I decided to try out MagicJack Plus a couple of weeks ago. I received the equipment in the mail, but I have not hooked it up yet. I began looking into it because our broadband service provider has decided to discontinue the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) line that we’ve had for the past couple of years.
There is a slight difference between MagicJack and MagicJack Plus. From what I understand, MagicJack needs to be plugged into a computer and the computer needs to be on in order to receive phone calls. The MagicJack Plus purports to be usable even without a computer.
I’ve heard about MagicJack it for years and years and thought maybe it would be a good way to have a dedicate line for faxing. Faxing… I know, it’s so old school. And if I had my choice, I’d never fax again for the rest of my life because I prefer scanning and emailing documents. But there are still people and companies out there that prefer to fax. Apparently one reason is faxing is more secure? I mean in comparison to using the Internet and emailing. Just last month one of our government vendors for my job told me I was not allowed to scan and email invoices, and told me I must fax the invoices instead.
The other thing is faxing is a lot easier for Mr. A. He’s so good with power tools, but when it comes to doing things by the computer it just seems to be excruciating, especially when all you have to do with a fax machine is enter the phone number, insert the paper and press a button. And so we have a fax machine, and we’ve been using the VOIP line when we need to receive or send a fax.
I have experimented a little with online faxing, and I signed up with one service which was only one dollar a month. But I could never get a fax to go through. Since we need to receive or send a fax so infrequently I don’t really want to pay for one of the bigger online fax services which when I last checked start around $10 a month.
From what I understand, MagicJack Plus costs $80 for the equipment and you can use with or without a computer. Without a computer? As I’m looking at the package that the equipment came in, the instructions tell me to plug in the Ethernet cable. So while I don’t need a computer, I do need an Internet connection.
I think that is going to be confusing for people, because even though you don’t have to have a computer, you still need to plug that Ethernet cable in, and I don’t know many people without a computer that have an Ethernet cord just hanging around waiting to plug into the MagicJack Plus.
The MagicJack Plus equipment costs $81.64. You are allowed to try the equipment for 30 days before they charge your credit card, but you do need to use a credit card to order.
I am less than impressed with the gimmicky looking website, although it does offer a small bit of comfort that PC Magazine recommends MagicJack Plus. Once you buy the equipment you will need to pay $29.95 per year for service, or if you want to pay for five years at once you can decrease that cost to $19.95 per year. If MagicJack Plus works as advertised, we should be able to save quite a bit of money each year.
Have you ever used MagicJack or MagicJack Plus?