Last week I purchased a new toy that I find very useful. My cousin Larry, KD5MAF bought a MagicJack about a year ago and kept telling me about how useful it is and though I believed him I did not see the need for buying one myself. That was before this weekend when I bought my own when I began to have problems with my own cordless phone adapter for Skype. What is this MagicJack and why is it worth the purchase? The MagicJack is a small device that plugs into your universal serial bus (USB) that allows the user to make or receive unlimited phone calls from the United States (USA) and Canada. This device is small enough to fit in one hand and has all the required software and drivers installed on the inboard flash memory. The MagicJack has an RJ-11 socket allowing the user to plug in any regular household telephone. In my case, I use a 5.8 GHz cordless phone. The MagicJack only costs $39.99 and this includes the first year of service. The service is only $19.99 per year after this. I know this sounded too good to be true but it is not. This device autoruns on both the Apple Mac, and the PC. Once it runs, it takes you through a sign up process that asks the user to choose an area code. This allows you to choose virtually any area code in the USA. Once the MagicJack is setup, it shows the following screen.
This screen allows you to add as many phone numbers to your address book as you like. It also shows a list of all calls made or received. The nice thing about this is that when you remove the MagicJack and install it on another computer, all the information is still there. The information is stored on their servers so nothing is lost. There is no chance of someone using it illegally because when you remove the MagicJack from the USB, it closes down the software. The information is not accessible without the MagicJack installed. I immediately started calling my relatives out of state and found that it allows you to dial the number right from your phone. On my cordless phone, I just dial the area code and the number and it rings on the other end. When someone calls me, my phone shows their number on my caller ID. If I have their number already programmed in, then the caller ID shows their name listed as it is stored. On the bottom of the image above, you can see the 911 information. During the registration process, it asks for your address. This address is registered with the local telephone company so that if you dial 911, the emergency personnel, will know where to go. This 911 drop down window allows you to register other locations as well so if you take the MagicJack with you, it allows you to select your 911 information for the location where you actually are. The MagicJack also allows three way calling. If two people call you, then you can just enter pound pound, (##) and it will put both calls together allowing all three parties to speak with each other. It also allows you to use call forwarding. If you know you are going to be away from home or from the computer where this device is installed, you can log into the MagicJack web site and set up a call forwarding. This way anytime someone calls your MagicJack, then it will ring on the number you forwarded your calls. The MagicJack does not even have to be hooked up for this to happen. Another unique feature is that this device runs the TigerJet driver that also works with Skype. If you kill the MagicJack software but leave the USB plugged in, you can set up Skype to use the MagicJack as an interface on your phone. This allows you to walk around your house or lawn while talking to people on Skype. I am not sure about what codec the MagicJack uses but I have found the audio quality to be amazing. I have had three hour conversations without losing a single word of the conversation. I cannot say enough good words about it. I mentioned it to a few people at work and they all said they saw the commercials on TV but they were skeptical. I can understand the skepticism after we have all been scammed on TV. I have to admit the MagicJack is well worth its money. In fact, once you join, you can see the advertisements on the software. One of them is to buy more MagicJacks to give to others for only $29.95. Another advertisement on there is to extend your service for five more years for $59.95. I plan on taking this upgrade after the New Year. Since I do not work for the company, I can say without any guilt that the MagicJack is absolutely amazing and I plan on using it as long as the company is in business. Since it only costs $39.99 to order one and this includes a whole year of service, there really is nothing to lose. I really would recommend this purchase. It took me longer to open the box than it did to get it working. I really think you should try it.