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#77354 - 06/23/10 06:02 PM [Off-Topic] Magic Jack VoIP
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 603
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
Anyone have any experience with Magic Jack (VoIP)? I'm getting rid of my land line and will only use my cell phone. But I started thinking I might try Magic Jack. Does it use a lot of bandwidth? Thanks.

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#77355 - 06/24/10 02:56 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Charlie McG]
WienSam Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 4900
Loc: A corner of Vienna, Austria, t...
Never heard of it, Charlie. Sorry.

Skype is good though - you could run it off the back of an old 386 if you had to
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#77356 - 06/24/10 07:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: WienSam]
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 603
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
Hey, Sam. Thanks for replying. I was thinking of Skype as well but read that all people you call also need to have Skype or there is a fee.

I've been reading about Magic Jack. Walmart carries it and to me that is a plus. They wouldn't get involved in total junk and you can return it. And lots of people don't like it but lots do. So I think I'll give it a shot.

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#77357 - 06/24/10 10:44 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Charlie McG]
Axegrinder01 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 98
Loc: Texas
Be prepared for a great deal of spamware, adware, and general spyware. Also there is virtually no customer support and some serious security issues.

Before you go for it, google majicjack and read some reviews and complaints.

I believe that Skype is a far better choice, or Vonnage.
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#77358 - 06/24/10 11:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Axegrinder01]
Ryszard Offline
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Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3899
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
I'll check with my brother to see whether he has Skype or Vonage. He is in Japan, but kept a San Diego number, so we can talk as if we were on domestic cell phones--no charge beyond the monthly fee for either of us. Whichever it is, quality is quite good.

R.
_________________________
"My primary musical instrument is the personal computer."

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#77359 - 06/24/10 12:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Ryszard]
Gary Curran Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
The problem with MagicJack, of course, is that you have to plug it into a USB port on your computer. Were you planning on leaving your computer running 24/7?

Skype is nice, but again, falls into the category of 'if you're computer isn't on, you don't get Skype calls.' Now, that's not exactly true, as there are Skype devices that attach directly to your network, but they tend to be a couple of hundred dollars.

Vonage will plug directly into your network, allowing you freedom from the computer. Depending on what ISP you have, Comcast for instance, you can get a bundled package with VOIP. I have that, and my phone calls are indistinguishable from land lines.

Finally, you have to have a broadband connection. I don't know what the minimums are, but don't try downloading big files and talking on Magic Jack at the same time. Also, if you have a USB mouse, or other USB device on the computer, you may run into clicking or other audio artifacts (I'm not sure about that, I've never tried it, but have seen it in other audio applications).

My two cents.

Gary
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Music touches everyone, and everyone can touch music, if they wish.

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#77360 - 06/24/10 12:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Charlie McG]
KeithS Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Mobile, Alabama
I don't have any VoIP phones myself but I have several friends and relatives that do. Just a personal observation, when I talk to them on my land line or cell phone, their call quality sounds like crap to me at least half the time, yet on their end, it sounds clear as a bell. I also noticed one time when my brother had his speaker phone activated that there was a large delay between speaking something, and it actually getting to the other phone. I could hear what I had said 5 to 10 seconds earlier coming back to me over the phone while the speaker phone was active on his end.
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#77361 - 06/24/10 12:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: KeithS]
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 603
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
Thanks for the replies. I have it installed and have only talked to my daughter. The reception was not as clear as my land line but definitely comparable to my cell. It seems to be OK so far but, like I say, I just installed it (which is a breeze).

I get voice mail and haven't looked into what else I get. One thing nice with the voice mail is that it sends you an email when you have a message with an included wav file. You can just click and listen on your computer. There's a control panel that comes with it and it does have an adverts on it but all you have to do is minimize it out of the way.

Gary, I always leave my computer on 24/7 and have broadband. I read that during sleep it doesn't work but that sounds logical. On the downloading of large files, if it interferes, I'll just pull the plug.

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#77362 - 06/24/10 03:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Charlie McG]
Gary Curran Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
It won't work if the computer goes to sleep or into hibernation because none of the USB devices are active at that time, including Magic Jack.

Gary
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Music touches everyone, and everyone can touch music, if they wish.

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#77363 - 06/24/10 03:18 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Gary Curran]
Gary Curran Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
Keith,
I'm surprised, since I use Comcast VOIP and have standard realtime conversations. You would think that people would notice a five or ten second delay, especially if both of them were using VOIP.

Now, on the other hand, I have notice a second or two delay using something like Skype, from computer to computer. However, it's not long enough that it really bothers me, or anyone else.

Gary
_________________________
Music touches everyone, and everyone can touch music, if they wish.

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#77364 - 06/24/10 04:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Gary Curran]
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 603
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
I read earlier that the delay was caused by slower connections. I haven't noticed that at all while I've been talking. I have noticed some gliches but nothing that I haven't experienced multiple times over with my cell. If it continues the way it's been so far I'll be satisfied (famous last words).
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#77365 - 06/24/10 09:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Charlie McG]
Ryszard Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3899
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
Here is my brother's response:

Quote:

Vonage.

