Use the tabs below to navigate to user Q&A and other useful sections.
This section provides an overall summary of our review of the magicJack Plus phone service. Scroll down to read the complete review, including ordering, installation, using the service and returning.
The magicJack Plus is very simple to acquire, setup and also has three (3) different ways to utilize the service (computer, home phone, and mobile). The biggest plus is the low cost of service, a fraction of a typical landline cost. This device and service lends itself very well for a cheap second line or for people who are not that reliant on a home phone line (e.g. someone who uses their cell phone for most conversations).
There is no customer support to call if you have issues but they do have online chat and a knowledgebase. This would be more of a concern for less tech savvy people who like the comfort of knowing that help is just a phone call away. The feature set is minimal compared with other VoIP services available. There are also a few annoying points with the magicJack mobile application.
Overlooking the nuances about the magicJack Plus, it is actually quite a neat product. Setting up the device is a little obnoxious but after you survive the deluge of ads, what lies beneath is an acceptable calling solution. Worth considering if you are comfortable with technology and cost is a major driving factor over anything else.
|OVERALL RATING||(3.4)||Ease of Order|
|Voice Quality||Service Reliability|
|Service Features||Customer Service|
|Value for Money||Mobile App|
A lot of easy-to-use VoIP calling solutions have made their way to the market. A variety of solutions have surfaced both as an attempt to meet the needs of the everyday consumer as well as enterprises. These simple devices and applications allow people with an Internet connection the ability to make a voice call without an actual landline. One very low cost solution is the magicJack Plus.
MagicJack first hit the market in 2007. The original version was a small USB device that plugged directly into a Personal Computer (PC) and allowed a standard telephone to be plugged into the device. It utilizes Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, allowing users to make internet-based phone calls. MagicJack Plus was introduced in 2011 to remove the requirement of connecting directly to a PC, instead connecting directly to an available internet port (modem, router etc).
The company behind the MagicJack products is YMAX Communications Corporation, who provide the transfer of the phone calls made with these products. Many people have heard of MagicJack as it is promoted through commercials on television. It is a very low cost option, with a small annual charge, for making unlimited calls in USA and Canada (note that certain fee type codes and some area codes may require prepaid minutes to be purchased though). A 30-day money back guarantee is offered for those who want to try it out with no risk.
We decided to take the magicJack Plus for a test drive to see how it performs, including ordering, setting up, using it, trying customer support and returning the device.
Though you can find the magicJack Plus in many consumer electronics stores, we went ahead and purchased the device through the company's website. We selected the expedited shipping option for an additional $8.95 so the device would arrive between 3 to 5 business days. However, the device arrived 9 days (7 business days) after ordering, causing us to deduct a star.
If you are someone who is easily offended by "up selling" tactics, I would avoid ordering the device online. After you register for your free trial, magicJack bombards you with a deluge of add-ons for your order. Some of the offers do make some sense though if you were planning on keeping the service. However, it still feels like a high pressure sales situation so we knocked a star off for these tactics. The below image shows an example of some of the ads.
The cost for the magicJack Plus device is $49.95 and this includes six (6) months of service free (unlimited calling to the USA and Canada). They also promote a 30 day money back guarantee, excluding shipping fees. Like any phone solution, VoIP or landline, additional fees apply to make international calls. Unless you are calling another magicJack subscriber, you are subject to certain fees for numbers outside of the coverage area (including some national area codes). Fortunately, their rates are fairly low (it differs by country.) These fees can only be circumvented if a person you are calling in another country is also using magicJack. If you're really trying to beat the system, you can also assign a local number to a unit and send it to someone over seas.
Here is an image of the package once it arrived.
There are three (3) main ways that the magicJack Plus device and service can be used, as follows. However, option 1 below is required to configure your service before you can make phone calls.
No matter how you use it, you have the ability to access voicemail. Fortunately, you don't have to fine tune anything (nor do you have the ability) as you simply plug in the device, provide requested information and you're good to go. Next, lets look at the different ways to use it as introduced above.
Installation can be a pain point for some users who are not technology comfortable so we will walk through this. The device utilizes a USB 2.0 connection to interface with a computer. Since Windows commands a majority of operating systems in the market, we installed and tested the device on a computer utilizing the Windows 7 64 bit operating system.
