Free Home Phone Service, from GV Jack
What exactly is GV Jack? Is it true that it can it provide home phone service for even less money than magicJack?
Unbelievably, it's true. GVJack works with a new, used, or even an expired magicJack and with Google's free VoIP phone system. Once you've set up your new VoIP home phone service, it's monthly cost is… nothing! Just install GV Jack in your computer, and plug in your magicJack Let me say it again… even an expired magicJack will work. Note that while you can make calls to the US and Canada, Google Voice cannot be installed if you're north of the border. It's only available if you live in the US.
There are two versions available, Standard (one time cost: $12.95) and the Professional (one time cost: $19.95). Check out the benefits! Click to enlarge any of the pictures below.
Screen Your Callers
Blocking Bothersome Callers (Pro version)
GV Jack lets its users choose which callers to ignore. If a telemarketer doesn't get the message that you don't want to take their call, just add that phone number to the “Selective Call Screening Table”. That number will not ring your phone again. You can also use an asterisk (*) as a wild card. For example, you could block all “800” toll free calls by putting 800* in the selective call screening table, you could block an entire area code (e.g. 212*), or you could block a single exchange within an area code (e.g. 212455*).
Anonymous Callers? No Longer! (Pro version)
Most times you'd like to know who's calling, and Caller ID helps out with that. You look at the number and decide whether to answer the call. Unfortunately, some callers want to keep their numbers from showing up on your Caller ID, and they show up as Anonymous Callers. All it takes is a single check in the “Anonymous Call Screening” box in GV Jack and those callers will be turned away. You can also dial *77 or *87 to turn the service on or off directly from your phone without accessing the GV Jack window on your computer.
Hold All My Calls! (Pro version)
You may have times when you're busy and don't want to be disturbed – don't we all? You can use the “Do Not Disturb” check box in the GV Jack dashboard to silence your phone entirely, or you can just dial *78 to turn on “Do Not Disturb” from your phone. Just remember to remember to remove the check again – or dial *79 to turn it off.
Make Way for Priority Callers (Pro version)
GV Jack lets you designate important callers, people who can ring through when no one else can. First add the phone numbers of friends, family, and colleagues to the “Priority Call Table” in the GV Jack table. Once they are added, you can put a check in the “Priority Calls Only” dashboard box, and only those callers will ring through. When you don't want to be bothered logging into the dashboard, you can dial *64 on your phone to turn on Priority Callers Only, and *84 to turn it off again. Priority callers will always ring through with a unique ring to alert you of a potentially important call coming through. This unique ring for priority callers will always occur, whether you've checked “Priority Calls Only” or not.
Do You Despise Call Waiting (Just a Little)?
Call Waiting and Call Waiting Caller ID
If you're on a call when another call comes in, you'll hear a short beep every 10 seconds. You can accept the incoming call by pressing your phone's “Flash” button. If your phone is capable, GV Jack will put Caller ID information on your phone's display to help you decide whether to take that second call.
Temporarily turn off Call Waiting (Pro version)
Call waiting can be a blessing or a bane. You may not want to miss an important call, and Call Waiting is just the ticket to ensure you don't. On the other hand, you may tire of having a conversation interrupted because other callers are constantly trying to ring through. You can just dial *70 to cancel Call Waiting during an important call. As soon as you hang up, your Call Waiting service is restored.
Permanently turn off Call Waiting (Pro version)
If your distaste for Call Waiting runs a little deeper, you can turn it off permanently. Just put a check in the “Call Waiting” check box, and the service will be suspended until you clear the check box.
Priority Call Waiting (Pro version)
When someone calls from a number you've added to your Priority Call Table, you'll hear a unique call waiting tone. You might want to take this call!
Call Up to 10,000 of Your Closest Friends – Quickly! (Pro version)
Do you have a lot of friends and family, or even a few favorite bill collectors? Then this feature in GV Jack was designed with you in mind. You can add up to 10,000 speed dial numbers in the dashboard, then dial a number (0 to 9999), followed by the # key. GV Jack will take care of the rest. When anyone on your speed dial list calls you, GV Jack will put their name and number in your Caller ID display. Mind you, GV Jack can't work magic – your Caller ID display has to be capable of showing both names and numbers.
Speed Dial for Extensions, PIN Numbers, & Account Numbers (Pro version)
When you add a comma to a speed dial phone number, it causes the dialer to pause for 3 seconds. This allows automated equipment to pick up your speed dialed call and prepare to receive a PIN number, extension, account number, or other keypad input – all automatically. Easy just got easier!
Local 7 Digit Dialing (Pro version)
While this feature is not truly speed dial, but it does make life simpler. If you're making a local call (within your own area code), you can dial just the 7 digit phone number. Save wear and tear on your manicure!
Caller ID Enhancements
Display Your Caller's Name and Number, or Their Location
GV Jack sends the Caller ID information to your phone's display, including the caller's name and number. If you've added the caller's name to the GV Jack Pro speed dial list, that name will be the one displayed on your Caller ID. When the caller's name isn't available, the caller's location (state or country) is shown.
… Even Announcing You Your Caller's Name & Number (Pro version)
GV Jack (Pro) uses the Microsoft Text-to-Speach capability to announce your caller's name and number. You don't even have to see the CallerID display to decide whether to answer or not.
Caller ID Name Reverse Number Lookup
You can make use of a national database to look up caller names, based on their phone number. The service works for US and Canadian numbers. The downside is that it costs $0.01 per call; the choice is yours.
Forwarding Your Calls
Call Forwarding Makes It Easy for Callers to Find You (Pro version)
GV Jack makes it easy to forward calls to another phone number. In the Call Forwarding Assistant, enter the number where your callers can reach you, and click the “Enable” button. GVJack also gives you the option to enable or disable call forwarding from your phone. Dialing *72 enables the feature, and *73 disables it.
Some Old School Features You May Remember
Voice Mail and Voice Mail Indicator
Like many other phone systems, GV Jack provides voice mail through Google's phone service. It does not send the voice mail to your email as magicJack does, however. If you have voice mail, you'll hear a stutter in the dial tone when you pick up the phone. To access the voice mail system, you can dial your own phone number or click on “Voice Mail” in the local menu which appears when you right click on the GV Jack icon in the toolbar. If you have the Pro version, dial *98 on your phone's dial pad for quick access to your voicemail. The Pro version also alerts you to a new voice mail or SMS text message by putting a small balloon message on your screen.
Redial Last Number Called or the Last Caller's Number (Pro version)
If you elect to try the Pro version, you can dial *66 to redial the last number you dialed, or dial *69 to return a call to the last person who called your phone.
GV Jack gives you control over the look and feel of the soft phone window on your computer. For example, the Pro version allows you to cause a small window to appear when a new call arrives. Either the Standard or the Pro version allow you to display the browser window during a call, and automatically minimize it when the call terminates.
Note that with VoIP phones (telephones that allow conversations over the Internet), you cannot take emergency 911 service for granted. You have to sign up for 911 service (at about $1 per month), or make use of a local public safety answering point (PSAPs). If you elect to use PSAPs, you should consider putting those numbers in the speed dial table of GV Jack Pro.
GV Jack offers several other features, but now you have a good idea of the plugin's capabilities. Home phone service – free home phone service – doesn't get too much better than this!
Questions or Comments?
Do you have a question or comment about using GV Jack with your used or expired 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.