magicJack and MagicJack Plus Support, Reviews, FAQs and Hacks

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How much data does MJ+ transfer and when?

 
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Roy T
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 08 Nov 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:49 pm    Post subject: How much data does MJ+ transfer and when? Reply with quote

I am new to this forum -- and have a general question about data transfer usage that the MJ chat folks wouldn't answer. Your help would be greatly appreciated! I searched this forum's database and didn't find any discussion on data transfer rates or usage. Here's the dialog I had with the MJ folks:

- Please wait for a site operator to respond.
- You are now chatting with 'Jillian'
- Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK554014107761X
- Jillian: Hello, how may I help you?
- Roy: I have a 4G WIFI mobile hotspot card -- with a limited data plan per month. How much data does MJ+ actually use? Is there any data transfer when the phone is not being used?
- Jillian: My apologies but we cannot disclose internal information. However, nothing to worry since magicJack only needs 128 kbps both on download and upload speed.
- Roy: Yes, I understand the bandwidth requirement, but I'm worried that MJ+ usage may exceed my monthly data limit. I can't make a decision to buy one unless I know how much data it will use-up on my WIFI service.
- Jillian: My apologies but we are not allowed to disclose such information.
- Roy: Can you at least tell me if the MJ+ transfers any data when I'm not using the phone attached to it?
- Jillian: As I have explained, we cannot disclose any information regarding the one you have asked.
- Roy: If it really uses all that bandwidth, I would use-up my whole monthly data allowance (5Gbytes) in about 10 hours of talk time! Without additional information, I cannot make an informed decision whether or not MJ+ will be worthwhile...
- Jillian: Is there anything else I may help you with today?
- Jillian: I understand your concern but we are not allowed to disclose internal information.
- Roy: I guess not. And I guess I will not be buying a MJ+, unfortunately. Maybe your company should reconsider its policies in this matter...
- Roy: so potential customers can make smart choices in what they purchase.

So, can anyone help me out? Does MJ+ transfer any data when the phone is not in use? What is the actual data transfer rate (Kbytes/second) when the phone is in use and when it's not in use (if it uses any data transfer then)? Has anyone run into problems exceeding their monthly WIFI data usage limit using a MJ+? Thanks for any insights you have into my questions.
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kleeb
MagicJack User


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every VoIP gadget does an occasional handshake with its hosting company to decide whether to present a dial tone when you pick up to call. That shouldn't require much data transfer, but I don't know those details.

I have picked up a VoIP phone and gotten a dial tone but then couldn't complete a call. After that, no dial tone for awhile. My mJ will give me a dial tone as soon as it has power, but won't complete a call until the software is up and running.
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Roy T
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 08 Nov 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: How much data does MJ+ transfer and when? Reply with quote

Thanks, kleeb. I'd really like to get a MJ+, but there isn't much of my 5Gbytes left over each month -- and I'd hate to have a MJ+ bump my mobile WiFi card usage into an expensive overage situation...

Anyone else out there have any insights on MJ+ data usage? Thanks!!
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mberlant
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 829
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The VoIP side of MJ data consumption is not proprietary at all.

When a call is in progress it will either use of two CODECs. The only secret is what MJ does administratively to update firmware and change passwords to keep users like us from enjoying the MJ to its fullest potential.

The default G.711 μ-law CODEC uses 64kbps in each direction for payload plus 16kbps for overhead. That adds up to 80kbps, not the 128kbps that Jillian said. That should work well on your 3G (real world nomenclature, not US carriers' marketing delusion) MiFi card.

There is an option on the PC control panel for a low bandwidth CODEC, which is probably G.729. G.729 typically compresses the payload into 8kbps, but it also requires the same 16kbps for overhead. That adds up to 24kbps, which should work on most 2G cellular networks around the world. (1xRTT, EVDO, et al.; what the US carriers euphemistically call 3G)

So, a G.711 should consume about 600kB of data from your plan for every minute of conversation, while G.729 should consume about 180kB of data from your plan for every minute of conversation. Remember that in each case the "conversation" begins when MJ opens up the voice channel following transmission of the telephone number (so that you can hear the Call Progress Tones) and ends when MJ successfully tears down the voice channel at the end of your call. If 100% of your MiFi traffic was MJ, you could theoretically consume as many as 7,500 minutes per month using G.711 or as many as 25,000 minutes per month using G.729.

While you are Registered to MJ's SIP server and not engaged in a phone call, your MJ will periodically re-Register with the server. This is to make sure the server knows where and how to reach you in case of an incoming call. This procedure consumes a few hundred bytes of data and occurs anywhere from once every 30 seconds to once an hour, though once every four minutes is typical. I don't know how often MJ re-Registers. The exposure is that you will be unable to receive calls between the time the internet has a hiccup and the time your MJ device times out and re-Registers.

From here only you can do the math. How many bytes of data can you afford to devote to MagicJack (or any other VoIP service, for that matter)? How many minutes of conversation will that afford you? Will you be able to live within that budget?
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SteveHC
Dan isn't smart enough to hire me


Joined: 26 Dec 2011
Posts: 498
Location: Southwest Florida

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What "mberlant" states above is correct. MJ uses *very* little data, and probably 95% or more of what it uses is consumed during actual telephone calls not while idling. So *exactly* how much data it consumes depends largely on how much time you actually spend engaged in telephone calls.

But just to give you an idea... I use MJ+ for ALL of my at-home phone service. I'm online frequently, doing web browsing, emailing, doing research, watching streaming video, etc. I occasionally stream/download movies and tv shows from VuDu, download movies to my TiVo-brand dvr occasionally, and the TiVo dvr also downloads other video programs from elsewhere on the Internet daily. My son frequently streams music from the Internet and plays interactive video games on the PlayStation Network throughout the day. According to my ISP my monthly data consumption runs anywhere from 3-10 GB depending on how "crazy" we get with the online/Internet-based video, music and gaming stuff; the MJ data usage is relatively very negligible.
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Roy T
MagicJack Newbie


Joined: 08 Nov 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the replies! Finally, someone answered the real question...
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