When you plug the magicJack into a USB port on your computer the driver automatically installs. One quick note here is that the device includes two additional USB ports which can be very useful as the device depth means it can cover multiple ports on your computer device. If you have not already registered the device you will need to now. You have to work through a few web forms to setup the device and register a valid phone number. Be prepared: the same offers you encounter when ordering the device come back for a second round of promotional assault. The below image shows the device connected to one of our laptops.
You can request an area code for anywhere in the US or Canada which is a free feature of magicJack Plus. Additionally, it is possible to port an existing number to the service or you can optionally create a vanity number (subject to availability, of course) both for an additional fee of $20 plus $10 a year annually. Note: we typically recommend not porting your existing phone number initially until at least you have used the service and are happy with it. We recommend this for any VoIP service you may be considering. Once you have named your device, selected a valid number and shuffled through all the promo's, you are ready to make calls. The below image shows the phone dialer on the computer screen.
The magicJack application you see above is the softphone you can utilize to initiate phone calls. If you dont have a phone connected to the device then you will need a headset or microphone/speakers combo as mentioned previously. Just like every phone since the rotary phone went to the wayside, you will see a familiar number layout. You use this dialpad to dial the phone number you want to call and click on the "send" button. To end the call you simply click on the "end" button.
You can also connect your existing home phone to the magicJack Plus device in this configuration. Connecting a phone to the device is just as simple as connecting a phone to any other RJ-11 socket in your home or business. If you're using an actual phone, you can also use it's number pad like any other phone, just pick it up and dial the number you want to call. We made a few test calls with this set up and found the sound quality as good as a landline, with no noticeable hum, echo, or static noises in the background.
Depending on how you plan on using the magicJack device, this option works OK but it is somewhat clunky and space consuming, especially when using a laptop. It also requires the computer device to be on and running for the phone service to work. Fortunately, the Plus device includes other ways to use the service as well.
Another way to use the magicJack Plus is by plugging the device directly into an Internet modem or a router Internet port. The device includes an adaptor for the USB connector to plug into a 120V mains socket to power the Plus device (similar to a smartphone power adaptor). Your analog phone will plug into the RJ-11 port just like when using the device with a computer. Then you will use the phone in the same way as if it were a landline. The below images shows the magicJack Plus device connected to a mains outlet and then a cable connected to a router and a cable connected to the phone (3 connections in total).
The device will protrude if connecting directly to a mains outlet, so it is best to avoid plugging it into a socket in a high traffic area. Alternatively, the device does include a USB-power extension cable. This setup is likely the most commonly used. However, when performing an initial setup it is probably simpler to start with the device connected directly to your computer and then move to this setup once complete.
We recommend setting up 911 service as soon as you can, which must be configured through a separate verification process, especially if this will be your main home number.
This magicJack application is one more way you can utilize this service. For someone with limited minutes on a carrier plan, this is the perfect way to add virtually unlimited minutes to your cell calling plan. It works over both Wi-Fi and 3G or higher mobile data networks. The image below gives you an idea of what the app looks like on a smartphone.
Though the magicJack application is a great a value add-on, we did notice a couple of minor issues we should mention. The first one was that when going to download the app the icon presented is a green square with the words "Talk Free" in white. This App icon looks nothing like the rest of their branding and we almost didn't download the App as we were not sure it was truly for magicJack.
The second issue we encountered with the application has to do with the contact integration. For Android, after selecting a contact in the magicJack application, you are taken to the actual phone's contact database. If you attempt to make a call from here, you will simply utilize your actual phone and not the magicJack application (so using your phone minutes rather than free calling). Many VoIP App's, for example Skype, integrate further into the Android OS such that they appear in a prompt that allows you to select your phone, Skype or another application to call the number you select - magicJack does not.
Though the magicJack app has some flaws, it is a nice add-on feature and does work for making phone calls. The sound quality was no worse than a typical phone call made from your cell phone. The 4G network in the area where we tested the phone App is very good so that would have helped.
As a VoIP product and service, the magicJack Plus is considerably light on features. The included call features are voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding and call waiting. They do also boast free 411 calling. However, these are basic features when compared to many other VoIP services available today (some with 40+ features). As mentioned previously they do allow number porting, but at an additional fee to switch ($20) and then annually to maintain ($10). A fee for porting your existing number is common though (due to "paperwork" involved).
The customer service options are detailed in the tabbed section above titled "Customer Support". This is a very low cost service so it's not surprising that there is NO phone support. They do have a knowledgebase on their website which includes some "how-to" videos and frequently asked questions, as well as a live chat option.
