YMax magicJack ($39.95 including first year of service, plus shipping and handling, street, $19.95 per year thereafter) is a VoIP solution that saves you money by letting you make 'free' calls in the U.S. through your computer, rather than paying for traditional landline phone service. Although PCMag has reviewed Magicjack in the past and liked it, the company's customer support has never been great. Additionally, when magicJack debuted, nothing else like it existed. That isn't the case anymore. In the face of competition, magicJack's poor interface, pushy attempts to up-sell you, on-screen advertisements for its own product, and general lack of support make it hard to recommend now.
Jun 14, 2020 Once you have registered your Device or magicApp, you may now elect to choose the feature allowing you to make free outgoing calls over the internet. You can make free calls to other Device or magicApp users located anywhere in the world, and to subscribers on traditional telephone networks or wireless networks in the United States (other than. Mac miller diablo instrumental download. This magicJack 30-Day Money Back Guarantee is for magicJack Devices purchased directly from magicJack.com. If you purchased your magicJack at a retailer, we recommend that you adhere to the retailer’s return policy and return the device to the retailer with your original packaging and receipt.
MagicJack deserves a rating of fair in my testing because it did perform the primary function it claimed it would—it let me make and receive phone calls, but not until I'd asked more questions and done more legwork than I would have liked. It also serves ads (the landing page for the user Web portal is one big ad to sell you more magicJacks or upsell your existing unit), which I dislike in paid products. There are better products—with toll-free technical support and clear documentation—than magicJack, such as Editors' Choice netTALK DUO ($69.95, 4 stars), Vonage ($79.99, 3.5 stars), and Ooma Telo ($249.95, 3 stars). Those accomplish the same primary task without ads, without installing software on your machine, and with clear documentation and good live support. All these products, including magicJack, are physical devices that connect to a traditional telephone handset, but if you're willing to lose the phone itself, you could just use a computer-based service like Skype (free, 4.5 stars). The disadvantage with Skype is you have to leave your computer on to receive incoming calls (although you have to do this with magicJack as well), and it's only free when you call other Skype users. Skype charges for calls to landlines, cell phones, and non-Skype VoIP phone numbers.
All the VoIP services I've reviewed offer the following features at no extra charge: E911, voicemail, call-waiting, three-way calling, and call history logs. What magicJack doesn't offer that netTALK, Vonage, and Ooma do is toll-free technical support. MagicJack only provides online chat support. When I tested the online support, I had to click through six screens (which all tried to convince me that I did not actually need live online chat support) before the site allowed me to connect to someone. Six screens is excessive hoop-jumping. Technical support should be easy to reach and friendly. When I reached a person, I asked how much would it cost to transfer my existing phone number. The person responded by asking me if I wanted to change my number. I said, 'No. I want to know how much it costs.' Again, the agent posed me another question I didn't ask. So I repeated, 'How much does it cost to transfer my existing phone number?' She or he finally answered that it costs $10 to request a specific phone number. Notice how the answer still did not address my exact question. I had now sunk approximately 15 minutes into the ordeal, and I was done.
Throughout my magicJack experience, I never found information I needed up front, when I wanted it. Everything from URLs to contact information to explanations of renewal process and costs took far too much digging to find. This lack of upfront information from MagicJack is reason enough to prefer the alternatives, especially netTALK DUO, which puts info—and two toll-free help numbers—at your fingertips.
MagicJack is a small device that fits in the palm of your hand, with a USB connector on one side and a phone port on the other. You plug the USB end into your computer and connect a telephone handset to the other end. Within a few moments, a life-size magicJack [1.25 by 2.5 by 0.5 inches (HWD)] image appears on your screen that cannot be minimized or sent to the background. No matter what other windows you have open, the magicJack picture takes over until set up is complete.
Next, a series of pop-ups appears—the registration and setup process. Paging through these screens, I provided the necessary information when asked for services such as E911, and rejected multiple up-sell offers along the way. At practically every turn, magicJack tried to sell me something, and at least twice, I had to read the verbiage slowly and carefully to make sure selecting 'No' was the option that meant, 'I don't want to buy anything else, but I also don't want to quit the registration process.'
