Author Topic: magic jack for phone  (Read 4004 times)

Offline mountainmoma

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magic jack for phone
« on: May 02, 2016, 11:25:29 PM »
Anyone have experience using Magic jack for long distance phone calls ? I am examining various reccuring expenses and looking for places to trim. I am keeping my land line, as that is the reliable phone system where I live, works in power outages, etc.... But, I have an add on for unlimited long distance, so I am thinking it might work to drop that and use magic jack for outgoing long distance calls

Upside sounds like money savings, and I would still have the landline for emergencies. Downside sounds like I need to connect the phone to my laptop.

Does anyone use this service  ?


Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2016, 03:53:30 AM »
Isn't Magic Jack just a voip? If so, it will not work when the power is out (no modem).

If you want voip, get an obi and pair with google voice. This gives you free VOIP landline service, including long distance. You will need only need to pay if you want the ability to call 911 and then 911 service is a couple dollars/month. You do not need to connect anything to your computer.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2016, 07:31:25 AM »
Isn't Magic Jack just a voip? If so, it will not work when the power is out (no modem).

If you want voip, get an obi and pair with google voice. This gives you free VOIP landline service, including long distance. You will need only need to pay if you want the ability to call 911 and then 911 service is a couple dollars/month. You do not need to connect anything to your computer.

I am never going to give up my land line, this would be in addition to, for these long long-distance calls I do to my older dd who is out of state.

So, all incoming calls and power-out etc... I would keep using my landline.

I dont realy need to connect magic jack to my computer either, it can connect direct to my cable box, but the cable box is upstairs, so I would be most likely to connect via the laptop

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2016, 08:08:48 AM »
I am never going to give up my land line, this would be in addition to, for these long long-distance calls I do to my older dd who is out of state.

So, all incoming calls and power-out etc... I would keep using my landline.

I dont realy need to connect magic jack to my computer either, it can connect direct to my cable box, but the cable box is upstairs, so I would be most likely to connect via the laptop

Same thing, you wouldn't have to ditch your landline. Buy the obi, connect it your modem, and plug a phone into the obi. Set up a free Google Voice account and link it to your Obi. You pay one time for the Obi and you're done...no monthly or yearly fees which it looks like magic jack has. You can set up a new number for the phone or connect it to an existing number. You could only use it for calling out to your daughter or have her call in to it.

I know you said you never would but if down the road you wanted to ditch your landline in the future, it's incredibly easy and you'd never notice the difference except for extra money each month. Just disconnect the phone line running into your house and then plug your obi directly into one of your house phone sockets. Your landline phones will all work off the obi and be completely indistinguishable from the service you are currently paying for with the exception of 911 service. 911 service can be purchased for a couple dollars a month.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2016, 08:22:44 AM »


I know you said you never would but if down the road you wanted to ditch your landline in the future, it's incredibly easy and you'd never notice the difference except for extra money each month. Just disconnect the phone line running into your house and then plug your obi directly into one of your house phone sockets. Your landline phones will all work off the obi and be completely indistinguishable from the service you are currently paying for with the exception of 911 service. 911 service can be purchased for a couple dollars a month.


Cable doesnt work when the power is out here, and that happens routinely. Not often, but routinely. Doesnt have to do with power at the house, I have back-up here, it has to do with them needing power for their repeaters. Their repeaters have battery back up, which only last for a few hours at most. My landline always works. All day power outage, 4 day power outage, it is still working.

I think that a base landline is so cheap, everyone should keep it. Even if you never use it, then go to "measured service" where you pay a super low rate and then charged by the minute, so you will have it for emergencies.

The scary thing right now for us out here is that the phone company is petitioning to ditch landline service at all, and that will be very screwed for all rural areas. There is no replacement that is as reliable as a regular landline phone. So, it is too bad that people are ditching them and then there isnt enough revenue stream. Next big earthquake, people will want it back, and it will be too late. And, rural and semi-rural areas right now will be left vulnerable when the power is out.


Offline mountainmoma

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2016, 08:32:51 AM »

I know you said you never would but if down the road you wanted to ditch your landline in the future, it's incredibly easy and you'd never notice the difference except for extra money each month. Just disconnect the phone line running into your house and then plug your obi directly into one of your house phone sockets. Your landline phones will all work off the obi and be completely indistinguishable from the service you are currently paying for with the exception of 911 service. 911 service can be purchased for a couple dollars a month.

As a frugal, energy watching house, I find that many households are not factoring in their energy costs when they move to using more electronics. For example, we just had to upgrade our cable modem and wi-fi. Both of these are using so much more power than the old set. At least, at my houses low power usage level, it is real obvious. So, that got my attention, and before I fell when I could get around, I started switching that power bar off at night, and when no-one was home or where outside on a project. But, mostly I was realy only shutting it off at night for 8 or 9 hours. So, that saved us $15-20 month. Just by turning the internet off at night. A basic phone is only 25-35 a month and no electronics that break is needed. These phone systems were/are very robust. It is too bad we are going to throw it all away.

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2016, 09:10:33 AM »
My cell phone worked fine when I needed emergency medical (no 911 service on my voip). 30 dollars/month is $360/year which I think is a lot for something I get for free. Cable TV and landlines are remnants of a bygone era and just can't hold their own in the face of open choice for consumers. More people are realizing this which is why the landline companies are shutting down.

To go back to your post, opinions on landline vs. VOIP/cell aside, I don't think the magic jack (which is also a VOIP) is your best option. I would get the obi and connect a single landline phone to it. It would not replace your current landline. You could also use it through your computer with Google Voice if you'd rather just as it seems a Magic Jack is used. It looks like the upfront costs are about the same but you have to pay a regular fee for magic jack.


Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 05:44:25 AM »
I know this is an old thread, but figured I'd chime in.

I was looking to reduce some monthly bills.  My wife and I both have cell phones so I wanted to get rid of our landline phone.  But the wife was having nothing of it.  I finally convinced her when the home phone bill went up to $65 a month.  We have nothing fancy, just a basic phone.  But she wanted something other than her cell phone.

I looked into it and went with Ooma.  It's another of the VOIP providers.  I'm really happy with it.  The basic service is free, but you have to pay taxes and 911 fees, in my area that makes it a $5.29 per month bill.  I wanted a couple of the "premium features" so my bill ends up being $15.57 per month.


Offline mountainmoma

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Re: magic jack for phone
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2017, 10:12:14 AM »
My youngest is in a separate apartment on my property, and has had Magic Jack since last July. It works wonderfully for her. She has a regular phone sitting on her desk, plugged in under the desk to her cable modem. remember that cell phones do not work at this location. If someone calls her magic jack number when she is not at home, it also forwards to her cell phone, so she does not miss calls. Since I have a land line, if the cell repeaters go down, there is a way to call out here in the main house.

Magic Jack is very low price, I think 50 for the first year, and maybe 35 a year thereafter.

It did not work well for lowering my long distance, as I couldnt remember to change my habits and make those outgoing calls on the correct phone ! If you call out on the correct phone, the service itself works great.