Magic Jack Phone Service: The Pros & Cons

By Shailynn Krow

MagicJack is a Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony product that advertises itself as a way consumers can eliminate their monthly phone bill. For a modest annual fee, consumers can enjoy unlimited local and long distance calling by using a USB device that plugs into any computer. An active Internet connection is required to use MagicJack.

Pro: Economical

MagicJack users pay an inexpensive annual fee that is generally less than one month's service on a landline telephone. In addition to saving on the monthly service charge, MagicJack eliminates long distance and toll charges, allowing the consumer to save even more money.

Pro: Portable

The MagicJack is not tied to any one location. The user can take the computer and device on the road or remove the Magic Jack from one computer and use it on another to make free local and long-distance calls from hotels or any other location with high-speed Internet access. The MagicJack can be purchased in one state and sent as a gift to a family member or friend in another state.

Pro: Easy Installation

The MagicJack can be installed by anyone, even users who are not tech savvy. Once plugged in to a computer, the MagicJack will automatically detect the new device and display a series on on-screen prompts to walk the user through the steps necessary to install and configure the device.

Con: Down Internet, Down Phone

The MagicJack relies on an Internet connection. If the user's Internet connection is down, the phone service will be down as well.

Con: Broadband Requirement

MagicJack only works on high-speed Internet connections such as cable modem and DSL. The device does not work over satellite Internet.

Con: Call Quality

Call quality will depend on the overall speed and quality of the Internet connection. A slower Internet connection is more likely to result in poor call quality and dropped calls.

Con: Computer Required

The MagicJack must be plugged in to a computer to get a dial tone. If the computer is turned off, the user will not be able use the device to make or receive calls.