For $10 extra, you can request a 'vanity' phone number; otherwise, you can select the state, city, and prefix from what's available—or!—for an extra $3 per year, you can choose the last four digits. For $69.95, you can buy the 'five-year platinum preferred plan,' which is an additional five years' worth of local and long-distance service. When a checkbox was pre-selected to indicate 'I elect to accept free outgoing service (recommended),' I was a bit suspicious because I didn't really understand what I was agreeing to. You can buy insurance for an extra dollar a year. What do you mean 'no?' Okay, but wait! For only $19.95 more you can get one additional year of service plus a free one-year warrant. And if you've still selected no, the next screen has a 'savings reminder' that you can buy 'additional magicJacks for just $39.95 each.' How many would you like?
It's not over yet, because maybe you should pre-pay for some international talk time before you're done setting up. No?
Finally, on the last screen, you receive your phone number…although you have to respond to a confirmation email to enable it. With Ooma, netTALK, and Vonage, setting up the service is faster, clearer, and doesn't contain all those up-sell offers. If you want to keep your existing phone number, Ooma offers the clearest explanation for how to do it and what it will cost ($39.99).
Once you've set up magicJack, you can make and receive calls the same way you would with traditional phone service. Just pick up your phone and dial, or answer it when it rings. The quality of the calls was okay in testing, and on par with Vonage, Ooma, and netTALK. All the services I tested offered quality similar to that of mobile service, with occasional breakups and lag time, but a serviceable connection.
With magicJack, you can opt to make calls from the on-screen keypad and a headset or your computer's mic and speakers if you prefer.
One big downer with magicJack is that you have to leave your modem, router, and computer up and running all the time to make sure you can receive incoming phone calls. MagicJack's software disables your machine from going into sleep or hibernate mode. Ooma, Vonage, and netTALK bypass your computer completely, so you only need to leave on your modem and router, a far superior configuration.
MagicJack received a lot of criticism in the past from users who could not uninstall the software. Formerly, you had to download and run an uninstall executable file from magicJack's site to remove it. Ymax has addressed this problem recently, and you can now uninstall magicJack just as you would any other software (on a Windows computer, go to Start > Setting > Control Panel > Add or Remove Software). It's a step in the right direction.
In comparing the prices of the major VoIP-with-handset products, you have to consider both the start-up cost and the long term cost:
magicJack: $49.95 ($39.95 plus $10 shipping and handling) startup cost (includes one year of service), plus the cost of a phone handset;
$19.95 per year thereafter;
estimated total after five years $130.
NetTALK DUO: $69.95 startup cost (includes one year of service), plus the cost of a phone handset;
$29.95 per year thereafter;
estimated total after five years $190.
Vonage: $79.99 startup cost (with promotions, this may be waived), plus the cost of a phone handset;
approximately $145 per year (based on $11.99 per month plan);
estimated total after five years $799.
Ooma Telo: $250 startup cost, plus $49.99 per handset (or use your own phones);
approximately $42 per year thereafter (based on an average $3.50 per month cost for taxes and fees);
estimated total after five years $455.
(Click the comparison chart below to enlarge it to see more details, or click the product names above to read the full reviews.)
Side-by-side, it's easy to see that magicJack offers the lowest prices, with NetTALK DUO a close runner-up. Vonage fared equally well in testing, but the cost is clearly higher—for domestic service, that is. If you need a VoIP plan for international dialing, Vonage has superb packages from $25.99 per month. The other services charge per minute for international calls. Ooma's monthly charges are only about $3.50 (for taxes and fees), but the high start-up cost doesn't pay for itself for many, many years.
Is Magicjack for You?
YMax magicJack is the cheapest VoIP-with-handset solution that we tested, but its dearth of technical support, customer service, and documentation left us measuring up the value of paying a little more for a comparable product. NetTALK DUO does exactly what YMax magicJack does—only better and with less hassle and for a reasonable price, making it our Editors' Choice. Ooma is just as good as netTALK, but starts at close to $250, although it comes with two cordless phones and offers a straightforward option for transferring your existing phone number. Vonage's monthly costs add up fast for domestic calling, but its international packages are very good.
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