Geek Review of MagicJack VoIP

After going seriously over my wireless minutes for the past 2 months (unbeknown to me), I decided to put the BlackBerry down and try one of those seemingly fly-by-night “everything” providers, MagicJack. They have been reviewed by many, and I mean many, for having an easy to use, plain Jane product. You plug it in to your computer and plug your phone into it. Boom. And it was as easy as advertised.


This little device is about half the size of a credit card and comes with a self-contained installation setup that’s mounted as a USB drive when you plug it in. The installer runs automatically (depending on your settings), and begins to walk you through the setup process. It took me about 3 minutes to begin making calls on my 3 GHz Celeron desktop using 15Mbit Brighthouse Cable. I even scored a305 (Miami, FL) area code, something I couldn’t get on my cell phone because all were taken.

The interface is basic with a skyscrapper ad advertising MagicJack upgrades. If you plug a regular phone in you won’t be subject to seeing these ads but instead I paired my computer with the same MotoPURE H12 headset I use on my BlackBerry and started making calls to see if anyone could tell the difference between MagicJack VoIP and my Alltel/Verizon BlackBerry.

The call quality is decent when hearing people you call, however every call I’ve placed to others, they can tell I’m not exactly calling from a landline. Static, echos, and other woes plauge this device and I’m sorry but if 15Mbit and an idle computer isn’t enough to use this device — something’s wrong. Yes, I know it uses almost all upstream and I’ve got plenty of that, too. The bluetooth headset doesn’t help either but who cares about that?

When you call someone, having your voice heard is very important. If this is important to you, stay away from Jack and his false promises because the only Magic that’s working here is the one on your credit card. I’m sending mine in for a return/refund after owning it for less than 1 full day. I think I’ll dub the MagicJack the MagicJackoff.

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About Richard

Richard is a professional web developer and business consultant. He opened his first web hosting company at the age of 13 out of his bedroom on an ISDN connection and hasn't looked back since. Richard currently resides in sunny Florida.

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One Response to “Geek Review of MagicJack VoIP”

  1. Simon

    I have used Magic Jack for over two years. I can tell you from experience that the slowest DSL Internet connection is ample for this service to work. I have no idea what the guy is talking about when it comes to call quality, but I have tried this on slow old notebooks, to roaring fast ones with pretty much the same result. Using a laptops built in Mic can add a little echo, but a normal, or wireless phone work fine. I have no problem sending faxes either.

    BTW, a 3GZ Celeron is about as fast as a Pentium 75.