MagicJack Plus

Well, I have to admit that the new MagicJack Plus device is MUCH better than the previous device! *

I have previously compared the (old) MagicJack (MJ) device to some of the more common Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services (see here). In that comparison, the MJ did not fare very well. However, with the new MJ Plus service, the company has answered one of my most serious criticisms – the old device had to be connected to a computer running Windows.Magic Jack Plus

The new device will operate WITHOUT a computer – after the initial registration – which must still be accomplished via a Windows or Mac computer. That is a very welcome change!

Price: MagicJack (standard) costs $39.95 plus shipping and handling. The MagicJack PLUS costs $69.95 plus shipping and handling. One year of free local and long disance calling to the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands is included with your initial purchase. You can purchase an additional year of service for $19.95 for MagicJack and $29.95 for MagicJack PLUS. If you purchase their “five year plan”, the cost is as low as $13.99 per year or $19.95 per year respectively.

Voice Quality: Voice quality is good on both ends. I have not done any scientific comparisons but my “ear test” says that the voice quality is only slightly poorer than the same phones using my Ooma service.

  • Potential Problems: The Terms of Service (see their TOS here) have some VERY discomforting issues. Here are a few:
  • They can CHANGE your phone number at will
  • They can BLOCK calls to selected numbers
  • They can TERMINATE your service if you exceed their estimate of how much you should use the service. (Their “excessive use” includes you dialing more than 50 different number in a day and using more than 20 times the “average” use.)
  • They can RECLAIM your phone number if you do not use it within 90 days.
  • ADVERTISEMENTS “may include certain communications, including but not limited to service announcements, administrative messages and newsletters, and you will not be able to opt out of receiving them.” (Quote taken from the terms of service.)

Bottom Line: If you purchase the device and their five year service plan, the total cost is $170. That equates to under $35 per year which is less than any other non-computer service that I am aware of. The only reservation is their TOS.

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23 Responses to MagicJack Plus

  1. Tom Kelly says:

    Check out http://www.pcphonesoft.com/ they have an app called GVJackApp that uses MJ and Google Voice together to get free phone calls.

    • Ray says:

      Thanks for the share. It is an interesting product.
      However, it suffers from the necessity of being plugged into an online Windows computer – Full time! That is what I disliked so much about the original MJ device.
      I don’t use Windows and I am totally opposed to my phone only working when attached to such a computer. I will stay with Ooma. If you watch Woot.com they often have the device for $85 shipped. The addition $65 frees you from “Windows tethering.” And you will save that much on electric bills the first year.

  2. CW says:

    The cost of magic jack + a year is closer to $50 a year. They charge $32.29 for the license to run the thing, and then if you have an actual land line transferred in they charge $10.73 a year to keep that line active. They like to keep adding more and more little charges. If you want a randomly selected phone line, it saves you the $10.73 a year but then how will people be able to get through to you when they change the number? I think the call quality could be better, I always feel like I’m talking through a tin can. I even enable QoS to prioritize the darn thing over my routers and it didn’t improve call quality. I’m looking into other services before my license expires this year.

    • Ray says:

      Note: Your comment was being held for your email response. If you did not receive an email from my website, check your spam filter.

      Yeah, they change things a lot. When I report on a device, then they change the service. I agree that it is not a very good option for most people.

      I still use the Ooma device (have for quite a few years). It works BETTER than a standard POTS line, has more features, and even if you use their “Premier” service (which I do), it is only about $10 a month for everything. I have Charter (cable) phone and I never use it. I don’t even know the number (grin). But with my package, it was a little bit cheaper to INCLUDE it than if I did not! Go figure.

  3. MSYoung says:

    I don’t have a modem, except on my computer. So, even with MJ+, my base is plugged into my computer. The sound quality is as good as ever and the price is great. Just wish I could move the base back to my living room.

    • Ray says:

      Are you saying that your cable (or DSL) modem is in your computer? If so, then talk to your Internet provider and they should be able to change that. If you are trying to use the mj on a dial up modem (these are the most common inside the computer) then it will not work with that.

