Installing and Registering your magicJack
The big day has arrived; your magicJack has arrived in the mail or as part of your last shopping spree at the local electronics store. What next?
The answer is simpler than you might expect. For either the conventional magicJack or for magicJack Plus, simply boot up your computer (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Intel based Mac), then plug the magicJack dongle into a USB port. This post is somewhat lengthy, but it moves along fairly quickly – stick with me and you’ll be placing calls in minutes. You can click on any of the pictures to view a larger picture in a new tab. MagicJack is also compatible with Windows 8, but getting an original magicJack (silver in color) installed with Windows 8 is a challenge. More on that later.
The Registration Link: Hidden in Plain Sight
MagicJack will run through some initializing and updating screens, and after a few minutes you’ll see the following screen:
MagicJack will then ask you whether you purchased the dongle from their web page (either using a web form or by calling the 800 number), or if you purchased the unit from an online or brick and mortar retailer. Choose one and click “Next” to continue.
MagicJack confirms your ownership by confirming your email address on this form with the email you provided when you purchased the unit. MagicJack also confirms your ownership by comparing it to one of the following:
- the credit card number, or
– the order number, or
– the zip code they have on file for the purchase
MagicJack permanently ties the email address you used to purchase the unit to the serial number of the unit (sent in the background by the unit during registration). You can add additional email addresses to the account, but the initial address you use cannot be removed from the account. Once you have entered the information confirming your purchase as indicated in the screen to the left, click “Next” once again to continue the registration process.
Your next mission is to create a new account on the magicJack servers. This is a web page where you can control your voice mail, call forwarding, and other account features, as well as adding years to your subscription over time.
Begin the process by entering your name (first & last) and email address, as well as an email address which magicJack will use later in the registration process – so make sure you have access to this email address.
Alternately, if you already have an account with magicJack, you can login to your existing account to add your new device to that account. The link to do so is circled in red in the lower picture shown to the right.
After either creating a new account or adding the device to an existing account, click submit to continue the registration process.
This brings up an important point. Unlike a conventional phone, magicJack is portable. You can take it on vacation and make free phone calls from your hotel to most locations in the US and Canada, and anyone in the world can call you at your home number – despite the fact you are not home. Keep in mind the need to update your 911 address if you travel and expect to make use of the 911 service in that area. More on this in an upcoming post.
Continuing with the registration process, magicJack next asks you to give a unique name to your unit – to facilitate referring to the specific unit (particularly if you have more than one unit registered). You can change the device name from your account page once you’ve completed the registration process and logged into your account.
Don’t Lose Your Account due to Excessive Usage
The next part of the registration process is to accept the terms of service, the bit the attorneys insist on that we’ve all come to know and love – and ignore. For that reason, let me encourage you to take a quick look the terms in general (they’re really not too tough to read), and at section 6 in particular (excessive usage). Keep this in mind if you need to plan a wedding or if you’re considering usage of magicJack for your business.
Finally, Gettng a Phone Number
The ‘normal’ phone number selection process involves your picking an area code and prefix associated with a nearby city of your choosing. In this scenario, magicJack chooses the last four digits of your number. MagicJack has numbers available for many cities, but you may find you have to pick one a little further from home than you’d like. The next two screens are part of magicJack’s efforts to collect more money for additional services – particularly for vanity numbers or for those who want to pick the last four digits of their phone number.
We’re in the home stretch now – just a few more minutes. Check your email for a message from magicJack now. That email will have an activation code in it which you should put in the next screen, as indicated to the right. Hit the “Activate” button to go to yet another screen – this time to pick an account password.
That’s it! You’re done – and all that’s left is to dial the phone. MagicJack sends one more screen to confirm your activation is completed and to give you your new phone number. The phone number will show at the top of the magicJack screen, so you don’t need to worry about losing it. You should be able to hear a dial tone when you pick up the phone right now with either magicJack or magicJack Plus. I would encourage you to test the system now – even if you intend to use a magicJack Plus connected directly to your router or modem. MagicJack will send you an email confirming your registration, and that email will have an order number on it. Make sure to keep that number; you’ll need it if you want to port the number out of the magicJack system.