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Is the Magic Jack Price Worth the Risk?
The Magic Jack web site doesn't make it easy to find out what the magic Jack price is for their equipment and service plans, so it seems appropriate to put up a page here with pricing. Hopefully it will save you from hunting for that information, and provide a few notes about selling or buying used MagicJacks.
The ‘standard' magicJack (must be plugged into your computer) has been discontinued, but it's still for sale at a few retail outlets, such as Amazon, for about $40. I've kept one plugged into a thinclient (a small, fan-less computer) for years. Because it operates while plugged into a computer, I can use MagicFeatures with it – which gives me call blocking, speed dialing, 7 digit local calling, and a host of other extra benefits.
Instead, magicJack now offers several newer models, but all have similar functionality. Enter the magicJack Plus. The unit is about half the size of a deck of cards, and either connects directly to a router or modem, or plugs into a USB port on your computer. MagicJack Plus has been marketed in three models:
- The magicJack Plus, which can operate without a computer. This version is no longer sold by magicJack, but like the original magicJack, it's available at various online retailers. The current Magic Jack Plus price at Amazon is $40, inclusive of 1 year of service. Note: although you can operate the magicJack Plus without a computer, you still need to plug it into a computer to register it. If you want to add the MagicFeatures plugin, you'll need to keep it plugged into a computer. MagicFeatures won't work if your magicJack Plus is plugged directly into a router or modem.
The 2014 magicJack Plus, which also eliminates the need for the computer. The magic Jack price listed on Amazon is also a little under$40 – but that only includes six months of service. It is also available on magicJack's web site for the same price. The magicJack Plus 2014 dongle does have some additional ports – but magicJack hasn't made the ports functional. The bottom line is that this is not a great model to buy.
MagicJack also introduced the magicJackGO – also available at Amazon. The magicJackGo is the 2015 version of the magicJack Plus. Like the original magicJack Plus, it includes a year of service, but it costs about 10% more ($44.00) at Amazon. For some reason, pricing for the magicJackGO is nearly $60 through magicJack online.
Returns to MagicJack, Credit Cards Only!
If you buy your unit new from magicJack, you can give it a ‘free' 30 day trial – meaning that if you pay magicJack with a credit card, you can try the unit for a while and see if you like what you hear (suggestion: first see “Is VOiP Right for You?”). If the quality of your calls seems good and those calling you can hear you clearly, keep the unit – the charge will appear on your credit card. If not, return it within 30 days and magicJack won't charge your card. Note that this only works with charge cards – not debit cards. If you make your purchase at an online vendor such as Amazon, or at a local brick and mortar store such as Meijer, their price and return policies will apply to your magicJack purchase.
Don't Port Your Number Too Soon!
A word to the wise: don't port your old home phone number to MagicJack (or any similar device) unless you've tested it and are happy with the service. Get a phone number when you register your magicJack (it's free), test it, then port your number if you like what you hear. Note that there is a one time fee of $19.95 to port your number, and an ongoing annual fee of $9.95 thereafter.
Assuming you pay the Magic Jack price and decide to keep your the unit, you need to keep your subscription current. To add a single year to your subscription costs $29.95, and to add an additional 5 years costs $99.75 ($19.95 per year). This translates to local and long distance calls for as little as $1.67 per month – complete with voice mail, caller ID, and a host of other features. You can add call blocking capability, 50 speed call numbers, 7 digit local calling, and a host of other features by adding MagicFeatures to your installation. Do a little investigation before your purchase, and you'll find the Magic Jack price is well worth the risk!
Buying a Used MagicJack
If you don't like the Magic Jack price, you can buy your magicJack used on eBay or Craigslist for as little as $0.99 (starting auction bid), but be aware you need to get the email and password the seller used when they registered it. Without that information, you won't be able to login to add subscription years or otherwise service the account. In addition, find out if the seller has used a smartphone app with their MagicJack, as the app ties the two together by the serial number of the smart phone. If the dongle has been linked to the seller's smartphone, you won't be able to use the magicJack app with your smartphone!
You Can Even Make Free Calls with an Expired MagicJack!
Finally, you may want to purchase a used MagicJack with an expired subscription for use with Google Voice. There is a small program called GVJack which enables you to tie the two together and provides some interesting benefits (call blocking, automatic redialing, etc). Together, Google Voice and GVJack allow you to make free phone calls to nearly anywhere in the United States or Canada – including some numbers which won't connect using magicJack's service alone. The only downside is that your MagicJack Plus must be plugged into a computer. Your home phone service will be entirely free as long as Google Voice continues to offer free phone service, as they have since 2009.
Do you have a question or comment about a magicJack price? 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.