Where Can You Make International Calls with magicJack?
There have been a number of comments made on the site about users who have been unable to make international calls to countries such as Latvia and Lithuania. It turns out that there are some countries that intentionally block anyone attempting to make or receive those international calls over the Internet. They are trying to protect the profit margins of their phone companies, and see VoIP services such as magicJack as a threat.
There is hope, however. First, here's a list of affected countries as reported by users on various sites around the Internet. Note that some countries may permit VoIP calls of a specific type (wi-fi versus mobile data connection), they may have regional blocks in place, or there may be specific national phone company blocks in place.
Some areas blocking magicJack
Brazil – numbers serviced by Brazil Telecom
Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL)
Cable & Wireless, Caribbean (UK Based)
Dubai (United Arab Emanate – UAE)
Iran (outgoing calls only are blocked?)
Kuwait (Qualitynet), Egypt, Jordan, Syria
Omantel in Oman
Qtel in Qatar
Mexico, numbers serviced by TELMEX
UAE’s incumbent telephone company, Etisalat
What can you do about it?
Jump to the bottom of the list to find out!
Partial list of locations allowing magicJack
China (Hong Kong)
Ecuador (Guayaquil, Duran, and Azongues)
India (western/northern cities: Mumbai, etc…)
India (southern cities) – reported of issues with ISP providers
Iraq – generally ok, but some reported problems depending on ISP
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Jahor Bahru)
Mexico (Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun)
Mongolia – call quality spotty, subject to breakups.
New Zealand (Auckland)
Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Larkana)
St. Kitts and Nevis
South Korea (Seoul)
South Korea (Seoul)
Trinidad & Tobago – may need to call your ISP to unblock magicJack
Vietnam (Saigon & Ho Chi Minh)
If you find a country which is blocking international calls, or you know of one where you've been able to make calls using magicJack, let me know. I'll attempt to keep these lists up to date – but treat these lists as hearsay which may or may not be accurate.
If you are making a call to another magicJack, the call is free – even if that magicJack is not in the United States or Canada. To make a call with your magicJack to a non-magicJack international location, you'll need to deposit funds with magicJack. You can do so after logging into your magicJack account. Current international call rates can be found on the magicJack site.
What to do?
As mentioned above, with a bit of planning, you can make international calls for free! Well, not quite for free, but almost. You're not entirely at the mercy of the telecom companies blocking your use of magicJack either.
Here are the steps to take
First, make sure the overseas internet connection is adequate. There's no sense going to the expense outlined below if your effort is doomed at the start. Next, you'll need to purchase another magicJack and register it in the United States or Canada, then ship it to your friend or family member overseas.
That friend or family member will need to sign up for a VPN service such as Private Internet Access (PIA), which has served me well for years. Private Internet Access provides an alternate IP address, placing them outside the range of the telecom's VoIP block. As far as the world is concerned, the call could appear to originate thousands of miles away!
As an additional benefit, PIA provides increased security by encrypting their connection from their computer to the PIA servers. They can even work in a free wi-fi hotspot with less concern that someone could intercept login credentials, email, or other sensitive information.
Once they have a magicJack and a VPN connection, they should be able to make phone calls from their location to nearly anywhere in the United States or Canada. The reverse holds true as well – you'll be able to call their magicJack number and converse for free as well!
Questions or Comments?
Do you have a question or comment about making international calls with magicJack? Drop a note in the comment box below and put it out there for all to see! You may find the answer you're looking for – or perhaps you'll hear from another sympathetic user.