Magic Jack vs Landline
If you’ve seen the commercials, the claims seem completely unbelievable. You pay a flat fee, and you get phone service for a year. Can it really be? Absolutely. And in fact, Magic Jack isn’t even all that unique in its pricing model. VoIP service is inexpensive. In fact, audio connections over the computer can even be completely free, if you’re not using a hardware phone and you’re talking with somebody else that is using the same service.
The question arises then, “do I still need a landline?” Magic Jack gives you a good set of features, cheap service, and equivalent call quality, and on top of everything else, it’s portable. Do you really need anything else? It depends on your situation. For most people, it’s not a question of which is better, or of using one or the other; Magic Jack is a perfect solution for adding a second line with very little added expense.
You can certainly use Magic Jack as your only line; you don’t need to have an existing phone number to use it. All you need is a broadband connection and a computer. You do however, have to have your computer on to use your Magic Jack phone line, a requirement that may make exclusive use impractical for some users. However, even if your computer is off, you can still receive your voicemail. It’s ideal for adding a second line, for use while traveling, or for people on a tight budget.
Aside from the requirement of having your computer on for access, there is no disadvantage to using the Magic Jack as opposed to a standard phone line, and there are plenty of advantages. You get more features, low cost, and portability. It doesn’t get any better than that. The phone companies are starting to feel pressure to offer lower prices and more features, and some of the more common features such as caller ID or voicemail are offered as part of a low-cost package. VoIP however, because of its digital nature, can provision these services and more, and they are available for free with Magic Jack. In addition to free caller ID and voicemail, you also get call forwarding, free unlimited call conferencing, free national long distance, and low cost international long distance. If you make a lot of calls around the country, this is reason enough to install a Magic Jack. Per-minute charges are a thing of the past!
In fact, the very concept of the landline, which connects via copper wire to the analog telephone exchange, is rapidly becoming obsolete. A surprising percentage of telephone calls go over the Internet, and in many cases, you may be using VoIP without even knowing it. Many of the low-cost long distance calling cards on offer actually use a VoIP network to achieve their low prices; you simply use a regular phone to connect with a VoIP bridge, and your call is sent over the Internet to your foreign destination where it is linked once again to the phone company for the “last mile” of the call. Of course, this is all transparent to the user, who simply buys a phone card, picks up the phone and dials the number as usual.