For me, the great difference is my set-up is completely independent of my computer. My computer can be turned off, and my phone still works.

Skype & Magic Jack plug into your computer. You have to boot up to make a call, and more importantly if your computer is off you can't receive calls. That doesn't appeal to me at all.

I've heard good reviews of Magic Jack; hadn't heard about the spam.




HTH,

Richard
_________________________
"My primary musical instrument is the personal computer."

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#77366 - 06/25/10 07:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Gary Curran]
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18802
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
Quote:

Keith,
I'm surprised, since I use Comcast VOIP and have standard realtime conversations. You would think that people would notice a five or ten second delay, especially if both of them were using VOIP.

Now, on the other hand, I have notice a second or two delay using something like Skype, from computer to computer. However, it's not long enough that it really bothers me, or anyone else.

Gary




Remember in this situation you are often hearing 2X the actual delay. The delay it takes for your voice to get to the other end, come out of the speaker, and come back to you .... plus when on 'speaker mode' most phone level systems have a cut-in/out factor to eliminate feedback that may be adding to the delay.
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#77367 - 06/25/10 09:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: rharv]
Danny C. Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6465
Loc: South Louisiana
My Mother used Magic Jack and hated it. Too many issues to list here but the main one was dropped calls and the phone would actually ring 4 times (on the caller end) before it rang once on the magic jack end. Also it would go into a mode of ringing once and going directly to voice mail.

I have used Vonage before and had no issues, but now I just do cell phones and a cell phone "card" for the computer.

Best of luck,
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#77368 - 06/25/10 10:35 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Danny C.]
redguitars Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/29/07
Posts: 618
Loc: US
We use Skpe here in NY on our PC to her Mac, using the Internet to Video Chat with our daughter and grandchildren in England. We bought a Webcam and she has one built into her Apple Laptop.
Hardly a glitch and it is so cool to always see them. The 5 hour time difference is always a mind bender.
It's changed our lives and it's all free. Very Cool!

Wayne,


Edited by redguitars (06/25/10 10:39 AM)
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#77369 - 06/25/10 05:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: redguitars]
Gary Curran Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
I truly like the video chat with Skype, especially since I got a Logitech 9000 Pro webcam. This webcam is so good that I've had people watching shadows of the trees outside on the wall behind me. They noticed them, but I didn't!

I bought one as a gift for a friend whom I talk with regularly. It was a refurbished one I got from Newegg, and that's also how I bought mine. Both of us, and a third person who bought one on our recommendation, are very pleased with the results.

The one thing about Skype, right now, is that you can't do multiple video conferencing, but on individual calls, Skype and the Logitech 9000 Pro are wonderful.

Gary
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Music touches everyone, and everyone can touch music, if they wish.

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#77370 - 06/25/10 06:12 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Gary Curran]
Robh Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
I use Cox cable for internet and HD Tv, and bundled in is Telephone and unlimited Long distacne for a very reasonable price. Until VOIP becomes a tad better i will stick to that. I do Skype with my brother on occasions from Calif to South Carolina, it goes off with out a glicth most of the time. I have had it freeze on occasion.
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#77371 - 06/25/10 06:43 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Gary Curran]
redguitars Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/29/07
Posts: 618
Loc: US
Yes Gary, we bought the same webcam and it works great! Being in NY and talking to our Daughter and two kids, 4 and 5 years old and they being in England is a dream come true.
Since she uses a Laptop, she carries it with her from room to room and we get to see everything. She even points it out thier glass doors to the yard and we watch our grandchildren playing.
Also the sound is great.
What a blessing it is.

I'm sure one day they will have more than one on one chats with video. But for now this is all we use it for anyway and a phone call just won't cut it after Video Chat. And it's free. The cost of international phone calls is not in our budget.

Wayne,
_________________________
"My Music Page"

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#77372 - 06/25/10 08:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: redguitars]
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18802
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
What you can get from Skype for free is pretty amazing.
We have half a dozen full feature unlimited phone numbers from them (which is a deal in itself), but the regular free features are used day after day, all day long. Conference calls (audio), video calls, file transfers, etc etc
For the free features; it's a no-brainer.

As far as dropped calls go - I drop more cell phone calls up here than skype calls
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Make your sound your own!

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#77373 - 06/26/10 12:03 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Magic Jack VoIP [Re: Axegrinder01]
ikeinblackriver Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
This post would be for those using satellite high-speed Internet (i.e. Hughes) ...

We are located in back-woods, northern Michigan and so we were forced to use Hughesnet if we wanted high-speed. We tried my son's MajJk on our quadcore (using Hughes satellite) and it was lousy. Hughes says there's always going to be a latency issue with regard to VoIP. So, we're sticking with the cell-phones instead.

Also, I did try a trial version of Skype and I don't know if the latency issues I was experiencing was simply a switch setting somewhere, but I doubt it. I thought it would run the trial version okay (since it claimed to be a full working version) but ultimately got inpatient with it when I couldn't resolve the latency issues and the docs and settings were getting too time-consuming for me. I would like to hear from anyone who's got it to work with satellite Internet though.


Edited by ikeinblackriver (06/26/10 12:13 AM)
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