magicJack  and magicJack Plus Support, Reviews, FAQs and Hacks

magicJack and magicJack Plus Support, Reviews, FAQs and Hacks

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After 2 months of using magicJack.......

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MagicJack Newbie

Joined: 30 Jul 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: After 2 months of using magicJack.......

After using magicJack for 2 months, I'm weighing in objectively with my experience.

I received my MJ in 3 business days, standard shipping. It took me 10 minutes to install, 5 extra minutes to figure out that their site may tell you that you can't register your MJ under your email address because someone else is currently using your email address that you gave MJ when you ordered (duh! - you're the one that used it when you ordered!). There is a forum entry that address this problem. I have to say that MJ needs to clean this up. This was the only hindrance to a perfect install. On average, if you are running a computer/operating system that 90% of people are using, you shouldn't have any problem with installation. Your firewall may present an issue, but should alert you that MJ wants to access the internet, and ask you for permission. You must allow the access for MJ to work properly.

I received my new local phone# immediately and began making lots of calls. The quality was good, with slight occasional dropping of speech. Given the price paid for the service, I believe I'm getting my money's worth.

However, the quality of the connection depends on your telephone, internet connection, and magicJack's CLEC servers. (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC), in the United States, is a telecommunications provider company (sometimes called a "carrier") that competes with other, already established carriers (generally the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC))).

I have a quality cordless telephone & a reliable 5 Megabit cable connection, so I'm convinced that when I get dropouts it is caused by magicJack's CLEC servers for my area being marginally overtaxed. Given our capatilistic, profit-motivated business model, Mr. Borislow must balance his investment with the need for more CLEC bandwidth. I conjecture more bandwidth will be obtained when enough people fail to renew for quality of service reasons, or whenever Mr. Borislow determines it is in his best interest.

Regarding telephone quality, whole house coverage, and types of telephones:

The old POTS (plain old telephone system) lines were capable of powering multiple old-style bell ringers, which required relatively large amounts of current. You might remember the term "ringer equivalence". As a plug-n-play device, we want the MJ to be equivalent to POTS, but it is not. The current provided by the MJ for ringing is significantly less than for a POTS line.

The magicJack is best suited to work with phones that have external power supplies, such as quality cordless phones. I have 2 cordless phones connected to the output of my MJ, with a total of less than 150 feet of phone cable. Long and/or parallel runs of standard RJ11 phone cable will also offer a challenge to someone who wants a phone in every room. Phone cable has losses associated with it that are in direct proportion to the total run length.

My advice is to limit your total cable length to 150 feet or less - this includes ALL runs, not just your longest run. Choose 2 good spots in your house to put cordless bases. One of them should be near the MJ. Use only high-quality, externally-powered phones, especially if you are using multiple phones. Multi-handset cordless are best.

If you are discontinuing your Sprint or Bell POTS service, and you do the wiring yourself, be sure to disconnect any unused lines from the service box, as they will put an extra burden on the MJ. You know you have a problem if you get no or intermittent ringing. This means that you have overloaded the MJ. Until you disconnect one or more phones, and/or disconnect any unused lines from the service box, or decrease the total length of your telephone cables, your problems will persist. The best solution would be to forget running anything through the POTS service box altogether and just put a jack splitter right out of the MJ to each cordless base. That way you don't have to mess with the POTS service box at all and can revert back to Ma Bell later, if you have to, with a minimum of rewiring.

Another nice thing about MJ is the ability to use a standard phone OR a soft phone. After battling for months with other VOIP providers over the lack of permitted softphone usage, MJ is a welcome change.

You can write software programs that allow you, with one keystroke, to automatically copy a phone# from any text source and dial that number using the magicjack softphone. You can also write software to monitor when the person on the other end has picked up. You can play a wave or MP3 file through the softphone, or convert text to speech on the fly and send that through the phone. In short, any thing you can conceive of, the question is not "can it be done?"; but merely, "how is it done?" Try all that without a softphone!

Bottom Line:
I will keep my MJ as long as I get service as good as I'm getting now. It is a good compromise between perfect quality & unbeatable price. And, I've proven that it is possible to get whole house coverage with a little tinkering. If you are a creative person, you will think of many ways to use MJ to enhance & automate your phone experience.
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