We reached out to magicJack's tech support with a hypothetical issue that we considered uncommon to test out the persons knowledge. Here is the live chat:
This is the meat of the conversation - the rest of the unseen messages primarily consist of profuse appreciative statements from the live chat person. We were also presented with a link to claim a 5 year contract extension for a grand total of about $70. In a nutshell, the live chat person was able to provide an answer even though it was a somewhat obscure request. This is just an example and of course does not cover all scenarios so is not necessarily a true representation of their support as a whole.
The only remaining item to test was returning the device. This can be an important step for those who decide it is not for them during the trial period. Returning the product was straight forward and simple we are glad to say. It consisted of entering in a little information, confirming that indeed we wanted to cancel and then getting an RMA authorization to include in the return shipment.
Overall, we had a positive experience with the magicJack Plus device and phone service. The sound quality was acceptable during our testing, although it must be noted we have a high quality Internet connection. The main strength and attraction is quite clearly the low cost. If cost is your only priority then this service is worth considering. The weaknesses include no customer service phone line and the reduced feature set compared with typical VoIP services in the market today. There are also some quirks with the mobile App, although it is a nice feature to have and does work.
Based on it's low cost we would certainly recommend this device to anyone who was looking for a second phone line that was not for critical use. If you are considering this option for your main home phone line then we recommend you consider what is important to you most (cost, customer service, features etc) and to also look through the user submitted reviews before making your decision.
From the over 70 user submitted reviews below since 2008 you can see a mixed reaction of experiences. One of the biggest complaints is related to customer service, which is only available through live chat on the website (click on the customer service tab for more information). However, for the very low annual fee its hard to see how CS could be extended without adding more cost to the end user. Overall, the user's average rating is "OK". Please browse through the reviews below or add your own based on your experience.
...Overall, the service is at a good price. Customer service is at the bottom of any telecom service I have used so far...
...Very happy with it for the price, but if you don't have the patience or minimum knowledge to connect it reliably, I would recommend something easier with better customer service....
magicJack reviews are listed in chronological order.
#114 : AUG 31st, 2016 : Leo
I would recommend it for low use landline and not very important phone line. They need to work on the cellphone application to integrate it to the current smart phones. There is a delay in the connection, and if you don't have the app open, you'll probably miss the call. As far as texting, the delay is even worse. If someone sends you 2 parts text, the shortest text will arrive first regardless of the order it was sent. If someone sends an email address, the second part @xxxx.com never arrives! Only the first part before the @ sign. The voice calls are good ONLY if you are in a WiFi area with full reception!
#113 : JUL 28th, 2016 : Robert
My 5 year subscription expired a few months ago, 03/2016. Up until that point, my MagicJack was used only for making long distance calls. Clarity was as good as calling my next door neighbor, and the person on the other end couldn't tell the difference between this service and my land line. During my subscription I had no need for customer service, other than assigning me a phone number. Service was straight forward, and results were favorable. I have been shopping around for (MJ) renewal or a different VoIP provider, as I can't justify my current $39 CenturyLink monthly land line fee, nor, $75 monthly for a cell phone, as I don't use a telephone on a daily basis. Still shopping. From my experience, using MagicJack, I would recommend. Simple, straight forward, good results and cheap.
#112 : JUN 20th, 2016 : DK
I'm freaked out after finding out that MagicJack published my private address, name and phone number out to public reverse directory websites, like Whitepages. Their customer service is all done via text. There is no way to speak to a real person! The three people I texted said that they do not publish my private information. However whitepages online lists the source as Ymax communications, which is the parent company. Either that or Ymax has been hacked and public information leaked! Either way, all customer service agents denied it was their problem. I am freaking scared by the thought that they published my name, phone, address out to the public internet without my approval. BEWARE!
#111 : JUN 6th, 2016 : Jim
I have had mine 3 years now and use it for my fax machine at our apartment and use the app on my cell phone for a second line with no problems at all. I have used it on vacation too and found it to be a cheap way to call home from my hotel room several states away!
#110 : MAY 17th, 2016 : Roger
Equipment has failed, 1st time after about 2 years, 2nd time after about another 2 years. Each time required me to "buy" a replacement device. Annual cost of $20/year has grown to about $35-$40/year. You need to consider the cost of "buying" a replacement unit. Bottom line, the advertised cost of $2-$3 per month is really several $ per month. No telling when the device will fail and leave you without service for a number of days.
