls to other Vonage customers Vonage Visual Voicemail Caller ID Call Waiting Anonymous Call Block 3-Way Calling Enhanced call forwarding to forward calls to any other phone you choose
Free Skype to Skype Group calls Instant messaging Video messaging Call Forwarding Caller ID for skype users who set it up. Premium membership provides: Group video calls Group screen sharing No advertisements Live chat customer support Unlimited calls to a country or region of your choice
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee Caller ID Call waiting Voicemail Conference calling Free International calling to the US and Canada Directory assistance Android and iOS Apps
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee Caller ID Call waiting Voicemail Conference calling Free International calling to the US and Canada Directory assistance Android and iOS Apps

As the next couple of requirements are based on your computers capabilities, I should first tell you about the difference between MagicJack and MagicJack Plus for the fact that MagicJack Plus has eliminated the need for your home computer to be on in order to make and receive calls by having its own little processor to process the task of making and receiving calls. So with the MagicJack Plus all you need is an Ethernet cord (I believe is included in the package), modem connected to a high-speed internet access, and a telephone.

What are the Requirements for the Best VoIP Service

The basic MagicJack VoIP device, which is what I currently have, requires your home computer to be on in order to receive and make calls as the USB dongle uses your computer to process the task of receiving and making calls. With that said, it is only obvious why the requirement of having a computer or laptop that runs on Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Apple / Mac is needed for the basic MagicJack. However, the makers forget to mention that the better processor you have in your home computer or laptop, the better call quality you will have with the basic MagicJack , especially if you want to do other tasks on the computer while talking on the phone. I never had a problem with this requirement as my computer is a lightweight programmer / gamers set up with an AMD 6 core processor.

As with any VoIP phone service, if you lose your Internet connection, you will also lose your phone service, which is why I think a requirement for both the Magic Jack and Magic Jack Plus, is to have a minimum understanding of your home network. As there will be times, mainly when you have power outages, that you will need to reset or reboot your modem and router to clear up Internet connection problems. Keep in mind that the amount of bandwidth you use from your Internet connection speed can also affect your call quality. If you have a Magic Jack and your kids are downloading songs, watching a Netflix movie on the Wii, and your spouse is surfing online, watching YouTube or Veoh then your call quality will likely be bad.

Just a little tip: You can address power outage issues by plugging your modem / Wi-Fi router into a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). Depending on the UPS you buy, you could have roughly an hour of back-up power, which covers most of the short power outages.

Now that you know the requirements needed for both the basic MagicJack and the Magic Jack Plus VoIPjust ask yourself these few questions and you will know whether this is the affordable home phone service right for you:

  • All VoIP service providers will require your Internet access to be high speed for clear calls. Do you meet the Internet connection capabilities required for using a VoIP service problem free?

  • Does your laptop or computer meet the processor capabilities (at least an AMD or Intel processor 3GHz or higher) and have a USB port required for using the basic MagicJack problem free?

  • If your home computer doesn’t have a decent processor (at least an AMD or Intel 3GHz or higher) are you willing to pay the $49.99 for the MagicJack Plus VoIP device and get your first year of service free?

  • Do you want to save money on your phone bill, with a minimum savings of $80.00 a year?

  • Do you want an affordable home phone service that gives you voicemail, caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, your own phone number, unlimited free calling within the USA and Canada, and be able to use your own phone number anywhere in the world with free international calls to the USA & Canada, all for the retail cost of $49.99 for the MagicJack VoIP and first year of free phone service, then only $29.95 for home phone service after the first year? Though if you check out Ebay or Amazon for MagicJack Plus you may find it a few dollars cheaper and still get the first year of free phone service.

If you answered yes to all of the questions above then MagicJack or MagicJack Plus is the affordable home phone service you are looking for.

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