Magic Jack Plus
Cheap Home Phone Service Just Got Cheaper
Magic Jack recently introduced a variation of the small VoIP dongle they’ve been marketing for years. They’ve dubbed the new device Magic Jack Plus, since it will operate with or without a computer, saving the cost of electricity to keep the computer online 24 – 7. Magic Jack does charge for the convenience of operating without a computer, as the new device costs $75 with the first year of service, versus $40 for the ‘basic’ Magic Jack and a year of service. Even so, Magic Jack Plus should save its owner $40 per year over the cost of having a laptop operational 24 hours a day, and $90 a year to keep a conventional desktop operational 24 hours a day.
There is a fly in the ointment however, as Magic Jack Plus cannot operate wirelessly. Instead, you’ll have to connect Magic Jack plus to your router using an Ethernet cable. If you’re traveling or otherwise limited only to wireless Internet access, Magic Jack Plus will still operate by plugging the unit directly into your computer, using your laptop’s wireless capability to communicate with the Internet. For both Magic Jack Plus and the less expensive conventional Magic Jack, wireless operation allows you to take your home phone with you as you travel. By simply setting up your laptop in the hotel and taking advantage of its wireless network, you can make and receive calls just as if you were home.
Regardless of the VoIP system you decide to use for your home phone service (ATT CallVantage, Vonage, etc.), you will likely save a significant amount of money over the ‘plain old telephone’ company – just makes you sure your Internet connection is adequate for the task. Your savings may be considerably more if you make use of Magic Jack or Magic Jack Plus as your phone provider – just be sure you’re willing to provide your own customer care by hunting for solutions online in blogs or forums, as Magic Jack provides very little technical help. The solutions are out there, but many users are unwilling or unable to accept service from a company that provides so very little customer service. Don’t consider it just your home phone service; instead, consider it an adventure. If it works well for you (as it has for many), you’ll save a fair amount of money over the years. If it doesn’t work for you, you’ll only have lost a few dollars trying.
Keep in mind that VoIP systems such as Magic Jack require a certain amount of attention on your part, given that they are so portable. It is convenient to be able to take your home phone number with you when you go on vacation, but emergency services have no idea where you are if you use your home phone to dial 911 while you’re on the road. Your willingness to provide your own customer service and to remain diligent will save you nearly $1000 a year, however.
You can take that to the bank.