#109 : APR 23rd, 2016 : Miles
Been using this service for 2 years now. I bought the Magicjack device from Radio Shack 2 years ago. Works great, only time I had to do anything was when it was time to renew. This time the minimum renewal period is 5 years! FIVE YEARS, who knows if this will work with what ever windows crams down my throat with the next update. I'm searching for a new service. I'm sure if something in the future makes Magicjack not work it will be bye bye to my money.
Douglas (June 5th 2016) : The Magicjack Plus doesn't require windows, or even a computer to work. I used the computer once to set it up. It hasn't been connected to a computer or needed a computer since then.
#108 : APR 1st, 2016 : Donovan
Paid for 5 years of service but it will not work in Windows 10. They said I had to buy the new one and would not refund my money.
#107 : MAR 19th, 2016 : Chale
Magicjack has dishonest business practices. My example is they use your information and abuse their access to your information. Without your authorization they activate the 911 service, and they do not help you to disconnect the service. They could bill you whatever they want.
#106 : MAR 7th, 2016 : David
Every call it sounds like I am hitting buttons and only part of what I say is being heard (yet I hear every word). The party I am talking with can be on a land line or cell phone. MagicJack has been working on this problem with me for over a year and will not send me a replacement key for N/C because it is beyond 30 days of when I ordered service. Good concept and rates, but will drive people not to call you and cut their conversations short because of the loud terrible noises they hear. Stay away and go on to the next service, I would never recommend this service. I will tell every person I can of the terrible customer service (I have spent many hours, which I can never get back, over 2 years trying to get this to work) and how this service does not work at this time. I have a friend whose sister has MagicJack and they experienced the same thing. I am finally going on to another company who will appreciate a loyal customer like me.
#105 : FEB 27th, 2016 : Tracy
I just registered my Magic Jack, I could not keep my old phone number like I was told I could when I purchased. I contacted customer service, NO HELP, and could not understand the person I spoke with. So I picked a number from a town I live 4 hours from (only place available). Then I looked at my plan in my account that I just set up....... when I purchased the MagicJack over the phone I also purchased the 5 year plan for $107.53. They charged me $48 for the device and the $107.53 for the 5 year plan the day I ordered (which they said they would not until the 30 day FREE trial was over). I thought that was strange but paid no mind.......UNTIL TODAY! My account did not show the 5 year plan, so I called back again, after a 30 minute waiting period I talked with someone. They had no record of taking my money and would not acknowledge the card or my MagicJack that THEY sent me, even though I was looking at my account at the very transaction from them! The conversation escalated and they would not refund my money due to them not even attempting to help me, and then they hung up on me! FRAUD! I contacted my bank and they are refunding me and recommended I contact the BBB. How can they do this to people?
Disclaimer: The opinions, views and ratings expressed in these VoIP Reviews are those solely of the reviewer who submitted the review. Whichvoip.com does not necessarily agree with any of the expressed opinions, view or ratings.
MagicJack phone service has received some mixed feedback regarding customer service, from users who have submitted feedback to WhichVoIP. The table below summarizes the existing options for MagicJack users to get either self help from the MagicJack website, or support from the customer service department.
Please contact us if there is any information in the table below that you believe should be updated.
|Customer Service Feature||Availability||Details|
|Live Chat||Mon-Sat (9am-11pm EST)
Sun (10am-7pm EST)
via Magic Jack site
|24x7 Phone Support||Not Available on Website
|Talk to a real person||Not Available|
|USA based phone support||No details available|
|Online form / Email Support||No details available
|Self Help Articles / Tutorials||Magic Jack Articles|
|Self Help Videos||Magic jack Videos|
|Support Forums||Not Available|
|Twitter/Facebook Support||Magic Jack Facebook Page|
|Contact number for Cancelation||Returns Possible within 30days
via Magic Jack returns page
|Request a call back||Not Available|
|Money back guarantee||No but there is a 30 day Free Trial|
#77 : Posted by Marty on April 8th, 2016:
Do I have connect my router and answering machine to the Magic Jack?
-> Response: You need to connect the MagicJack to your Internet (could be direct to a modem or through a switch or router). Magic Jack has voicemail and voicemail to email so no need to use your answering machine.
#76 : Posted by Marty on April 8th, 2016:
If I purchase the newest MagicJack, can I use multiple phones?
-> Response: Yes you can. The easiest way is to use cordless phones. Alternatively connect to your home internal phone wiring and use phones throughout the house. You just have to be careful with the landline coming into the house in the second case as it is powered by the old landline provider so really should be disconnected at the side of the house.
