the magic jack

Being as the economy is questionable of late, and my work status is in the same boat, I have been concerned of late as to what happens if the company I am working for goes away. My Cell phone, is provided by the Company, and If the Job goes, so does my Cell phone. Being as the Phone company here in town royal screwed up my account many years back, we have been using nothing but cell phones for several years now.

I decided that if the company provided cell phone goes away, along with the Job, it would be in my best interest to have a backup plan. I was definitely not going to go back to traditional land line, so I started to research the VOIP possibilities. Being as that I am Cheep by nature, and in looking around at the VOIP services like Vontage, Skype, the service offered by my Broadband provider, they all seemed reasonable, but the cheapest choice by far, was the Magic Jack.

Now if you research this device on line, you will find numerous horror stories, from people that appear to have nothing but problems with it. Couple that with a lack of decent technical support, I would at this point suggest that non-geekish people stay away from it. That being said, I bought one anyway. I figured that if it only worked half the time, for $40.00, it was worth a shot. The cheesey commercials are pretty much true. ya plug the thing into a USB port on the computer, plug a standard telephone in the other end, and run through some basic setups. 10 minutes later, you have a working phone, complete with 911 service, and Voice mail that is delivered via e-mail, or the old fashioned way, through the phone.

Granted, there are some drawbacks. your computer has to be on, your internet has to be working, if you lose power your phone is off line, etc., but then, the service is only $20 a year after all. there are some minor issues with it that I hope they improve over time. the biggest thing i would like to see, is the ability to import contacts from the windows address book, outlook, or maybe even a comma delimited file. That would make it a lot better in my opinion. the only option it has, is an outlook plug-in that will dial when in outlook. nice, but I don’t use outlook at home.

I plan on letting you know my experiences here, and I welcome any comments, both good and bad about it. I think the product could be a great one, but there are some big changes that need to be made. I’ll expand on that later.

for now, if anyone has any comments on their experiences, feel free to post them here..


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