Making Cheap International Calls with MagicJack
MagicJack travels easily. For the most part, all you need is a suitable internet connection, and you're able to make calls to nearly anywhere in the US or Canada, and you can receive calls to your home phone number as well. magicJack goes one step further than letting you make cheap international calls; it lets you make them for free! Consider the implications for just a minute:
- You can accept calls to your home phone number while you're in your hotel room, 500 miles from home – no charge.
- You can accept calls to your home phone number while you're on another continent, 5000 miles from home – free!
- You can make phone calls to nearly any number in the US or Canada from your hotel room (or from another continent) — for free!!
- You can send a registered and activated magicJack to a friend in India. You can then call to India and the two of you can talk for free, or your friend can call you from India – also for free. In addition, your Indian friend will be able to call most other US or Canadian phone numbers, and accept calls from them – all for free.
- If you have relatives in Australia and in Ireland, you can activate and send magicJacks to each of them, allowing you to talk with them for free (as noted above). Because calls from one magicJack to another are also free, your relatives will also be able to talk to one another for free – even though neither of them is in the US or Canada. These techniques allow truly free international calling using magicJack.
Adding Funds for International Calls
However, it may be that you're unable to take advantage of the techniques above for free international calling – for any of a variety of reasons. MagicJack still allows you to make cheap international calls, and while this technique isn't free, it is relatively inexpensive. To do so, login to your magicJack account, hover the cursor over the “International” tab. Click on the “Add/View Pre Paid Balance”, as shown to the right (click on the image to load a readable picture in a new tab). Select the magicJack account you intend to use to make your call. If the available funds shown in the third column are low, you can add money to the account. Simply selecting an amount from the dropdown menu in the fourth column and add it to the account. Once you complete your checkout, that money will be available to make international calls. Note that the account balance cannot be transferred between accounts, so having $25 in the account above labelled “The Plus” will do no good if the call is to be made using the account “A9210…”.
You can check to see how competitive magicJack's international rates are by hovering the cursor over the “international” tab and selecting “Rates” from the dropdown. Alternately, you can check their international rates without logging in by visiting the magicJack web site. Regardless, when you dial an international number, magicJack will alert you as to how long you can talk to the number you've dialed with your available balance before ringing through to that number.
MagicJack also allows you to take advantage of their international phone service while using a cell phone or landline. Just register that phone number in the second column of the “Add/View Pre Paid Balance” screen. MagicJack will send you an access code via email which you can then use with that phone number, allowing you to save on international calls with that phone – even if it's not a magicJack phone. When you intend to call an international number with the registered phone, first dial the access code, then dial the international number. Your international call will be billed against your magicJack international account balance.
In addition, MagicJack gives you the ability to set up a single international speed dial number with a registered phone. To use this feature, login to your account, hover over the “International” tab, and select “International Speed Dial” from the dropdown menu. Select the device you'd like to use, then click on the “Get a Free Number” icon. MagicJack will give you a “Free U.S. Number” for international speed dialing – more on that in just a moment.
The account screen will then provide a box under the second column (“Call From”); use this box to register the phone number you'd like to use with the international speed dialing feature. MagicJack will also provide a place to enter the international number you'd like to call (in the fourth column) – enter that number now. Once you've provided all the requested information, you can dial the “Free U.S. Number” from the registered phone, and your call will be placed to the international number you've specified. This is no different than any other international call however, so you'll need to ensure you have adequate funds in your account to pay for the time you intend to talk.
International speed dialing is somewhat difficult to understand and set up, but it may be useful to some. You should keep in mind that each magicJack can have only a single international speed dial number, however.
Do you have a question or comment about using magicJack to make international calls? 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.