#75 : Posted by Renee Sigley on March 7th, 2016:
i currently have a MAGIC JACK device and the quality is TERRIBLE!!!! The people on the other end ALWAYS tell me there is a beeping sound like I am pressing the buttons. Also they tell me the calls fade in and out. So as you can see I am VERY leary in purchasing another VOIP service but I can not stand to use this MAGIC JACK one more day!!! I am on a limited budget and sometimes it will be days before my phone rings. I also don't use it much to make outgoing calls either nut I still want piece of mind in having a land line phone. Please advise me as to what plan would be best for me. Also, if it ends up being the quality of the MAGIC JACK I now have will I be able to return it if I am not satisfied?
-> Response: Try running our VoIP test to see if there is an issue with your Internet connection. This may be the issue rather than MagicJack so worth trying this before looking at any other provider. Many providers offer 30 day cancellation. We normally advise running the VoIP test, then choose a provider that has the option to cancel and when you order, choose a new phone number. Test the service and if happy port any existing numbers over. This tends to ensure a hassle-free approach.
#74 : Posted by Mike H on June 6th, 2015:
Can I get my existing CenturyTel number transferred to Magic Jack?
-> Response: You should be able to. There are a few corner cases but it is usually fine to port your number over. A word of warning though, don't cancel CenturyTel until the port has been done as otherwise you could lose the number. Also I would recommend testing the MJ service first to make sure you are happy with it before doing the number transfer.
#73 : Posted by Dan Nielsen on May 23rd, 2015:
I recently signed up with MagicJack and am totally satisfied with their service and support. Setup may be complicated for some, but their online support will talk you through any problems you encounter. My son, who recommended MagicJack to me has been using them for 3 years with no problems.
#72 : Posted by Robert Thomas on March 16th, 2015:
I've had both Magic Jack and the Plus version. The regular one was not dependable but when they came out with MJ Plus I got it and can't tell the difference from Verizon. I bought the 5 year plan after seeing how good it was, feeling like I was stealing it, for $99.00. That was about 3 months of phone service with Verizon if I didn't make long distance calls. When my 5 years are up I'll renew it even though I've got Viber on my cell phone & PC and Skype on my PC.
#71 : Posted by George A on January 20th, 2015:
I have had magic Jack for years, And want to renew my service for 2015, however, I have been having some major problems with this service. About 30% to 40% of the time when there is an incoming phone call, they can hear us, but we cannot hear them. Please let me know how this can be fixed before I sign up again?
-> Response: George, take a look at our troubleshooting guide for some ideas.
If it wasn't an intermittent issue (i.e. 100% problem) I would suggest your firewall is not letting the right ports through.
Often this kind of issue is with your Internet connection, so it may be worth running our VoIP test.
Have you tried using the MagicJack app on a smartphone? Interested to know if it works in WiFi mode and in cell mode.
#70 : Posted by John Marsh on January 18th, 2015:
We are experiencing static on our magic jack phone. The level of static will not allow us to talk to the other party. What can we do or who should we contact? Thanks, JM
-> Response: This could be a more general issue with your setup.
I would recommend reading our troubleshooting guide. It has some ideas in there that you may not have considered.
Regarding contacting them, see the customer support tab for contact details for MagicJack.
#69 : Posted by I.h. Woods on October 30th, 2014:
I have been a Magic Jack user for some time, and have paid Magic Jack accordingly, yet Bell Canada charges me for calls to the U.S. Is there a correct plan to get to avoid this?
-> Response: Have you called Bell to ask why they are doing this? MagicJack (MJ) runs independently of Bell. Are you using Bell for Internet service? MJ runs VoIP which means calls are sent across the Internet but if you use Bell for Internet it should just be a flat fee each month for their service and they should not be charging you for calls.
Unless you are actually using Bell for phone service without realizing it i.e. MJ is service not being used for calls. Unlikely but worth double checking your setup. Is your phone plugged into the MJ adapter?
-> UPDATE: MagicJack iPhone app was being used for calls but also calls being made from landline - which was Bell. Need MagicJack+ adapter to make calls using a regular phone at home.
#68 : Posted by Julie on August 21st, 2014:
Can I use MagicJack with NetZero broadband? If so would I have to carry a regular phone to use it?
-> Response: Is it wireless or DSL service you have with NetZero? I would recommend running our VoIP test as this will help determine if NetZero is good enough for a VoIP service, such as MagicJack.
Yes you can use a regular phone with the MagicJack+ device, you don't have to use a computer.
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