      • MSYoung says:

        First, please know I’m not a techno-geek – 65 years old:):). I don’t have dial up, my Internet provider is Charter Communications. I do have a Wifi router for my iPad, set up by my son – and a Charter router. Neither has a USB port. What do you think Charter could do for me? Thanks so much.

        • Ray says:

          If you have the mj+ then you use the network connection – not the usb.
          BTW, in April, I will be 69. :-)

          • MSYoung says:

            I tried to plug my MJ+ into the outlet in my living room – nada. I’ll show your remarks to my son – maybe he can figure it out. Thanks very much, Ray – and pre-Happy Birthday wishes!!

          • Ray says:

            Sorry, my friend. I thought you understood the instructions with the device.
            First, you do have the Magic Jack PLUS – right? Not just the standard MJ, you have the one with the network connector on it (like a telephone jack only WIDER).
            If so, then plug a cable between the WiFi Router and the MJ+. Then connect your telephone to the smaller jack on the MJ+.
            It should work then WITHOUT having your computer connected.
            If you have no other telephone service, see the drawing at http://bishoptec.com/2010/01/ooma-to-all-phones-in-the-house/ and plug your MJ+ in where the Ooma device is shown on the drawing. That will enable you to use all the phone lines in your house.

  4. sica john says:

    i will never use majic jack.

  5. A W Holland says:

    Is it possible to have call blocking on your mjp? I have people who I don’t want to call me….ever.

    • Ray Waldo says:

      I am sorry. I don’t regularly use the Magic Jack device. I have used the Ooma device for several years and I am entirely satisfied with it. I suggest that you TRY to contact MJ and ask them – Or, there may be some forums online where you could find the answer.
      I only purchased the Magic Jack devices for testing. The MJ+ is aew otrh cost effective way to get VOIP but I do not know much about the technical issues with it (since I don’t use it).
      What I know of the technical stuff: The “Tech support” is practically non-existent. If you can’t do it online, then you are probably out of luck. What you see is what you get.
      On more (potentially) negative for MJ: I understand that there are some (small) telcos that will not allow you to connect with their subscribers. That is probably a result of the failure of MJ to pay their incoming line charges.
      Either Ooma or Vonage will cost more but you get all the functions (including blocking) and a much improved (over MJ) online interface and a real tech support section.
      It is all about getting what you pay for.

  6. A W Holland says:

    How do I make magic jack plus do call blocking?

  7. Shelly says:

    Could you tell me what the difference is between the ooma telo and the ooma hub? I have purchased the telo but not opened it yet, and then saw your recommendation for the hub. Also, what speed of internet its best to have for ooma? Would 7 or 12 mbps work?

  8. Lita says:

    I want to get the plus but currently 2 different phone numbers for which I pay both but running through one cable. How could I work that with MJ Plus?

    • Ray Waldo says:

      It will not be a problem as long as you still have at least 100kb of bandwith available. You can have multiple mj+ attached to the same router. You can’t attach more than one mj to the same computer but the plus can attach directly to your router.

  9. DW says:

    I am on Vonage right now for 34.00 per month. I had them lower to 11.99. I have tried oOma and the call quailty, echo, etc. sucked. I got my MJ+ at walmart for 70.00, it sounds great. No echo, lag. I did not know it was 29.95 per month but even that beats the current vonage plan.

  10. Fred says:

    I switched from Vonage to MagicJack Plus about 2 months ago, and I am very pleased. MagicJack does not have as many features, but it does have voice mail with e-mail of the wave file, caller ID, transfer of your old phone number, and 2 cent international calls to most countries. Those are all the features I really need. If you want cheap home phone service, and you do not use your home phone all that much, I think MagicJack Plus is the way to go.

  11. Ray Waldo says:

    The old device (which required that it be attached to a computer running Windows) was a joke – IMHO. But this device is really quite good.

  12. George Mitchell says:

    Ray I totally agree. MJ Plus is better, more stabe, easier and has better sound quality. Install and transfer of my existing MJ number was easy.

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