Here's a quick post from a friend of mine. He recommended that I try out the magicJack Plus for my new home phone and I did and I love it so I decided to go ahead and let him provide a little bit of info on it simply because I think it's that good and that you should use it to save some $$$. See TheVoIPHub.com for more information.
How does the magicJack Plus work?
magicJack Plus provides phone service through a VoIP network. Like other providers of this type of phone service (Vonage, netTALK DUO), the company provides phone service through a high-speed internet connection, rather than through a phone line. By routing calls over the internet instead of through actual lines service can be offered at a significantly reduce price.
How much does it cost?
Get setup with the device will cost consumers $69.95 which includes everything you need for getting up and running. This price also includes the first year of service. Each year of service thereafter is $29.95, which is renewed on an annual basis.
How is it set up?
Installation of the magicjack plus is simple and can be done in several minutes. The device can be set up two different ways. First, the device can be plugged into the USB port of any computer or laptop, and a phone is plugged into the device, and users can begin making phone calls. The second method of setup bypasses the computer altogether. The fact that the computer had to be on in order to make and receive phone calls was regarded as a significant inconvenience of the previous edition of the magicJack. With the addition of onboard CPU and RAM, the device can function without a computer. The device is plugged into a routers ethernet hookup, and into its power supply. Then a standard telephone is plugged into magicJack device, and users can begin making calls.
Do I have to get a new phone number when I sign up?
No. Consumers can keep their phone number when they register with the magicJack Plus. Current users the old MJ device can also transfer their number over to the new device. If consumers choose to they can choose an available vanity number for $10.
Does the magicJack offer voicemail services?
The magicJack Plus does provide its users with voicemail. Additionally, it also provides consumers with a variety of call features that a standard home phone service provider would offer. One neat thing about its voicemail service is that you can have all voicemails converted to text and sent to your email for added convenience.
Is the call quality as good as a landline?
With the addition of a pair of upgrades to the magicJack Plus, the call quality of the device has been significantly improved. The first upgrade to the device is the addition HD Voice which improves the quality of the sound and the general flow of conversation without any freezing or delays. The second upgrade to the device is from Echo Control Technology, which eliminates echoing that at times made people hard to understand when using the old dongle.
Are there any drawbacks to the magicJack Plus?
As with anything, the magicJack Plus does have its drawbacks. The primary drawback is the same as with any VoIP network phone service. Since phone calls are made through a broadband internet connection, the quality and the consistency of the call depends on that connection. If you have a slow connection the call quality will suck. Also if there is a power outage you will also have a phone outage, unless your internet connection can work without power. Cries among consumers also talk about the less than ideal support offered by the company. These complaints range from that fact that you can't get someone live on the phone (they only offer chat support) to people getting no resolutions despite spending hours with support.
Overall the device is a great money saver but as with anything, when you get something really cheap there are bound to be at least some minor hangups that keep it from being perfect.